PhotoTrend sat down to have a chat with Nikon’s head of UX Planning, Keiji Oishi, at CP+ 2023 to talk about Nikon Corp’s imaging division. There are a number of topics touched on in the interview, but of particular interest are hints that a full-frame version of the Nikon Z fc – essentially a mirrorless version of the Nikon Df – is probably on the way at some point.
As always, Nikon isn’t committing to anything, but the Z fc and its reception by the camera-buying public were discussed. Also discussed was the fact that ever since the Z cf was released, Nikon has been hearing people wanting a full-frame version. And he says that Nikon has been listening!
About the Nikon Z fc, Mr Oishi had this to say:
The initial concept of the Nikon Z fc is based on fun and joy. We designed this device in the hope that those who want a camera with a unique design will feel a certain joy, both in handling this device and in shooting images with it.
This design comes from Nikon’s long history and craftsmanship. It is all our passion that is expressed. The Z fc looks a lot like the Nikon FM2, a legendary film camera. This is how we meet the expectations of customers who know our history and that of FM2.
Regarding the sensor size, we chose APS-C because we wanted to offer a case that was sufficiently compact and affordable. And his name illustrates our thinking. The “c” of the Z fc corresponds to the English word casual.
This is pretty much the same mindset that brought the Nikon Df to store shelves back in 2013, but with the exception of sensor size. This time around, for a retro Nikon digital body, affordable seemed to be key. Mr Oishi continued on to say:
[A]s soon as we launched the Z fc, a lot of people were clamoring for an equivalent with a full-frame sensor. Of course, we can’t go into details about upcoming products, but we hear these requests and we think about the type of product that could fully meet them.
Now, this could be a standard scripted response to any query, but the specific word does suggest that a full-frame version of a Nikon Z fc (or a mirrorless version of the Nikon Df, depending on your perspective) may be in the works. And given that it’s been ten years since the Nikon Df was released, 2023 could be a good year to announce one.
As to what kind of capability a hypothetical full-frame Nikon Z fc would take, is unclear. The Nikon Df was based on the Nikon D4 sensor, with a processor and AF system taken from the Nikon D610. It didn’t have the high-speed continuous shooting frame rates of the D4, nor did it have any video capabilities, but it was a very capable camera by the standards of the day. The Z fc is essentially a Z50 in a new body. Could the full-frame version be a Z5 or Z6 II in a new shell? Or will it have some of the Z9‘s flagship capabilities as the Df did with the D4?
The Z fc has proven to be a very popular camera. Can Nikon do it again with a full-frame version? It looks like we might find out!
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