Nikon to release a $900 mid-level and a high end D5-equivalent mirrorless cameras
Nikkei reports that Nikon is planning to release a new mirrorless model during the 2019 fiscal year. Specifically, a lower midprice model that sits below the Z6 and will have a retail cost of around $900. And Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, a newspaper specialised in Japanese manufacturer, reports that Nikon’s new CEO, Mr Umadate, says that Nikon will also be releasing a Flagship mirrorless camera equivalent to the Nikon D5 DSLR.
So, first, the mid-level. It’s unclear whether or not this will be an APS-C model is still up in the air. It was suspected that we might see a crop model after spotting a new mirrorless body, with what appears to be some kind of constrictive aperture inside the lens mount – which is still a Z mount.
That body had the Z1 moniker, although it’s suspected that it might be a Z5 (equivalent to D7x00 series) with other models coming at some point at an even lower entry-level, or it could be an entry-level Z3 (equivalent to the D5x00 series) with a Z5 coming later to fill in the gap between entry-level crop and full frame.
If an APS-C body is on the way, it will be interesting to see the reception, as Nikon’s current Z mount lenses are all full frame and very expensive. And even with the FTZ adapter, you’re not going to get autofocus with those screw-type AF lenses that so many people own, only the more recent AF-S and AF-P lenses.
Nikon will introduce a new mid-price mirrorless camera product in fiscal 2019. The same interchangeable lens can be used in the product that corresponds to a sister model such as the high-end model “Z7” launched by the company in the autumn of 2006. It is expected that the price will be in the 100,000 yen range, which is easier for the general consumer to pick up than the leading 200,000 to 400,000 yen model. The aim is to develop the demand of users other than existing enthusiasts.
Whether Nikon will opt to use the adapter with something like the F Mount 18-55VR or create a new line of APS-C Z mount lenses remains to be seen. As does whether they’ll stick with the XQD/CFexpress found in the current mirrorless cameras, or offer an SD card option for lower end cameras.
Obviously, this is still a rumour, and there are no guarantees of specs, release date or if it will even be ASP-C. It’s entirely possible that Nikon could completely abandon crop sensors. The cost-saving benefits of DX vs FX aren’t what they were given the number of full-frame DSLRs and lenses currently on the used market.
And if they do release a D7x00-equivalent Z5, that means there’s potentially a mirrorless answer to the D500 coming at some point, too. But if Z5 and Z6 are taken, where would it sit in the numbering system? Hopefully, whatever they release, they’ll figure out how to put a flippy out (not up!) screen on the thing.
Anyway, now onto the full frame flagship. Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reports that a new top end mirrorless camera is on the way. This means the Nikon Z mirrorless lineup might finally see dual card slots.
Nikon will introduce the top model of mirrorless camera. Although the time is not public, President Kazukazu Madate clarified according to coverage of the Nikkan Kogyo Shumbun. Top model “D5 of the single-lens reflex camera…”
There’s no word on when the model will actually launch, nor what the exact specs will be, but if it’s going to be the mirrorless equivalent of the Nikon D5, then it should be able to compete with at least that body, the Canon 1DX II and the Sony A9. At least, one would hope.
I’m curious to see which path both Nikon and Canon take with their mirrorless cameras. Nikon has nothing in the APS-C space now, and Canon has the EOS-M with an existing lens ecosystem. So, it will be interesting to see how both manufacturers tackle the mirrorless future. We’re also still waiting on Sony to release an A7SIII and A7000.
I’m also wondering what Nikon will call the new flagship mirrorless camera. For their 35mm and digital SLRs, it was just F or D followed by a single digit. With film, we had up to the F6. Right now with DSLRs we have up to the D5. But the Z6 and Z7 already exist, and they’re certainly not pro flagship models. Perhaps they’ll go the way of Sony (A7, A9) and Intel (i5, i7, i9) with just single numbers for each of their product lines at different levels to simplify things a bit.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.