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A Closer Look At The Mount In The Nikon Full Frame Mirrorless

By Kishore Sawh on August 2nd 2018

So many questions, and so few answers, and so long to go until we’ll have them. Nikon’s first step into the full frame mirrorless arena is gobbling column inches (as expected), and will likely continue to do so. So far, however, there’s been a lot of teasing from Nikon with little to no substance. This, of course, is something we’re used to from Nikon, but it looks like they’ll be stretching it out even more this time around as they’ve just released a new teaser video about their new Nikon full frame mirrorless camera.

“We are preparing for the next 100 years by leaping into a new dimension. The new mount is Nikon’s response to the challenges of the future.”

So, we finally get a decent look at the mount, shape, and relative size of the unit to be unveiled August 23rd, and Nikon is expressing this as a massive leap. However, that’s a bit of a ‘leap’ of a statement, as it’s not as though this is an area Nikon has pioneered. In fact, when it comes to mounts, it’s an area Nikon has drawn much criticism about for decades, and to release a mirrorless now suggests Nikon waited for the waters to be tepid before diving in.

Still, Nikon is clearly looking to make a helluva splash, and we are waiting to be wowed. We can see from their press imagery so far that this looks bigger than the benchmark Sony A7, and there are all-too-familiar styling cues to be picked up on. The overall shape and specifically the spot where we can assume the EVF is going to be, is reminiscent of Nikon film cameras – a bit boxy, and that’s not a bad thing.

[RELATED: What To Consider & Remember For The New Nikon Mirrorless | Features, QC, Competition, & Market Position]

In contrast though, is the grip area, which from this angle, looks a little rounded. Nikon is absolutely going to push ergonomics and the grip looks swollen, more akin to the grip on the D850 or D500. So while it doesn’t seem to be the most harmonious in design, it could be functionally divine. Time will tell, and we’ll report as the specs and so on trickle out. You can check out more images of the unit below:


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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kyle Stauffer

    When I first saw the article image (front of camera), it immediately reminded me of my old Nikon F100 body.

    Honestly, I would be ecstatic if that was the relative size (minus thickness)  of this new camera . Half way through a 10 hour day of shooting with heavy glass, the D8xx bodies start feeling sooo much better in the hand than my D750. 

    Ergonomics, durability, and comfort trump small size for me. The teaser images look promising.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I have big hands, and I feel exactly the opposite. The D700 and D800 felt like chunky bricks compared to the amazing grip on the D750.

      The D850 is an improvement, admittedly, because they made the grip deeper to match the D750’s depth. But I’m still happier with the lighter weight of the D750, especially when hour 10 turns into your 12 or hour 14, and I start reaching for my lighter weight primes / zooms to finish the evening.

      Either way, I think that the likelihood is that the Nikon mirrorless system will be slightly lighter and smaller than any of its respective DSLR equivalents. Meaning, if they make a D850 class MILC, it will be noticeably lighter and smaller than an actual D850. Or if they make a D750 class MILC, it will also be noticeably lighter and smaller than an actual D750. And so on and so forth, from the D5 to the D5xxx.

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  2. adam sanford

    Holy cow, Nikonians are analyzing the crap out of these teasers:

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  3. adam sanford

    This is fun.  Nikon is just barely dangling enough for us to guess what it will be.  No one still knows if this is something F mount sized (diameter-wise) in a super super tiny body or if it’s an enormous mount in a bigger body.

    Why?  No discernible features you can scale — they did this very deliberately.

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    • adam sanford

      Meanwhile, back at Canon:

      Exec #1:  Should we tell them we’re doing both thin mount FF mirrorless *and* Full EF mount mirrorless and that “all their base are belong to us”?

      Exec #2:  No no.  This is their big reveal.  Let the kids have fun.  Let them reveal it.  Let their users get excited.


      Exec #2:  And *then* we feast on their entrails.  There’s an order to these things, my friend!

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    • Kishore Sawh

      haha. Well, I mean, if they’re using the standard sized Nikon strap anchors (even the pass-through holes) then you can pretty much settle that this mount is big. As I mentioned in my other piece it would seem big enough for MF.

      That said, I absolutely think it’s likely Canon is going to make a bigger splash and eat their lunch. 

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    • adam sanford

      I think Canon (arrogantly) will roll in with the same gameplan as
      EOS M:  weak specs at high prices, but strong core technology (DPAF), solid quality,
      solid ergonomics and wonderful lenses.

      “Here’s a 6D2 we put on a diet and gave an EVF.  Congrats to you!

      a 5D4 we *didn’t* put on a diet so you can seamlessly switch from the
      SLR on one shoulder to mirrorless on the other with no adaptor required.  Wedding folks, use the
      SLR unless you need video, a perfectly silent still or manual focus lens
      support — use the mirrorless for that.”

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    • Matthew Saville

      Heh. Honestly? To me, when I hear that Canon is thinking of doing two mounts, I imagine it like this:

      Canon: “hey Kodak, hold my beer and watch this!”

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    • adam sanford

      Matthew, we don’t know that they are doing this, but there is a ton of wisdom to going with both mounts.  A ton.

      Think about it.  Canon can get *some* of their vast army of users excited
      about mirrorless, or they can get *nearly everyone* fired up about it.  The only
      cost is a second body to offer.  That’s a small price to pay to not eff
      up the impossible 50-50 call of ‘mirrorless is all about being small’
      vs. ‘keep mirrorless as seamless and lens friendly as possible’.

      thin mount lens portfolio can be made overnight and some folks cannot
      stand adaptors.  So I see a thin mount FF mirrorless to chase the Sony
      crowd, scoop up money from enthusiasts, etc. and I see a Full EF mount
      mirrorless to be the camera Canon sells to every working pro with an 6D
      or 5D over their other shoulder. 

      Take a
      wedding photog as a good example.  One shoulder is an SLR, the other
      would Full EF mirrorless.  No adaptors or fuss, nearly identical
      controls, grip, etc.  The mirrorless comes out for the trick shots —
      manual focus assist for large aperture or T/S portraiture work, utterly
      silent shutter for the ceremony, seamless drop into video, etc.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Adam, indeed I jest, mostly because I’m still reeling from the notion that so many Canon shooters actually wanted Canon to ONLY do a native EF mount MILC, and not even bother with a new mount at all, it seemed for a while.

      And, let’s agree if we can- that would be bad news in the long run…? Indeed, at least 50-75% of the friends I know who switched from Canon to Sony have said that the smaller bodies are a delight, and one of the reasons they “could never go back”…

      Either way, I feel the excitement about a native EF MILC is highly misplaced and undeserved.

      Why? Because we already have the 1DC, and of course the existing Cinema EOS lineup. (C100, C200, etc) In other words, the most “surprising” thing I could imagine them doing is, making a 1DCii, without a mirror, …or a 6D2-style MILC to compliment the existing 1DC. Whoopie! (It would still be bad news for Canon, if they merely ripped the mirror out of a 6D2 or 1DC, and didn’t offer SIGNIFICANT improvements. (IBIS, 4K, or heck, start putting RAW video in the flagship C-series, and chase RED!)

      Just about the only things the 6D2 has going for it are the fully articulated LCD and the great video AF. Without dual card slots or 5-series image quality, it’s a pretty bad investment for still photography, compared to either the A7iii or even the on-the-brink-of-replacement D750…

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    • adam sanford

      Matthew, the difference between mirrorless and SLRs is 1″ of front to back space.  The rest is shrinkable.  Canon could stuff a FF sensor in an SL1 form-factor.

      So I’m guessing a smaller than 6D2 camera with a thin mount is coming to simply smash and grab 30% of the FF ILC market Sony has created.  If the M50 can take Canon to #1 in mirrorless in Japan, brand name and reputation is crushing spec-based value propositions right now, so Canon is likely to simply offering something 80% as good as the A7 III and they will do just fine.

      …but they also might have Full EF mirrorless bodies coming. :-)

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