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Gear Rumors

Full Frame Nikon Mirrorless – With F Mount – Coming Late This Year?

By Anthony Thurston on April 21st 2015

Here is an interesting turn of events. According to a new report over on Nikon Rumors, Nikon is currently field testing a new full frame mirrorless camera that could be released as soon as the end of this year!


But hold your horses, this isn’t the mirrorless camera of your dreams, and this rumor needs more than your usual dab of salt. According to the rumor, the new mirrorless camera would feature a Nikon F Mount (good in theory; no new lenses needed), and would be small – about the size of an Olympus OM-D EM-1.

The part that won’t amuse you, though, is that it apparently will not feature an EVF, instead only having the back LCD. It will also not be SLR-styled, but will instead feature a more common mirrorless styling (whatever that means, maybe more like Nikon’s current mirrorless offerings?).

[REWIND: New Nikon J Mirrorless Announced]

The part about this rumor that doesn’t sit quite right though is that somewhat recently in an interview, a Nikon rep said that they saw no need for any larger sensor mirrorless offerings other than their Nikon 1 line. So either this rumor is flat out wrong, or Nikon is playing a bit of smoke and mirrors.

Regardless, rumor or not, I can’t imagine any full frame mirrorless camera without an EVF doing very well – especially not with a full Nikon F mount. Can you imagine holding a 70-200mm attached to a body the size of an EM-1 and having to look at the back LCD to do any shooting? Hopefully, Nikon thinks that through a little more and gives the darn thing a proper EVF – because if they don’t, no pro would touch this with a ten-foot pole.

What are your thoughts on this rumor? Do you think Nikon was playing smoke and mirrors when they said they didn’t need a FF mirrorless? Will this camera do well without an EVF? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Nikon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Bruce Braithwaite

    EVF. I’m using Nikon and CV F mounts with Metabones on Olympus O-MD including a very compact Olympus E-PL5. The E-PL5 has an accessory port for my VF4 EVF (vertical swivel for low levels) that has 2.36 million dot resolution,  1.48x magnification, just like my E-M1. Great MF wide / normal primes set up. Minimum burden for shooting all day. I would get an FX version of the same configuration if Nikon could think the same way. Would be even happier if the old 2:3  film format offered their 5:4 framing as well. Love MFT 4:3!

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  2. Suhaana Manhattan

    G00gle pay 78$ per hour my last pay check was $9240 w0rking 98 hours a week online. My y0unger brother friend has been averaging 13k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe h0w easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do.. click at this go to tech tab for more details…

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  3. Rob Harris

    I will never buy an LCD-only camera, even if it was a small point and shoot for just carrying around. When I do happen to use my (so called) smart phone as a camera in a pinch, using the LCD makes it much more difficult. No view-finder, no purchase…

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    • Dustin Baugh

      So does something like the Lumix LF1 or the Sony DSC-RX100M III interest you as a P&S?

      Because honestly I can’t stand using smartphone cameras for anything but a bright sunny day. Take one out to the bar with friends or to a concert and it’s a purple noisy mess. Even a simple P&S like the Lumix has lightyears better performance in dim light.

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  4. Scott Wyden Kivowitz

    I’m happy to hear about this rumor, although I hope it’s closer to this than a 1 series camera.

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  5. Austin Swenson

    I might have to take this rumor with a whole salt factory, unless the flange distance from the sensor comes with a barrel as long as Nikon DSLRs to go with it so they can use their FX lenses. I have tried to kind of match up the distance between my A-mount 70-200 on my E-mount A7 just for kicks and giggles, and it all looks super out of focus… so there’s that whole engineering conundrum to figure out if they wanna use FX lenses on a mirrorless body.

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    • Matthew Saville

      That is the biggest question right now for Nikon and FX mirrorless:

      Will they try to save space by decreasing the flange distance, or will they try to maintain their tradition of backwards compatibility?

      Even my compact Nikon D5300, because of its articulated display is a good 2.5″ deep. Not exactly pocket-sized.

      Then again, everywhere I turn I keep hearing that such a “deep” design is optically preferable for corner sharpness on ultra-wide and/or fast lenses. The closer you let glass get to the sensor, the worse your corners are going to be.

      So, maybe Nikon will say, to heck with it, our f/1.8 G’s are a testament to how small and light our F-mount lenses can be, we’re gonna do mirrorless with the native F-mount.

      Or maybe they’ll create a new mount, but ship an adapter unique to each body that allows seamless transitioning between systems / mounts?

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “The closer you let glass get to the sensor, the worse your corners are going to be.”

      I don’t know where that idea came from. Leica lenses are awful close to the sensor and if you’ve ever seen the sharpness you can get from a 50mm APO-Summicron ASPH at f/8…

      It really depends on sensor micro lens design how sharp the lenses can get not on the depth of the lens mount. Then again the APO-Cron is also sharp as a razor on film too, no micro lenses needed.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Honestly, I think Nikon Rumors will start posting just about anything to garner clicks. Nikon has completed it’s upgrade cycle for now and news is slow. He can’t post D400 rumors anymore because he’s worn that out over the years.

      What’s hot right now? FF mirrorless. Meaningless speculation is my guess.

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  6. Matthew Saville

    To me, the viability / success of a camera with specs like these is all in the details, the un-known but still predictable specs: price, weight, etc.

    The bottom line is that without an EVF, it’s going to be hard for pros to take this camera seriously. Its uses will be limited, to put it nicely. Personally I hate EVFs, and I’d rather just carry around an LCD loupe for my rear LCD; it’s much easier on my eyes for night photography and in general.

    If they could make this camera much lighter / smaller than a Sony FE camera body, I could see it being exactly what mirrorless OUGHT to be: ultralight, portable, and yet still giving access to the highest quality sensor with the highest quality lenses. Essentially, Black Magic style “tiny little box” that is no-frills.

    This would obviously only be the first step in a Nikon mirrorless system. They’d probably want to throw a DF or D750 sensor in this thing at first, but I’d kill to see a D810 sensor in a camera body lighter than a Sony A7 mk2. Especially if they could include weather sealing, although I suspect most people will care more about in-body image stabilization than weather sealing.

    Either way, this sounds like the right move for Nikon, despite the lack of an EVF. It wouldn’t cannibalize DSLR or existing Nikkor sales, yet it could offer all the things that people are clamoring about in mirrorless: weight savings, price savings, IBIS, focus peaking, exposure preview / live histogram, …am I missing anything else?


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    • adam sanford

      Matt, I wonder in Nikon’s agreement to buy Sony FF sensors comes with an agreement *not to use them in mirrorless* to protect Sony’s glut of camera bodies and investment there.

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    • adam sanford

      Ugh. I meant “I wonder if”.

      C’mon SLRL moderators — give us editability. It’s 2015.

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    • Matthew Saville

      @Adam – That is a possibility, or it may have been agreed not to touch mirrorless for X number of years.

      The only problem with this is, the Df sensor is not Sony, AFAIK, and if Nikon IS allowed to use Sony sensors eventually, they’ll most likely spank Sony’s offerings within 1-2 generations, if only just for revenge. :-P

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  7. Dave Haynie

    I saw this a few days ago. I think it’s at least credible, in the “should do” department… Nikon’s had the F-mount since 1960 or so, I can’t believe they’d go to a serious mirrorless that wasn’t an F-mount.

    And there’s some logic in making a very small body (well, small for FF… the OM-D E-M1 is the largest m43 camera Olympus makes). Nikon’s probably not going to think about selling a mirrorless F-mount camera that’s overlapping the Nikon 1, not a model for P&S upgraders. So why make a mirrorless?

    If they do, I think they’d make it for the same basic reason any of us long-time DSLR shooters might be lured over to mirrorless: as a compact alternative to the DSLR. I think a large number of the “conversions” to mirrorless probably started out as someone like me, a long-time user of SLRs, DSLRs, etc. trying out one of these compact systems and loving it. Which did happen — I kept my Canon FF, but did build an Olympus system, too.

    So here’s a super compact body for Nikon users that’s going to get them pretty much anything a Sony Alpha 7 will, only, without any reason to dump their current Nikon system. No built-in EVF in this first model, but they could certainly offer it as an add-on, like the viewfinderless m43 cameras did. And this makes particular sense for Nikon, both in keeping the F-mount, and the fact that FF Nikons work perfectly well with “DX” lenses… so if you wanted to use it with a few more compact DX lenses in a small travel kit, you can do that.

    Sure, just a rumor, but this pretty close to the direction I can see Nikon moving. I’d expect Canon to keep the EF mount as well if they decided to do mirrorless at more than a hobby level, but knowing their emphasis on cool tech, I’d expect more of a hybrid — one camera that can do mirror or mirrorless. They’re already making pretty small cameras.. the 6D is less than 10oz heavier than the Sony A7II, and there was another recent rumor that they may be trying to shrink down the 6D even more for Mark II.

    And this seems to be an increasing general theme: as the number of DSLR users falls, the DSLR makers have had some success selling more of the expensive models. But right now, they’re clearly trying to get each of us to buy multiple bodies, not just upgrades but alternates. Like Sony’s different versions of the A7, Canon’s move to introduce more 5D variations (and they might not be done yet), and now this suggestion of a compact Nikon F that would be at home in any Nikon-DSLR-shooter’s kit. Otherwise, they’re selling new bodies only as upgrades… and honestly, the technology is pretty mature. Same phenomena as the PC business… during the ramp up, you desperately want that next generation model, because it’s clearly going to give you improved photo quality. These days, it’s not unusual for the same basic sensor to be used across generations.

    New features, maybe, but the pace of really useful upgrades has slowed. The dynamic is more like back in the film days, but unfortunately, the industry has been a bit spoiled by the wild west years of digital. I couldn’t quickly find sales figures, but consider that at one time, SLRs were only used by pros and enthusiasts… the Canon AE-1 hadn’t yet introduced the world to the consumer SLR. There wasn’t a huge rush to buy each new camera model, even if you were an enthusiast or a pro. I had two OM-series bodies over 20 years… even with things slowing down, I’ve had more Canon AND Olympus digital bodies in the last 5 years (ok, sure, I have a bit more cash to spend.. money from window-washing and shots for the MONTHLY local paper in High School only went so far, and most of it for glass).

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  8. Mircea Blanaru

    If the price will be good and not sky high, why not?

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    • adam sanford

      I suppose if you are a LiveView-only photographer working on a tripod (let’s say, a landscaper), then sure. This might be a great option in that case.

      But for the rest of us, a non-viewfinder camera *in the hands* is ergonomically challenging at best. Try to take some stills in LiveView with the camera 12-18″ from your face. It’s do-able, but it’s far from ideal.

      But this is how Sony started with their RX1, and those baby steps eventually led to the very popular a7 platform… so who knows? This might be the model you skip that eventually leads to the platform you love.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Agreed. A more lightweight camera that can use your same lenses. With the purchase of a single body you suddnely have a casual walk around town camera or backup emergency camera when on a professional shoot.

      The price is the big factor in that however.

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  9. Hannu Siika-aho

    With F mount and being small…? Will they have glass on the path between the lens and the sensor? F mount’s flange focal distance is one of the biggest — 46.50 mm!

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  10. Dustin Baugh

    I think it would be a step in the right direction, but as usal it’s a bit behind the power curve. Even pocket point and shoot cameras are coming with EFVs now. This model would get some press for being Nikon Mirrorless FF, but ultimately would be forgotten. The second model would definately have to have one, and would play well as competition to the Fuji Mirorrless cameras.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I totally agree.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      For Nikon to make a true statement in the Mirorless world, they need to launch a camera that will correspond to the Nikon V3 performance with a EVF.

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    • robert garfinkle

      agree with you Rafael (that you agree with Dustin…)

      Maybe, hopefully, this’d be the D400 your waiting for… say an M400. However I think it’d be a heavy load to ask for a full frame with enough megapixels to rifle off in the area of 20fps / 60fps. Although hitting the market with a 16mp (or 24mp) that can rat-a-tat-tat off 12fps / 20fps (focus locked) in FX, and 18fps / 30fps in DX mode – is achievable IMuhO (uneducated humble opinion) on xpeed 5 architecture – but the key is throughput and processing… (or the other way around :) ). They’ll do it… especially on a 24mp cam…

      and groundbreaking, I think they’d have to introduce a leap ahead of the others in semi-continuous fps (up to 150 – 200 shots) and pepper the camera with a decent amount of features (nice ISO, extended picture control profiles etc) – and I’m getting a gut feeling that the EVF will be an option like some suggest, pop it off use the tilt-screen behind the cam. an interchangeable EVF (works across many cams) and if they wanted to be a game changer in the accessory department, the EVF would have a hotshoe on top of it so you can pop a flash above (instead of one or the other), which could also be put into the original hotshoe if you don’t want the EVF…

      and, to take it a step further – build an almost-identically sized body, still slimmer though, but make it so you can put a honkin large battery in it, sustaining a ridiculous amount of shots say 2500 – 3000.

      oh, and cost, hmmm, open up the floor say around 1400.00 – 1600.00

      but that’d be me if I were Nikon

      And I would not consider this dream-cam to be a D4 killer by any means, as that spot be reserved for the D5…

      hmmm, funny, but if it is true that this so called full frame mirrorless will be hitting the shelves at the end of this year – if I recall, isn’t that about the same time the D5 hits the streets too – maybe both will be mirrorless… but the D5 has got all the stops pulled on features, for 6400.00

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  11. desmond chislom


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  12. adam sanford

    No EVF but a FF sensor? Odd. That’s sort of like a Sony RX1 (though it had a fixed lens) or Canon’s EOS-M. A larger sensor with no OVF or EVF is a fannnnnncy point and shoot in my book. Pass.

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  13. Stan Rogers

    Sounds kind of video-oriented; an OVF doesn’t help a lot there, but dropping (or hiding) a lot of the stills features might, and a remote-capable accessory eye level finder (like on the N1 V3, that can sit in a hot shoe or elsewhere on a rig) could make a lot of sense in that context. Wild speculation, of course, but it’s the only way I can make sense of the rumoured form factor, and it does make a certain basic kind of sense as a video platform.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Possible… though you’d prefer a swing-out screen for video. And Nikon has yet to get all THAT serious about DSLR video, at least as compared to Canon, Sony, or Panasonic. Maybe a little more on the Nikon 1, and that could be influencing this.

      Or maybe it’s just a made-up rumor. But I hope not… this would make things very interesting, and put even more pressure on Canon to not ignore mirrorless. Ok, maybe Pentax, too… they’ve ducked it just as much as the other DSLR guys.

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  15. Paddy McDougall

    Spot on with your comment about EVF

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