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If Nikon & Canon Offered A Full Frame Mirrorless…

By Guest Contributor on March 30th 2015

To be perfectly honest, I have no shame in speaking out loud about my frustration with Nikon (and Canon) for not doing what the industry trend is telling them to do. At this point in time, I believe they’re caring too much about their pockets and not enough about their customers, and the industry.

So much of the photography industry is moving towards mirrorless cameras. The popular cameras are Micro 4/3, cropped sensor and thanks to Sony, full frame sensor mirrorless cameras. More so, many photographers going from DSLR to mirrorless are switching from Nikon and Canon to the likes of Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus. Yes it’s true, the majority of photographers still use DSLR cameras, but that’s slowly changing. So why shouldn’t the “big boys” get ahead of the curve?

[REWIND: NIKON FILES PATENT, HINTS AT FULL FRAME MIRRORLESS OFFERING…]

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I have been very open about my thoughts for what Nikon should do for a full frame mirrorless.  But unfortunately, nothing has happened. So I’m writing this here to get a feel for what you think in both comment form and in a simple poll to see if I’m the only one feeling like this.

Imagine if Nikon and Canon had a full frame mirrorless camera offering that resembled most or all of the following specifications:

  • Size of the Nikon Df (maybe a hair smaller), where the Prism block contains GPS/Wifi sensors and the EVF system.
  • Somewhere between 16 and 24 megapixels
  • Full frame CMOS sensor
  • OIS sensor (not super important, but would be nice)
  • FX or DX format (full frame and cropped)
  • Ability to accept non-ai lenses (older Nikon lenses)
  • SDHC/SDXC memory cards
  • Electronic Viewfinder as large or larger than Fuji XT1
  • Tilty, swivly LCD screen
  • Live View
  • Video
  • GPS (not super important, but would be nice)
  • Wifi (not super important, but would be nice)
  • Dials for any options instead of needing the menu (like the Df)
  • 6–10 FPS
  • Phase detection
  • Contrast detection
  • Focus peaking
  • Large ISO range like the D810
  • Large shutter speed range like the D810
  • Hot shoe
  • Flash compensation
  • Weather-Resistant
  • Auto bracket with up to 9 brackets at 1–3 full stops
  • Priced around the Sony A7II range: $1,698.00

What do you think? Is a camera like that attractive to you? It’s not super tiny (or it could be), but it’s lighter than a clunky DSLR and doesn’t lose the function, quality and speed that you’re used to.

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If Nikon/Canon Full Frame Mirrorless Offering Like This, Would You Buy It?

View Results

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Please comment to share your thoughts on this below, or share your thoughts on your perfect full frame mirrorless camera from Nikon or Canon. 

About the Guest Contributor

Scott Wyden Kivowitz is a photographer, blogger, author and educator.  He is also the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, a WordPress development company creating products for photographers.

If you’re interested in becoming a guest contributor, contact us!

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Genine Gehret

    I would but a GOOD Nikon mirrorless like this is a HEARTBEAT!! I’ve been waiting for Nikon to catch up with this technology for several years now, but to no avail. I’m ready to upgrade my d800 NOW and I would LOVE it if Nikon had something like this now.  I’ve even considered dumping Nikon to get the Sony A7rii,  but keep waiting for Nikon…don’t know how much longer though. If I had $10,000 to spend, I’d buy the new Sony medium format 50MP system….oh,….if only……. :-)

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  2. Scott Seroka

    I’m hoping there’s something we don’t know about Canon and their refusal to make a good mirrorless, and that they will roll something out SOON that will smoke the competition. The Canon M5, their latest mirrorless, is a yawner. And, their mirrorless lens selection is poor. I own the 6D and L glass but I also recently purchased the Oly M10ii and it is an amazing machine to use. I’m not ready to give up my FF yet, but it will probably happen over time. My gut tells me that Canon and Nikon will suffer from the Kodak effect – not paying attention to customer needs, wants and trends. 

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  3. Kristopher Galuska

    I actually just sold my m4/3 kit and bought a Nikon 610 and 50mm 1.8g! This is actually my first dslr. Im switching the trwnd and going from mirrorless to dslr. Ang yeah its big, but it actually fits in the same small bag I used to put my mirrorless in! Of course I used to have 3 lenses in there instead of onel. But to be honest 80 % of the time i would only use one. And for me when I’m mainly doing landscape or astrophotography I only need one or two lenses. And I’m carying a tripod anyway, so the weight difference is negligible. And so far the images just feel so much richer. I also was tired of looking at an electronic viewfinder. I stare at screens all day. Its so nice to not be staring at another screen.

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  4. Jen Huls

    I love my Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless cameras. The macro-like shots I can get (handheld) with my Lumix GX1 and Oly 17mm 2.8 lens still surprise me.

    And with the Oly EM5, the low-light handheld capabilities always bring a smile to my face.

    I’d love a FF mirrorless for travel so I can get the quality prints of a FF and the lightness of a mirrorless (and so I don’t have to lug my D600 with me on the plane taking up carry-on space that I could actually use for clothing) without having to change brands (Sony).

    I’ve invested quite a bit of money on my Nikon glass and I don’t want to have to spend another good hunk of change on Sony lenses to be able to travel with a better quality camera with a smaller footprint. So, if Nikon entered the FF mirrorless market, it would be important that I could use my existing glass without adapters. However, that then cuts down on the light-weight benefits of a mirrorless system.

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  5. Steinar Knai

    Well, DR and IQ are certainly no problems for me. Here is why I shoot mirrorless:
    – Size and weight. You’ll know why after an 8 hour day running, bending, creeping at a wedding or on reportage .- Video capability: It far outdoes anything DSLR’s can do, both in AF quality and ease of use. The GH4 is now used by a lot of filmmakers and reporters, because it does movie quality video and great stills.
    – Price: My system is less than 50% of a comparable DSLR based system.
    – Print quality: I can do 30×40 prints any time for my clients and few want anything bigger.
    – Connectivity: The ease of uploading an image from the camera to a pc or phone is so much better. I use this all the time at weddings, where I can keep updating images to a screen for all the visitors to see real time. It really creates a very good atmosphere and saves me from having to compete with uncle BOB who has a good spartphone.

    I see no real difference in DR and frankly don’t believe that most pro’s would. Recent reviews compare the D800 to the EM5MKII and find no real difference in details or DR. Pixelpeepers who spend more time on forums than out shooting might, but I sure don’t. I use LR5 for post processing and I get what I need and more from my files. Check Neil Grant Buchan’s work out. He wins prices all the time for the quality of his work and he shoots an EM1 with good glass.

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    • Mark Romine

      Thanks for sharing your though process Steinar!

      In no way I’m I against m4/3 systems or mirrorless systems in general. I wanted to go there this year but with the current models it wasn’t for me yet. Maybe next year or the year after I will just have to wait to see what is introduced.

      I’ve heard that about the video but for me video does not play into the equation. I also rented the GH4 and it too is a sweet little gig.

      Size and weight are big factors and so is the near silentness of the EM-1, GH4 is totally silent.

      Price is somewhat important, even more so if just starting out but when you already have a full system where you can sell off pieces it is not as big of a factor.

      Regarding connectivity, the D750 and the corresponding mobile app allows for on the spot uploading to social media. This is something I have not had in any of my previous big body Nikons. I probably will not use this a lot, maybe one or two images per wedding. But this is not something that would cause me to buy or reject the purchase a camera body. As far as uncle Bobs go, I don’t really care what they are or aren’t doing. That never factors into my buying.

      One thing I would miss is my lovely Mitros + flash system for full on-baord remote flash control of both manual and TTL power.

      Regarding the DR of the EM-1 vs my D4 and D750, once I got to 3200 and beyond on the EM-1 (I never shoot beyond 8,000), I could definitely see issues with color fidelity and noise in the shadows if you needed to push exposures in post work. The DR on the D750 is out of the world, especially in the shadows with no noise. Do I need the DR of a FF sensor like the D750 on every shot? Of course not but it is nice to have when lighting is really low.

      I’m very impressed with the EM-1 and most likely that is where I will be going with the next model of the EM-1. at least I hope so. I want to ditch the weight and have a really quite shutter but I also want on board file redundancy something that none of the mirror-less bodies are offering yet.

      So the main things that held me back this year where lack of dual cards, DR and the flash system.

      It’s a good time to be a photographer.

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  6. Steinar Knai

    I do studio work, weddings, portraits, architectural photo, travel and workshops. I don’t do much concerts and if I do, it’s a one night stand mostly. I never do reportage work where I leave without possibilities for charging, etc,, for days and weeks on end. I also curate a site on MFT cameras and lenses and have a look, if you are interested. There are some good articles by other pros. http://www.scoop.it/t/micro-four-thirds-cameras-and-lenses

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    • Mark Romine

      I rented the EM-1 and I love it’s size and many of the features plus I love all the prime lenses that are available. The two things that caused me reservations, are the lack of dual cards (being a wedding photographer this is a major concern especially with the more fragile SD card format). The other is the DR of the files, they are pretty decent but my D750 files are much better especially as the ISO goes up even at 3200. I ‘m really anxious to see what the next iteration of the EM-1 will be like.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      That’s the MFT drawback. The sensors seems to have topped out at decent but not great 16MP. If they can make some big improvements to the sensor they can revitalize themselves but all these amazing Sony sensors for the same price are going to kill them in the next couple years if they don’t.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Dustin Baugh: Yeah, the MFT sensor is limited by it’s sensor size in what it can do really well. That’s why in my opinion MFT will never be a truly viable option for most professionals. It’s great for being compact, and being an open format has the option of many different lenses, but MFT doesn’t really EXCEL at anything I can think of.

      Of course some people can make it work for them, but most people need APS-C or bigger for a truly versatile camera.

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    • Mark Romine

      @ Dustin & J. Dennis,

      I started my digital career with a 3.3 mp 1.6x crop sensor then went up to a 4.3 mp 1.3x crop sensor. From those files I have 6 huge 40×72 prints hanging in my studio that were made from files from the 4.3 mp sensor. They are gorgeous. I professionally shot hundreds of weddings on those cameras. By comparison the files from the 16 mp EM-1 are superior to either of those two cameras. So don’t under estimate the punch that is packed in those little m4/3 sensors. They may never be as good as a full frame sensor but plenty more than enough to get paid professionally for using them.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @MARK ROMINE

      I started my digital career shooting low MP crop sensors too and I was printing large as well. They looked great for the time, but that was 15 years ago. People expect better image quality.

      Of course your new 16MP M4/3 sensor performs better than your old camera sensors. There’s been A LOT of technological upgrades. Comparing your old stuff to your new stuff is irrelevant. My ’76 Camaro with the big block V8 can haul ass, but my 2012 MINI Cooper S with a tiny inline 4 cylinder blows it away. New technology.

      Not to mention that you just can’t get the same DoF effects. Until they make an f/0.7 lens M4/3 will always lag in that respect.

      M4/3 may be good enough for you, but it doesn’t hold up to my personal standards of images that I want to present to my clients. I don’t do “good enough” for my clients. I give them the best. That’s what they pay me for.

      Not to mention that I hate the 4:3 ratio. It looks dated to me. Like a standard def TV.

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  7. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks so much for sharing such an amazing discussion on mirroless cameras. They really rock!

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  8. Steinar Knai

    I have taken the leap to an EM1 based system and find that the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. I can, do so much with the EM1 that I couldn’t do with a D750 and the weight and size advantage is huge. IQ is never a problem and the cost is less than half that of a Nikon based system. So I use a grip with an extra battery when I need a lot of images. That gives me 800 raw at least and easily 2000 jpeg, if I shoot jpeg. I keep 4 extra batteries with me, but the weight is nothing. With that I can shoot for at least two full days and I charge as needed. Is it optimal? No, but it is very doable and does not stop me from doing my job.

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  9. Mark Romine

    This off season I have downsized my big Nikon bodies, D3, D3s and D4 to three D750. I love the D750 but I actually wanted to go to a mirror-less system like the OM-D EM-1 but the lack of dual cards an a reduced DR stop me from taking that leap. I think the m4/3 systems have more than enough outstanding primes and zooms to fill my needs. So I’m waiting to see what the next irritation of the Olympus flagship brings. One maybe two more models and I will be ditching my Nikons for good.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I went Df and people can say what they will about “hipster” or whatever, but I love that camera. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. The IQ is off the charts and I love the way the controls are laid out. I’m also not ashamed to say I like the way it looks. That camera has landed me gigs and got me dates because it’s not “intimidating” to non-photographers. I get the occasional smirk or whatever from some johnny-come-lately photographers here in town, but my real colleagues know what I can do with it so there’s never been any flack from the pros.

      I have always hated the D7000/D600 body design so when the D650, uh I mean the D750 came out it was a no go. The D800 was too much (MP) and not enough (speed) for me so I ditched that after about a month, so the D810 wasn’t even on my list.

      I still have my D700 (It was the first DSLR I actually became attached to) and I’ll probably never get rid of it. It’s on it’s 2nd shutter and nearing 3/4 of a million shots (lots of motorsports). The D4 hangs out for special occasions (It would have been with me at MotoGP this weekend, but my assignment editor “spaced” on my letter of assignment), but the Df is now my go-to workhorse camera for events, music festivals, and even most sports. I shoot one-off concerts with once in awhile, but I prefer to shot my Leica for those now.

      I can say for certainty though, I’d switch back to a D3/4 before I’d go MFT.

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  10. Marshall Barth

    Not until they’ve solved the battery problem. Don’t relish the thought of having to carry around a bunch of extras, due to the aggressive power consumption of current “mirrorless.”

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I always hear people complaining about battery life in mirrorless cameras and I’ve never had an issue. My experience is relatively limited to the XPro-1 and X100, but enough to know it’s not THAT bad.

      When I bought my first Leica DRF I was told to buy a bunch of batteries, but even with the power hungry CCD in my M9-P I rarely use a second battery unless I’m shooting a festival ALL DAY & NIGHT.

      I think battery consumption is largely based on how you use your camera. If you do a lot of chimping or Live View shooting, yeah batteries are going to go quick, but the EVF’s are small and don’t take that much juice to run.

      (Keep in mind I’m not a mirrorless fan, so I’m not defending them out of being a fan, but strictly from my own experience)

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Battery life might be slightly smaller but it’s not like you go through 3 batteries for every 1 on a DSLR.

      I recently did a 1 day photography roadtrip, about 12 hours on and off shooting, over 500 picture taken, I had to swap to a second battery in the last hour of daylight, about 450 pics into the day. My battery didn’t die but I saw it was close and wanted to have power for sunset. On a casual day a single battery lasts more than the whole day. On a photo heavy day (500-600) about 1 and a half. I carry 3 just to be safe and charge them at night.

      My friend has an a6000 which can charge directly through USB and it’s UNBELIEVEABLE how helpful that is! Purchase a 13000mA Anker cellphone charger and you can recharge your camera in about an hour, 4-5 times before draining the Anker. It’s the new killer feature that I believe should be on all cameras from now on. Every USB port is a charger, no more hauling the little charger brick around, looking for an outlet.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I will say that I’ve gotten 7000+ photos on one charge from an EN-EL4 shooting a 3-day music festival. No VR, Image Review off, and only using the LCD to check the histogram once in a awhile.

      Newer batteries won’t even stand up to that with the battery sanctions Japan enacted.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      That’s really good but it’s 3 times larger as well. One of the drawbacks of having a camera that is less than one third the weight is that there isn’t as much room for those massive batteries. Still with the weight savings you could carry 10 spare batteries in your pack and still be hauling less weight through a 3 day music festival.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Battery life may not be an issue for most casual shooters, or professionals that only shoot 500-1000 images in a single day / job. However the minute you get into video, timelapse, cold-weather, or long-exposure photography, the batteries start going real quick. I’ve gone on plenty of road trips and backpacking trips that involved 5-10K photos, or 100+ GB of content, in just a few days. Sometimes charging batteries in a car charger is an option, but sometimes it isn’t. And even when it is, you’re contending with 2-3 other photographers for car battery inverter time.

      I do like that some of the Sony’s can be charged via USB, however unless they can be charged WHILE shooting, this is still useless for all-night timelapse work.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      @MATTHEW SAVILLE That is one of the massive drawbacks of charging via USB. You can’t charge a spare battery while you use another, you still have to get an external “outlet brick”. Now if they could have the USB power the camera the same as those AC battery adapters it would be fantastic. Sony says they’re “having engineers look into it” for the a7 but who knows if the camera can even run on a constant 5v-2a from the USB port.
      But eliminating the DC to AC to DC conversion of having to use a car inverter makes the engineer in me very happy. Plus 5 port USB auto adapters are so much easier to get than a 5 port AC inverter. Less fighting among photographers for the car power.

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  11. Steven Lam

    For me the appeal of mirrorless is all about portability (my Olympus travel kit of wide zoom, prime and telezoom weighs less than my D700 with only 1 lens). Unless Nikon mirrorless goes small as well, I won’t be interested.

    Aside: what would really make my day is if somebody created a Nikon to M4/3 adaptor with full autofocus and metering capabilities.

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    • adam sanford

      “Unless Nikon mirrorless goes small as well, I won’t be interested.”

      …then you should be all set, right? That’s exactly what Nikon offers right now.

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    • Steven Lam

      I should have wrote “Unless Nikon Full Frame mirrorless goes small as well…”

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  12. Steinar Knai

    If Canikon were to go mirrorless, I believe they would have to follow Microfourthirds lead and use a smaller sensor. Otherwise, they size and weight advantage just is not there. There are about 70 lenses in the MFT stable, from very high quality fast primes to pro grade zooms and more consumer directed slower glass. I changed my kit from Nikon D700 with very good glass to the Olympus EM1 with the best Olympus lenses and here are some of my findings:
    -the weight advantage is about 60%, sometimes more when you include the lenses.
    -the size advantage is at least that
    shooting with a crop factor of 2 has proven not to be a problem at all and has many advantages, mostly the size and weight of the lenses.
    -When I use good glass, I have no problem printing to size 40×60 cm and I never need larger sizes than that.
    -I can literally work for 8 hrs without getting tired because of the weight advantage
    -With the firmware 1.3 on the EM1 focus tracking at 6-7 fps is as close to my Nikon results as I need them, i.e., I have a 80-90% success rate when shooting things in motion, about 10% less when shooting at 10fps.
    -My customers are really happy, but if you want to see what a fashion/studio photog can do with MFT, I recommend having a look at Neil Grant Buchan’s web site http://buchangrant.format.com/ .
    – If you would like to follow MFT, I curate a web site to show the best articles, reviews, etc. Please visit! http://www.scoop.it/t/micro-four-thirds-cameras-and-lenses

    There is no universal answer to the question asked above, but one thing is for certain, mirrorless is the future and whether it is today or in two years that you choose to join, you will eventually!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “but one thing is for certain, mirrorless is the future and whether it is today or in two years that you choose to join, you will eventually!”

      Nothing is certain. Mirrorless is not the “future” for everyone. It’s just going to be a stablemate with DSLRs. I will NEVER “join”. EVF’s aren’t for everyone and Fuji’s hybrid system is too complicated. MFT? don’t even get me started on what a joke that would be for my work.

      Seriously you mirrorless guys can try to jam these things down everyone’s throat, but sales still show DSLR’s outsell mirrorless.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only people that are convinced that mirrorless cameras are “taking over” are camera nerds that hang out on camera forums. Regular people are buying SLRs because it’s a familiar form factor and they don’t care or even know about the “mirrorless revolution”.

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  13. adam sanford

    I’m really impressed, SLRL readers. This continues to be a marvelously troll-free site. You folks rock.

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  14. Daniel Lee

    @J.Dennis There is no doubt Sigma are making amazing lenses, but at the same time they are at the least several years newer than Canons offerings so you would expect them to be superior. Don’t Sigma use Metal for the housing or do they use plastic as well? I think I’m mostly interested in a 85mm, 135mm and updated 24-70/70-200 from them.

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    • Matthew Saville

      A lot of the rear-most components (mount / barrel) in Sigma Art lenses are metal, but at least a few of the front-most components (filter threads) are plastic.

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    • Daniel Lee

      Matthew – thanks for clarifying that :)

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  15. Daniel Lee

    J.Dennis – Considering that I’m already fully invested in Canon gear and I’m very happy with it, I don’t see the need to switch. Honestly I’m very tempted by the A7r but considering my current use and money level, it’s not really worth it for me.
    Obviously this is all hypothetical since there is no Canon/Nikon Mirrorless, but when there is one I may still like the A7r more and get that.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The reason I asked was because being invested in Canon gear you can use your lenses (with AF no less) on the A7. I was just curious if it was brand loyalty or some other reason.

      It was sincere interest, not trolling or anything. I like to know what other people’s thought processes and reasons are because I write for different magazines and it helps me understand where people are coming from when I write an article. I don’t want to just spit out my opinions all the time, I want to know what fellow photographers are thinking so I can be objective.

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    • Daniel Lee

      Don’t worry J.Dennis, I could tell you weren’t being rude or anything. I wouldn’t really consider myself brand loyal, I’m just very conservative with my spending. I see a lot of people switch for a short time to only switch back to their original brand. Even though camera gear retains most of its value, you still lose money each time which could go to new gear instead.
      When it comes to bodies, I’m not really that picky but lenses are what have the largest influence one me. Even though I could use my Canon lenses with a Sony body, I would rather buy their lenses as well and have two separate systems.
      People these days are very brand loyal in all electronics (Microsoft vs Apple, Samsung Vs Apple, Canon vs Nikon), but I like to give credit where it’s due and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of each company regardless of how much I like/dislike them.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I use Nikon because it’s what I know. I’m just lucky to have picked a system that excels in low-light where I do a lot of work. Then again I shoot a Leica M9-P at concerts a lot and although it’s considered to be one of the worst low-light cameras I make it work. So I could probably make Canon work too. I’ve used Canon for a spell, it was loaner gear, but I couldn’t gel with the interface.

      When I tried Fuji, I wasn’t jumping ship, but looking for an alternative, thinking I could replace my Leica with something more modern, and I’d make money from selling my Leica. But more modern isn’t always better. I think Fuji is on to a good thing, but they need to streamline instead of overloading the cameras. That’s what I like about my M9-P. I can pick it up twist a dial and aperture ring and it’s ready to shoot.

      I’m not brand loyal when it comes to lenses though. I’m using Sigmas more than Nikons on my DSLR and I recently got a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 which has been living on my Leica even though I have a great 50mm Summilux and Summicron. I use what is good.

      I do not however mix my computer components. Someone suggested I get a Windows phone the other day. But I just wouldn’t plug a Windows device into my Apple. Too much incompatibility there. It’d blow up knowing my luck.

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    • Daniel Lee

      A lot of Nikon lenses I’m quite jealous of, mainly their primes. I think I would be the same if I used a Nikon, I’m very used to Canon and my 6D. When I go back to use my 550D it feels so weird and I’m too used to every button location on my 6D.

      I went for the 6D for its low light capability and full frame sensor. Aside from P&s, I haven’t really tried many other systems beside Canon. I’ve used friends Nikon before and it felt so strange for me. Newer definitely isn’t always better, it also comes down to what each camera offers you specifically and whether you need those offerings or not.

      I have owned a Sigma lens before, the original 50mm f1.4 EX lens. I sold it because I fell in love with the 35 FL and the 35mm f2 IS from Canon. Sigma optics are definitely amazing, it’s just the weigjt of their gear (I have back problems) and possible AF issues that can be off putting for me. I actually considered picking up another copy of the 50 ex recently but resisted temptation.

      I plug my Apple phone into my Windows PC so I’m guilty of that! Mac is another system that seems foreign to me. I use my girlfriend laptop which a Mac so I have a basic understanding of how to use them, but not as extensive as PC’s (I built my PC and am fairly knowledgeable about components and whatnot).

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    • Matthew Saville

      J. Dennis, I’m in the same unique position that you mentioned above- I review / test cameras for a living, so adapting is easy. Preference still exists, however, as you also mention here. That is why I stick with Nikon.

      Yes, I can adapt to Canon zooms moving the opposite way, I can adapt to where all the buttons are. However, adapting doesn’t mean that one system isn’t actually more practical or useful than the other. People alway talk about how it’s a matter of preference, but I firmly believe this just isn’t true. I strongly believe that Nikon’s placement of the rear command dial is a huge benefit to them, compared to having to twerk my thumb down to hit a wheel on the bottom of the back of the camera. (I’m left-eyed, too, that might have something to do with it?)

      All in all, I’m not saying that one brand is 100% superior for EVERYBODY. I’m just saying that there’s a good chance that one brand is superior in many ways, that many people can truly value, even folks who may be currently on the wrong side of the fence.

      But that’s different from what we’re talking about now. Either way, the bottom line is that I’m gonna stick it out until I see what Nikon does with mirrorless, because I strongly suspect that when they do offer it, the button layout and customization will be vastly superior (for me) than any other current or future brand’s offering.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Daniel Lee, I hear you on the weight of the Sigma Art primes, compared to the likes of a Canon 35 f/2, let alone the older Nikon 35 f/2 which is truly feather-weight!

      It sounds like you might be a prime candidate for the types of lenses I’m hoping that both Canon and Sigma try to release in the near future. I’m really hoping that Canon takes a queue from Nikon’s line of across-the-board awesome f/1.8 G primes, and re-does their entire line of popular 1.8’s…

      Right now, the latest “affordable prime” stuff Canon has done involves f/2 or f/2.8, and IS, neither of which are very exciting to me as a photographer who would rather save the weight / $$ for a faster aperture or a lighter lens…

      But, I have hope that Canon still has a few new f/1.8 or f/1.4 affordable lenses up its sleeve.

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    • Daniel Lee

      Mathew Saville
      I’m surprised Sigma don’t try to make their lenses lighter, especially since they’re so much heavier than their counterparts. Lenses like the Canon 100L are very solid yet still made of plastic. Hopefully Sigma take weight into consideration with their future primes.

      You bet I am. I feel Nikon is doing a better job with their lens releases than Canon, although I’m not as familiar with their lens ages as Canons. Both those two can easily make amazing lenses that match or better Sigmas offerings. I know the Nikon 135 is definitely due for a upgrade from what I’ve read. For me, I really want an 85mm f1.8 IS from Canon that matches the quality of my 35mm f2 IS. I like the 50mm and 85mm offerings that Nikon have.

      Although I’m more than happy wih my 6D and my current lenses, I’ve been tempted to try switch to an A7r just so I can use lenses from all brands.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Daniel Lee: Sigma is using complex designs involving more glass, plus the lens are are all fast. That’s why they are heavy. If they start cutting corners to make the lenses lighter then they’re back where they started from. The fact that the lenses are optically better than the Nikon/Canon offerings is why they’re doing so well.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Matthew Saville:

      I totally agree with you that Nikon has the ergonomics on their pro cameras down. The D300/700/800 style and the D2/3/4 series are all excellent as well as the D3000/5000 series. The D7000/D600 layout I don’t like. It always felt wrong to me when using it. The back is OK as it’s pretty standard, but the top deck is just off for me. I think it’s the opposite location of the mode dial.

      The Df is completely different, but I adore it. It feels great when using it. Once you get used to it of course. The there’s my Leica M9-P. It’s perfect. On switch, shutter-release button shutter speed dial, aperture ring. But if you want to talk complicated cameras my ’55 Leica IIIf is ridiculous. If I don’t use it for awhile I forget how to set the fast shutter speeds and advance the film. But it’s a cool looking machine.

      When I wrote my first review about the Df I mentioned Nikon cameras in general having nearly perfect ergonomics and a bunch of people jumped on me about it, some Canon folks but also Nikon guys. It’s pretty funny because when something like that happens I start figuring out that they don’t know their camera well enough. They complain about lacking features which can be programmed, but they never bothered to RTFM. (When you tell them how to do it they never thank you either)

      In any case I have a Nikon mirrorless, my old P5000. It looked retro before retro was cool. I actually bought it because it was the only P&S at the time with an OVF albeit a primitive one. No info, but it does zoom. And the IQ in the day is good. I may take it on a street session one of these days just for the hell of it.

      Seriously though, even if Nikon made a mirrorless I doubt I’d get one. My D4 languishes unless motorsports is happening (my editor forgot to get my credentials for MotoGP this year >:-| . My D700 takes the rough and dirty sports jobs like Tough Mudder and Spartan Races, and my Df does most of the work since I shoot music and events most. The D5300 is there for video if I want it. And the Leica is always with me just because the IQ is special with my preference for old lenses.

      Anyway, yeah that Canon scroll dial sucks. ;)

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    • Daniel Lee

      @J.Dennis There is no doubt Sigma are making amazing lenses, but at the same time they are at the least several years newer than Canons offerings so you would expect them to be superior. Don’t Sigma use Metal for the housing or do they use plastic as well? I think I’m mostly interested in a 85mm, 135mm and updated 24-70/70-200 from them.

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    • Dave Lyons

      a “newer” lens doesn’t mean it’s “better”… look up some of the old nikon glass which most are optically just as good or better, build quality is usually much better and you can get most for under $100. The af (if they have it) might not be as fast, CA and flaring might be a bit of an issue but those older lenses were the real deal.

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  16. Daniel Lee

    I’d definitely be interested in a Canon FF Mirrorless as a second body. I don’t think I would completely switch to Mirrorless bodies only, but I would definitely find a use for it alongside my 6D!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Just curious, why would it have to be a Canon full-frame an a second body? Being mirrorless It would have a different configuration that your 6D so ergonomics don’t really come into play.

      Why not a Sony A7? You can use your Canon lenses and they make an AF adaptor.

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    • Matthew Saville

      J. Dennis Thomas,

      I don’t know about other folks, but I’m in the camp that believes quite strongly that a Nikon / Canon mirrorless offering would at least attempt to have as much of the same interface, controls, and customizations as its brand has always had.

      This is in fact one of the main reasons why I’ll continue to avoid “jumping ship” to Sony- I like where the buttons are on my Nikons, and I like the customizations available even more, and last but not least, I’m getting into old-dog-new-tricks territory with regards to the menus in general.

      In short, I like to think a Nikon mirrorless camera will be as much like a shrunken D750 / D810 as possible, and this would be a huge advantage to me whether I switch entirely, or simply add it to my bag.

      =Matt=

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    • adam sanford

      Agree with Matt here, J Dennis. I would see a lot of folks choose a same-company mirrorless rig because they’d do their damnedest to make it feel like an SLR’s (relatively) polished control set. That would make ping-ponging back and forth between two bodies at a shoot far less daunting, frustrating, etc. I’d be stunned if they *didn’t* do that, in fact.

      Matthew gave you some Nikon examples, but were it a *Canon* FF mirrorless, even if the form factor were different, they’d find a way to:

      a) Put a 5D fatty thumb wheel on it (that’s a hammerlock certainty if are courting pro users.)
      b) Offer the top-facing LCD and ubiquitous Canon 4 button settings spread
      c) Charge us four million dollars for a grip
      d) Not offer a pop-up flash [cough 6D epic fail cough]
      e) Protect us from the evils of third party batteries by not allowing them to work
      f) Find a way to argue that a bolt-on WiFi / GPS transceiver is ‘classy’ and not an upcharge
      f) *Still* not offer me my EF 50 f/1.4 IS USM and offer ‘new’ tilt-shifts instead

      …But I digress.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Matthew Saville

      I’m in a unique position. I’ve written books on and used so many different cameras and I also use different systems concurrently that I don’t have a lot of problems adapting.

      The biggest issue I have is if I’m using two cameras and one has a Nikon and the other a Sigma lens I always end up turning the zoom wrong. It’s not even annoying anymore.

      But if Nikon did a mirrorless like the Df as the author suggested it wouldn’t be like a mini D610/D800 at all.

      I ain’t jumping ship to Sony ever They can’t even stick with a consistent lens system. Wo know how long the E-Mount will be around. They might drop it tomorrow if sales fall. Besides those A7’s are the ugliest cameras ever made and the shutter sound scares me.

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  17. Barry Freeman

    I have handled at least the 5d3 and the A7 (and A7r) this year, but not for extended periods.

    Right now I’m just enjoying all the choices available.
    I’d certainly like to explore the X100T and similar for a while. The idea of being restricted to a single focal length might seem a bit limiting but it would certainly make you think about what you’re doing.

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  18. Raoni Franco

    Life is too short people.

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  19. Barry Freeman

    I’m a returning photog. in 1972 I bought a Canon 20D as my first digital camera. Prior to that I used Bronica 645 as a commercial product snapper.

    I still have (and use) the 20d but it’s showing it’s age. My PHONE has a higher resolution but apart from that it’s not doing too badly.

    Still, having a little more disposable income than I did back then, I’m looking at upgrading.
    I’m dithering a LOT. One minute I’m looking at the prices on the Canon 5d3 and 24-70 ii L. Next I’m smitten by the Sony A7 ii. Next I’m reading about the possible Sony A7r ii… next I see the Fujifilm X100T in all it’s simplicity and am sorely tempted.

    It’s all very confusing.
    For me, a Canon Mirrorless would have to be full frame, have in-body stabilisation AND take the range of Canon EF lenses. I’m not concerned too much with pixel count, really anything over 20 Mpix is more than enough for what I do. But if it’s not at least comparable to the 5d3 I’d probably go for the 5d3 – or wait for the 5d4.

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    • adam sanford

      The best solution for the ditherer is to rent and shoot anything you are considering buying — I liken it to a test drive of a prospective new car. With camera bodies, I recommend paying up for a longer rental, say two weekends, so you get a picture of ‘life’ with the camera beyond just shooting it.

      Also, if it’s a new mount system altogether that you are considering, I recommend renting *two* lenses — a cheaper/kit lens + a dynamite pro lens (like that 24-70 II you referenced). That’s a really simple way to ‘bracket’ how well the camera performs across a spread of lens quality and see what nice glass dollars will eventually get you in the new system.

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  20. Jerry Jackson

    At this point, Canon and Nikon have both “missed the boat” as far as pro-grade mirrorless is concerned … although they are both strong enough to build a powerboat to catch up. The problem is I’m not sure the management of either company is willing to jeopardize current sales by offering a new professional-grade mirrorless system that will require a different native lens mount (or “should”) in order to deliver the best AF on a mirrorless body.

    It’s the fear of taking action that will damage exiting revenue that is hurting Canon and Nikon.

    Sure, people will buy a pro-grade mirrorless camera from Nikon or Canon … but not if they wait until everyone moves to other pro-grade mirrorless systems.

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  21. J. Wolf

    Sorry, but I definitively do NOT understand the constant whining of certain people for mirrorless cameras. I do understand that they have some advantages but (just speaking for myself!) the DISadvantages are also there and I really do not think that these disadvantages are worth Nikon and Canon to throw away all their knowledge about camera making built up in the last dozens of years.

    The biggest difference for these mirrorless cameras is the lack of a moving mirror which have some implications on the number of images per second and probably on fewer vibrations while pressing the shutter. But to be honest – THIS doesn’t make THAT big difference in image composition!

    Yes, I am aware that there are several situations where the “mirrorless” design has its advantages. For example when speaking of camera size using a pancake lens (because every single other lens has similar sizes than the “non-mirrorless” lenses!).

    And that hyped trend that a “mirrorless” system is smaller, lighter (and probably cheaper?) has a lot of hidden clauses that would reveal that “going mirrorless” is not that what it is promoted here and in other web magazines:
    * Smaller, lighter, cheaper: These arguments are mostly related to the switch to Olympus, Fuji and whatever brand. Of course, these systems ARE smaller, lighter and cheaper – but not because of the missing mirror but of the smaller sensor!
    * A Sony A7 kit with a compareable Nikon/Canon configuration is cheaper (but not smaller and lighter!). But not due to a missing mirror but due to the marketing model Sony is using to desperatly seeking market share while using dumping prices. I am pretty sure that Sony does not expect a reasonable profit from the Alpha section in the upcoming years!

    And there are still the reasons why I would NEVER buy any of the currently available mirrorless cameras:
    * The timelag of the viewfinder
    * The blackouts after pressing the shutter
    * The higher power consumption
    * The need for adjusting the viewfinders brightness in several situations
    * The lack of a broad lens lineup

    So if Nikon would enter the so-called mirrorless market – what kind of camera would it be?
    I bet, it wouldn’t be something like a retro type camera you have listed in your article. I think it would be something like a hybrid camera that has just a normal mirror setup as we know it – with a mirrored in live view in the viewfinder. And additionaly I think it will be a DX camera as there the big competition is.

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  22. Paul Empson

    Kodak… while maybe overstated both Nikon & Canon may be watching their dominance erode. I’ve been using Nikon for years and they are excellent, indeed the D810 is the best camera I’ve ever used. However, I’ve just bought the X-T1 & 16-55 f/2.8 over buying a D750 (for which I already have many lenses that fit).. the reason: silent.

    Yes the X-T1 is tiny compared to my D3, D810 not a problem or reason enough for me, though it should mean I can be a more discrete presence, however the fact that I can now shoot without: click / slap as an audible backdrop to my actions is massive for me.

    I guess both N & C think that pro photographers will continue to buy their gear as it still works well and is tried and tested in all arenas… well, so was film.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      The Film to Digital transition was a bit more ground breaking than the Mirror to Mirrorless.

      I don’t think the Canikon DSLRs are ever going to be in jeopardy from Mirrorless but it will be more of a dual ecosystem depending on what form factor works best for you. Back to the subject I think they’d be smart if they made it so their lenses work on both systems so people could have one of each with the same lenses. But knowing Canikon they would make it so that you need unique lenses for each to try to get more sales.

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  23. Mark Henry Dela Torre

    The biggest problem they probably have is having the power to move the focusing motor on bigger heavier lenses. Mirrorless systems have small batteries and provide little amount of power. If they can operate it, it is too slow or drains the battery fast. Not unless they place the dslr battery in the mirrorless or always have a battery grip.

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  24. Dave Lyons

    The more I hear about mirrorless the less I want one.. it’s like the honeymoon is over and it’s maturing enough to realize it’s just not what everyone thought it was going to be.

    I always figured the viewfinder would be no big deal with the evf until about a week ago and i’m not quite sure what to think about this and curious if anyone else has this experience.

    I wear glasses which is a bit of a hindrance but the other day I had my prescription polarized sunglasses on and some heavy clouds rolled over and I couldn’t see very well to shoot so i figured i’d take them off and try to squint enough to be able to see and I put a D700 up to my eye and the craziest thing happened… I could see without out squinting, as a matter a fact I could see crystal clear and even better than when I have my glasses on.. Of course I was like “wtf???” and thought it might just be a diopter setting so I picked up a d3300 and tried it and no go even when messing with diopter. I know I took pix with d7000 without glasses and just hoped the af worked but I couldn’t see a thing.

    I’m curious if anyone else has had this happen and if its just a fx thing then that completely rules out mirrorless for me. Just to be clear, I can see great with or without glasses on on the d700 without adjusting the diopter. Goes against logic.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think the diopter on an EVF works much the same way as an OVF, but I could be wrong.

      What killed me was shooting in pitch-black conditions, for astro-landscapes and stuff:

      Putting my eye to an EVF would repeatedly ruin my night vision. (Even though I’d turn the brightness all the way down)

      Also, I got a headache (or an eye-ache?) from the repeated adjusting of my eyes to both the brightness, and the focusing on a screen instead of just looking through to the real world.

      Using the rear LCD was a bit better, again with the brightness turned all the way down. But then all I could think about was how I was killing my battery and shortening my timelapse by not working more quickly.

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    • Dave Lyons

      Matthew,
      I’m sure the diopter does work the same… I’m just curious why my vision is crystal clear without glasses when I use the D700.

      The only sound logic is if the viewfinder had a replacement one with vision correction but if that was the case then it’d be way off when I look thru with glasses. You always hear about how much better fx viewfinders are and while i wouldn’t see how they’d magically correct my vision but somethings different. I’m pretty sure a evf wouldn’t do the same and so if these fx viewfinders for whatever help me see then mirrorless just got pushed further back. I need to try it on a newer fx body and see.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Mattew Saville:
      “Putting my eye to an EVF would repeatedly ruin my night vision. (Even though I’d turn the brightness all the way down)

      Also, I got a headache (or an eye-ache?) from the repeated adjusting of my eyes to both the brightness, and the focusing on a screen instead of just looking through to the real world.”

      This has been my reasoning behind refusing to go EVF. I keep hearing the same thing, “EVF’ are very good now.” Maybe so but looking AT something and looking THROUGH something are completely different on your ocular muscles.

      And I tried the Fuji Hybrid OVF as well. TWICE. I bought an XPro-1 and the hybrid is awful. The HUD is like a fighter plane and operating the thing is like launching a missile attack, but never actually being sure where the missile is going to land because the parallax correction is the goofiest thing I ever saw. So I sold the damn thing.

      When firmware 3 was announced I was fooled again by all of the Fuji preachers and and I bought it again. It was just as messed up except it focused a little faster, usually on the wrong spot.

      I sold the second one and vowed never to go back. I used the refund money to buy more Leica gear. I least I know that’s gonna work.

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  25. J. Dennis Thomas

    I’m not sure why people think that every brand needs a full-on mirrorless system. Why demand Canikon make mirrorless cameras? There are already good options out there. Let Canon and Nikon do what they do best, make great lenses and DSLRs. They don’t “need” to get into the mirrorless market just because it’s what’s cool and happenin’ right now.

    MINI Cooper doesn’t make a pickup truck. I love my MINI Cooper S when I want something small and speedy and cool looking to zoom around in, but I also love my Ford F-250 PowerStroke Diesel for when I want to haul things or go on a long road trip.

    I’m not over on the car sites complaining that MINI Cooper doesn’t offer a pickup truck or that Ford doesn’t offer a bad-ass little supercharged sportscar (unless you wanna consider the Ford Fiesta ST grocery-getter).

    The point is there are plenty of options out there and just because you have a favorite brand doesn’t mean they need to add more product saturation to a market that hasn’t even quite gotten its bearings yet.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Here’s the argument: online, on sites like this, mirrorless, being the new thing, is what everyone’s talking about. I think a big part of that is simply that these are the relatively new and hungry guys: Olympus, Fujifilm, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, etc. They’re not necessarily all new to cameras, but they have relatively new systems compared to Nikon, Canon, or Pentax. They’re trying to find their place in the digital world. So they’re more aggressive on innovations: 4K video, IBIS, cool tricks like Olympus’s hires mode, etc.

      This makes them much more fun to watch than Canon and Nikon, much the same way that Apple’s kind of boring to watch compared to the half-dozen companies all scrambling to be the next Apple or Samsung. So they get an undue amount of attention, and along with that, there’s a meme of inevitability — that everyone’s going mirrorless.

      To date, that’s been only about 30% of the market in Asia, much less elsewhere. I think maybe 2014 boosted that a bit, but it’s not proving ready to take on Canon or Nikon too much — it’s more jockeying over who gets the 20-25% of the ILS camera market that’s not Nikon or Canon.

      It’s easy for Nikon and Canon to NOT go there in any seriousness as long as they don’t believe mirrorless is a serious threat. It gets far more interesting, as we’ve discussed here, once they actually do — they really do risk both a failure of their new product and, at the same time, slapping a seal of approval on the existing mirrorless market.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      There’s room for niche markets for mirrorless. NIkon and Canon doesn’t need to get involved in “serious” mirrorless markets.

      The funny thing about mirrorless is that it only seems like it’s a huge market IF you visit camera gear sites. Go hang out at a brick and mortar camera store and see how many people who aren’t into photography passionately walk out with a high-end mirrorless. Maybe 1%.

      The general camera buying public doesn’t CARE. They want cheap and decent. a Nikon D3300 or a Canon Rebel is what they walk out with because they know the brand. And the cameras are cheap. And the SLR is recognizable to them. Try to sell them a Fuji XT-1 and explain to them how much better it is and then show them the entry fee and they’ll laugh in your face if you tell them “this is the future”. They don’t want the future. They want what’s familiar and now.

      This mirrorless debate is only between camera nerds and they are all skewed because nobody is taking into account the majority of consumers who could care less about mirrorless cameras.

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    • Matthew Saville

      This whole debate mainly comes back to the phrase “change for the sake of change”. Any change in technology will always be a dramatic improvement for a select few, but what about the masses?

      Right now, mirrorless is 75-90% in that category for me:

      I don’t need focus peaking or live exposure preview.

      I DO need all the battery life I can get.

      I don’t need IBIS. (If anything, I’d go for Pentax’s GPS astro-tracking and pixel-compounding technology that they’re using their IBIS for!)

      I DO need all the AF power and reliability I can get.

      And last but certainly not least, I’m already with one of the best sensor lineups, as well as one of the best lens lineups.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I feel like this “mirrorless is going to replace DSLRs” hype was said by a few people, then the internet took it and ran with it. Now people are convinced it’s true. I mean it must be true, the popular photo guy on YouTube said it…

      I’ve got nothing against mirrorless cameras, they aren’t for me (except for my Leica), but I’m not out there rallying for it and proclaiming it the best thing since sliced bread. My twitter feed is full of people who do nothing but post every bit of news about the latest and greatest Fuji firmware or the new overpriced lenses that will be coming out in 5 years.

      I just find articles like this absurd. What’s the point in demanding a specific manufacturer make a certain type of camera just because you like the brand and you want them to make one?

      It’s like saying “dammit Ray-Ban! Why don’t you make goggles? Lots of people wear goggles and you’re missing out on the goggle market segment!” Well, Ray-Ban makes GLASSES, and although goggles are great for some people, there are lots of companies that make goggles. And there are companies like Smith that make goggles AND glasses. But Ray-Ban makes great glasses and that’s that. They leave the goggle business for someone else. And that’s OK.

      Every camera company doesn’t need to make every type of camera.

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    • Eric Sharpe

      I’m in this camp. I think the technology is neat enough, but I’m not interested. I’d buy a second hand D700, and be extremely happy, before I would buy a mirrorless camera right now. In fact, for all my friends wanting mirrorless, I’ve made it clear….sell me your DSLR. I’m no more frustrated by the perceived “limitations” of my current DSLR than I am of my old school film cameras. I’m also 280 lbs, and shaving 7oz. of weight is also not going to help me get up that mountain…LOL. Anyway, I agree, that OMD EM5mk2 looks awesome. If I were seriously jonesing for a mirrorless camera, I think I’d start there. All naitive, no clunky adapters, just good fun.

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  26. Stephen Jennings

    Would I buy it? … Probably not, I’m not too concerned about my mirror. Frankly, if Nikon or Cannon introduced a full frame mirrorless system it would still be an entry level “prosumer” camera.

    And let’s be honest.. camera sales for Nikon and Cannon have been flat or falling .. I honestly can’t see throwing a new camera in the mix where novice and prosumers won’t notice the difference is the best marketing solution. They need to keep costs down, and if they are smart they will keep the professional line small, the prosumer more expansive, and focus on kick ass expensive glass.

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  27. robert garfinkle

    1. Matt, you got 1st dibbs on my D810 ( down the road ), if you want… won’t be a refurb, obviously, but well taken care of for sure… if a D900 comes out, or D910 for that matter, maybe I’ll switch to that, hopefully by then I’ll have actually learned how to take a picture :)

    2. would I consider mirrorless, uh sure, but it’s gonna depend on a few features. not including pixel count ( don’t really matter to me anyway… ) I look to preserve or beat current feature set, i.e. fps, DR, ISO, no OLPF, shutter speed, FF etc, I will not trade mirrorless for any of those…

    there is an assumption that mirrorless will be virtually silent, that will be an attention getter.

    3. about to make myself a liar – I was considering getting a Nikon N1 v3, for fun, on two aspects… a. the fps factoring on that device is cool, and b. the utterly insane implication of putting an FX lens on that puppy yielding a 2.7 real crop factor… I think it’d make a pretty neat sports cam as it’s quiet and good freeze action.

    but the drawbacks of the v3, a. the image quality – a loss, b. also to quality of limited ISO latitude, almost makes me think that my only optimal shooting times outdoors would be between 9:30am and 3:00 pm after spring but before fall – this is to keep ISO low enough to achive best DR it can muster… however, I’d give it a go for lunar and solar shooting due to the crop factor and shutter speed of 1/16k ( that’s nice… ) but I’m so far not impressed with moon shots I’ve seen off that thing – very grainy etc – or is that noise, dunno…

    but, I would consider an N1 v4 w / expeed 5 and improved DR…

    although I envisioned at one point what’d be like to have one, and all I could think of was it’d be an all lens / no cam feeling…

    4. Matt, yup, often thought of who Nikon would piss off first in their customer line up by dropping a mirrorless in the mix – they’d upset someone for sure… to me it’d make sense if they start at the top with a D5 or D4x coming in at 24mp, 12 to 16fps, return to 1/16k shutter on an xpeed 5 framework, plus all the goodies like no OLPF, strengthen their DR but not concern themselves so much with topping out the ISO numbers ( don’t have to be king of the hill there, right ) – but a low end of 64 or even 50 would kick some butt, and finally, of course, 4k video too :). sell it for same as D3, oh and a 4k shot battery life…

    by doing this, they pave the way to a nice mirrorless D900 w / 10fps, iso 64 to 25,600 ( like now ), improved battery life – 2k shots?, no OLPF, also on a 36mp sensor… with the same / improved DR, flip out EVF, expeed 5, increased stability / quieter by 70+% etc, etc…

    of course this means no sale of my D810 to matt… dang…

    next…

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think I’m done lugging full-size DSLRs up mountains, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of instances when I’d be perfectly fine with a D810, or D900, and its weight, considering the jaw-dropping IQ. If a D900 has Sony’s up-the-sleeve ~50 MP sensor, I could achieve ~100 MP panoramic images with just a small amount of stitching. Throw in a Nikon (or Rokinon?) ~17mm TSE, and yowza!!!

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    • robert garfinkle

      Hey Matt – really quick. Would a tilt-shift make a cool astrophotography lens?

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    • robert garfinkle

      Question:

      Pulling the “cool” factor completely out of the equation:

      What benefit is there to a mirrorless? (spell-check pet peeve: they really have to honor the word “mirrorless”; always tagged as “not a word!” I know, add to dictionary… :) )

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  28. Scott Mosley

    I’ve wanted a FX nikon mirroless ever since I heard about mirrorless cameras. I really hope this happens.

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  29. James Moxley

    What I think they should do is come up with an APS-C mirrorless camera, and pair it with a focal reducer that actually works with autofocus. Doing so they could keep the price low, and it would work with all of their existing full frame glass.

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    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz

      I think that would be a good logical first step (or rather second step now for both Nikon and Canon), and then go full frame. Just as Sony did.

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  30. Daniel O’Bruba

    I might be interested as a second shooter or a smaller, more convenient, travel camera, but until mirrorless auto-focus and battery life can be at par with pro level DSLR bodies, that’s all it will ever be to me… I have large hands to begin with, so the size of the D810 and D4 work just fine for me, the Df is already too small to be comfortable for me… In addition, I would want to utilize my current selection of Nikon lenses, most of which are substantial enough to unbalance a smaller mirrorless body, making it far too front-loaded

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  31. Michael Burnham

    I agree with several of the comments here that if a FF mirrorless Nikon or Canon would be about the same size as a current DSLR what is the point? The point shouldn’t be mirrorless for mirrorless sake, it should be for size savings as well as the features that these cameras bring to the table. By the way, many of those mirrorless features can be added to DSLRs. The reason I (and I feel many bought a mirrorless camera to start with was so we would far better than point-n-shoot quality, which is now in fact on part with DLSR image quality, while not having to lug around 25 pounds of gear. I use a DSLR in the studio or/and when the shooting demands it and mirrorless the rest of the time. The Sony A7 and A7mII are not NEARLY has large and heavy as their FF DSLR body. Size/weight savings in both camera body and lenses has to be there for it to be successful. just a humble opinion.

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    • Dave Haynie

      The A7 mk II is about 21oz with battery, lighter than my Canon EOS 6D at 26.4oz with battery.. and part of that’s because the Sony battery has only slightly more than half the capacity of the Canon (1000mAh vs. 1800mAh). But that’s less than 6oz difference — certainly not significant, compared to the weight of all that full frame glass (well, ok, you can’t get that many good lenses for the Sony, but some day perhaps).

      Sure, the 5D and the 1D are heavier, but that’s because they’re full-on pro models. The 6D is basically a “prosumer” model, not as rugged and not as weather resistant as the 5D. The A7 is less rugged and not weatherproof at all. No one has made a mirrorless equivalent to a 5D. It could be lighter, but not significantly so. And the lenses all weigh the same, if you’re buying the same thing.

      And then there’s battery life. For still shooting, the 6D gets about 1090 shots per battery (Canon’s CPIA-based benchmark), the A7II about 270 (Sony’s CIPA-based benchmark), both using the viewfinder (which I think is the expected mode for most DSLR-class shooting). So you really need to add in the weight of four Sony batteries for every Canon battery I’m carrying, to really equal things out.

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  32. Dave Haynie

    This is interesting, because there’s a big dilemma with Canon or Nikon going mirrorless (well, more than at their current hobby level). Scott’s coming down, from what I can tell, on the “keep the lens mount” side of this, rather than the “change the lens mount” that would allow smaller, lighter lenses, but lose a big part of the advantage of their system — all those lenses.

    There’s logic in this, particularly for full frame. I mean, a Sony A7 is pretty compact, but it’s only 7oz lighter than my 6D. I don’t think I’d change lens mounts to save 7oz.

    And even more interesting in going to “full body mirrorless” is that Canon or Nikon could actually offer you both. I mentioned this here before — take a queue from Fujifilm’s hybrid viewfinder. Give me a conventional DSLR with a transparent OLED screen overlay of the optical viewfinder. This screen will let me do pretty much anything I can do in an EVF today, in terms of presenting information in the viewfinder over the image. But pretty one button, the mirror locks up, and now you’re 100% EVF. That’s certainly one alternative that I think would both work and make me pretty interested.

    And they also do need a strategic plan. There’s lots of talk of people abandoning DSLR for mirrorless, but unless that’s actually projected to affect Canon or Nikon’s bottom line (and certainly, they study these things), they have little reason to offer mirrorless. For one, as the President of Fujifilm suggested, he’d be happy to see Canon and Nikon offer mirrorless — that would put the kind of stamp of approval on the technology that no one else can. Plus, if they made the conventional move of starting a whole new mount (or in Canon’s case, actually supporting EOS-M with interesting bodies and lenses), they’d be way behind the established mirrorless guys. A change in lens mount, even with adapters, doesn’t guarantee brand loyalty. They also have to consider that anyone serious about jumping to mirrorless may have already jumped.

    Anyway, pretty interesting state of the market. I just decided to double down — I unloaded my Canon APS gear, kept the FF stuff, and bought more Olympus gear over the last few years. Each system has its place.

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    • adam sanford

      Dave, I think a mirrorless rig with a full front-to-back FF SLR thickness that takes all FF lenses natively would make for a great test platform for Canon and Nikon to fool around with EVFs. They should be doing this right this moment.

      What such a rig *wouldn’t* do is sell well. Mirrorless literally for the sake of mirrorless and no geometry savings (i.e. it would still be big and thick, though perhaps a shade lighter) takes away mirrorless’s #1 selling point: size. It’d be like buying a Prius and slamming a straight 6 in it. Why do that?!

      Mirrorless has a lot of possible upsides besides size, don’t get me wrong — an amplified EVF in a dark room, focus peaking, no mirror slap, IBIS in some models, etc. — are nice things but not gamechangers like the size is. But when you consider those upsides (without the promise of a smaller size) against the well-reported battery limitations, good-but-not-‘SLR-good’ AF performance and ever-so-slightly laggy shutters, and it’s no sale for me.

      I’ll get there eventually, but other than some stellar sensors on some of these rigs, mirrorless presently represents a performance downgrade for me and what I shoot.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Hey Adam…. well, there’s a reason my mirrorless system is Olympus — I actually do value the size savings. I used OM-series cameras back in the film days, switching to Canon long after Olympus got out of the serious camera game. Even with the APS gear gone, my FF Canon rig runs over 20lbs with everything in there.

      Thing is, if you gave me a mirrorless Canon with the same lenses and still full frame, I’m saving only a little on size, and nothing significant on weight. So you can ask “what’s the point”, but I can counter — what’s the point of killing all that lens compatibility to just repurchase the same size lenses with a slightly smaller body? The other option open to Canon/Nikon is to build a standard lens mirrorless with integrated focal reducer scaled to a somewhat smaller sensor. But again, most of the weight is in lenses, and that’s primarily a function of sensor size, not whether there’s a mirror or not.

      And particularly with Nikon… they have had lens mount compatibility since 1960. Are they really likely to go off in a new direction with an incompatible mount? I’m skeptical… but I’m also not sure mirrorless is threatening them. Yet. Other than in capturing the headlines, because the mirrorless companies are more aggressive than the established companies — which is a function of success or hunger, not whether you have a mirror or not.

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    • adam sanford

      Dave, you are dead on. Mirrorless only makes the *bodies* thinner, but if the sensor are still large, so are the lenses.

      There’s a split in the mirrorless ranks, as best I can tell.

      One group loves it b/c of *what you can do once the mirror is gone* from a performance perspective — no mirror slap, IBIS + adapting other systems’ lenses, EVFs being a strength and not a weakness, etc. These folks (generally) care more about what the camera can do rather than how big/heavy it is. Think Sony A7.

      The other group raves about how pulling the mirror out reduces the size of the rig. Not surprisingly, smaller sensors + native mount (unadaptored) primes lead to tiny rigs with impressive image quality. These people do not want a big rig, and will cap their focal length upper end to do so, say 100-150mm or so. Think Olympus, Fuji, and if Canon gave a damn, EOS-M.

      The problem I see for Canon / Nikon is that they have to decide which group they are trying to conquer because I really do think they are two different camps with two different needs. One is all about performance (bigger sensors), and the other is all about size (smaller sensors). But to dominate one of those two arenas, you have to commit to a sensor size and mount that will let you deliver. Canon and Nikon haven’t gone all-in on that decision yet.

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  33. Kristopher Galuska

    I would love a high quality mirrorless from Cannon and Nikon, but if it’s nearly the same size as the DF then what’s the point? I have nothing against mirrors, just size. If they can Make a DSLR that’s the size of an old film SLR (say Pentax ME, Nikon FM10, or Olympus OM-3T) than that would be great. Also, for me as a hobbyist, cost is a huge concern. Sony’s bodies are great, but their full frame (native) lenses take away any cost advantage. I would absolutely love a full frame camera (mirrorless or dslr) under $1k that gave me access to Canon and Nikon level of reasonably price primes. First company to do will probably have my loyalty.

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    • Matthew Saville

      This is another issue for me, indeed. I’m already thrilled with the weight of my D750, and it’s a good ounce heavier than the Df.

      For me to be that tempted by a mirrorless system, it would indeed have to be significantly lighter, and significantly thinner.

      Right now, the A6000 is the Sony that offers a true advantage. I’m still more excited to see what an A6000 mk2 or A7000 brings, really…

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    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz

      To me the point is saving on the weight of a heavy DLSR, not necessarily smaller. Smaller means less people can use it due to bigger hands. Or more people would require a grip which shouldn’t be a necessity.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      That’s what I like about the OMD EM5. It’s form factor is shockingly similar to the basic Nikon FE or Pentax you use in back in Photography 101. And the Panasonic Lumix GX1+7 bodies are almost identical dimensions to the old Kodak 35 my grandpa first gave me as a teenager.

      When you go back to Film SLRs you realize how massive DLSRs evolved.

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    • Kristopher Galuska

      Dustin, I shoot micro 4/3 for the same reason. I have a panasonic g6 I mistakingly bought thinking I would do more video. I wish I would have gone olympus omd em5. I actually found a bran new em5 for $450 that’s really tempting me right now. Im just concerned there hasnt been much improvement in m4/3 sensors in over 3 years. Em 5 would be fine for me now but im not sure I want to still invest in a system that may not improve. But for that price it is really tempting.

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  34. Matthew Saville

    Simply put, if Nikon built an A7 mk2 killer, it would cost anywhere from 50% to 100% more. Why? Because Nikon’s history involves building lenses and cameras that last decades, while Sony’s history involves building TV remotes and game consoles that last months or a couple years at most.

    In other words, yes the Sony A7 mk2 is a great camera, as are many of the others on the market, but both Canon and Nikon have the most experience by far at making cameras for both pros and the masses. Pentax and Olympus come close to having a similar history, and their current product offerings reflect that. Fuji is doing everything they can to listen to their customers, and their product offerings reflect that. But what does the current Sony lineup reflect? To a certain extent, it reflects their history of building all kinds of affordable electronics, with a touch of “status symbol” thrown in thanks to Zeiss.

    So yes, mirrorless is the wave of the future. But personally, I’m happy to give Canon and Nikon a few more generations to reveal whatever it is they’re cooking up, before I truly consider them to be a lost cause. I couldn’t be happier with the bodies and lenses I currently own, and the areas in which I’m wishing for more, mirrorless isn’t the solution, in fact in some respects it’s worse for what I do.

    Only time will tell!

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    • adam sanford

      This. +100. Matthew ftw.

      I actually want FF mirrorless and Canon and Nikon will eventually give it to us, but I’ll give them one more generation to get it right.

      Will they p— us off by nerfing initial offerings to not outperform comparable SLRs? Yes, they will.

      Will they rip us off for it compared to comparably spec’d Sony rigs? Yes, they will.

      Will they act like they are the brave innovators on launch day (when in fact they have been holding this day off for years)? Yes, they will.

      *And those jerks are still getting my money*. Because I trust them — the last 10 years of flawless use of their products gives me confidence that their stuff is well-built, well-designed, will perform for a long time, and will be part of a massive ecosystem of options. They are the surer overall bet, in my mind.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Adam, I don’t think Nikon will do any of that. In fact, Nikon has a long history of being the most willing to cannibalize its existing systems / lineups in order to bring the absolute most features they can to the masses.

      The Nikon D70 was $999 and killed the D100 in every way that mattered to the market at that time.

      The Nikon D300 was the first (and only, until the 7D mk2) crop-sensor DSLR to feature flagship autofocus and other features only found in $5-8K DSLRs

      The Nikon D700 was the first (and only, until the 5D mk3) full-frame DSLR to feature flagship autofocus and other features only found in $5-8K DSLRs.

      The D800 and D600 made D3X owners completely green with envy, as far as image quality alone was concerned, considering those cameras cost $2K and $3K instead of $8K.

      And so on and so forth. In short, Nikon is not afraid to deliver exactly what it thinks the market wants. They’re just very slow to do so, and they also have a recent habit of screwing things up so I’d bet they’re going to be even slower to deliver so they don’t have a repeat of the D600 fiasco with their first mirrorless camera.

      I’ll happily keep shooting till kingdom come with my D750, and if I really need insane resolution, I’ll either consider a refurb D810 which seem to be going for under $2500 these days, or an A7R mk2 if it has more robust construction and weather sealing, while saving significant enough weight versus the D810.

      But I suspect that by the time I’m in the market for such a camera, (when I can afford it) …Nikon will have an offering that fits my needs perfectly.

      Like I said, only time will tell!

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    • adam sanford

      That’s a tough one, Matthew. Agree 100% with you on Nikon’s *DSLR* track record, but in *mirrorless*, the Nikon 1 is a case study in ignoring your customers in search of new ones. Nikon can say they bet the farm on a small and light system, but a 2.7X crop rig isn’t going to get people to leave the SLR fold — not one bit. That’s a modular point and shoot as far as I’m concerned.

      Mind you, I’m not fanboy flogging the N1 nearly so much as making a point — angering a long-time customer with a nicer camera *in the same lens ecosystem* is very different proposition than losing people from that ecosystem to a new mount, even if that new mount is your own. Some D3X person lusting after a D800 isn’t going to stop buying FX lenses all of a sudden, right?

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    • Dave Haynie

      I think of the DSLR companies efforts in mirrorless to date as “hobby level” — that goes for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. Clearly, Pentax and Nikon were looking for a totally different market… they’re after P&S upgraders, the same thing Sony went for with the NEX system, at least initially.

      Nikon forgot one thing: that’s a price sensitive market. And yet, they’re been the most aggressive with new models and lenses. And yet, Nikon hasn’t been as successful as Canon with higher-end P&S models, so perhaps they felt this was the right niche for their mirrorless. I have not seen any stats on whether it’s doing well or not, but they certainly do seem to make a new body every couple of months.

      None of them are competitive in any way with the DSLR lines, and that’s certainly intentional.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Don’t forget Sony is a bit a of a status symbol too –

      Fairly, there are certain Sony products I’d get, a high-enough end television, over any other brand (maybe samsung, maybe). To me, not just opinion but by experience, Sony works for me, for a long time. I’ve had a 40 inch HD XBR 2 just last and last – this unit came out when HD was having problems running past 3 – 4 years; now going on 7… There is much better picture out there these days, of course. It’s not just the construction of Sony T.V.s but how it’s implemented which I like. It’s a few more dollars for sure – yet I like it… and it keeps on working…

      I can’t say really anything about Sony cam’s, except what I hear from you guys… I have held on in my hand and taken a few shots, the SLT-77; did not like the EVF but may have not understood it…

      From what I keep reading, the ISO latitudes are just not there, seriously, like in the case of the above cam I mention, effectively it had a small usable / sea-worthy range of 700 (100 to 800) and it was supposed to be a D7000 killer. and for some features it was that. but comparatively the D7000 had a much better IQ…

      Plus a service call experience w / sony a few years ago, involving a pc, was just the awful – where the Sony rep on the other end stated (after my displeasure in not getting serviced at all) “It’s ok, you’ll buy from us again because we’re Sony” was the most arrogant thing I ever heard…

      would I still buy their TVs, yes! would I remain skeptical about their other products, which seem to fall short in areas, no…

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  35. adam sanford

    Please forgive some cynicism on my part, but as much as Canon/Nikon are holding back the tide on mirrorless for purely commercial/strategic reasons, **that doesn’t mean those reasons aren’t valid**.

    Canon and Nikon’s overwhelming advantage over mirrorless competitors lie (amongst other things) in the massive stables of glass that they have available today. This is the part that a lot of folks gloss over: the industry’s migration to mirrorless (let’s say it takes 10 years) will not be fully covered with adaptors and lenses from a prior mount system. People want *native* glass for that svelte new mirrorless rig that they just bought (again, ask A7 users). So Canon and Nikon opening the floodgates to FF mirrorless — which is what a decently spec’d FF mirrorless rig would represent, let’s be honest — is tantamount to putting a *colossal* excess & obsolescence burden on their entire inventory SLR glass. One would assume that’s hundreds of millions of dollars or more, let alone the cost to develop a new mount and (much more painfully) develop all the new lenses.

    In *that* context, Canon and Nikon have far far more to lose than they have gain in migrating to mirrorless. FOR NOW. I have little doubt that mirrorless will eventually become the future and SLRs will be thought of antiquated by everyone but the most demanding wildlife and sports people, but we simply aren’t there yet b/c Sony, Fuji, etc. generally don’t have top-to-bottom ecosystems that say “yes, we have that” to everything they need.

    So, in the short term, Canon and Nikon will absorb very modest losses year over year in folks leaving the fold for mirrorless because it’s still far more profitable to do so.

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  36. adam sanford

    I hear you, Mr. Kivowitz, I do, but the camera you are asking for will never happen as you have spec’d it.

    Consider:

    1) You aren’t going to bankroll an entirely new line of lenses with a $1700 FF mirrorless offering. A great value body and next to no lenses will result from that strategy. Ask Sony users, who are still lens-starved or forced to use adaptors.

    2) Inexpensive FF rigs loaded full of ‘like the D810’ features are, candidly, a dreamland. Virtually everything on that spec list (save for MP count) is near best-in-class. The price has to reflect that.

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  37. fred palagonia

    i have issues with the electronic view finders .. just sayin. and OH! the lack of prime lenses or a large lens line .
    unless they make these mirrorless cameras for canon or nikon based on there perspective lens line i don’t
    see myself buying one.

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  38. James O

    I don’t see the appeal, the current DSLR size fits my larger hands just fine. Having to hold a small camera for a couple hours at a time would be a problem.

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    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz

      What I would want wouldn’t be small, just lighter. It would be the size of the Nikon Df, which is only a tiny bit smaller than a Nikon D810.

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    • Steve VanSickle

      I’ve met a few people using the Fuji X-T1 that have said that the battery grip helps round-out the body for people with larger hands.

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  39. Brandon Dewey

    I would be interested in a high quality Nikon mirrorless camera.

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