In an attempt to one-up everybody else with the highest count of new product rumors, Nikon has apparently racked up five different potential new cameras which have been officially registered with one type of patent or another.
Five….that’s a lot of new cameras! I doubt we’ll see every single one of them before Christmas 2019, of course, but you never know! (How many cameras would you bet we see from Nikon before the end of this year? At least three, not unlike Sony’s potential new camera count?)
Which Rumored Nikon Mirrorless Cameras Could Be Next?
There are two definite possibilities for the next mirrorless cameras from Nikon: one could be an affordable, minimal FX full-frame camera that competes with the Canon EOS RP, (so, in the range of $999 to $1,199?) …and/or one APS-C DX format mirrorless body with the new Z-mount.
The former makes a lot of sense because it’s smart business to attract new photographers as beginners, and get them to upgrade later. It worked for me; my first DSLR was a Nikon D70, and my first “pro” camera was a Nikon D700 ~4 years later!
The latter, however, could mark a whole new system for Nikon- a DX-Z system which would likely mean a whole separate line of DX-Z lenses, too. We’ll talk about that possibility in a second, but first…
No Mirrorless D5 Yet?
One thing seems rather unlikely, though, and that is a high-end, action sports/wildlife flagship mirrorless camera, a mirrorless D5.
Why not? Because unless Nikon has developed a whole new hybrid autofocus system that is leaps and bounds ahead of the Z7 and Z6 autofocus system, they might not be ready to match what a D5 can offer in terms of autofocus performance, nor that of a Sony a9.
I do think we’ll see such a flagship camera sooner or later, of course, and when it does arrive it will likely be formidable and drool-worthy. Even though Sony is likely going to have an A9 mk2 out by the time Nikon (or Canon) make their own >$4,000 mirrorless flagship(s), …it seems clear at this point that mirrorless technology is progressing rapidly and it’s just a matter of time before Nikon, Canon, and Sony all have high-end mirrorless systems that outclass current-generation flagship DSLRs in at least a few ways.
Will Nikon Make DX-format Z-mount Cameras?
Surprisingly, this seems to be the more controversial rumor, so let’s take a minute to consider the situation:
On the one hand, despite what some non-experts on the internet say, DX is not “dead”, and FX is not the only sensor format worth investing in. DX is actually still the “sweet spot” for value, performance, and likely profit margins plus sales volume, though of course, that’s just a wild guess.
APS-C cameras get a bad rep (rap?) because Nikon (and Canon, and Sony) always wait quite a few years before coming out with a “flagship” option, such as the Nikon D500 or Canon 7D2. However, those cameras still sell very well, from what I’ve heard, and there are even more people looking for a D7200/D7500/D5600 class of camera, too.
So, making a mirrorless DX camera probably makes sense. However, on the other hand, Nikon’s Z-mount is, well, it’s absolutely enormous. In fact, it’s so bit that it could actually swallow the whole F-mount bayonet inside it!
So, it seems like it would be just a little overkill to put an APS-C size sensor in the Z-mount. Then again, if they take away the viewfinder, or move it to the side or something, you could still have a rather compact camera, even though the mount would consume almost the entire front of the camera, especially for an entry-level Z-mount DX camera that tries to be the size of, say, a D3500 or D5600.
Personally, I don’t know what to think. I’m a conservative guesstimator when it comes to such unknowns, so I’ll leave this one totally up in the air; I officially have no idea what to think. So, what do you think about Nikon DX mirrorless? Is it a bad idea, or a good idea? If it existed, would you rather have a D5600 class camera, for casual photography or vlogging etc. …or would you rather have a semi-flagship camera that is more like a mirrorless D500?
Which Rumored Nikon DSLRs Could Be Next?
This is a very simple, “it’s just a matter of time” prediction: We’re due for an update on two of the best DSLRs ever made, the mid-range Nikon D750 and the flagship D5. Let’s just trade those fives for sixes, and call the two new cameras a D760 and a D6. We have no official word yet, but this would be a natural progression. Heck, you don’t even have to make either of the existing DSLRs that much better, just throw in good 4K video, good on-sensor autofocus, and maybe a fully articulated LCD on the D750 replacement? I can dream…
To keep it short, you can definitely expect both of these cameras sooner or later, it’s just a matter of time. Maybe Nikon will wait until some time in 2020 to release them both, if they feel like it is more important to release one or two more mirrorless camera bodies first. Personally, I think we’ll see at least one of these new DSLRs before Christmas. Pure speculation there, folks.
What Other Cameras Could Nikon Make Next?
Nikon’s A1000, a 35x zoom compact camera announced in Jan 2019
Last but not least, it might be wishful thinking to assume that every single camera Nikon has filed a patent for will be an interchangeable lens camera, whether mirrorless or DSLR. It is likely that we’ll see maybe one or two compact AKA point-and-shoot cameras, too.
Although the market for compact cameras has dwindled massively over the last 5 years, there is definitely still a market for both beginner-level compact cameras, and high-end compact cameras. Nikon already anounced three new P&S cameras for 2019, actually. So, maybe there’s one or two more.
Personally, I would love to see Nikon make at least one DX-sensor sized compact, fixed-lens camera, and/or at least one 1” type (2.7x) sensor camera. I was one of the (apparently not few, but not enough) people who were sorely disappointed when the Nikon DL line was permanently shelved; I really hoped to see Nikon compete directly with the Sony RX100-sized cameras, and as a (part-time) vlogger I was very excited about the notion of having an 18-50mm equivalent, compact camera.
Which Camera Do YOU Want Nikon To Make Next?
Enough about what I think/wish will happen, what do you want from Nikon? Would you rather have a lightweight, compact, affordable FX full-frame version of the Z6, (without a viewfinder?) …or would you rather see Nikon launch a DX-format Z-mount camera body and lens system? Or are you still loving your DSLRs, and looking forward to a D760 or D6? We’d love to know what photographers are hoping for and expecting next from Nikon, so leave a comment and let us know!