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Nikon Teases New Camera, But Is It The One We’ve Be Waiting For? Nikon Mirrorless?

By Wendell Weithers on July 23rd 2018

For quite some time, you’ve been waiting and hoping. You’ve humored rumors and indulged the speculation as to how and when Nikon would enter the next era of its existence. And it seems that the reward for such patience and, I dare say faith, is ascending on the horizon. Something new, something different is coming from Nikon. A Nikon mirrorless is about to break dawn.

Nikon is masterful at providing cryptic teases that tell you nothing and yet, tantalize you with enough to cobble together the shards of previously dashed dreams and refashion them into a new but fragile reverie. Granted, Nikon has needed as much press as possible, and that’s a way to get it.

Is this the new Nikon full frame mirrorless camera? Honestly, what else can it be?

Almost a year to the day, Nikon released a similarly dramatic but, far less vague teaser. We all knew the update to the D810 was coming and the timing, context into which it was unveiled, and video title left no doubt as to what it was. The centennial celebration was the company’s homage to the DSLR and culmination of a century of photography mastery; the D850.

[REWIND: The Nikon D850 Announced But Not Revealed]

Now, in year 101, perhaps first strokes of a new chapter in the company’s history and the full frame mirrorless market are being written. Will Sony finally face direct competition in a segment of the market it has occupied unchallenged for half a decade? We shall soon see. After all, it’s easier to be king of the mountain when no one else has dared to climb.

And yet, this climb is littered with perilous challenges that demand to be answered. Has Nikon finally nailed video autofocus? How many new lenses will establish this new mount? How competitively will it be priced? What, if any, new mirrorless feature can they offer that does not currently exist?

However, that’s not what this video is about. The answers to those questions are all about facts and specs. This teaser is about emotion, excitement, and intrigue. And to that end, it delivers.

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Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Matthew Saville

    I don’t always say prefer to say ERMAHGERD, but when I do…

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    • Kishore Sawh

      You really think this is one of those moments? I don’t. Not in the face of competition. I’m more excited for Canon’s release, and Sony’s response. I don’t know how Nikon is going to match – especially for price.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think that while Nikon will never truly catch on for video, they’ll do just fine if they brand themselves as a “superior” tool for /photographers/. They’ve already got Sony (semiconductor company) making their sensors, and have been making great cameras like the D500 and D850 which only feel “outdated” because they lack an EVF and a few other small tweaks related to the MILC ecosystem.

      I’m not 100% confident that they’ll nail all of the required criteria first try, (great EVF, great on-sensor AF, great IBIS, great lens selection) …but I am confident that they’ll debut with an impressive option, and they’ll “get it right” within ~2 generations of that.

      Meanwhile, the big unknown is, will Canon continue to play elitism games with their “pro vs prosumer” lines, a la 5D4 vs 6D2? Because if they make a MILC version of the 6D2, they’ll get laughed out of town. They essentially need to deliver multiple versions of a MILC 5D4, one at the A7iii’s price and one at the A7Riii’s price.

      In other words, imagine a MILC version of the 6D2 and D750. Which one stands a better chance at taking on the A7iii?

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      Matthew, I totally agree with you on Nikon branding themselves as a superior photography tool. However, if they get  the things required for mirrorless photography right (i.e. great EVF and on-sensor AF), they should FINALLY be on their way to a good video tool as well. Here’s to hoping!

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    • Matthew Saville

      Kyle Stauffer, indeed I do believe that they could at least go a long way towards attracting some of the more “lone wolf” and other types of videographers, who might not be already in a huge team/studio ecosystem where everybody’s already using Sony/Canon etc. There is a HUGE market for solo Youtubers and other nature videographers who shoot by themselves, and shoot both stills and video at the same time, and don’t want to compromise on their photography while still capturing good 4K video.

      I don’t want to jinx it, but Nikon could deal a HUGE blow to both Canon and Nikon if they found a way to offer RAW video output. It ought to be possible with the XQD format and capacities, but again, I’m not optimistic about that.

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  2. Jeff P

    Just for fun:  At 32 seconds into the teaser it looks like a prism breaking, and all the broken pieces splashing onto a sensor.

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    • Timothy Bearden

      Anyone who’s taken a physics class would concur with you.  I’m a bit disappointed that they most likely will be using a different mount.  It will make my lenses useless without an attachment.  That’s a major fail in my opinion.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Unfortunately, Timothy, a new mount is necessary and inevitable for Nikon, since unlike Canon they didn’t switch mounts back in the early days of 35mm SLR autofocus.

      The bottom line is this: NOT changing to a shorter yet bigger mount forfeits one of the biggest selling points of a MILC system in the first place. And that is not just weight or size, but the sheer magnitude of overall options. They’re patenting f/1.2 lenses, among other things, and are likely going to be able to do a whole lot of things that they simply could never have done if they’d kept the F-mount.

      But fear not, if they’re smart they’ll include a free adapter with any prosumer or pro MILC body purchase, and it will likely be an effortless integration to use “old” F-mount lenses on the Nikon Z mount. The only drawback will likely be that you’ll lose AF-D lens autofocus when using a standard/kit adapter, but almost nobody still uses AF-D lenses at this point.

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