With five new camera codes recently patented, we could be in for a flurry of bodies launched in 2019 and 2020 as Nikon looks to pad out its range of Z series mirrorless cameras. Are we a few months from the announcement of a high-end, full-frame camera complete with dual card slots, beating Canon to the punch?
Both Canon and Nikon’s efforts to join the full-frame mirrorless market felt disappointing to some, as many were hoping for fully-developed professional bodies to act as the benchmark for every camera to follow. Instead, the flagship models have had to wait as the technology has ironed out its details and firmware upgrades have been implemented. Several rumor websites (1, 2) have picked up on the registration of five new camera codes and, with their ears to the ground have started to flesh out the possibilities.
The details across the rumor sites are quite varied but one thing seems to be agreed: three new cameras are in the pipeline. From the sketchy details, two things stand out: firstly, the prospect of a Nikon Z 9, a full-frame, dual-card slot beast that offers customers a truly professional camera. How it will stack up against the successor to the Nikon D5 DSLR — slated for late 2019 or early 2020 — could make for some tough decisions for hardened Nikon sports and wildlife shooters waiting for something meaty from the Japanese manufacturer.
The second truly notable rumor for me is the supposed Z 5, a camera that could offer all of the functionality of the Z 6 and more but potentially with an APS-C sensor and dual card slots. I’ve speculated before about how Canon and Nikon will approach their cropped-sensor fans in this era of full-frame frenzy, and such a move from Nikon would tie in nicely with its decision to lead its mirrorless development with notably more affordable range of lenses. One rumor site says full-frame but another says cropped, so as ever, take all of this with a healthy pinch of salt.
The Z 3 is said be an entry-level model that could offer direct competition to the Canon RP. TheNewCamera offers some interesting notes, however: along with the savings that the single card slots would offer, it would feature a rear display that doesn’t flip out and a no EVF whatsoever. That could be an interesting move and to me, it would make sense that this camera would also feature a cropped sensor.
What do you want to see from Nikon in the next 18 months? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Lead image is a composite using a photo by Snapwire.