Are We About to See Three New Mirrorless Cameras from Nikon?

Are We About to See Three New Mirrorless Cameras from Nikon?

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.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Lol, man, you get so triggered when your beloved Canon doesn't get a favorable write-up/review. Maybe you should practice what you preach, "get a life".


I'm confused. Both Canon and Nikon have got flagship MILCs in the pipeline. What's that got to do with being a Sony user?

Sorry. You've lost me. Canon and Nikon have got flagship MILCs on the way. I was speculating as to whether Nikon would get there first with the Z 9. I just don't see how my own camera has anything to do with that. Genuinely confused. 🤔😂

I still have no idea what you are talking about. Canon and Nikon have no direct mirrorless competitor to the a9. Both are said to have a flagship camera coming. Nikon might get there ahead of Canon.

How does this relate to me being a Sony user? I also rent a Canon 1DXII a couple of times a year. Does that also have a bearing? I might pick up a xt100f later this year so I guess that's a factor also..?

"maybe nikon comes with something that kicks sony and canon and fuji down the drain?"

Absolutely. What of it? Where did I suggest otherwise?

Honestly one of the most bizarre comments on an article I think I've ever received.

Also Panasonic have high-end FF cameras (not A9/D5/1DX II competitor), and already announced the video-centric S1H

Sony does not intend to replace their "Flagship" a9 in time to gather a userbase before the July 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, just get some long lenses out, unless they can release it by September.
Canon & Nikon want Mirrorless Flagships [and lenses] at the Olympics, and they both know all they need is a 6 month headway, so they both are working hard and fast, especially after their mistakes with their R & Z launches.
We will see how they pan out.
Panasonic, Olympus, & Fuji are not so worried about the Olympics, they don't have a traditional spot at the Olympics As Canon, Nikon & Sony (Minolta) do.

Sony produced the first FF mirrorless sensors because they make most of the world’s sensors, and thus kind of control the game. Is Phase One using Nikon sensor or Sony? That is the benchmark.

Nikon made huge mistakes. 1 cardslot (i only use 1 card on my D850) and it is an XQD. you buy an expensive camera and your SD cards are worthless, you need new cards and there is no battery grip etc etc. there is a reason why the Z series isnt doing well and the D850 is. they released the Z to fast with almost no native lenses and to many issues. no Eye AF and other things. having said that i am undecided if it is time to buy a Z6 and invest in that new system or move to Sony. the to smaller size Sony camera body is a negative in some but a pro in other cases.

Jarred polin is doing his best with 13 of them.

why would he need 13 SD cards ?

As a noob to digital photography, I'd like to see a revised D5600 (D5700?). APS-C, single card slot, Exspeed 5, full manual settings, rotating flip out screen. I'm ready to buy the D5600, but it seems like it's been out for awhile and is getting close to being upgraded soon, so I'm holding out. I hope it's not another 18 months! I'd really like to go with Nikon but I'm looking at other manufacturors, there are a lot of nice options out there.

The Nikon Z6 is approximately the same size as the D5600 & D3500.
So I would hope that the Z3 &/or Z5 are as well.

I'd love to see Nikon and Canon out out hard with real mirrorless tech, not just a mirrorless camera, but cameras that take advantage of not having a mechanical behemoth in the way. This will spur Sony and others to pick up the pace and get back to competing with video. Sony is now behind, way behind with video unless you want to buy an FS7.

What else would you have Nikon add as far as non-mechanical tech that's not already in other mirrorless cameras? Also, Sony hasn't released a FF mirrorless in over a year, so they're behind in video by default, not because they're lacking in tech. Remember, they're the ones that make the sensors in the cameras with more video features, so they know exactly what their competitors' hardware is capable of.

They'll probably come out with an APS-C body like one of the a6000 series and eventually a Sony a9 competitor.

Rather put it in a serious body. The body of the Z6 Will be Just fine. The A6xxx body is a ergonomic nightmare.

Sony knows that the Rangefinder style is less than great, that is why they are reportedly working on a baby a7 [6700/a6] aps-c camera.

Hard to say if a Z6000 is a good thing or not. Remember that APS-C is made to be smaller than FF, but Z-mount is already too big, already covering up some of the viewfinder hump on the current Zs. Nikon really can't make much of a smaller camera than they have now.

I like the features of the Z6 hopefully they will make a battery grip for it other than thatI think it is one of the best mirrorless camaras out there if they add the raw video feature to it then I really don't see to much of a problem with it. maybe the new cameras will lower the price of the I can get one. As for one card slot, I've been shooting digital for years with one card slot and I have never had a card failure. It's pretty simple to create a backup it seconds. I lug around a canon 7d with flashes and spare batteries. I really think I can take better pictures with my Nikon B700. We are so spoiled it's just not funny. Pop a roll of film in an old manual focus camera and wait to see what you get.

I have a camera already. I don't need one to focus everything, color grade, be steady for me. That's what I the photographer does. You guys are really wanting to be out of business when you keep demanding all the stuff that will make it easy for an amateur to pick up your camera and get the same pic as you. They can slap on the same wedding presets as everyone and done. Explain to me a feature you want and how it will help you create one of a kind images that will define you. Hint: if you don't have it now then you probably never will.

Your logic is so flawed it's not even funny. Surely, by now, you realize there are many types of photography. Some need the best focus for fast or constantly moving subjects; and less color correcting; and where they need to deliver dozens if not hundreds of images.

Lol if you think an amateur can just pick up a camera with advanced features and produce images like pro. That's like saying they shouldn't add so much features in PhotoShop because an amateur can just subscribe to CC and instantly become a great digital artist. No, just no.

You should use Photoshop, they are trying to do stupid stuff like that. Plenty of cameras out now that shoot fast so that makes no sense. Sport and wildlife photography has been around a long time.

When I mentioned "fast", I wasn't just referring to FPS.

Sport and wildlife photography can benefit from a faster and more accurate AF. Being "around a long time" has no relevance.

"Lol if you think an amateur can just pick up a camera with advanced features and produce images like pro."

This. I don't understand how people can't understand that there's much more to photography than pushing a button, no matter how advanced the camera is.

It's like putting and average Joe in a F1 race care and expecting them to compete against any F1 racer.

Why would Nikon make a crop Z body when they don't have any dedicated crop Z lens? Oh let me quess, that canard of more "reach" with a FF Z lens.

They already sell an adapter for F-mount lenses. There are plenty of Nikon customers with aging DX bodies and plenty of DX glass ready to mount on the F-to-Z adapter.

Would these cameras be worth the wait for filmmaking under $2,000? I want to start filming and so many people have recommended me the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema camera with the Olympus 18mm-35mm lens

I knew that already. Not really much of an native eco-system then. Why design a new flange if you are going to just adapt F-mount DX lens to it? Kind of a silly strategy.

I think it's possible that the large diameter of both the R and Z mount could act as a hindrance to APSC for Canon and Nikon, respectively. One of the allures of APSC is a (potentially) smaller camera and camera + lens package. Those mounts will make it difficult to achieve either of those, especially with a centered viewfinder. Would the lenses taper from the mount to the body in order to avoid a LOT of unnecessary bulk and take advantage of the smaller (potential) size of only covering an APSC sensor?
It will be interesting to see if Canon and/or Nikon choose to develop APSC lines around their new mounts and if they do, how those cameras and especially the lenses look.

I feel Nikon is on a great track. Late to the game and if/when the ProRez RAW is released, it will be a game changer. The Z glass is very slow in coming and we all know how important that is. If I could dream for a minute… I'd like a set of Z mount cine primes that I could convert (change the mount) to LPL. There's my wish list, Nikon Santa.

A sub 1k apc sensor without a viewfinder is a would be a hard pass for me

As someone with an aging 7200 and a super ancient d700. I've been looking at the Z series and It's still not enough to make the jump.

Maybe the next gen will tempt me.