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.

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38 Comments

Previous comments
Daniel Medley's picture

"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.

Scott Wardwell's picture

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

Scott Wardwell's picture

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.

Jonathan Brady's picture

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.

Bill Bork's picture

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.