Is Nikon About to Announce a Mirrorless APS-C Camera With No Viewfinder?

Is Nikon About to Announce a Mirrorless APS-C Camera With No Viewfinder?

Rumors are suggesting that Nikon has filed a patent in Japan for a mirrorless, APS-C camera that does not feature a viewfinder. Speculation has been mounting over the last few months and the design may have just taken a dramatic step closer.

As outlined in this article in June, this would be a bold step from Nikon for two huge reasons: firstly, ditching the EVF would be a significant move, not just for Nikon, but for this style of camera more broadly across the industry. Secondly, if true, this would be the first mirrorless camera from either Canon or Nikon that features an APS-C sensor designed to work with the new lines of mirrorless lenses. Although many rumor sites are reporting APS-C, it’s not entirely clear that this is the case. Furthermore, it’s possible that the camera will have a pop-up EVF.

Nikon mirrorless APS-C camera with no viewfinder

To see additional diagrams, visit Nikon Rumors.

If an APS-C Z-series camera emerges, Nikon will be creating four separate lines of lenses: APS-C and full-frame for DSLR, and APS-C and full-frame for mirrorless. Is Nikon about to start producing cropped sensor Z-series glass?

Given Nikon’s recent progress with video specifications, this may emerge as a camera that is created with filmmakers in mind, giving a lot of flexibility for the money through what could be regarded as a modular design. Not so long ago, the thought of such a camera felt bizarre but given the announcement of the full-frame Sigma fp last month, it seems that we might have several versions arriving in the near future.

What are your thoughts? How should it be priced and what specifications will it need to make an impact? The Z 6 and Z 7 were the first to offer 10-bit full-frame 4K 30p, so expectations should be high. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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39 Comments

Hell, why not just forego the image sensor and shutter button? I think they are aiming the camera to compete for the cell phone point and shoot crowd?

michaeljin's picture

Walk through a tourist area and you'll see TONS of tourists with DSLR's shooting by looking at the back of their LCD screen rather than using the viewfinder so it's actually not that far-fetched for a low-end camera.

Tamas Nemeth's picture

I’m standing behind a camera without a viewfinder (waiting for some clouds to roll in). I wouldn’t call it low end though, as it sports 151 megapixel on a 645 sensor :)

michaeljin's picture

Very good. :P

not true. if you look around you see everybody taking pictures and video with a cellphone. what are you talking about?

michaeljin's picture

That, too.

George Malczynski's picture

Try it. Hand off your camera to a non photo friend and ask them to take a picture of you. Usually they look at the back screen and ask if its on.

That's like handing a top shelf magazine to my friends toddler.

Checked calendar and sad for Nikon that it's not April 1.

Eric Salas's picture

A5100 ring a bell ?

Bringing back a style of mirrorless camera from 2014... “bold move, let’s see how it plays out for him cotton”

michaeljin's picture

Probably not.

Ziggy Stardust's picture

Nikon doesn't have the resources to produce full systems with accessories in DX, FX and Z. It has to make some hard decisions. If it doesn't its marketers face trying to sell dogs breakfasts.

michaeljin's picture

I'm pretty sure that all of us with a shred of rational thought can see that F-Mount (both DX and FX) development is likely going to be phased out over the next few years and everything in the future will be Z-Mount (for both crop and full frame). I think that this next generation of F-Mount cameras will likely be the last and the lens catalog is probably done at this point with the exception of maybe a 135mm and 200mm Micro refresh (maybe they'll even release a gold ring 50mm f/1.4).

Well, I've been accused of being irrational before.

michaeljin's picture

LOL! I think that people arguing for the survival of F-Mount are doing it more out of hope than reason. Nikon most certainly does not have the resources to keep both mounts alive and actively refresh products on both.

They are also competing directly with Sony who effectively only have 1 mount (let's not pretend about the A Mount...) and Canon who has vastly more resources to put into their new mount. I suppose that Nikon could settle for being a niche brand with slow updates on both fronts, but I don't think that's what they want to be. They've been #2 for so long that they're going to want to at very least retake that spot (however difficult it may be at this point).

I think it will probably be over a decade before F-mount production stops, but I can't see much more resources devoted to releasing new products whether it's cameras or lenses.

If the F mount is going to be phased out, Nikon will do it quietly. The argument for keeping it is still strong, having decades and decades of old F mount lenses to choose from. And even if perhaps the reality is that people never really take advantage of the back catalogue, they'll still mostly complain and kick up a massive fuss.

I agree they'll probably phase it out but that's different from "...the lens catalog is probably done at this point..." If they don't have the resources to support two mounts, they REALLY don't have the resources to lose sales to all the folks (like me) who'd be p*ssed off if they suddenly stop development. :-/

michaeljin's picture

Well they're not going to make an announcement saying "Hey guys, we're not developing any more F-mount stuff starting 5 years from now." It's probably going to be a quiet phase out like what Sony did with A-mount where you still have people who swear that it's still alive just because Sony never announced anything to the contrary. Their ambassadors will all switch over to Z-mount and you'll hear less and less about F-mount products even as they occasionally release them (at a slower pace) until it just trickles off into a complete stop. Maybe a few years after the last F-mount product is released, they'll say "Oh, by the way we're not planning to release anything new."

How quickly this happens will likely depend on how long Canon plan to continue to update their DSLR's and EF lenses. If Canon stops today (which they obviously won't), Nikon has no reason to continue since there's no more competition in the space to create a need to drive innovation. A possible alternative scenario involving F-mount's survival may be the complete failure of the Z-mount and Nikon relegating itself to a niche DSLR company the same way that Leica is a niche rangefinder company. I don't see this happening, but who knows?

Josh Wright's picture

New mount means ppl buying new gla$$

Logan Cressler's picture

It is on the rumor sites that the d3xxx, d5xxx, and d5xx line will not be refreshed and be replaced with mirrorless models, although I do not see why they would keep the d7xxx line and not refresh the only pro level crop sensor model, the d5xx.

No evf or viewfinder no deal.
Use an 18-200 and a d7100. Just amateur photographer but i do own a 105 micro nikkor
Something smaller and lighter would work
A p1000 weighs too much. Miss my F3Hp
Those were the days. Film make your shots count

michaeljin's picture

"Film make your shots count"

No it doesn't. You being focused makes your shots count. Film just meant paying for the garbage.

of course it does. But, for example take your pictures as a reference here: if you shoot garbage then it doesn't matter if you shoot garbage with film or a cellphone. You produce garbage regardless.

michaeljin's picture

Cool story.

The vast majority of patents don't make it to market.

Is it me, or does this look and feel like the Nikon 1 V3? No evf (optional add on via the hotshoe)

This is useless camers for serious work but this would bif a big upgrade for rhe smartphone users. This is a good marketing strategy for Nikon but I am waiting for the serious pro mirrorless cameras from Nikon with dual card slits and a functional battery grip.

Rob Mitchell's picture

My reliable sources that may or may not work for Nikon can neither confirm or deny this rumour. They also suggested just getting on with the kit I have and stop faffing around with speculation that probably possibly maybe is true or false.

Stuart Carver's picture

At the moment I only have an entry level Nikon DSLR with 3 nice lenses, if this meant the D7500 sank in price it’s all good for me, can upgrade the DSLR :)

Edit: I should add on top of a Fujifilm setup but I’d like to get more use from the Nikon stuff.

EL PIC's picture

Looks like an elephant with no nose ..

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