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.

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.

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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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?

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.

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 :)

Very good. :P

That, too.

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.

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”

Probably not.

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.

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).

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.

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?

New mount means ppl buying new gla$$

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

"Film make your shots count"

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

Cool story.

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.

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.

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.

Looks like an elephant with no nose ..

Didnt sony release a ton of cameras with no viewfinder back in the day before anyone took them seriously? The NEX line?

A camera with no view finder is a non-starter for me, I wish they'd stop considering this an option. I won't even consider a camera without one.

Almost looks like it wants to compete with the Sony a6xxx series. Giving an entry way for folks who love Nikon but can't afford the new mirrorless cameras... Good for them (I will of course be happily over here with my Sony's) :)

Basically, an updated Nikon 1 series with an APS size sensor and an F-mount to take my present DX and FX glass? Take my money please Nikon!

They are not ever going to make mirrorless F mount bodies, viewfinder or no, F mount is sticking with the DSLRs. They invented the z mount so they could make mirrorless bodies. No way they are going back now.

I loved my NEX 5T literally to death (it finally wore out). It was exactly this setup. No problems at all for a quick and light carry camera for occasional hand held video. Brilliant idea to bring it back.

This.must be in the affordable catigory.
Other wise it will creat a mess if act as a professional copy with fraction difference in size . That would be a total waste and mess.
Its screen must be articulated.
The focus must be on the In-Camera stylish choices like grid images burst. Or image burst for stop motion photography. Or different effects of color and black and white photography.
The camera must adress the amature and must offer the professional the chance to have one, as a must , pocket camera.
For that. It needs to come, in its first announcemnt , with a specially deaigned a retractable lens . So it works like a quality all around the day camera.
The focus need to be on the style . Never push it to create a parallel line of cameras to the full frane. Design it with easy interact with the mobile phone. To send images to instagram and mail and social media.

When think of video think of price approach. Small affordable camera can guve chance to have three on the set . Movie is not only about resolution. But about editing and camera position.
Nikon then will be a great company to offer the nikon users a new and simple video editing station. For amatures.
Sadly windows killed the great movie maker ,it was a sweet heart for bloggers.

THERE IS A LOT TO LEARN FROM THE MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY. mobile photography is not an enemy , not at all, it made people think about photography . it made people learn photography, we speak about the mass, mobile video and photo have been learning from the MOVIE for long time creating short cuts into the hard core of the catching moment in the cinematic arts. like the back-ward playing or the slow motion , or the retro look. the filters... so what Nikon can do is rethinking camera with that in mind. people would want to have the ease of the mobile but with a quality that can fit the huge display that comes with the big screens with hi res. and with the hi speed internet . and small storing devices. so it is time to go big again with the quality . mobile is not enough still for that. a NIKON APPs is a must , with easy interface. so one can plug his camera and chose the function he needs into a specially predesigned setting . thus the photographer can always have the 5 functions he want in his camera. and he can always change them. this is plus what the camera has as standard. if one want to have a POP style imaging . along with slow motion video , or reverse video with different speeds. ...if one want to have the Edward Muybridge style of continious grid of photos that study speeds and movements. then he can have it. or if NIKON come up with new set of film look or filters. . a camera that can handle this with an ease and the supportive platform would be a great move from Nikon.