Nikon Confirms That a Flagship Mirrorless D5 Equivalent Is on Its Way

Nikon Confirms That a Flagship Mirrorless D5 Equivalent Is on Its Way

2020 could be the year of the flagships as Nikon has just confirmed that a high-end mirrorless version of the D5 is in the pipeline. So will it be dubbed the Z 8 or the Z 9, and does that have implications for the release of the much-discussed successor to the D5?

Speaking to Japanese website Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (for a more accessible version, visit newswitch.jp), Nikon CEO Toshikazu Umatate — who has been at the company since 1980 — confirmed that the Japanese manufacturer is working on a mirrorless camera that is equivalent to the D5, Nikon’s flagship DSLR. As yet, the specifications have not been mentioned.

Speculation has since emerged questioning whether the Z-series flagship will launch in time for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, and if this will mean delays to the slated D6, the anticipated successor to the D5. Furthermore, arguably there is not much scope to improve the D5, and the features offered by a Z 9 could undermine the launch of a D6.

One of the other factors that Nikon shooters will be keeping an eye on is the emergence of top-end glass. Nikon’s approach has been to roll out mid-range lenses for its new mirrorless cameras, in contrast to Canon’s decision to go straight in for pro-level optics. As a result, those craving a D5-equivalent mirrorless might then have to wait for the system to mature before feeling that it is worth making the switch.

It's a busy time for the Nikon rumormills with the prospects of a D760, an update to the respected D750, being discussed. In addition, there's a suggestion that a budget full-frame mirrorless camera might also be on the horizon.

What are your thoughts about Nikon’s development of its mirrorless range of cameras? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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17 Comments

Rk K's picture

They can try... Seriously doubt they'll have either the lenses or the AF tech to deliver on this anytime soon.

michaeljin's picture

The trinity is scheduled to finish next year (with the least used 14-24mm FL being the last of the bunch) and that's pretty much all they need for their first pro body. I'm sure the supertelephotos will come later, but in the meantime, FTZ essentially gives you native performance with F-Mount NIKKOR glass that users probably own.

As far as AF goes, that would be the primary concern, but given the fact that there's no given time frame for the release, I'm sure it will be much improved from what we have today.

Rk K's picture

It's a D5 replacement. It has absolutely no purpose without the telephotos. And no, old adapted f mount lenses are not anywhere near good enough for the 60+ af adjustments per second that a sports mirrorless camera (like the a9) requires. I'm sure it's fine for the z6/z7, but that's only because the af on those isn't very good in the first place.

michaeljin's picture

That's not true at all. Sports photographers are not the only people using D5's. There are plenty of professionals using D5's who never go above 200mm. The simple fact is that Nikon does not currently have a truly "professional" mirrorless body and they need to have something if they are going to reach that market even if not every single lens is available. It's a brand new mount and a brand new system. It's unreasonable to expect that everyone is going to be catered to at the same time.

Nikon has the data and they know which lenses are most commonly used and they are likely going by that while also taking into account the fact that they have some excellent new lenses in F-Mount that can be adapted so we're likely to see a refresh of the aging lenses first. It sucks for people who shoot specific categories like sports, macro, astro, or birds-in-flight, but it's just common sense that the lenses that serve the greatest number of consumers have to come first.

Rk K's picture

Yeah, you can use D5s for other stuff, but it's kinda pointless. For portraiture, weddings and what not you don't need the af performance or the super rugged body. Dual card slots, obviosuly, (but those are in entry to mid-range bodies these days), and eye-af is really useful as well. For everything else - you can use it, but it doesn't make sense with the low resolution and high cost.

Agreed but let's not forget photojournalism and event (not weddings) photography.

Michael Kormos's picture

I photograph kids for a living. They’re very active subjects. I assure you, my D5 is most valuable.

Agreed, I've seen a few D5s at fashion runway events.

Jan Kruize's picture

Ohh nice, did you see sony’s there too?

Not at that show, but I do remember seeing files from smaller shows that listed Sony as the camera. Longest lens of any make in the metadata was 70-200.

Vincent Alongi's picture

A 70-200 for a runway show is all you need. I can't imagine the need for a longer lens than that. As well, 70mm on the shorter end can be a limitation as well.

Eric Salas's picture

Are we about to see some more well thought out articles like these?!

Vincent Alongi's picture

On the whole, Nikon seems to have a ways to go in developing their mirrorless environment. Between evolving their bodies to building a stable of lenses... If I'm going mirrorless over the next few years, they will have to really make jumps to keep me as a Nikon user.

Bill Zidis's picture

But can they make it normal size?I had my D4 and was awesome camera but huge. If they can make a Z series with a small grip would be amazing.

Fraser Pitkethly's picture

fuck yes this will be a beast

I REALLY need the D850 equivalent mirrorless camera with TWO CARD SLOTS! Z7 would be great, but MUST HAVE 2 slots.

It'll just be a rehoused A9 (which will be 3 years old by then) with better ergos, battery life, menus, mechanical shutter, color science, dual cf express. That's all.