EXCLUSIVE: Nikon to launch a mirrorless system in April (with Sony sensor).

Image on top: The analogue Nikon S2 rangefinder

According to our veeeeeery good sources Nikon will unveil their new mirrorless system in April! Nikon developed a very advanced (and expensive) pro system not meant for the amateur market. Nikon chose to go “pro” for two reasons:

1) They wanted to enter the market by offering the very first professional mirrorless system. Current mirrorless systems like the , and most Micro Four Thirds cameras (only exception may be the Panasonic GH2) are competing in the advanced beginner or amateur market.

2) Nikon believes an amateur mirrorless system would not have appealed current mirrorless users and only cannibalize their very good selling entry level DSRL market.

We are currently investigating the possible specs of the first camera and lenses but one of our trusted sources already told us that Nikon will use some kind of “tweaked” Sony sensor. Nikon tested two sensors, a 16 megapixel and a 24 megapixel sensor. We don’t know yet if Nikon will use only one of those or both sensors!

We hope to can give you more details soon…

  • Ranger 9

    VERY interesting rumor! If it’s true, I just hope I’ll be able to afford the result.

    This mirrorless strategy could be an answer to a question that Nikon-watcher Thom Hogan posed a while back: With even entry-level Nikon DSLRs getting into the 16+ megapixel race, what’s going to become of the sensor package currently used in the D3s? Hogan notes that even though it’s only 12 mp and has been around for a while, its low-light performance is still far ahead of the competition and many pros would not want to give up that capability. A pro-caliber mirrorless camera with D3s low-light performance and a well-chosen line of wide-aperture lenses would be a dream come true for many photojournalistic and documentary shooters.

    Also, compared to, say, Canon, Nikon seems more willing and able to manufacture short-run exotica — remember the collector-targeted revival models of the S3 and SP rangefinder cameras they produced a few years back? A digital “SPd” that would send Leica back to the drawing board has long been a secret dream of mine…

    • B

      Hope it will be true. Zeiss will NOT make a digital rangefinder soon.
      Here the answer from the German sales division :
      …”Dear Mr. B..,

      Thank you very much for your inquiry and interest in our products.

      Unfortunately, at this moment we are unable to give you a positive answer.

      You never know, what the future might bring but at the moment we are not planning to manufacture it.

      Best regards,

      Filomena Moore

  • ssj_george

    and won’t they cannibalize their mid-range or semi-pro system with this?

    • admin

      No. Pro will buy both, the Nikon mirrorless system for portability and the pro DSLR for studio and sport photography.

      • Carlos R B

        Very true….

  • Mr. Reeee

    This sounds promising! GF1-like, rotating monitor, full-sized sensor, please!

    In the Micro Four Thirds department, EVERY camera lacks something. Neither Panasonic (low-res-EVF, in-lens stabilization), nor Olympus (slow focus, ugly design, not-great lenses) does it all right.

    I’ve been on the fence trying to decide between a Panasonic GH2 and a Nikon D7000.
    I loathe the thought of lugging around a huge, heavy, bulky DSLR. WHY are they so huge?

    Hopefully Nikon will solve the problem for me. At this point, it may be worth waiting to see what Nikon offers. But, then again, Nikon seems unable to ship anything in quantity (D7000). Buy now eBay later?

    I have several older Nikkor AI manual focus lenses and would love to be able to use them full-frame without having to factor in the lens thing… FX (1.5x) or M4/3 (2x). If Nikon went with a Micro Four Thirds system, they’d clean up selling lenses alone!

    • Catastrophile

      “This sounds promising! GF1-like, rotating monitor, full-sized sensor, please!”

      i can’t agree more with the quoted line above, however notice that all P&S, DSLR & EVIL cameras with a swivel screen always have a viewfinder (TTL-OVF, parallax-OVF or EVF), I know only of one exception to this rule (the Kodak EasyShare One). Otherwise a viewfinder was always an unnecessary “prerequisite” to the swivel screen, which means that we have to choose between either having swivel in a bulkier form-factor like that of G1/G2/GH1/GH2 or the desirably compact GF1/GF2 but with no swivel. Remove the EVF from the Panasonic G or GH cameras and they are no bulkier than the GF’s.

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  • Pnutz

    A digital SP is what I think we’ll see. Considering the rumor the the Fuji X100 will be compatible with Nikon’s CLS system, could they also be using the Hybrid Viewfinder that the X100 has in some sort of technology sharing agreement?

    If this is anywhere close to being like the old Contax G system, I’d buy one.

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    • Pnutz

      English or Spanish please. What you wrote there looks like spanish spoken badly by a German, i.e. French

  • Greg

    About a year ago I moved from Nikon to Sony because the Sony offered features I wanted that Nikon didn’t. Hopefully Nikon has the wisdom to put a flip screen, a stabilized sensor and a manual focus zoom feature to focus in their new units. Low light live view is also essential. It would be nice to see Nikon not always playing catch up.

    • Isaac

      Well, if they add all those thinks you want from the Sony… wouldn’t that turn the Nikon into you beloved Sony? I mean, why do you care about what Nikon add to the new camera if you already have all your favourite features in the Sony? Let Nikon be Nikon. They are doing fine without your management.

      Playing catch up… LOL!

    • Candyspan

      Why is everyone so crazy about stabilized sensors. They take away precious pixels from your pictures, for what, a possible half to a stop of exposure capability. I’d rather not have the gimmicky in body stabilization and leave it up to the actual optics, and take pictures like they should be taken. Think about all of the excellent pictures taken in the past without IS, they didn’t need it then, and we don’t need it now. Especially, if it ruins our pictures for lack of pixels.

      • Ross

        What has pixels got to do with IS sensor? The digital stabilising by reallocating pixels is only done in P&S camera whereas a stablised sensor is physically shifted with untrasonic movements using horizontal & vertical motors. It works very nicely in Olympus cameras with the E5 being the best so far.

      • Zaph

        “possible half to a stop of exposure capability”

        E-5 claims 5 stops, reviewers are saying 4 stops. Hardly 1/2 a stop.

      • Shagg

        No real loss of pixels here. Just think of all the excellent pictures that were missed in the past due to lack of IS (& AF, etc.)

      • sadwitch

        I think IS helps alot especially when you’re using so shutter speed and wish to eliminate chances of handshakes.

        I could get sharp photos at 1/25s with a little care with 100mm – 135mm FL using IS. Try that without IS and i think you’ll see a difference.

      • Dontarrious

        I’m not wtorhy to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  • Specialized

    That woulld be nice, if this new Nikon Mirrorless system comes with an electronic shutter and use the H264 High 4:2:2 Profile (Hi422P) Level 3.1, 3.2, 4, 8 or 10 bits/pixel, in 720/60p/50p, maybe 1080/30p/25p/24p.

    We hope, wait (April) and see !

    • Danyyyel

      I hope so, but more important would be a clean 4.2.2 hdmi output. You could record with many external recorder. Nikon would really take the market by storm if they did a camera like the gh2 with a better codec and clean hdmi and a professional body and ergonomics.

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  • Dogbytes

    12mp but low light capabilities. Low light capabilities for view finder. Tripod bush in body NOT base plate so the whole camera and bends baseplate (Olympus please note!). Weather protection, obviously.

  • The face in the Mirror

    Given Fuji used to use nikon SLR bodies in recent years…..the X100 is that a fuji design or a Nikon design?

    Just like with the SLR bodies Fuji throwed in a different sensor and choose for a fixed lens. Maybe the Nikon will be very similar to the fuj (so to say) only the Nikon will allow to changes lenses and has a different sensor.

    It’s more or less like in the car industry: one platform, many models (GM: Epsilon platform, Models: Saab 9000, Opel Insignia, Buick LaCrosse,…..)

  • Gekopaca

    I hope it will be a rangefinder-like, accepting M mount lenses…

  • Catastrophile

    This rumor seems to suggest an APS-C Nikon mirrorless system conflicting with earlier rumors and patents of 2.5x crop factor Nikon mirrorless. Except of course if Nikon is planning two mirrorless systems!

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  • tess

    Oh wouldn’t it just be wonderful if the new mirrorless Nikon had a body built like the F3, the F6 or even one of their nicer RF models? A camera that looks and feels like a camera instead of a plastic toy! Being that the term “Pro” is being tossed about I sure hope it’s has weather sealing, a metal body, and a BQ that up to Nikon’s usual professional models!

    Man, kewl news!

    I’ll buy one if this comes to fruition!

  • 339boat

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Nikon or anyone would release a camera that was dedicate to photographers that know what they’re doing. I am so sick of having to scroll through endless menus filled with useless, bullshit features that distract me from the image making practice. How about a mirrorless, interchangeable lens (options for reasonable use of ANY lens) small body with ISO, aperture and shutter controls -maybe aperture priority, White balance and EV-control, histograms, AND A NICE, BRIGHT, SPLIT FOCUS VIEWFINDER. Raw and JPeg and leave it at that. I KNOW… LEICA M9… $7,000? OUCH.

  • BobBill

    If you do well with your current equipment, why not abide? Rhetorical observation, responses are not expected…

  • broxibear
  • Vittore

    I’m waiting… Want to use lighter equipment.

  • jeff

    I think nikon will be very smart getting their product out their first and it would be great to see them go after a higher more sophisticated market however the beauty in the idea of these mirrorless smaller body cameras is putting them in harms way to get more dynamic angles, mounting them for remote triggers, using them in the rain and taking a real camera when carrying a full size might be unwelcomed. Attaching a high price to this type of camera defeats the purpose and its my opinion why Leica has failed for both the pro and advance market.

  • Oakley glasses

    interchangeable lens (options for reasonable use of ANY lens) small body with ISO, aperture and shutter controls -maybe aperture priority, White balance and EV-control, histograms, AND A NICE, BRIGHT, SPLIT FOCUS VIEWFINDER. Raw and JPeg and leave it at that. I KNOW… LEICA M9… $7,000? OUCH.

  • Keith

    Oh wouldn’t it be a treat to have an “S2 style rangefinder” with the Sony / Nikon 800E sensor, live view on the back….even better with interchangeable S or M mount….