Surprise…the Nikon Q is not a joke?


In September 2010 Nikonrumors found that image. After a couple of days we were all pretty sure that this was a joke. In the meanwhile Pentax announced their Pentax Q mirrorless rumor and the memory of the Nikon leak cam back in our minds. Now the German Systemkamera-forum contacted me to say that trusted sources confirmed them that Nikon will indeed launch their Q system that uses exactly the same Pentax Q sensor! Suprised?

P.S.: Check the Pentax Q specs at BHphoto.

  • Frosti7

    Nikon wants this system to fail, so their DSLR sales would look good.

    In away they want to say “hey, this Mirrorless cameras do have interchangable lens, but they are still toys compared to DSLR, so u better keep buying our dslrs instead of mirrorless”

  • Michael Barkowski

    Same sensor, or same mount and sensor?

    • Miserere

      There is no way Nikon is going to share a mount with Pentax!

      • Ben Y

        They’ve done it before.. I would be surprised if they used a different mount actually.

  • Gusch

    Was für ein Schwachsinn.

  • Rob-L

    If there is a Nikon “Q”, it won’t have anything to do with the Pentax Q system.

  • John

    Surprise! It really is a joke. No way no how is this going to happen.

  • MP Burke

    Think of the options for Nikon as a latecomer to the mirrorless market:

    1) Full frame compact camera with 24.6 MP sensor.
    If cheap, it undermines the D3X sales, if expensive, e.g. Leica M9 price level, sales will be limited.

    2) APS-C. The big problem is that the NEXs have a good sensor in and are small and pretty cheap. Unless Nikon suddenly comes up with a wide lens range they have little advantage. If they make something good, it could undermine their APS-C slr sales.

    3) M43. I think most people presume that Nikon will not become part of the m43 consortium.

    4) Smaller sensors. The main benefit of the smaller sensor is that they don’t compete with slr’s and Nikon then promote their mirrorless cameras as small with slrs as being for people who want high I.Q. But any camera with a smaller sensor is likely to be compared unfavourably to M43 and other formats in respect of IQ. The only way it is likely to be appealing is by being both small and cheap and may be seen as offering little IQ advantage over a fixed lens compact. Producing a camera in this sector may be seen as the best option as it doesn’t hold the risk of coming out second best to Sony.

    • Michael Barkowski

      The main benefits of the smaller sensor are:

      1. Large depth of field is available handheld, at high shutter speeds, without requiring super-sensitive pixels.
      2. Lenses with focal length larger than the sensor diagonal are smaller than angle-of-view-equivalent lenses for larger formats.
      3. More sensors can be manufactured on a single silicon wafer, and if there are a constant number of defects on a wafer, then there is a higher % yield of defect-free sensors.
      4. The smaller mount leaves more room on the camera for physical controls, like that dial on the front of the Pentax Q.
      5. Having a 9mm flange-back distance must be helpful when designing a thin camera body.

  • One more Toy camera

    renowned manufacturer is ready to press itself into the dirt.. what a shame.

  • Out of Focus

    Wasn’t there talk about a 2.6 crop Nikon mirrorless? That would make more sense to me…

  • Kosta

    No no noooo!!!!

    At least 2,7 crop factor please

  • Camaman

    Nikon Q Pentax Q ?
    I see lawsuits on the horizon! :-)

    • camerageek

      Not unless they shared the development with Pentax. It could be that these two may have an agreement for an open standard, and that they may even share mounts, with Pentax providing the fun lenses and Nikon providing the more advanced lenses.

  • froeschle

    Obviously, there is always some room for speculations. In principle, the Q mount could be an alternative to m43, allowing even APS-C sized sensors. Just think about Pentax, Nikon and Canon joining for another superior mirrorless standard. Nevertheless, I am just waiting for a Pentax-FF with OVF.

  • What The?

    Anything will that small of a sensor is a JOKE!



    Go FullFrame Nikon!!!

  • Miroslav

    This sounds to me as if Nikon and Pentax could share that Q mount. Not impossible, it would be advantageous to both, as m4/3 is to Panasonic and Olympus, but I think Ricoh will now have to comply as well.

    Just think of it: joint mirrorless mount between Nikon and Pentax that enables AF of existing lenses of both ( with adapters I suppose ) that can be put as a module on Ricoh’s GXR. Sounds nice to me – that’s a real competition to m4/3.

  • Steve

    It seems the tiny sensor is really the way Nikon is going. I bet there will be a torrent of groans from current Nikon users if this does happen, and it is nothing more than a compact-quality camera, especially considering how far behind the game they already are. It’s hard to stay optimistic or even remotely interested in a Nikon mirrorless cam now. What a shame. Still, the new Oly’s and Panny’s look good… 😉

  • Joh.K

    using that tiny pentax q sensor is pretty much the worst thing nikon could do. hope canon will do better if they launch a mirrorless system.

  • davide

    Yes, Nikon is rumored to have already working prototypes of small sensor (see

    I think they will fail, like their P&S compacts are failing. I.e. just send because of the brand, to people that don’t know their business (even Nikon fanboys hate Nikon P&S and go to Canon or more recently to Panny and Oly)

    But it is the only option they think they have.

    Me, personally, I would do a 2x crop, with proprietary mount and the D3s sensor in it (used as multiaspect), and any of their APS-C functionality. But live-view AF of Nikons sucks, so this thing will have:

    1) better IQ compared to m43, NEX and NX

    2) likely worse AF performance

    3) not too much competition against Nikon’s own DSLRs because of 2) – at least for now

  • Dude

    You shouldn’t think too much about losing sales on FF or APS-C DSLRs.
    Because that will happen anyways.
    Only that these market shares go to mirrorless systems of other manufacturers if Nikon does nothing at all.

    Rather look where a market is:
    1) Full frame:
    Compact makes not much sense.
    The lenses will always be big.
    Or they have to except compromises in the corner performcane as Leica M does.
    The body can be compact and likely have simple controls -> who should pay the extra over APS-C mirrorless?
    Or the body is big and have advanced controls -> why not go for DSLR then?

    2) APS-C:
    There is a good timing window for it now.
    Sony has no camera with advanced controls and no DLSR shaped one.
    Sony and Samsung both have no big lens lineup yet.
    But does Nikon have the resources to through out a more complete lineup before Sony/Samsung close their gaps?

    3) M43:
    I guess not.
    The System is already very complete.
    APS-C systems will likely always have better IQ (esp Sony with their sensor development).
    But else than that you can do a lot with Olympus/Panasonic now.

    4) Smaller sensors:
    There isn’t done much on this field.
    So anything would be possible.
    Questions is contrary to the FF.
    Would a bigger body with full controls sale at all?
    Would a small body sale more than the mid size sensor solutions

  • John


    (1) A full frame compact camera WILL NOT undermine the D3s/D4 sales because it won’t be cheap and it will not have all the pro features that the full-fledged SLRs have. You’ll have to pay for the priveledge of that compact full frame body. It may fail due to not having any compact full frame lenses to match the body size.

    (2) Compact APS-C. This will also not undermine DX dlsr sales as it will certainly not be cheaper than a D7000 – again – you’ll likely have to pay for the priveledge of having a large sensor in a small body. Even if it is not too expensive, better to canabalize their own DSLR sales than lose sales to a competitor. Lens size will be an issue with a compact body.

    (3) No way that will happen

    (4) 2.5x Crop sensor. It could happen, but Nikon would need to pull a rather large rabbit out of a very small hat. The IQ/DR better be just as good as m43 (if not a bit better) and there needs to be a good selection of not-to-slow high quality zooms and primes to go along with it at launch. They have a lot of catching up to do with the likes of Oly and Panasonic.

  • BornOptimist

    No way Nikon will use a 1/2.33″ sensor. No way!
    IF they release a mirrorless camera (and that is a big IF) it will be something between DSLR and compact. Pricewise it will be above entrylevel DSLR, even higher than D7000-level.
    My prediction is like John, 2.5x-ish. With the sensor technology Nikon/Sony possess, I don’t have any doubth about IQ. It will rival if not exceed the IQ of m43.
    Auto focus will not rival even entrylevel DSLR, nor do m43 cameras. Single point fokus in good light is as good as many DSLR, but continous trackng is way behind even the simplest DSLR.
    And why should Nikon bother if they stall a few DSLR sales with a new interchangable lens camera, they still buy a Nikon camera, and will need new Nikon lenses.
    FF sensor – never gona happen. The marked for such an expensive camera is too limited (it will be in the same range as Leica M9).

  • Janelle

    A few years ago I’d have to pay someone for this ifnormtaoin.

  • napalm

    no doubt their DSLRs are great. but have a look at their Coolpix line and it’s another story.

    if nikon will let their Coolpix team make this mirrorless cam then your expectations will be shattered hehehe

  • BornOptimist

    napalm – The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Look at the sales number. Coolpixes doing just fine. They don’t meet the expectations for all categories of people, but they sell very well, and Nikon earn a lot of money on them.

  • camerageek

    Ooops wrong post to reply to.

  • Miroslav

    Forgot Pentax Q is based on 1/2.3″ sensor. Disregard my previous comment, it was made with APS-C mirrorless in mind. If Nikon introduces small sensor ILC, it’ll be as irrelevant as Pentax’s Q whatever the name. Canon and Nikon are going to pay high price if they continue to protect their DSLR businesses by not going mirrorless.

  • camerageek

    Not really. I’m pretty sure that Pentax and Nikon have looked and researched the MILC market closely, and identified correctly who the vast majority of users are. I will not be surprised if they win on this gamble. A FF option would approach the M9 in price. An APS-C option would have to be better than what Sony and Samsung currently have out, and by better that would mean an integrated VF be it EVF, OVF, or hybrid. That would place it closer to the cost of a Canon 7D and out of the price range of most buyers of MILC. COmpanies like Leica nad Fuji live in those niches and Nikon/Pentax are not companies that historically exploited said niches (with the exception of Pentax in Medium Format).

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