With 2019 drawing to a close, all eyes are on CES 2020 in early January for the latest camera releases. If the rumors are true, Nikon is aiming to pull off a repeat of the dual launch of the D5 and D500 from 2015. Both cameras were award-winning and are still quality nearly five years later. 

There are multiple signals from the company that it is planning multiple announcements, and after a string of missteps, Nikon could use a bit of the 2015 CES magic to right the ship. Both look to be the camera company returning to its DSLR roots with a replacement for the Nikon D750 with the D780, and the successor to the D5, the Nikon D6.

We already have confirmation from Nikon and an overzealous B&H listing it and the new Nikkor AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8E. The D6 listing is a placeholder, but the listing for the lens gives plenty of detail of what to expect. Except for the price. Come on, B&H

Nikkor AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8E

  • Designed for use with FX image sensors, this 120-300mm lens is also compatible with DX sensors, where it will provide a 180-450mm equivalent focal length range.
  • Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture offers consistent illumination throughout the zoom range and benefits working in available lighting conditions as well as offers improved control over depth of field.
  • Fluorite and extra-low dispersion glass elements are incorporated into the optical design to greatly reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations in order to achieve notable clarity and color accuracy.
  • Vibration Reduction image stabilization helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake, benefiting this lens’ use in low-light conditions. Additionally, a designated Sport Mode is well-suited to working in fast-paced conditions, and a Tripod Mode helps to suppress subtle ground vibrations when working atop a support system.
  • Silent Wave Motor affords quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus override.
  • Focus range limiter allows you to constrict the focus system to a 19.7′ to infinity range for faster-focusing performance.
  • Assignable Function buttons can be used for lens-based activation of AF/AE Lock modes or for switching between different AF Area Modes.
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant magnesium alloy lens barrel benefits the lens’ use in inclement conditions.
  • Tripod collar offers well-balanced support when working from a monopod or tripod. The collar ring also incorporates ball bearings for smooth transitions between horizontal and vertical shooting orientations.
  • Specialized electromagnetic aperture mechanism provides greater exposure control stability that is especially beneficial when working with fast continuous shooting rates.

Ok, I want one. The move to specifically mention DX cameras has me wondering if we are going to get a surprise D600 as a replacement for the D500. Why else hammer that point home? No one is slapping this on a D3500. 

Nikon D6 Rumors

Take these with a massive helping of salt with an additional side of salt, but a commenter on Fstoppers claims to have insider information on the D6. 

“A colleague and friend of mine is and has been testing the D6, and I think people who do what I do and still shoot Nikon will be super pleased with the D6. I don’t know 100% of the details, but from the specs and abilities I do know about, it will be a game-changer for Nikon and the DSLR. Canon will also probably have very similar specs in their new 1Dx Mark III, but I still think the D6 will beat it for stills at least. I’ve heard great feedback from a friend who is a Canon Explorer about the 1Dx Mark III, but he’s paid to say it’s great, haha, and I bet it is, but the D6 sounds better so far. The biggest thing I loved about the Z6 was the IBIS/VR and the D6 having that is really the best of both worlds in my world. I don’t use VR a lot as I shoot mostly fast-action sports and breaking news, but when I do, VR is very important. Lens-based VR is still the best in my opinion, and both of my tele options mentioned above have the newest 4.5 stop system, and it rocks, but having both IBIS and lens based VR is going to be nice. Don’t expect much of an AF performance improvement in the D6 over the D5/D500, but expect big things for LiveView, silent shooting, video and image quality. The sample files I saw had incredible dynamic range and High ISO performance. The new sensor and SNR firmware/AD converters and processor in the D6 contribute to amazing DR and High ISO performance, all while having more megapixels over the D5! The D5 is known for its poor dynamic range at low ISO’s and amazing dynamic range at High ISO’s, but the D6 has both amazing High and Low ISO dynamic range. Also, be aware that only the newer E-type lenses will benefit from the increased FPS in the D6, and G or D type lenses will top out at 10-10.5 FPS!”


That sounds great, but let’s hold off on the hype until Nikon delivers. It better have dual card slots…

Nikon D780 Rumored Specs

The other potential announcement during CES is the replacement of the D750 entry-level full-frame DSLR with the D780. Most of the spec rumors are common sense. It’s a new camera body, so of course, it will have better ISO, dynamic range, AF, etc. 

  • 24MP BSI improved sensor
  • Articulated TFT LCD tilting touchscreen, 3.2″ with 2,100,000 dots
  • Significantly improved processor (compared to the D750)
  • Improved fps RAW shooting
  • Video: 3840×2160 24p-30p, 1920×1080 24p-120p
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • No built-in flash
  • Higher ISO (better than the D850)
  • Dual SD UHS-II card slots
  • 105 AF points
  • An updated interface like the Z-series
  • Slightly smaller and lighter body than the current D750

Hey, dual card slots. Nothing there screams wow, and it will come down to pricing. Nikon needs something to impress the masses, and aggressively pricing the D780 would fit the bill. Having 4K video is great along with the fantastic autofocus system would get people talking. Pricing it at the current D750 level of $1700 would be a coup for the company.

Other Nikon CES Surprises?

The B&H lens listing is interesting by immediately focusing on the company’s DX-line of cameras. The D500 was an absolute monster in the wildlife shooting category, and having a surprise D600 alongside the D6 would immediately get people talking Nikon. The lens lends itself well to the category with its full-frame focal length of 120-300mm means it’s for sports and wildlife photography. We will have to wait and see, but all signs point to Nikon coming out swinging in 2020. 

Keep it locked here as more develops as CES 2020 draws closer to its start date of January 7th.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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