Nikon knows they have the photography community on the edge of their seats, waiting for August 23rd to hurry and get here already. The respective fanboys of each manufacturer stand ready to light up a comments section. It’s all about the Nikon mirrorless cameras.
The company knows this, and it’s been a steady dose of teasers, leaks, and rumors. Nikon acts like they are launching a film studio. Three official teaser trailers. Just announce the damn cameras at this point.
Everyone likes confidence but damn this camera better deliver. Nikon is feeding the expectations. I’m not the doom and gloom who thinks if Nikon missteps initially, the company is done. They still can’t keep the D850 in stock. Add to it the D500 and the past few years haven’t been as bad as some commentators.
No doubt they have had some head-scratching missteps. KeyMission anyone? Nikon is looking at August 23rd as the next evolution of the company as it enters the mirrorless camera market with two camera bodies.
Nikon Mirrorless Cameras
Yeah, the word is we are getting two full-frame camera bodies. Naming conventions are rumored to be the Z300 and Z500. It strikes me as odd to call one professional and the other non-professional. And that’s purely off Nikon’s stated goal to compete against the a7r III and the a7 III. The bodies are targeting the feature set of its competition.
Megapixels. Rumors have the lower end body (Z300?) at 24MP on a BSI sensor. It is supposed to be a direct salvo at the Sony a7 III. The higher-end Nikon mirrorless body (Z500?) is expected to land somewhere in the 45MP, also on a BSI sensor.
Autofocus. The new BSI sensors are said to have an advanced AF. Rumors have it featuring 430-450 AF points. There is a negative rumor on the 24MP mirrorless. Its video AF will be nerfed. That’s a mistake if it happens. Nikon will obviously be competing with Sony’s a7 III which happens to have the flagship a9 AF system. Here’s hoping Nikon does not go that route to cost cut.
Price. All over the map. When the rumors first started, the models were priced at $4000 and just under $3000. More current rumors have it more in line with Sony at around $1800 for the 24MP model and $2700 for the 45MP body. Hell, I hope so, but realistically we can expect over $3000 for the 45MP mirrorless camera and closer to $2000 for the 24MP model. Imagine if Nikon went with the rumored pricing. It would be one hell of a salvo against Sony.
Additional features rumored include:
- 5-axis in-body stabilization
- Memory cards: XQD and CF Express (ProGrade is coming with a CF Express card).
- EVF resolution: 3.6 million dots.
- Video AF could be different for the two mirrorless models (the cheaper version may have a nerfed video AF).
- AF tracking ability of the 45MP version on par or better compared to the current Sony A7 models.
- Over 400 AF points, not sure about the exact number, it should be somewhere between 430-450. The AF is supposed to be very fast.
- The rear LCD screen is tiltable just like the Nikon D850.
- 4K video.
Five-axis stabilization strikes me as a lock. Fujifilm and Sony tout this feature, and it would be glaring if Nikon didn’t offer it. Nine frames per second would be solid for both cameras. 20fps is cool, but let’s be real. Most users do not need that burst rate. Nine seems best suited for the 45MP body, while the 24MP jumps to 12-14fps.
Tilting screen. I don’t know if camera manufacturers don’t watch YouTube or simply don’t care. But would a manufacturer wake up to the consumer demand of a flip out screen? It’s not a deal breaker, but good lord. And make the touchscreen actually useful. Just a thought.
Nikon Mirrorless Lenses
Nikon’s mirrorless cameras will have a new Z-mount but come packaged with an advanced adapter to bring native performance to current F-mount lenses.
Expect a fast release schedule. Three lenses are rumored to be announced alongside the mirrorless cameras. A 24-70mm f/4 and two primes; 35 and 50mm at f/1.4.
Another rumored lenses include one with power zoom for video. Two electric AF motors are expected. And then there’s the potential for f/0.95 lenses alluded to with the Noct trademark and f/0.9 patents. It’s hard to see this taking priority over Nikon rushing to get mirrorless glass to market.
Expect a livestream unveiling on August 23rd. That’s the same date as the DJI Mavic 2. Rumors have this being Nikon’s most expensive marketing campaign ever with blogger events across the globe and perhaps celebrity endorsements. Availability will be something to watch. Nikon has had issues with the D850 flying off the shelves. We should expect the same if not worse supply issues as pent-up demand is increasing by the day.
Sound off below on Nikon’s upcoming salvo against Sony. What are your hopes for the two bodies? Do you think Nikon is setting the bar higher with the constant teaser releases?