Nikon’s Future Mirrorless Line

Having been a Nikon SLR user from the film days through a couple of generations and into the dSLR era, I had a substantial investment in Nikon cameras and the awesome Nikkor “f-mount” glass.[1] So the shift into mirrorless for me was not a decision made lightly.

When I heard recently about Nikon pre-announcing a future mirrorless camera range I thought for a moment that maybe I should have kept some of those great lenses, especially when I heard that the Nikon President said that the company aims to “put out a very Nikon-ish mirrorless camera which is superior to rivals in quality

My decision to shift to mirrorless was made not on simply losing the mirror, but instead was about losing bulk and weight for my camera kit. As an underwater, landscape and travel photographer who travels a bit with my gear, any chance to reduce bulk was welcome.[2][3]

In episode 193 of the Peta Pixel Photography Podcast, host Sharky James (once again) expressed the view that Nikon should put out a mirrorless camera that takes f-mount glass.

I get where Sharky is coming from, but I’m not sure that the absence of a mirror will solve many problems. The f-mount lenses are built with a particular ratio of distance from the rear of the lens to the sensor. Keeping the same awesome but bulky lenses won’t have a huge effect on reducing the size of the camera body. And of course, the (large) lens size remains as is.

Since moving to mirrorless (I use the micro four-thirds, or m43, system) I have been impressed with the power of the cameras and the quality range of lenses from Olympus and Panasonic, as well as a host of other makers. And the cameras and lenses are much smaller.

I do hope that Nikon does something, soon, to deliver a quality camera in the mirrorless space. But simply moving to an f-mount mirrorless body may not really be solving any problems for many photographers.

Real mirrorless innovation is more than just removing a mirror.

  1. I really loved a couple lenses in particular — the 12–24 wide angle zoom and the 60mm macro were amazing lenses from which I got a lot of pleasure.  ↩
  2. Particularly in an era when airlines are cracking down on cabin luggage carried.  ↩
  3. The name BalancedLight for this blog is in part based on my preference for light-weight camera gear.  ↩

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  1. jemostrom 18 July, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    @desparoz I agree, I’m using a D700 and it has been great, in fact I’m not tempted by current lineup. I’m also using a LUMIX GX80 & GM5. Both of these systems have their usage, for example daily carry/walking around LUMIX, sports Nikon. I’m keeping my D700 until I see what’s next

  2. sirshannon 18 July, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

    @desparoz I agree. I’ve owned more Nikon gear than all of the rest combined. I still have a cheaper Nikkor zoom and the trusty 85mm AF-D for my F4S but since since most of lenses, SB-600s, and my D800, my main camera is a Fuji X100T on all manual all the time. Fun & weightless.

  3. desparoz 19 July, 2017 at 7:47 am #

    @jemostrom thinking of the GX80 for my next camera – currently use the GX7. Considering this or the GX8. Have you been happy with the 80?

    Agree with your idea that different cameras sit different tasks. Mirrorless is brilliant for landscape and travel, but not optimal for sports.

  4. desparoz 19 July, 2017 at 7:47 am #

    @sirshannon the “fun & weightless” point is key. Must say that the X100T is a very tempting camera.

  5. jack 19 July, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    @desparoz Also, real controls and a real viewfinder. Wonderful cameras, the Fujis.

  6. scientifics 19 July, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    @desparoz The X100T is an awesome camera.

  7. desparoz 19 July, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    @jack hmmm, you’ve got me thinking about my next camera. Stay with m43 or shift to Fuji?

  8. jack 19 July, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    @desparoz I don’t think you could go wrong either way. I switched to Fuji when the first X100 showed up and never looked back. I like an optical viewfinder and physical dials. Doesn’t hurt that the Fuji jpegs look great right out of the camera. Lots of great choices these days.

  9. desparoz 19 July, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    @scientifics when I went m43 it was the best choice for me. But the Fuji system send to have a lot of advantages. And keen enthusiasts.

  10. digitalpardoe 19 July, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    @desparoz I went from a Nikon D700 to all in on Fuji when the X-T2 was released and I don’t regret it. I’ve been a m43 user in the past and the image quality never lived up to DSLRs but IMHO the Fuji mirrorless range does.

  11. jemostrom 19 July, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    @desparoz yes, so far I like it. Would like to have a TTL flash and a few primes but it handles well. Also stuff like post focus, photo stacking are fun to play with. Also nice feel to it. Would I buy again? Yes.

  12. jemostrom 19 July, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    @desparoz I also quickly looked at Fuji when I bought the GM5 (bought for a trip) and the Fujis were too large and expensive for me.

  13. desparoz 19 July, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    @jemostrom Therein lies the challenge. I love the size and weight of the m43 system. Going to Fuji (or Sony), or the rumoured Nikon system would be a trade-off.

  14. jemostrom 19 July, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

    @desparoz Yep. I’ve made decision to use m43 because of size (GM5 is really small) and keep using D700 until I find something substantially better. What that is I don’t know … yet.

  15. sirshannon 19 July, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

    @desparoz I was 100% anti-electronic viewfinder until I slowly started using it on the X100T. Now I am 100% EVF and full manual everything. EVF makes that possible for me. I miss 50mm & 85mm but love being “stuck” with 35mm. I think about the photo, not lens & zoom options.

  16. sirshannon 19 July, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

    @desparoz I use a good UV filter instead of a lens cap, so I really feel like the camera is “out of my way” and the process is streamlined vs my previous setup with D800 + 2-3 lens in a bag, etc. I will get another body + lenses kit one day but for now? I’m loving this.

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