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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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16 Comments

  1. @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

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  2. @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.

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  3. @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.

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  4. @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.

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  5. @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.

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  6. @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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