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Nikon FF (and DX) Mirrorless rumours/ announcements (1 Viewer)

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Not exactly good news - Nikon somewhat treading water for the time being then.

Nikon should have really had either the Mirrorless offerings out at CP+ or the D500s and D5s ..... meanwhile Fujifilm is doing well (no doubt picking up a bit of Nikon customer leakage) , and the smartphone arena marches ahead apace. The Google Pixel 2 with its computational photography has been voted best mobile (cell) phone camera by Dpr. That kind of computational advance would be fantastic in a resurrected and rekindled "1" series. :t:

With a few other competitors (notably Sony Ar7iii) also offering pixel shift hi-res capabilities, this type of thing also seems like a compulsory feature for the Nikon APS-C and FF Mirrorless offerings too.



Chosun :gh:
 

opticoholic

Well-known member
A month ago Thom Hogan already predicted they would be quiet at CP+... At that time, although he said "Don't shoot me if this turns out to be wrong," he said it was possible we could get a DX announcement in April and launch in May.
Dave
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
A month ago Thom Hogan already predicted they would be quiet at CP+... At that time, although he said "Don't shoot me if this turns out to be wrong," he said it was possible we could get a DX announcement in April and launch in May.
Dave
Yep. Considering that way back when, we were looking at a 2017 launch initially, these slipping dates indicate a difficult gestation and/or nervous management. Thom's mail on the current launch timeframe seems pretty good. The important thing is to get it right - and beat the competition to the punch! Fingers crossed .....


Chosun :gh:
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Yep. Considering that way back when, we were looking at a 2017 launch initially, these slipping dates indicate a difficult gestation and/or nervous management. Thom's mail on the current launch timeframe seems pretty good. The important thing is to get it right - and beat the competition to the punch! Fingers crossed .....


Chosun :gh:

Don't see how Nikon can beat anyone other than Ricoh/Pentax to the punch at this point.
That makes it even more important that they get it right.
Seen that they have the higher end covered with the 850 and the 500, would it not make more sense to have a solid entry level offering as their initial mirror less product, perhaps something DX or even smaller, in the $1000 class?
That way they can refine their lens stable and debug their cameras without impacting the presumably profitable semi pro market.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Don't see how Nikon can beat anyone other than Ricoh/Pentax to the punch at this point.
That makes it even more important that they get it right.
Seen that they have the higher end covered with the 850 and the 500, would it not make more sense to have a solid entry level offering as their initial mirror less product, perhaps something DX or even smaller, in the $1000 class?
That way they can refine their lens stable and debug their cameras without impacting the presumably profitable semi pro market.
I thought something similar - ie. that they would wade in with the DX Mirrorless sooner rather than later .... CP+ at the latest.

I think there is room for two tiers (high end flagship and entry levels) for both DX and FX formats, as well as resurrecting the "1" format and leveraging a high end bridge camera (Sony RX10 IV style) out of that sensor size as well. That would be 5 interchangeable Mirrorless offerings over 3 sensor size formats plus a high end 1" bridge camera. They could be leveraged in quite reasonable modularity and cost efficiencies with a bit of attention paid to resolutions and scaling (in much the same way as the D850 and D500 etc).

Canon continues with its vast array of Mirrorless models on offer, and it was them that I was referring too about beating to the FX punch ..... the party ship is well under way in other sensor sizes from just about all makers as you say.

Here's hoping ......


Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
"The [global shutter] removes the 'rolling shutter' effect".

I've never met the rolling shutter effect with N1 cameras, but 63 MP resolution and 8k sounds great. I'd happily pay Euro 100 more for a switch converting the cam into a bat detector. ;)
Once sufficiently high resolution global shutter sensors are developed it will be possible to dispense with the mechanical shutter altogether. This should help EVF development too.

So that's mechanical shutter gone, mirror box gone, and OVF gone (without loss of amenity, and a few gains thrown in). Now Mirrorless cameras are really starting to make sense. Incredibly compact form factors would be possible for a given sensor size.

I could even see some sort of 'transformer' type pocketable FF camera - where you have those tiny wedge type finger grips, and fast pancake style zoom lenses (allowed by the large 'Z' mount) - say 24-85mm f2.8-4 for a nice small street/travel camera ..... and then add a clip-on large man-sized ergonomic DSLR-type grip housing another battery, bung on your 600mm f4 and away you go birding.

Once you add the benefits of curved sensors, engineering composites, Diffractive Optics, and IBIS to this equation with resultant further weight reductions and capabilities , then I think we have arrived at photography gear heaven .... for now o:D


Chosun :gh:
 
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opticoholic

Well-known member
I don't know Chosun... I can tell you are very excited about the future but I'm more concerned with simply using all the great gear I already have... I have long believed that simply GETTING OUT with the gear I have, getting more practice and more opportunities is way more important for me than yet another new piece of gear... Great photos are already entirely within my reach. I don't need to wait for the next great sensor or lens...

I just read Thom's latest commentary.
https://dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/focal-length/the-new-nikkor-wish-list.html

He cracks me up sometimes. "Someone needs to wake the boys up at the glass factory!"
:-O
Dave
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I don't know Chosun... I can tell you are very excited about the future but I'm more concerned with simply using all the great gear I already have... I have long believed that simply GETTING OUT with the gear I have, getting more practice and more opportunities is way more important for me than yet another new piece of gear... Great photos are already entirely within my reach. I don't need to wait for the next great sensor or lens...

I just read Thom's latest commentary.
https://dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/focal-length/the-new-nikkor-wish-list.html

He cracks me up sometimes. "Someone needs to wake the boys up at the glass factory!"
:-O
Dave
Dave, no doubt we have kit now capable of taking fantastic photographs, even for just a couple of thousand dollars. I haven't had much time to get out and about with my gear, so maybe that betrays my current interests. How good would it be though, to have that same expenditure level kit, only weighing 2/3rd to half of the existing setups? All that and probably better performance more of the time.

Thom seems absolutely mad for lenses - I don't really understand it. In one breath he calls for a 28-300mm superzoom, and with the next he says that folk would probably be disappointed that it doesn't start at 24mm !! I don't know about our other snappers here, but to me the least amount of lens changes the better.

How about other folks ? - are you frequent lens changers at the drop of a hat, or more inclined to use multipurpose larger range zooms ??

I pretty much always seem to lob at the doorstep of 3rd party lens manufacturers - mostly because they are covering larger zoom ranges. My Tokina 12-28 f4 is awesome. If I was looking for a general travel lens, I'd prefer 16-400 f3.5-5.6.

As for Thom dismissing the need for a 300 f2.8 FL E ...... well I hope Nikon sure as heck takes absolutely no notice of that, and delivers it pronto, along with a D500S.

I think Thom's got it wrong with all those lenses - it's only a stop gap until the big step evolution of curved sensor systems arrive anyway ..... and I completely disagree with his views on the "1" series - that needs to resurrected better than ever :t:



Chosun :gh:
 

opticoholic

Well-known member
Thom seems absolutely mad for lenses - I don't really understand it. In one breath he calls for a 28-300mm superzoom, and with the next he says that folk would probably be disappointed that it doesn't start at 24mm !! I don't know about our other snappers here, but to me the least amount of lens changes the better.

How about other folks ? - are you frequent lens changers at the drop of a hat, or more inclined to use multipurpose larger range zooms ??

I pretty much always seem to lob at the doorstep of 3rd party lens manufacturers - mostly because they are covering larger zoom ranges. My Tokina 12-28 f4 is awesome. If I was looking for a general travel lens, I'd prefer 16-400 f3.5-5.6.

As for Thom dismissing the need for a 300 f2.8 FL E ...... well I hope Nikon sure as heck takes absolutely no notice of that, and delivers it pronto, along with a D500S.

I think Thom's got it wrong with all those lenses - it's only a stop gap until the big step evolution of curved sensor systems arrive anyway ..... and I completely disagree with his views on the "1" series - that needs to resurrected better than ever :t:

Chosun :gh:

I find several of Thom's fundamental positions very compelling/reasonable:

  • Nikon's legacy was/is lenses. They have relaxed far too much when it comes to providing competitive lenses that are in high demand, and it has cost them customers/market share.
  • Zoom lenses are an important part of the consumer-demanded missing lenses (and the initial lenses for a new consumer mirrorless format). Personally I don't use zooms much anymore. I have one general purpose zoom left, a 12-40mm for my Olympus but that's it... I'm pretty much a prime guy at this point. And to answer your question, no I don't like changing lenses but I'm also uncompromising and avoid most zooms too. But I understand that affordable zooms are very important to the consumer sector, and that is what allows the enthusiast/pro sector to exist... Thom is especially aware of this, which is why he pays attention to the zooms and he even agonizes over the wide end of a superzoom.
  • Other telephotos may be more important than the uber-expensive ones (like the long-anticipated 300 f2.8E FL). All he is saying is that he knows Nikon will eventually roll out the upgrade to the 300 2.8, but I'll bet the new price on that baby will be ~$9K+... I'm totally with him on this point. And hopefully Nikon is understanding this too considering the recent more affordable 300 PF and 200-500 f/5.6 options, as well as those recent patents for f/5.6 PF super telephotos (personally I would be most interested in 600 f/5.6 PF).
  • Nikon needs to introduce a lot of lenses in the next few years, and they also need to break with their past behavior and boldly reveal a lens road map. That would be so refreshing. I am very tired of Nikon's secrecy. Explaining it as part of a competitive war with Canon just doesn't fly for me anymore. IMO, Nikon lost that war. They are now in a situation where they really must be a little more transparent and direct with me, at least if they want to win back a little more of my loyalty,...
I also agree with his opinion that Nikon probably should let the CX Nikon 1 system remain dead. It makes sense to me considering the current overall situation for Nikon. Nikon really has made several critical management mistakes in recent years, and the way Nikon 1 was handled is only part of that. If CX were to be resurrected it would only compete against their own internal resources to (a) successfully sustain the DSLR line while (b) introducing brand-new DX/FX mirrorless. I mean be honest, don't you have a hard time imagining Nikon doing all 3 and succeeding with both (a) and (b) and also (c) resurrecting CX? I do, but just my $0.02.

Dave
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I find several of Thom's fundamental positions very compelling/reasonable:

  • Nikon's legacy was/is lenses. They have relaxed far too much when it comes to providing competitive lenses that are in high demand, and it has cost them customers/market share.
  • Zoom lenses are an important part of the consumer-demanded missing lenses (and the initial lenses for a new consumer mirrorless format). Personally I don't use zooms much anymore. I have one general purpose zoom left, a 12-40mm for my Olympus but that's it... I'm pretty much a prime guy at this point. And to answer your question, no I don't like changing lenses but I'm also uncompromising and avoid most zooms too. But I understand that affordable zooms are very important to the consumer sector, and that is what allows the enthusiast/pro sector to exist... Thom is especially aware of this, which is why he pays attention to the zooms and he even agonizes over the wide end of a superzoom.
  • Other telephotos may be more important than the uber-expensive ones (like the long-anticipated 300 f2.8E FL). All he is saying is that he knows Nikon will eventually roll out the upgrade to the 300 2.8, but I'll bet the new price on that baby will be ~$9K+... I'm totally with him on this point. And hopefully Nikon is understanding this too considering the recent more affordable 300 PF and 200-500 f/5.6 options, as well as those recent patents for f/5.6 PF super telephotos (personally I would be most interested in 600 f/5.6 PF).
  • Nikon needs to introduce a lot of lenses in the next few years, and they also need to break with their past behavior and boldly reveal a lens road map. That would be so refreshing. I am very tired of Nikon's secrecy. Explaining it as part of a competitive war with Canon just doesn't fly for me anymore. IMO, Nikon lost that war. They are now in a situation where they really must be a little more transparent and direct with me, at least if they want to win back a little more of my loyalty,...
I also agree with his opinion that Nikon probably should let the CX Nikon 1 system remain dead. It makes sense to me considering the current overall situation for Nikon. Nikon really has made several critical management mistakes in recent years, and the way Nikon 1 was handled is only part of that. If CX were to be resurrected it would only compete against their own internal resources to (a) successfully sustain the DSLR line while (b) introducing brand-new DX/FX mirrorless. I mean be honest, don't you have a hard time imagining Nikon doing all 3 and succeeding with both (a) and (b) and also (c) resurrecting CX? I do, but just my $0.02.

Dave
Thanks for the input and interesting discussion, Dave.

While we chat about this and that on this thread (and Thom looks on for his next insight! :) :-O , Canon has been busy lifting the Mirrorless bar, and stealing Nikon's thunder (and potential customers) .....
https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-m50

I'm going to agree with you (and Thom) on some things, and probably disagree on a few more.

** It's true that Nikon's (and Canon's too) vast lens catalogue is a key competitive advantage - here and now (with a few glaring gaps as I have mentioned before). However, that very same catalogue is also somewhat of a liability too. To whit:
1. Not all of these lenses are capable of the high resolutions necessary going forward.
2. Many need refreshing to remain market leading in performance, or parameters such as size/ weight etc.
3. They are very much a product of the past, or the present at best. Electronic ones will be suitable for use with Mirrorless via suitable adapters.
4. Ultimately though many will be obsolete for Mirrorless, and all will be virtually obsolete once curved sensors take over (DSLR and/or Mirrorless). :king:

I think it's more critical for Nikon to nail the DX Mirrorless range first up than the FX ones - they can survive with the exciting fast prospects, and PF telephotos announced in patents, and their customers existing favorites via adapters.

** One issue I have with Thom's analysis is that it is rather old fashioned. One thing that I find really annoying is this strict regimentation of focal length ranges for all levels of user, but particularly new entrants. By this I mean the familiar 'kit' lenses - the 18-55, + 55-200, + 100-400. I mean who the heck really wants to be changing from one medicore lens to another - it drives me crackers! It's like the makers are trying to 'sell' the 'illusion' of being a serious photographer with a slew of lenses. Just have one really excellent 16-400 with a f5.6 top end and be done with it. Arrgggh!
The advent of software distortion correction helps this change in thinking a bit.

The 300 f2.8 FL E may be on its way "eventually" - but that has been the case for the best part of a decade! It is long overdue in my book! :cat:

** Of course, I agree that other telephotos (such as the 200-500, and 300 f4 PF) are important AS WELL ...... not in preference to, or after the FL's, but 'in addition'. The 5, and 600 f5.6 PF's are also important --- AT THE SAME TIME. I really want a 600 f4 PF (of say ~2.5kg), but I'd also be very happy with a sub 2kg 600 f5.6 first - it would be a useful improvement for me. :t:

** I don't necessarily agree that Nikon needs a fully transparent lens road map - it is commercial confidential after all. What it does need though (with it's history of disappointing customers expectations - particularly with DX lenses) is a way of clearly flagging it's intentions to customers such that they find it reliable and trustworthy.

** I'm going to respectfully disagree with you (and Thom) about the need to leave the "1" series (CX) dead and buried. In fact I think they should do precisely the opposite - bring it back better than ever! :t:

It is a mistake to pension it off for fear of (i) stealing sales off other Nikon lines via internal competition - this is exactly the sort of prehistoric thinking that has seen CaNikon under assault from swarms of nimble MFT's, or (ii) fearing, in case it would "only compete against their own internal resources". This is a common mistake that struggling or unsuccessful companies make ...... letting strategy be limited by resources (current operations).

A new and improved CX line can offer parametric advantages in size/ less weight against MFT that only it can (within the confines of its sensor performance). Obviously it is going to need a few tricks to compete - full connectivity, computational photography (such as pixel shift high resolution, and picture stacking HDR, stacked BSI sensors or better, etc). It will also need leading IBIS, and fast lenses, fully compatible adapter, adapter/TC combos, etc.

Just my opinion 0.02 BTC you might say! o:D



Chosun :gh:
 

opticoholic

Well-known member
Hey Chosun,
Yes we're having quite a lively discussion. I agree with you on many points, and we're probably closer than you might think even where we differ.

I definitely agree that some of Nikon's lenses are not capable of the high resolutions of the sensors, and several lenses are sorely in need of an update/upgrade. In general I think Nikon has lost its edge in lens superiority (with some exceptions), and they just really don't seem to be trying very hard to compete in certain cases. I think you are much more optimistic about how soon curved sensors will sweep in and take over flat sensor systems. I can see that could happen, but I imagine it happening much more slowly, perhaps first only in fixed-lens cameras, with lenses designed for curved sensors slowly taking over part of the ILC space over a decade or more.

You're probably right about road maps and transparency. I think the few other lens road maps I have seen from other manufacturers happened only when rolling out a new system, and since Nikon is about to do that, I think they probably need to at least do a road map for the new mirrorless system. While it would be nice to see less secrecy on other future plans/lenses, I understand that is probably unrealistic.

In general I have really lost confidence in Nikon for a number of reasons I won't take time to list. Just read a few Thom Hogan blog posts and you get the idea. So on top of your greater optimism on how fast we will see major technology/sensor advances, I think I'm also more pessimistic about Nikon as a company and what they are capable of doing. That's why earlier in this discussion I agreed with post #6: I just hope Nikon doesn't "screw this up"... And I also said I would consider it a good step for Nikon to simply match the current mirrorless competition rather than "take the lead." It's that same "thinking small" with low expectations that is behind my sentiment that they should let CX die... I just have trouble believing they could "right that ship" on top of everything else they need so do. And it probably applies to road maps and more transparency as to future commitments, too: i.e., Rather than wish that Nikon would give us road maps or announce plans well into the future, maybe the most I can hope for is that they will do better with simply announcing a new product and then rolling it out successfully 2 months later in sufficient quantity to match demand without severe shortages and delays that drag on for months or years for a product that is supposed to already be in production... I will say Nikon has done several things pretty well in the last 2 years or so, so hopefully that will continue.

Dave
 
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Hey Chosun,
Yes we're having quite a lively discussion. I agree with you on many points, and we're probably closer than you might think even where we differ.

I definitely agree that some of Nikon's lenses are not capable of the high resolutions of the sensors, and several lenses are sorely in need of an update/upgrade. In general I think Nikon has lost its edge in lens superiority (with some exceptions), and they just really don't seem to be trying very hard to compete in certain cases. I think you are much more optimistic about how soon curved sensors will sweep in and take over flat sensor systems. I can see that could happen, but I imagine it happening much more slowly, perhaps first only in fixed-lens cameras, with lenses designed for curved sensors slowly taking over part of the ILC space over a decade or more.

You're probably right about road maps and transparency. I think the few other lens road maps I have seen from other manufacturers happened only when rolling out a new system, and since Nikon is about to do that, I think they probably need to at least do a road map for the new mirrorless system. While it would be nice to see less secrecy on other future plans/lenses, I understand that is probably unrealistic.

In general I have really lost confidence in Nikon for a number of reasons I won't take time to list. Just read a few Thom Hogan blog posts and you get the idea. So on top of your greater optimism on how fast we will see major technology/sensor advances, I think I'm also more pessimistic about Nikon as a company and what they are capable of doing. That's why earlier in this discussion I agreed with post #6: I just hope Nikon doesn't "screw this up"... And I also said I would consider it a good step for Nikon to simply match the current mirrorless competition rather than "take the lead." It's that same "thinking small" with low expectations that is behind my sentiment that they should let CX die... I just have trouble believing they could "right that ship" on top of everything else they need so do. And it probably applies to road maps and more transparency as to future commitments, too: i.e., Rather than wish that Nikon would give us road maps or announce plans well into the future, maybe the most I can hope for is that they will do better with simply announcing a new product and then rolling it out successfully 2 months later in sufficient quantity to match demand without severe shortages and delays that drag on for months or years for a product that is supposed to already be in production... I will say Nikon has done several things pretty well in the last 2 years or so, so hopefully that will continue.

Dave

The industry sells several million ILCs annually and afaik, that number has been essentially flat for several years. Mirrorless has been gaining ground, especially in Asia, perhaps because they are inherently lighter, perhaps also because the mirror mechanism may suffer in a warm humid climate.

I don't believe there are millions of National Geographic or Vogue level photographers out there clamoring for more FF gear, even if every wedding photographer in existence is included. That suggests that the industry is mistaken in catering to the FF/DX crowd, with the massive lenses those formats dictate. These formats are historic relics, left over from the days when a sub micron sensor structure was an achievement.
I don't think they have much growth potential, even though Sony at the introduction of their A7 III claimed FF is gaining share in the ILC market.
So I believe that Nikon would indeed be well advised to reemphasize the 1" format, they have a foothold there and it is a much more flexible and compact format than either DX or FF. The increment in performance from the latter is unjustifiable when balanced against the size and cost of the associated optics.
 
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Vespobuteo

Well-known member
The industry sells several million ILCs annually and afaik, that number has been essentially flat for several years. Mirrorless has been gaining ground, especially in Asia, perhaps because they are inherently lighter, perhaps also because the mirror mechanism may suffer in a warm humid climate.

I don't believe there are millions of National Geographic or Vogue level photographers out there clamoring for more FF gear, even if every wedding photographer in existence is included. That suggests that the industry is mistaken in catering to the FF/DX crowd, with the massive lenses those formats dictate. These formats are historic relics, left over from the days when a sub micron sensor structure was an achievement.
I don't think they have much growth potential, even though Sony at the introduction of their A7 III claimed FF is gaining share in the ILC market.
So I believe that Nikon would indeed be well advised to reemphasize the 1" format, they have a foothold there and it is a much more flexible and compact format than either DX or FF. The increment in performance from the latter is unjustifiable when balanced against the size and cost of the associated optics.

It would say that it depends on how large you print and at what ISO you shoot.

A modern 1'' sensor will give about the same IQ as a 10 year old D300. But you still need fast and large lenses for maximal resolution. Up to ISO400 I loved the IQ from the D300 but above it was far from usable in all situations.

A high crop factor/pixel density also makes the quality of the lens even more important.
Look at the latest 200/2.8 from Leica for example, it's not light and neither it's cheap.

And don't forget bokeh.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/5258315878/sigma-unveils-105mm-f1-4-art-bokeh-master

Personally I think that the quality you get from current DX format is often good enough for most occasions.

Computunal? photography and new lens types might evolve things but laws of physics still apply.
 
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
It would say that it depends on how large you print and at what ISO you shoot.


And don't forget bokeh.


Computunal? photography and new lens types might evolve things but laws of physics still apply.

Absolutely spot on.
It takes a hard copy to really appreciate the full value of a FF image.

That said, do that many users print photos? My impression is that most images never leave the electronic format. So there is an open door for all manner of optimization, enough to permit even the smaller sensor to shine.
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Absolutely spot on.
It takes a hard copy to really appreciate the full value of a FF image.

That said, do that many users print photos? My impression is that most images never leave the electronic format. So there is an open door for all manner of optimization, enough to permit even the smaller sensor to shine.

Pixel peeping at 100% on screen is even more demanding. ;)

But any sensor size might work, just choose the right tool for the right job and viewing device.
 

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