We round up the most credible camera rumors and review our thoughts on what the camera makers might do next.
After unceremoniously discontinuing its 1 series APS-C mirrorless cameras, Nikon went full bore into full-frame mirrorless with the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 cameras in 2018… then last year it shocked the planet by resurrecting its plans for an APS-C mirrorless format, with the Nikon Z50.
The manufacturer continued its mirrorless march with the recent announcement of the Nikon Z5 – a replacement entry level full-frame Z camera that sits above the Z50 and below the Nikon Z6. However, Nikon is playing things very differently to its arch nemesis when it involves DSLRs. While Canon announced its intention to shift focus faraway from traditional cameras, Nikon revealed not one but two new DSLRs.
We’ve recently reviewed the company’s new flagship, the Nikon D6, though we were a touch disappointed by how it compares to the 2 best professional sports cameras from Canon and Sony. That said, we were positively wowed by the superb hybrid Nikon D780. And, while Canon has ceased development of latest DSLR lenses, Nikon has just unleashed the monstrous Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E.
So, what’s coming next from the large N? Here’s a glance at the rumors and reports conjured up by our crystal ball…
While the Nikon Z50 is that the little sibling of the Z-system family, it won’t be the foremost junior member; there’s talk that we’ll see the discharge of an entry level Nikon Z30 at some point this year (the ‘ZX0’ seems to be Nikon’s naming convention for bodies with an APS-C sensor).
According to rumors emanating from Japan, this might be a super-small DX camera with no electronic viewfinder, a hard and fast LCD screen, one microSD card slot and a 24 or 26MP sensor.
Recently leaked designs appear to verify these rumors, as they show an APS-C size sensor during a camera body with a Z-mount. additionally , there is no electronic viewfinder to be seen, suggesting that this release will compete with other entry-level cameras like the Fujifilm X-A5 and therefore the Panasonic Lumix GX80.
Sony dropped a bombshell by announcing the 61MP Sony A7R IV, but it appears that Nikon is preparing a 61MP warhead of its own – and therefore the Nikon Z8 will apparently feature the exact same sensor that’s inside the A7R IV.
Nikon has apparently signed up to get the 61MP Sony Exmor R sensor, which can power a Z8 featuring dual CF Express memory card slots, improved image stabilization, a replacement resolution shift mode to capture 240MP images, and an ISO range of 64 to 25,600 (expandable to 32-102,400).
What seems to be the planning of the Z8 has recently been leaked by a Nikon patent registration, depicting a significantly more sizable body than the prevailing Z6 or Z7 – presumably to accommodate the increased cooling from the larger image sensor, and potentially from shooting 6K video also .
Rumors abounded in mid-2019 that Nikon might announce knowledgeable Z-series camera over the summer. it might now be a touch of a challenge to urge such a camera ready in time for the Olympics, but we’d be remiss to not mention the whispers of an alleged Nikon Z9 pro-grade body.
With the D6 now being official, it seems unlikely that Nikon would release a competing body that might cannibalize sales. So we do not expect the Z9 to materialize before 2022, in time for subsequent soccer World Cup – and it’s arguably far more likely that it won’t appear until 2024, when mirrorless technology would be mature enough for it to exchange the D6 outright.
The Nikon verdict
What we think: We expect Nikon to stay building on the Z system for the foreseeable future, adding more full-frame mirrorless lenses to enrich the Z6 and Z7 – along side new, smaller optics just like the Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR pancake lens to suit the new wave of APS-C cameras just like the Nikon Z50. While it’s keeping the DSLR dream alive with the D780 and D6, the large N is undoubtedly sowing the seeds for a mirror-free future.