After Sony changed the world’s perspective about mirrorless cameras, finally the DSLR giants are starting to take the segment more seriously. While there have been rumours of Canon working on a full-frame mirrorless camera, Nikon has gone ahead and made it official. The company has sent out a press release announcing the development of a full frame mirrorless camera which would also include the development of new NIKKOR lenses.
The new mirrorless camera will have a new mount, which would warrant the creation of new lenses. Given that a mirrorless camera would have a much shorter flange back distance (the distance between the lens element and the sensor), the optical design would need to be reworked, warranting the need for new lenses altogether. Nikon is also working on a mount converter which would enable owners of existing NIKKOR F-Mount lenses to use them on the new mirrorless camera.
This will not be Nikon’s first mirrorless camera. Nikon had released the Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 J1 way back in 2011. The Nikon 1 series was the company’s mirrorless lineup, which despite much effort, did not do very well. The cameras used a 13.2x8.8mm sensor with a crop factor of 2.7x, not something that enthusiasts or professionals would be interested in.
After the success achieved by Sony’s A7 series of cameras, it was only a matter of time before Canon and Nikon jumped onto the bandwagon. However, despite being legacy brands, both Nikon and Canon will face the challenge of entering a market that has very well established players like Fujifilm, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus. Each of these four brands has loyalists for very specific reasons, such as Panasonic, which is a favourite amongst indie film-makers, the Sony A7s II which is a favourite amongst those who create work in low light and Fujifilm’s X-series is a favourite amongst fine art and street photographers. Nikon will have to create a camera that will offer enough value for existing users to switch, or for new customers to consider them over the more established players in this domain. For now, all we can do is wait for an official announcement about the specifications of the camera.