Nikon prepping new low-end SLR?

Photos purportedly from a Nikon commercial shoot show an SLR with a pivoting screen--a handy feature for shooting video. Perhaps an April 14 announcement?

Nikon's lower-end SLR line is due for a revamp, and there are some signs that it could come soon in the form of a model featuring an articulated screen.

Photos of an SLR with a screen that pivots out and twists surfaced Sunday at the Something Awful forum and Monday at Engadget; the photos depict the production of a Nikon commercial in Eastern Europe, according to the forum posting from "indyjb" and Engadget.

Articulating screens are nothing new; some Olympus and Panasonic SLRs feature them, while some Sony models have a pivoting LCD that can be useful. But newer technology developments in the market make them more useful.

First, pivoting screens are helpful with live view, which lets people compose photos using the LCD rather than the viewfinder; live view makes it easier to take shots with the camera held high overhead or down near the ground, for example, where peering through the viewfinder is tough. More significantly, pivoting LCDs make video easier on SLRs. So far video is available only on two SLRs from Canon and on Nikon's mid-range D90.

The shots show what appears to be a lower-end SLR featuring Nikon's 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR kit lens.

When might this new product arrive? Perhaps at an April 14 Nikon press conference in Austria whose invitation Nikon Rumors published.

Update 11:52 a.m. PDT: First, Nikon declined to comment. Second, there's a possibility that Nikon's also relatively elderly D300 will be supplanted by the D400, Photography Bay points out.

(Via Cameratown.)

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