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Cameras

Nikon confirms full-frame mirrorless camera in the works

Zero details provided. Luckily, the internet is here to fill in the blanks.

Nikon

In case you haven't heard, Nikon's working on a full-frame mirrorless with a brand-new mount and an F-mount adapter. The company decided to confirm it today, and has set up a teaser website to keep you hanging until it produces an actual camera likely before Photokina, which starts Sept. 26.

Thanks to the usually accurate newshounds at Nikon Rumors, we know, or can speculate, about a lot more. That includes a countdown clock embedded in the teaser page that posted on July 23, indicating a launch date of Aug. 23. It has since been removed.

Nikon Rumors speculates that there will actually be two models with sensors of different resolutions, one around 25 megapixels and the other 45-48MP. That would make sense, given that Nikon's current full-frame models, the higher-end D850 and cheaper D610 have sensors with resolutions in those ballparks.

It also looks like the autofocus system will leap from 153 to about 430-450 AF points; hopefully, that means they won't just be denser but that they'll cover a wider area of the scene. 

If it's true, In-camera five-axis image stabilization is a big win. It's about time Nikon has switched from optical. It also would allow them to make smaller, lighter lenses, which is what you want to pair with a more compact camera like a mirrorless. (Unless you're Leica.) Based on a Nikon patent for a mirrorless lens, which we think will be dubbed "Z-mount," they'll have a shorter flange focal distance (the distance between the sensor and the mount) than Sony's E-mount, and at 16mm, even shorter than the Nikon 1 which was based on a 1-inch sensor. The diameter of the mount opening, 49mm, is on the large side, but would allow for wide-angle and really fast (think f0.9) lenses that are usually hard to manage with the short flange distances in mirrorless cameras.

Other notable potential specs include 9fps continuous shooting, 4K video and CF Express and XQD card slots. Although Nikon's hinted at the design, we don't really know much about it yet.

At launch, we're expecting three lenses in staple focal lengths: 24-70mm plus 35mm and 50mm fast primes. Nikon Rumors cites kit pricing of around $4,000 for the high-res and less than $3,000 with the low res. Those are a bit high, so hopefully there'll be something to justify the premiums. For instance, the Sony A7R III with a 24-70mm f4 runs about $3,600.