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Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Nikon begins work on full-frame mirrorless

The age of the mirror-box camera may well be coming to a close, as Nikon confirms that it’s working on something big without mirrors.

Camera juggernauts like Canon and Nikon may have led the market for a long while, but the older style of cameras with a mirror mechanism found in the single-lens reflex system doesn’t have the same lead it once had on electronic systems years ago.

These days, mirrorless cameras are making more of a dent than ever, evident from the work by major camera makers Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and Fujifilm, all of which build interchangeable lens cameras without the traditional mirror reflex mechanism. Canon and Nikon have both dabbled in the past, both with sensors that are smaller than what goes in a full-frame system, but neither have built cameras made for the big sensor that a full-frame camera relies on.

And yet this week, Nikon has sent word that it is doing just that, announcing development on a full-frame mirrorless camera, complete with a new mount made for the camera.

Nikon full-frame teaser

There’s no name, no number, and nothing concrete to nail down on a specific model being made, outside of some random computer generated images being used in a teaser movie (above), but the company has said that the upcoming “mirrorless camera is the result of Nikon’s advanced optical and manufacturing capabilities”, with “expertise built up through the development of Nikon’s digital-SLR cameras”, as well.

As such, there are no other details, no expected release date, and no price at the moment, with these expected later, though Nikon has confirmed two things.

One is that this doesn’t signal the end Nikon’s mirror-based digital SLR cameras, as those will still be developed, offering both options to customers.

The other is that while a new camera is in development, it won’t take Nikon’s long-running F-Mount lenses, at least not natively. As such, a mount adaptor is being developed, making it possible for future owners of a Nikon full-frame mirrorless to take the lenses for their standard mirror-based cameras and use them on the mirrorless.

That’s good news for folks keen to see Nikon evolve, though the downside is that some customers may have already moved on. Camera brands like Sony and Fujifilm have already provided a great place to get similar technology, with full-frame sensors from Sony and retro-styled cameras with film simulation from Fujifilm, not to mention the number of other brands out there.

We hope it’s not too late, but are eager to see what Nikon has in store next, and will let you know when that eventuates into an actual product.

Nikon's camera is shrouded in darkness
Something is coming. Beyond a full-frame mirrorless camera made by Nikon, we don’t know much else.
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