As you may have heard, Nikon will be announcing a whole new mirrorless camera system soon. 10:00 PM tomorrow night, in fact! (Mountain time—that’s 9:00 PM for our California readers!) In case you can’t watch it (it will be live on Nikon’s website, here) or want a text reference, I’ll be documenting it here. Check back later for the scoop!
A prismatic highway astounds a youngster. “In pursuit of light” appears on-screen. Cut to fields of stars. The ambiance is set!
Kazuo Ushida, president of Nikon, will be presenting. We begin with an overview of Nikon history, expanding the possibilities of light since 2017. “Unlock the future with the power of light” is Nikon’s “vision.” It all started in 1948 with Nikon I; 1959 brought the Nikon F, their first SLR and their biggest success. The D1 gets a shout-out as well. “Today, we announce a full-frame mirrorless system!” We’re getting closer…
Nikkor lenses are the most important part, and today we are making another major step forward with another lens mount… “Now, please take a look.”
“Z-mount” is confirmed!
The camera is revealed onstage, on a pedestal. Mr. Ushida gently picks it up, immediately showered with hundreds of flash bursts.
“Mirrorless reinvented” seems to be the introductory concept. Nobuyoshi Gokyu, GM of Imaging Business Unit takes the stage.
Mr. Gokyu will share some more hard-detail information. The new system is guided by three values, which he claims do not exist in the current market in the way Nikon is presenting them.
- NIKKOR lens capability
- Quality (Nikon tradition, ergonomics, image quality)
- Future-proof capacity
Evidently, the new, wide-diameter mount removes barriers to their lens-development. They are now developing (or have developed) a lens with an aperture as fast as f/0.95!!! Diverse lenses not previously possible will be available.
Future-proof capacity: the new contact system on the Z-mount is high-bandwidth to prepare for the future.
Now we get to hear Nikon’s concept as far as how Z and D will coexist.
Or not, at least not in much detail, but they are certainly committed to maintaining and improving both systems (a relief for any of us with thousands invested in the D system). Nikon explicitly aims to be “number one in the full-frame interchangeable lens camera market.”
Note that they are not referring to the systems as “Z mount” and “F mount,” but rather as “Z” and “D.”
Exit stage for a very cool video of the camera assembling from scratch.
Welcome Hiroyuki Ikegami, a development VP.
The Z-mount is based on a 55mm inner diameter and 16mm flange focal distance.
55mm is as wide as possible to allow for very wide apertures. 16mm is apparently the shortest possible distance they could get without compromising quality.
The first camera: the Z7! It is immediately followed by a second camera, the Z6. As rumored, the Z7 is a high-pixel count version, and the Z6 seems to have higher ISO sensitivity capability and burst capability.
EXPSEED 6 processor promises to take care of business. Nikon gets excited about the EVF. 10 bit N-log recording for video. Further-reduced lens focus “breathing.” Battery pack forthcoming but not out yet. The body and lenses should be ergonomical and robust.
Bonus Z7 features:
- 493 point focal plane detection AF
- 5-axis IBIS
- 3690k dot EVF
- 8k timelapses! Cool!
- 24-70mm f/4 S
- 35mm f/1.8 S
- 50mm f/1.8 S
- Mount adapter FTZ
Nikon is touting the resolving capability and “movie features” of the new lenses. “Redefining what we expect from f/4 and f/1.8 lenses.” Aperture and focus should be near-silent to avoid video problems.
With the Z system, Nikon is debuting a new line: the “S Line,” all of which feature the nano-crystal coat featured on Nikon’s existing “N” lenses.
Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S NOCT coming early 2019!! This will be the fastest lens ever made by Nikon.
Official roadmap below.
Side announcement: 500mm f/5.6 super-compact lens!
Release dates and expected retail pricing
Z7: end of September, anticipated retail of 440000 yen ($3970)
Z6: end of November, anticipated retail of 270000 yen ($2436)
24-70mm f/4 S, 35mm f/1.8 S, and 50mm f/1.8 S: all September, somewhere around the 100,000 yen range ($900)
FTZ mount adapter: September, somewhere around $300 (video feed problem)
500mm f/5.6: September 14th, anticipated retail of 506000 yen ($4565)
Tamara Lackey and Rob Whitworth, a photographer and timelapse videographer, take the stage to discuss their impressions of the samples they got to use.
- High praises and beautiful photography, as expected at a launch event.
- Charmingly, Rob hid his camera from the public with a knitted “camera hat.”
- Face detection receives special note.
The end! Thanks for reading.