So news about nikon events are beginning to pop up throughout the world coinciding with the long awaited release of the Nikon D4 and rumors has it that there will also be a mirror-less system as well, sort of similar to the micro 4/3 system (in fact images released of the lens mount look almost exactly like that).
Nikon is also no stranger to creating really great and revolutionary products that still feel like they build on a legacy several decades old (because they do), so what is in store for these new cameras and what should they really be doing.
Since the mount looks like a micro 4/3 but with minor differences (like 12 contacts instead of 11 and different sized “notches” around the rim) I suspect that it is a micro 4/3 with minor improvements (read proprietary changes), I think that they figured out a way to make their lenses fit only Nikon cameras but the Nikon camera can take all lenses that way when a customer invests in a Nikon camera and lenses that customer would likely be locked in with Nikon cameras from that point on, sure it’s a bit of a duchy move, but I cant blame them from doing it.
Now as for it’s capabilities they should be very similar to the Olympus pen or Sony NEX type of cameras, though I can’t help thinking that this camera would have something more.
One idea is what the big new DSLRs are rumored to have, a 16 stop dynamic range, now to the uninformed that’s HDR right there more or less as my D200 has like 8-10 f-stops (depending on shooting mode) and our eyes can see about 10-14 f-stops.
So maybe it won’t have quite that high dynamic range, but 12 f-stops would certainly help with taking better images.
If you add to that a really good video mode (something Nikon need to work on) it could be a hit.
The big one, the D3 is still pretty much one of the best cameras out there that mere mortals can get and use and the D3X is certainly still the king among cameras when it comes to quality, but the D3 is 4 years old right now, and they don’t really work that well with video as only the most recent version can do it and then no better than the significantly cheaper D90.
Rumors say it will be able to record in UHD 3840x2160p which is 4 times the pixels of my monitor, that could just make it infinity better than most things, add to that 16 stops of dynamic range and up to 409600 Usable ISO (maybe more).
The only thing I really like to add to this is the ability to record in 60FPS or more in 1080p.
One interesting thing that has been rumored is that the IR filter sits in a detachable module of some sorts, while this is something I would have liked to do for a long time it presents another option Nikon might have opted for, removing the mirror altogether as it would make the camera faster and less prone to failure, especially if your going to use it for recording video since you don’t have to have that mirror solenoid on all the time, and it would enable you to use the seeker while shooting.
And frankly there are only two reasons why a DSLR would ever need a camera
1. to direct light to special focusing sensors
2. to be able to compose your shot.
But the first one is useless in live view mode and while shooting video and the second one can be easily fixed with a small amoled display and live view.
The specs I have seen are good though as they are rumors they tend to diverge a bit, mostly in the sensor department, though I think most of it is just speculations as some just take the 3D and make it better (as in more megapixels, higher iso and fps) while some tend to go the radically new sensor route (foveon style instead of bayer filter).
But this is not rumors these are just my speculations on what Nikon should do.
1. A HDR and High ISO sensor is a must, im thinking 14-18 stops and at least 51200 Usable good looking ISO.
2. video recording, UHD is good but what is needed the most is higher FPS as today there is only really a handful consumer cameras that can film faster than 30FPS and only one with a decent quality, though a bit cropped at higher frame rates.
3. Scriptable creative image mode, what is missing from all cameras today is a way to take unique images or image sequences, maybe some time lapse that triggers a different flash group for each frame in a predetermined pattern, who knows, but it should be there.
4. the ability to capture images into a movie
5. WCLS or Wireless creative lighting system, instead of four groups in line of sight it would be nice to be able to use thousands of groups in any way you like.
6. self triggering, for my camera I can get the so called mad scientist kit, which is basically just two wires that plugs into the 10-pin port and when shorted they trigger the camera, however a camera is a big optical sensor and it probably also got a sensitive microphone, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to implement self triggering on loud noises, bright flashes or movement, add some adjustable delay and you could really get some decent results..
7. Android support, im not talking about using android as the os, but rather enable it to talk to an android device to do things like display images or upload them to a server (could be useful for photojournalists and reporters), more consumer oriented models should also have a share functionality to upload to places like twitter, flickr and facebook.
Such a connection could also be used to control the camera and trigger it.
Another product that is desperately needed is the f-mount web-cam that uses a 1080p aps-c sensor connected with a usb 3 cable, just because it would be awesome.
Well that’s all for now, I think the announcement will be some time around September 21.