Nikon Bets on Full-Frame

Another most telling afull-frame dug out by Nikon Rumors, and forgive me if the recent full-frame focus on THEME is beginning to bore you. But a press release by Nikon Germany suggests the world’s number two camera maker is to focus on the full-frame FX format. Nikon says its “current” full-frame portfolio consists of the D610, D800 plus D800E and the D4. This emphasis on “current” kind of implies something’s in the making. Or why would Nikon tell us don’t take different sensor formats for granted? By “putting FX in the spotlight,” as Nikon goes on, the camera maker responds to the “demands of an ever broader public.”

Call it a strange press release, but this makes perfect sense in the light of current developments when everyone seems to be trying to move upscale. Let’s recall Nikon president Makoto Kimura who this July said, “We want to create a product that will change the concept of cameras.”

Nikon bets on FX.
Nikon bets on FX.
Nikon, Kimura said, will “find an answer” to the change in the business environment caused by the proliferation of smartphones with better and better picture taking capabilities

That’s not FX. That could be a product completely unrelated to current cameras as we know them. But to respond to the needs and demands of the established photography market Nikon has to cater for them in a way that’s similarly forward-looking.

Quod erat demonstrandum, you’ll say.

To take a case in point: enjoy the stellar images the new Sony A7s are able to churn out. Check out Dyxum forum or Sony for samples.

That’s the future of serious photography. I myself love to shoot small cameras with small sensors and smaller glass and lighter weight. But it’s always a tradeoff. These samples are like a symphony for the eyes.

Nikon’s upcoming retro full-frame camera is all about going back to the roots and basics of photography. Nikon wants to make serious photography a pure, unspoiled experience again. See this “Pure Photography” teaser:

The German press release dated October 22, 2013, lists “advantages of the full-frame format” and adds, “Nikon therefore commits itself to continuously develop the imaging market. We achieve this through further product innovation.”

Talk digital FM2 — or rather digital F3, as some suggest (search Nikon FM2 and F3 on eBay).

Nikon couldn’t be clearer about where it sees the future of cameras and photography. On the one hand more and more powerful small imaging devices, such as smartphones, will replace conventional cameras with smaller sensors. On the other hand there’s the market of quality photography.

One could go on speculating whether Nikon tries to move DX upwards and CX downwards.

Clear seems this: the future of serious photography is full-frame.

Expect more FX coming from Nikon.

Don’t want to bore you any further with full-frame revolution and so forth. But remember, you read it first on THEME.

(If you have some spare time, check out Nikon’s new full-frame visuals…)

  • Robert Mark

    Not to be a total crank, but FM was all manual, and F3 is semiautomatic. I doubt Nikon is releasing a fully or partially manual digital body. A digital FE would be better description (assuming it looks like one).

  • Check out the Pure Photography video teaser I updated the post with. The camera will be all about a back to the basics, unspoiled photography. FM2 and F3 refers to the looks only. I have a feeling Nikon’s pulling all the right strings with this one.

  • Drazen B

    I agree. This camera will touch the hearts many of us…
    Basic, manual and tactile feel of its controls and buttons, unmistakable shutter sound, mechanical noises it makes that well know and recognizable retro look, shape and handling…brrr, getting goosebumps already :-)

    Did I saw a glimpse of that new 50mm f/1.8 at the 25 sec mark? On the other hand It looks too much like the existing 50mm f/1.8…

  • Must be the new version. And at the 19 second mark we’re rewarded with a millisecond peek at a silver/chrome hotshoe…

  • Robert Mark

    The lens markings say “AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8G”. The lens is isolated on a pure black background, there’s no camera hiding in the shadows.

  • Nikon Rumors mentions somewhere the 50mm F1.8G is a newer, special edition of Nikon’s classic 50mm F1.8 lens, first introduced in 1978.

  • Bengt Nyman

    Will be called Nikon D4H
    Will use EN-EL15 battery
    3″ LCD Screen
    EVF/OVF hybrid viewfinder
    Can be used with true mirror lock up for non-AI lenses while still allowing viewing through view finder.
    New hybrid mechanical shutter
    No AA filter
    No video in low power mode but otherwise it will have video (?)
    Expeed 3A processor
    Price: $3,000 for body only, $3,300 for a kit with the new 50mm f/1.8G lens
    Black, Black/Sliver and Chrome version will be available
    Read More »

  • Mate Bilich

    Hmm, $3k? Thatnls but I think I’ll go with the D800 as my future ‘pure photography’ camera. There’s enough of the Nikon camera mojo and shooting comfort in that one for me.

  • golum warrior

    I tend to agree.

  • Great camera, no doubts. Still, I’d prefer a metallic camera’s feel. Maybe a superficiality. I sense a digital-mechanical camera is nigh…

  • Bengt Nyman

    Judging from a recent Nikon patent for a hybrid viewer, the Nikon DF, as it is now called, is a straight forward but clumsy, and unimaginative design.

    Start with an ordinary DSLR. Change nothing until you get up to the eye piece. Move the OVF eye piece to one side, put a mirror in the middle and an EVF display on the other side. You can now flip the VF mirror between the two.
    You have both an OVF and an EVF.
    For those who can’t decide I guess, including Nikon maybe.