This year has seen the announcement of a new flagship professional camera from Sony, the Alpha a1, along with the introduction of the 102MP Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format camera. Meanwhile, rumors abound that Canon might be releasing its own top-of-the-line mirrorless camera soon. The only major photo manufacturer that’s been relatively quiet in the professional camera realm this year has been Nikon…until now.
In a fascinating new interview with Digital Photography Review that was just posted today, Nikon’s Keiji Oishi tells DPReview’s Barney Britton that a new flagship Z-series camera from Nikon will be coming this year.
“A flagship Nikon Z-series mirrorless camera can be expected within the year and is being developed with the goal of surpassing the D6,” Oishi, who is Department Manager of Nikon’s Imaging Business Unit, UX Planning Department, told Britton.
“It will respond to the advanced needs of professionals. The upcoming model will debut a newly developed high-resolution stacked CMOS sensor. While this camera will be a major technological leap for still photographers of a wide variety of genres, our engineers are considering powerful video features such as 8K that respond to the needs of all kinds of content creators and professionals.”
Needless to say, this is somewhat surprising to hear from a high-level Nikon executive considering Japanese camera companies are notoriously wary about tipping their hands on forthcoming products to the press. The fact that Oishi’s comments were made to a single photography media site and not at a general press conference is also unusual.
But this past year has been unusual, to say the least, and Oishi’s comments should be taken as potentially good news for the photo industry, which has been battered by a world economic slowdown resulting from a devastating global pandemic. At the very least, it’s a small ray of sunshine for Nikon users who have been waiting for a major camera introduction in the Z line to compete with the Sony a1 and Canon R5.
It’s worth noting that Oishi’s comments about a new flagship Nikon camera were only a small part of a comprehensive interview with Britton on DPReview that covers everything from Nikon’s consolidation of manufacturing in Thailand, to recent product shipping delays, and the intricacies of professional lens design. It’s definitely worth reading in full and you can check it out here.
It’s also worth noting that Nikon has not been entirely quiet on the professional photography front lately. Yesterday, the company announced free new imaging software called NX STUDIO, which is an all-in-one program similar to Lightroom.