Is Nikon 2 on the way?

The latest rumours on the internet indicate that the Nikon 1 product line is no longer being developed. Does this mean that Nikon 2 is on the way?

Obviously no one knows for sure if the latest rumour that the Nikon 1 product line is no longer in development is true or not. Let’s suppose that it is true. And, let’s suppose that another rumour that Nikon is working on a new mirror-less camera that utilizes both the existing CX mount and a larger sensor is also true. Does the combination of both of these rumours indicate that a ‘Nikon 2’ mirror-less camera is on the way? It could.

Using a larger sensor with a CX mount for an updated line of mirror-less cameras could make a lot of sense for Nikon on a number of fronts.

  1. Current Nikon 1 customers could still use their existing CX mount glass. The challenge is that those lenses would only use a portion of the new, larger sensor, but at least those lenses would not be orphans.
  2. Nikon would need to develop another series of CX-mount lenses with a bigger image circle to take advantage of the larger sensor’s crop factor. ¬†This could be done over time as long as some decent zooms were initially launched with a ‘Nikon 2’ body. Perhaps the new CX-mount lenses could be called ‘CX2’ to differentiate them from current 1 Nikon lenses.
  3. From a production cost standpoint, in the near term Nikon could use an existing APS-C sensor from its DSLR line-up. Perhaps a slightly higher pixel density APS-C sensor could be developed for future models.
  4. Using a larger sensor would allow Nikon to greatly improve the image quality of its mirror-less product line with a ‘Nikon 2’ to the level of current Nikon APS-C DSLRs, thus removing one of the longest standing knocks against its current mirror-less cameras.
  5. Nikon would have a mirror-less product that would have the potential of being very competitive from an image quality standpoint with offerings from Sony, and likely better than current M4/3 competitors.
  6. Launching a ‘Nikon 2’ product line would not necessarily mean Nikon would have to abandon the current Nikon 1 offerings. These could stay in the line-up with a focus on the Nikon 1 J5 as Nikon’s ‘entry level’ mirror-less camera system. Nikon would not have to invest any more development money in Nikon 1, but rather keep selling existing products to cover the more price sensitive portion of the mirror-less market.
  7. Having a Nikon 1 and ‘Nikon 2’ strategy could allow Nikon to do some ‘upselling’ into the new product line, while dropping its pricing on the current Nikon 1 products since the R&D has already been absorbed¬†on those products.
  8. Nikon would not have to make the new ‘CX2’ mount lenses compatible with older Nikon 1 bodies from a firmware perspective. For example, if a new ‘CX2’ 200-500mm was launched they could ‘encourage’ folks to move up to a ‘Nikon 2’ through firmware restrictions on the lens.
  9. A larger sensor ‘Nikon 2’ would not directly compete with existing APS-C DSLR Nikon products since the lens mount is different.
  10. A re-designed FT-1 (an FT-2 perhaps) or a change to its firmware would allow ‘Nikon 2’ owners to use all existing Nikon F-mount lenses. This would broaden the functionality of a ‘Nikon 2’ body.

Will a ‘Nikon 2’ body be launched soon? Who knows…but it will be interesting to see if the combinations of two current rumours leads to this type of camera. Some of my commercial photography contacts tell me they are hearing that some major announcements are expected from Nikon as early as September.

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15 thoughts on “Is Nikon 2 on the way?”

    1. Hi Jim,
      I also saw that as well. It looks like a viable one as well since it seemed to originate from Nikon Europe during a trade magazine interview. I’m unclear on how we should interpret the situation with the DL’s. It could simply be production or some kind of quality issue.
      Tom

  1. Hi Tom,
    Did you mean that it will be like FF and DX that share the same F mount ?
    About the 1 future:
    Remember the rumors that the DX is over ?
    And about the V cameras future:
    How much time past from the D300 (s) to the D500 ?
    So my estimation is that as long as Nikon don’t say that the 1 is over its not over.
    A new V camera (V4 or 5) can take long time and probably will
    be much more advanced then the previous ones.
    And here is another one:
    Because of the shrinking photography market Nikon will enter to new areas like surveillance
    cameras.

    1. Hi Moshe,

      Thanks for sharing your perspectives – always interesting to read what others think of the future! The lag time between the D300 and the D500 was considerable but the improvements between the models was very significant. If our wait for an updated V-series results in the degree of improvement between the D300 and D500 a lot of Nikon 1 owners will be pleased.

      Tom

  2. Given the so-so effort Nikon put into the D3400 I have serious reservations that they would produce a meaningful Nikon 2 series.

    Any Ft2 adapter would really need more than a single focus point. The dubious design decisions that went along with the V series doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

    It’s a shame but I think Nikon are now on a path to maximise profit at the expense of their customers with overpriced ‘crippled’ iterative updates.

    Hope I am wrong.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Few people, including me, would disagree with you about Nikon making dubious design decisions with the Nikon 1 V-series. At least the J5 was a step forward with that series of cameras. Sadly, Nikon, like many camera companies, seems to bring out new models that are only marginally different that the ones they replace. As consumers we need to really think about our needs and decide if new models are actually worth our hard-earned money.

      Time will reveal the future of Nikon 1.

      Tom

  3. Hi Tom,

    If Nikon do introduce a Nikon 2 with a larger sensor, the new body would almost certainly include a number of innovations over and above anything in the current Nikon 1 line. It seems to me that Nikon would profit from introducing the same body with an updated 1″ sensor as well as the larger sensor body. Analogous to the D5/D500, but with significantly lower development cost if they use the same body. I’m sure I am not the only person that would consider buying both new bodies, one for low-light and maximum quality applications, the other for reach.

    Also, I feel that Nikon would be cutting off an opportunity if they restricted longer lenses like the 200-500 zoom to a Nikon 2 body. There would be some who would like to have the reach available with a 2.7 crop factor on a 200-500 zoom. One can see this with the examples of people who have put that lens and e.g, the Sigma 150-600 Sport onto Nikon 1 bodies via the FT-1.

    But I do agree with your main points and hope Nikon does introduce a Nikon 2.

    1. Hi Dave,

      I agree with you that Nikon would benefit from having both a Nikon 1 and Nikon 2 product line, both using CX mounts. Nikon has been doing some things with the firmware on Nikon 1. For example, some longer lenses will work with a V2or V3 but not with a J5 when and FT-1 is used. I would LOVE to have a CX mount 200-500mm lens that I could use on my V2s! And, while Nikon would be missing an opportunity to sell a CX 200-500mm lens to existing Nikon 1 owners, I suspect that they would restrict a lens like that to the larger sensor camera to ‘encourage’ owners to buy both a new lens and a new body.

      Rumours up here abound that Nikon will be making some very big announcements in September. Time will tell whether anything actually happens.

      Tom

  4. Hi Thomas,

    Though I wish to see a vastly enhanced Nikon 1 model and lenses (but still stays 1 inch) in fall, Nikon could move to larger sensor mirrorless. It would be disappointing to see Nikon drop 1 series, but I do not think they would just walk away from current 1 products and users. Lets keep fingers crossed for a good outcome on Nikon 1.

    1. Hi Peter,

      I also would much prefer if Nikon maintained a 1″ sensor in their mirror-less camera system as the crop factor is perfect for my needs in terms of producing client videos. Whether that is the decision the company makes is anyone’s guess. I would love to see an upgraded V-series with a built-in viewfinder and a BSI sensor.

      Tom

  5. I do wonder what Nikon has up it sleeve for mirrorless gear. It has been pretty tough to predict them or Canon in this realm.

    I suspect both have taken notice of Sony….

    Can’t wait to see what is next, well after the DL of course. Still hopeful we will see those in a few months.

    Mike

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