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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A larger sensor ‘Nikon 2’ would not directly compete with existing APS-C DSLR Nikon products since the lens mount is different.
- 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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