Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?

Started Mar 15, 2014 | Discussions
Alex Notpro
Alex Notpro Contributing Member • Posts: 996
Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?

The mechanical flapping mirror seems to have reached its physical limit around 11 fps, with barely an improvement over previous generation cameras.

Now that Nikon V3 has 20 fps continuous focus, will Nikon pro customers start demanding "a full-frame version of the V3"? And will Nikon listen? Why force customers into a tiny sensor to get higher fps?

Sony has already prototyped full-frame mirrorless in the consumer grade (aka "beta-tester") A7/A7R. Everyone knows Sony and Nikon have a cozy relationship. Will they license the technology?

Flanking from the high-end would seem like a safe way for Nikon to introduce large-sensor mirrorless without cannibalizing DSLR sales. A mirrorless D5 with 20 fps C-AF capability could sell even higher than the D4 with its measly 11 fps.

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aut0maticdan
aut0maticdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,244
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?
3

I think certainly not for the D5.  There wouldn't be a lot to gain.  I think the primary driving force for going mirrorless is to reduce size which is not a major concern for the flagship SLRs.

They could get similar performance without removing the mirror.  The mirror doesn't necessarily need to operate faster than 11fps to go beyond that.  Nikon could just have a burst mode where the mirror stays up.

Besides, going beyond 11fps is probably a lot less important for potential D5 buyers than insanely good PDAF.  Mirrorless may be approaching the d70 level of PDAF at this point.

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RichRMA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,073
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?
1

Hopefully, mirror-less with phase-focusing on-sensor will end the DSLR.

rjjr Forum Pro • Posts: 14,550
Why?
21

RichRMA wrote:

Hopefully, mirror-less with phase-focusing on-sensor will end the DSLR.

Why would anyone hope for the end of the DSLR?

RichRMA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,073
Because the things that make a DSLR a DSLR won't be needed
1

And cameras with comparable capability "could be" made cheaper and the problems that have plagued DSLR's would be gone.  I should qualify this by saying I do not believe the OVF is superior to the current EVF's or needed any longer.

brunolaplantephotos Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?
16

Optical viewfinders are unsurpassed.

mikiev Senior Member • Posts: 1,092
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?
2

brunolaplantephotos wrote:

Optical viewfinders are unsurpassed.

For some tasks, but not all.

And EVFs have gotten significantly better in the last few years, while pentaprism designs haven't changed much in decades...

To which I can hear the chorus ask: How does one improve on perfection?

EVFs don't have to surpass OVFs, they just need to continue closing the gap.

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Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 24,692
Re: Because the things that make a DSLR a DSLR won't be needed
6

RichRMA wrote:

And cameras with comparable capability "could be" made cheaper and the problems that have plagued DSLR's would be gone. I should qualify this by saying I do not believe the OVF is superior to the current EVF's or needed any longer.

What camera has an EVF that is equal or better than an OVF?  It needs to show the image 100% real time with no lag, and with enough resolution that it is not discernible from OVF.

Mark

gunkan
gunkan Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: Because the things that make a DSLR a DSLR won't be needed
3

The biggest problem with Evf is the demanding power consume. I think the next step is an hybrid optical and Evf at the same time.

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BJL Veteran Member • Posts: 9,110
how about an accessory EVF for fast mirror-up mode? (and video)

Another way to achieve extremely high frame rates when needed would be to offer a high quality accessory EVF, which could then be used with a high frame rate live view mode in which the mirror stays up and on-sensor hybrid PDAF+CDAF is used.  It could go on the flash hot-shoe: when on-camera flash is also needed, the flash unit could be side-mounted on a flash bracket and connected via the PC flash socket.

An EVF could also be nice when shooting video, which is part of the D4 mission.

-- hide signature --

Smaller lenses, better in low light, more telephoto reach:
you can have any *two* at one time.

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Franka T.L. Veteran Member • Posts: 8,148
The D4/D4s already one

You only need a mirror lockup , then Liveview and CDAF ( or PDAF on chip ) and then well the exposure or recording ... well Nikon DSLR been having that for a while already

I would wager the D5 would better implement and integrate the 2 mode of operation and control but the DSLR form factor will remain, there much to be said but the form factor do have some advantage that a mirrorless cannot provide ( and some shortcoming along with that )

-- hide signature --

- Franka -

justmeMN Veteran Member • Posts: 7,225
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?
1

Flanking from the high-end would seem like a safe way for Nikon to introduce large-sensor mirrorless without cannibalizing DSLR sales.

Mirrorless camera sales are poor in both North America and Europe, so that would be an unsafe choice.

DenWil
DenWil Veteran Member • Posts: 3,557
No. OVF, 4K video, 24MP w/ larger buffer
4

Alex Notpro wrote:

The mechanical flapping mirror seems to have reached its physical limit around 11 fps, with barely an improvement over previous generation cameras.

Now that Nikon V3 has 20 fps continuous focus, will Nikon pro customers start demanding "a full-frame version of the V3"? And will Nikon listen? Why force customers into a tiny sensor to get higher fps?

Sony has already prototyped full-frame mirrorless in the consumer grade (aka "beta-tester") A7/A7R. Everyone knows Sony and Nikon have a cozy relationship. Will they license the technology?

Flanking from the high-end would seem like a safe way for Nikon to introduce large-sensor mirrorless without cannibalizing DSLR sales. A mirrorless D5 with 20 fps C-AF capability could sell even higher than the D4 with its measly 11 fps.

And quite frankly anyone who needs those frame rates to shoot action is a hack.

-- hide signature --

denniswilliams

Real McKay Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: No. OVF, 4K video, 24MP w/ larger buffer
2

If you were based in the Far East, made cameras & looked at the market - would you make a DSLR camera?

Only North America still love DSLR's. The 'home' market is mirrorless for all the camera makers & soon North America will see that image quality from smaller lighter gear is overtaking their love for lugging 6lbs of camera equipment when they can do it with 3lbs.

My Nikon weighs 24oz body only. A full frame Sony A7r weighs in at just 16oz. For 36mp & a full frame sensor! Only my investment in Nikon lenses holds me back but ................

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chipmaster
chipmaster Senior Member • Posts: 2,823
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?
3

Many reasons to keep them many reasons to junk them.  Old companies with traditional expertise often find it hard to break away.

IMHO the technology has come far enough I can list many reasons why it is compelling

1) Simplicity, with no moving parts wear and tear with all electronic shutter eliminates shutter lifetime

2) No moving parts means V3 like frame rate.   For sports, birders and action photographers the limit in frame rate becomes electronics and pipeline.   I can see 30-60 FPS and all about bandwith / processing.    Shooters will NEVER miss the "moment"

3) Sound, every shot a pro camera with the heavy shutter ( all designed to last 300K or more )  say at a quiet event.   Having shot a mirrorless there are some huge advantages.

4) Cost, no moving parts means huge reduction in manufacturing BOM, assembly complexity and required precision.

Its a wonder that Canon nor Nikon isn't making that leap.  The one that does and executes it with the right features and a good enough EVF will steal huge market share.    Think of the advantage in shooting sport/action at 60FPS compared to 11 FPS!  When the difference between getting a shot and "the shot" might be a millisecond everyone will move the manufacture that gets it done right first.

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DenWil
DenWil Veteran Member • Posts: 3,557
So 8 ounces dictates your purchase.
5

Real McKay wrote:

soon North America will see that image quality from smaller lighter gear is overtaking their love for lugging 6lbs of camera equipment when they can do it with 3lbs.

Overtaking when?  Soon, when?  So much hype. I am working now.

The only reason Sony developed the  A7 was because their  DSLRs  do not compete  against Canon and Nikon DSLRs in the marketplace and they wanted to take advantage of their own excellent sensors and other manufacturers' glass. Do not pretend an A7 is something it is not. Designing a palm sized lightweight product to appeal to old people with drawers of old glass is not exactly a long term business model.

I am sorry that 8oz is such a crippling impediment at this point in your life but  if you need 36MP and  the  shortcomings  of that Sony A7r  are  your lot in exchange for weight considerations so be it. That 70-200 2.8 VR will weigh the same regardless of which body you screw it to.  According to the Nikon web site a D610 weighs in at 14 ounces, with the battery.   That would be less than the 7r.  Do you need 36MP? There's another 2 ounces you can save.

Cameras like the D4S,  the H5 Blads and Phase products- even the two pound medium format  alternative the  D800e-  are designed  for working professionals not hobbyists.  As they should be. Get over it. If those pro tools  find an audience  in other  markets   fine, but to start  expecting design compromises  to accommodate physical limitations  is absurd.

Alex Notpro
OP Alex Notpro Contributing Member • Posts: 996
think outside the box... LARGE and HEAVY mirrorless
4

Many people have a lack of imagination and think mirrorless cameras can only be made light and small.

The OP ponders putting mirrorless into a D4-like body, not a small camera at all.

Imagine what could be done with all the extra space in the camera body, freed up by not having a mirror and wasteful flange distance -

- humongous batteries.

- built-in high-powered flash or continuous lighting

- extra memory/storage (you'll need it for the high FPS)

- glove compartment... LOL

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AndreaV Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: Because the things that make a DSLR a DSLR won't be needed
1

RichRMA wrote:

And cameras with comparable capability "could be" made cheaper and the problems that have plagued DSLR's would be gone. I should qualify this by saying I do not believe the OVF is superior to the current EVF's or needed any longer.

Beside the concern about EVF lag and resolution, even with the good EVF in my Fuji x-pro1 I often have serious problems in effectively regulate a polarizer filter, and this is definitely not the case with the OVF of both my Canon 350D and 1D mkIII.

Just this would totally rule out the EVF for serious purposes for me.

On the other side I'm not sure which application would seriously require much more that 10fps... not to mention that far back in 1984 Canon released a film SLR that could shot at 14fps (http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/canonf1/html/canonf1nhighspeed.htm), so definitely 10fps is not a speed limit imposed by the mirror.

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AndreaV Regular Member • Posts: 343
Re: think outside the box... LARGE and HEAVY mirrorless
1

I think the only really good reason to remove the mirror box with all it's advantages (no-lag TTL view, reduced power consumption, effective filter usage,...) is to reduce the size, and I don't think this is a major problems for the target buyer of a pro-DSLR like the D4 or 1Dx.

Just a note about the flash idea... maybe you noted that all the pro-DSLR do not have a flash at all, and the reason is not that it would cost too much to put one in a 5000euro camera.

Alex Notpro wrote:

Many people have a lack of imagination and think mirrorless cameras can only be made light and small.

The OP ponders putting mirrorless into a D4-like body, not a small camera at all.

Imagine what could be done with all the extra space in the camera body, freed up by not having a mirror and wasteful flange distance -

- humongous batteries.

- built-in high-powered flash or continuous lighting

- extra memory/storage (you'll need it for the high FPS)

- glove compartment... LOL

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Canon EOS-1D Mark III Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Canon EOS 350D Sony Alpha NEX-5 Fujifilm X-Pro1 +14 more
peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: Will the Nikon D5 be a mirrorless full-frame camera?

justmeMN wrote:

Flanking from the high-end would seem like a safe way for Nikon to introduce large-sensor mirrorless without cannibalizing DSLR sales.

Mirrorless camera sales are poor in both North America and Europe, so that would be an unsafe choice.

It has nothing to do with mirrorless, it has everything to do with brand and size. DSLRs from Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and Sony did not sell either - their mirroress sell better.

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