Nikon To Reportedly Halt DSLR Camera Development

According to a Nikkei story, Nikon will cease producing new single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras in favor of just creating mirrorless devices. Due to the Japanese company’s lack of new digital SLR (DSLR) cameras since the D6’s release in June 2020, the report effectively validates what most observers previously believed to be the case. Although Nikon apparently won’t create any additional new models, it will continue to make and market current DSLRs like the D6 and D3500 (above).

In 1959, Nikon introduced the Nikon F, the company’s first single-lens reflex film camera. A big bayonet mount, a button to evaluate the depth of field, a titanium focal-plane shutter, a modular construction, and other characteristics made it one of the most advanced cameras of its day. Launched in 1999, the 2.7-megapixel D1 was the company’s first genuine professional digital SLR.

SLR cameras use a mirror and prism to provide a direct optical image for the user through the camera lens, with the mirror moving out of the way to snap the photo. When compared to DSLRs, mirrorless cameras capture light straight from the lens to the sensor and provide the user with a view-through electronic viewfinder or back display. In our explainer film and in the video below, we go through how mirrorless cameras enable more compact bodies, sophisticated AI subject recognition, enhanced video functions, and other benefits.

Compared to Sony and others, Nikon entered the mirrorless camera market late with the release of its Z mount system and the Z6 and Z7 models in 2018, followed by the APS-C Z50 model the following year. This is in addition to the less-than-popular Nikon 1 series. DSLR devices like the D6 were the only ones in its high-end professional lineup until recently. The $5,500 Z9 from Nikon, which had a mechanical shutter but combined speed, power, and video prowess, changed all of that, though, and received overwhelmingly favorable reviews.

Since smartphones have essentially eaten the compact camera market, Nikon stopped producing them some time ago. Additionally, during the past year, it has discontinued a significant number of DSLR camera bodies and full-frame and APS-C lenses.

Interchangeable lens cameras (mirrorless and DSLR) went from selling 11.67 million units in 2017 to 5.34 million by 2021, a remarkable decline in the overall number of cameras sold in just five years. This has driven businesses like Nikon to concentrate their efforts on the most lucrative models. Mirrorless models currently account for 50% of the revenue in Nikon’s imaging division, with SLRs making up the remaining 30%.

Updated on 7/12/2022 @ 9:57 AM Eastern Time: On its website, Update provided the following statement: “The discontinuation of Nikon’s SLR development was covered in a news item. Nikon has not made any announcements regarding this, and this media piece is just speculative. Nikon is still making, selling, and offering service for digital SLR cameras. Nikon appreciates your ongoing support.”

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