As mentioned NikkiThere is a rumor that Nikon will stop developing SLRs and focus exclusively on mirrorless models. The news will mark the end of an era and basically confirm what most fans of the brand think, as the Japanese company hasn’t released a new DSLR since the D6 was introduced in June 2020. Although Nikon won’t be designing any new models, it will continue to produce and distribute existing DSLRs like the D6. and the D3500.
Regarding the aforementioned rumors, Nikon released an official statement via its website stating as follows: “An article has appeared in the media regarding Nikon’s withdrawal from the development of SLR cameras. This media article is only speculation and Nikon has not made any announcement in this regard. Nikon continues DSLR camera production, sales and maintenance. Nikon appreciates your continued support.”
Nikon released its first single-lens reflex camera, the Nikon F, in 1959. It was one of the most advanced cameras of its era, thanks to features like a large bayonet mount, depth-of-field preview button, titanium focal plane, modular design, and more. The company’s first truly professional DSLR was the 2.7-megapixel D1, released in 1999.
DSLR cameras use a mirror and a prism to give the user a direct visual view through the viewfinder, and the mirror moves out of the way when the image is taken. On the other hand, mirrorless cameras carry light directly from the lens to the sensor and provide the user with a view through the electronic viewfinder or rear screen. Mirrorless cameras allow for more compact objects, advanced AI subject recognition, improved video features, and more.
Nikon 1 has been more recently in the mirrorless camera space than Sony and others, launching the Z mount system and the Z6 and Z7 models in 2018, and the APS-C Z50 the following year. Until recently, their high-end professional lineup consisted only of DSLR models like the D6. That changed, however, when late last year Nikon released a $5,500 Z9 without a mechanical shutter, with a combination of speed, power, and video capability, eliciting comments.
Nikon stopped making compact cameras some time ago, as smartphones basically eat up this business. In addition, last year it stopped manufacturing a large number of full-frame and APS-C DSLR camera bodies and lenses.
Total camera sales have fallen dramatically in just five years, as sales of interchangeable-lens cameras (mirrorless and single-lens reflex cameras) fell from 11.67 million units sold in 2017 to 5.34 million units in 2021. This has forced companies such as Nikon is focusing its efforts on the most profitable models. Nikon’s imaging division now makes half its money on mirrorless models, while DSLRs make up 30%.
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