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It’s no secret that Nikon, the once giant of the photography world, is struggling. Sales of the company’s Mirrorless cameras have been sluggish due to a lack of innovation. However, one shining beacon for them has been their DSLR cameras. So, it should really be no surprise that there might be at least two new Nikon DSLRs next year. Apparently, they’ll be released along with some new F mount lenses too. Is this the right move for Nikon, though? Should they just forget about DSLRs and focus on Mirrorless? Let’s talk about this after the break.
According to a new report on Nikon Rumors, there will be two new Nikon DSLRs next year. As well as the new cameras, there will be various new F mount lenses as well. This is not entirely shocking, though. We’ve already seen two new Nikon DSLRs in 2020 in the D780 and the D6. The D780 was well received. Photographers who loved the D750 flocked to it rather than to its Mirrorless counterpart, the Z6. The D6 was mocked for being nothing more than a minor refresh to the D5. While we can roll our eyes at Nikon for continuing to produce DSLRs, their Mirrorless cameras haven’t exactly been setting the world ablaze. Maybe they’re on to something.
Is’s Nikon’s Future In DSLRs or Mirrorless Cameras?
The report on Nikon Rumors also states that between now and the end of 2021, there will be eight new Z mount lenses. These new lenses include five prime lenses, along with a 400mm S and a 600mm S. There will also be two new 60mm and 105mm macro lenses. So, it would seem that Nikon is still heavily investing in its Z mount. However, there was no mention of any new Z mount cameras coming. As we head into 2021, we will have the Z6, Z7, Z6 II, Z7 II, Z50, and the Z5.
Sales of the Nikon Z6 and Z7 have been sluggish at best. The Z5 and the Z50 have also suffered similar fates. It’s still too early to tell how well received the Z6 II and Z7 II will be. However, given that they’re basically minor refreshes with features that should have been in the originals, I’ll say people probably won’t rush out to buy them.
While these current Nikon Mirrorless cameras are nice, there’s simply nothing about them that makes them stand out. In a world where every camera manufacturer is innovating, Nikon has found a way to release incredibly vanilla Mirrorless cameras that simply do not inspire. That’s not to say they aren’t good cameras; they are, but that’s the problem. They’re just good. They’re not great. It’s no surprise that Nikon’s faithful have decided to hang on to their DSLRs or jump ship to a competitor.
The Money’s In Nikon DSLRs
Nikon’s reluctance to jump into Mirrorless sooner than they did has hurt the company in so many ways. Nikon was likely scared that new Mirrorless cameras would impact their DSLR sales. So, they released half-hearted Mirrorless efforts to start with. That decision has had a knock-on effect. The fact that Nikon DSLRs still outsell their Mirrorless cameras has proven this. Still, Nikon believes Mirrorless sales will overtake DSLR sales within 60 days. We’re not so sure.
Honestly, we’re not sure that Nikon truly believes this either; why else would they be releasing DSLRs instead of going all-in on Mirrorless? Is it because Nikon knows their fans simply don’t believe in the Mirrorless system it has created? Does Nikon realize they screwed up by not coming out with all Mirrorless guns blazing? Perhaps. However, they do know that they create some of the best DSLRs in the business. The D850 is one of the best DSLRs ever made.
The Nikon D500 and the D750 are also legendary. Anyone who owns these cameras really has no need to upgrade unless they want eye AF and other Mirrorless bells and whistles. So it makes sense that Nikon would be coming out with new F mount glass. What could the new Nikon DSLRs be? Well, I would expect a D880, perhaps with the 61.2 Megapixel Sony sensor found in the Sony a74 IV. A new D500, maybe the D580, would be nice too. These cameras would honestly sell like hotcakes. There’s a massive 30 plus year library of lenses for them too. Their faithful followers would snap up these cameras and any new F mount lenses.
Could Nikon Be The New Pentax?
Let’s face it. It doesn’t seem like Nikon will catch up to Sony or even Canon at this point in their Mirrorless endeavors. Would it make more sense for Nikon to take what’s it has learned from its Mirrorless cameras so far and start making more hybrid DSLRs like the D780? I think this would be smart.
There’s still a market for DSLRs. Pentax are strong believers in the DSLR platform, and they have carved out a nice niche for themselves. They know they can’t compete with the big dogs, so they do what they do, and they do it well. Perhaps Nikon can follow suit, and instead of going all Mirrorless, they can improve their DSLRs by incorporating Mirrorless tech.
Imagine a slew of new rugged Nikon DSLRs with gorgeous optical viewfinders, but also with live view modes that can give photographers the best of both worlds. Sign me up! I would be all over that. I still prefer DSLRs to Mirrorless cameras, especially for sports, wildlife, and other action genres. Enhanced live view modes with human and animal eye AF and better tracking would be a perfect mashup. Nikon was on the right path with the D780. I think Nikon should focus on this and perfect the hybrid DSLR. After all, Nikon needs to get back to innovating instead of just playing catch up. Going this route would give them that opportunity, and they could carve out a segment of the market for themselves.
What do you think about the two new Nikon DSLRs and new F mount lenses coming in 2021? Do you think Nikon should ditch Mirrorless in favor of Hybrid DSLRs? Do you think doing this would pull Nikon out of their financial woes? Let us know in the comment section below.