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Nikon Compact System Digital Camera about to Launch?

04 Jan Posted by Matt in News |
Nikon Compact System Digital Camera about to Launch?

Thinking of buying a compact system camera in the near future?  If so then it might be wise to wait a couple of weeks to see if the current crop of speculation surrounding Nikons entry into this sector holds true.  Current rumours suggest models could hit the shelves by March 2011, and may be announced very soon.

Compact system cameras are like digital SLRs, but are physically much smaller because they do away with the space consuming mirror box that all true SLRs have inside them.  They may also be referred to as mirrorless or EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) cameras, or occasionally Micro System Cameras.

Nikon Mirrorless EVIL

Artists Impression of Nikon Mirrorless Camera (unknown source)

We’ve been hearing rumours of a Nikon compact system coming for over a year now, and with the patent applications they’ve submitted in that time we’re pretty sure they’ve been hard at work.

We rounded up the Best Compact System Camera for Beginners a few weeks ago, and with both Nikon and Canon being absent from this sector it was the Olympus E-PL1 that came out triumphant in our test.

Despite their smaller size and rapid growth in the digital camera market, compact system cameras haven’t yet really penetrated the prosumer or professional markets.  This is at least partially due to the limited range of lenses and accessories on offer for the various compact system standards, especially at the high-end of the market.

According to the Spanish DSLR Magazine the Nikon system will be ‘more professional’ than that offered by current compact system manufacturers (predominantly Olympus, Panasonic and Sony), and over at Nikon Rumors they’ve amalgamated a selection of relevant Nikon patents that might feature in the new model range.

Some of the things we expect we might see when the Nikon compact system drops include:

  • A new lens mount, but compatibility with Nikon F Mount lenses using an adapter
  • A large Electronic Viewfinder
  • An innovative flash system to overcome difficulties with the flash being very close to the lens on a smaller body.

We can’t be sure right now exactly what features or models will be around for launch, but the landscape of compact system cameras looks set to change when Nikon enter this market.  It’s been a long time in the making (though seemingly not as long as any offering Canon have in the pipeline), so lets hope it’s been worth it.

In the meantime if you’re after a very capable beginner Nikon in a slightly larger body, you could do a lot worse than the excellent D3100 digital SLR…


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