When baby boomers like myself gather together and talk photography, we often lament the demise of SLR cameras in terms of their size and weight. As we get older, the appeal of lugging a DSLR and the lenses to cover all photographic eventualities becomes less and less; some of us can no longer cope with such a weight of photographic equipment because of health concerns.
When Olympus announced the retro OM-D EM-5 last year, it caused considerable interest among us oldies, many of whom cut their photographic teeth with the original Olympus OM-1. But the OM-D is a micro four-thirds camera and we want what we had in the past, namely full-frame capability but without the accompanying bulk.
I have long failed to understand why camera manufacturers seemed reluctant to offer a full-frame DSLR based on the design of the old SLR cameras.
If rumor is to be believed, it appears Nikon are about to step up to the plate and offer a DSLR based on the classic Nikon FM2 design.
I can imagine many older Nikon shooters are salivating at the prospect.
I have never shot with a Nikon but started my journalism career when the press camera of choice was always a Nikon. When I had to replace my gear following a burglary, I toyed with the idea of going with Nikon but the Minolta XD-7 offered more bangs for the buck and also felt better in my hands. I had been shooting with a Minolta SRT 303 for several years previously. If only Minolta were still in business. I am sure they would have already delivered what a great many photographers want in a camera.
According to Nikon Rumors, the new Nikon will feature:
Nikon FM2 design
16.2MP 36 x 23.9 full-frame sensor, the same as the D4
2016-pixel RGB image sensor
Expeed 3 processor
Native ISO range: 100-12,800 (incl. ISO 50 and ISO 108,200)
9-cell framing grid display
3D color matrix metering II
Standard F mount
3.2″ LCD screen
5.5 fps for up to 100 shots
SD memory card
Dimensions: 143.5 x 110 x 66.5mm
It will come with a new AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens
The last point is particularly pleasing. A great many older photographers could happily live without the video capability that is seen as a vital ingredient of DSLR cameras these days.
Mark Dubovoy writing for Luminous Landscape states:
Many photographers who are not interested in video (present company included) are beginning to get quite annoyed at the concept of convergence because it burdens them with additional complexity in their cameras with a series of functions and buttons that are completely unnecessary for still photography.
“To make matters worse, often times the video functions spell disaster in terms of accidental activation and battery consumption, as well as compromises that result in bad ergonomics for still photography. It can also make the cameras and lenses more expensive because of additional design work; buttons, dials and electronics; additional software; more expensive focusing or zoom motors for lenses; etc.”
I am glad to see that I am not alone in wanting a camera that does not include video capability. If that view makes me a photography dinosaur then so be it.
It would appear the message expressed by many older photographers has finally gotten through to at least one major camera manufacturer and here is me thinking only Ricoh designed cameras with photographers in mind.
An announcement about the new Nikon is expected in the first week of November, with November 6 being touted as a possible date.
Will Nikon go where others have feared to tread? It looks to be that way.