By the end of 2019, Nikon had its share of bumps, including the shut down of its third party repair program and its fall to the 3rd spot in overall camera sales behind Canon and Sony.
Despite the drops, Nikon responded by expanding support for its users and continuing to offer products in multiple lines. In December 2019, Nikon announced support for cfExpress cards for a few of their cameras (at least for the Sony cards) and support for filmmakers who use Atomos (at least for the Ninja V). The unique Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 lens was apparently so popular that they had to stop taking orders. More recently, they've addressed AutoFocus head-on with a new full-frame DSLR featuring Eye Detect, along with other offerings in 2020.
Nikon is hoping to rebound out of the gate this year with a new DSLR (for folks that aren’t looking for a mirrorless camera, want dual slots, and are cool with a 24.5MP sensor), a new Zoom Lens for Z users (the popular 70-200mm set-up comes to the Z), a new expensive Zoom lens for F users (just in time for the Olympics), and a 16MP COOLPIX camera (for amateur photographers and birdwatchers).
Nikon seems to be saying, “You want options? We have options! We have two lens types now! We even have two new lenses over $8K!”
With Z-mount mirrorless cameras that still feature a single card slot, new cameras with an F mount, and new lenses for both, Nikon seems to go in multiple directions at once in an effort to bring people back into the fold.
Let’s talk about the camera first.
New Nikon D780Credit: Provided by Nikon
With the D780, Nikon competes against itself and its future with the D750 replacement.
The recipe for the new D780 includes a healthy amount of the 750, a dash of the D5, and a cup of the Z 6 video capabilities, which is a curious mixture that both advances the FX line and challenges the Z line at the same time.
The new DSLR is the first Nikon DSLR with Eye Detection AF. It also comes with Silent Shooting, Focus Stacking, Multiple Exposures, and the ability to shoot full-frame 4K UHD video at 30fps (Full HD video at 120p).
The D780 borrows many of the features from the Z 6, including the same 24.5MP sensor, 273-point focal plane Hybrid AF system, and processing engine. Considering that it borrows heavily from the technology available in the Z 6, and in fact improves upon it by taking away the crop factor and offering dual card slots, the D780 still isn't a mirrorless camera...but that makes one wonder: Why not go all the way and put the dual slots in the Z 6 as opposed to creating a new FX camera?
If the Z line is where the technology is headed, wouldn’t it make more sense to create a video-friendly mirrorless camera with dual slots instead? Am I predicting the future?
Coming in at $2,299.95 for the body, about $500 more than the current price of the Z 6, it almost feels like Nikon is competing against itself.
Nikon's New Zoom Lenses
Alongside the new DLSR camera announcement are two new Zoom lens offerings, one for sports and nature photographers with money to spend and the other for Z users.
Let's start with the big gun.
AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR
For the F mount, the AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR (yes, that's the full name) is the first F mount lens to sport the new Nikon ARNEO coat and it comes at a hefty price of $9,499.95.
AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mmCredit: Provided by Nikon
NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
For Z mount, the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S has parfocal support (to maintain focus while zooming) and promises impressive stability especially when combined with the in-body stabilization already offered in the z 6 and z 7 cameras. The 70-200mm Z is set at $2,599.95 and will be available in February.
Nikon COOLPIX P950
Nikon also released a new COOLPIX P950, a 16MP "point and shoot" camera that flaunts a built-in 24-2000mm lens with 83x optical zoom/166x Dynamic Fine Zoom, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, Vari-angle LCD display and high-res electronic viewfinder, built-in GPS, and full manual control. This camera is priced at $799.
What do you think about Nikon's new offerings? Let us know down in the comments.