Like film, it looks like the demise of the DSLR has been premature. Already Canon is forging ahead with new DSLR models, and now it looks like Nikon will be doing the same with what looks to be the development of the next generation of their flagship professional D series...the Nikon D6.

But what can the DSLR do that isn't already being handled with the mirrorless revolution?

The news was dropped by camera rumor tweet master Nokishita-C, which states that a development announcement for the Nikon D6 will occur on September 4th. Nokishita does have a decent track record with leak accuracy, so they may be something to it. 

The tweet translates to: "It seems that Nikon will make some announcements about "D6" on September 4."

That's an interesting date because it's the first day of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin (think the European version of CES). But Nikon is not exhibiting at IFA, so it just may be a coincidental date and will be handled with a "local" announcement. Sony is also poised to announce some new cameras on that very same day. We'll be at the Sony luncheon event then, so stay tuned on that.

Meanwhile, the scuttlebutt is that like the Nikon D5 and Z series mirrorless cameras before it, Nikon will merely be announcing the development of the camera, with its official shipping date being sometime in late 2019, or more likely the first quarter of 2020, where it will have plenty of shakeout time in the run to the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl of sports photography. I've also heard that prototypes have been seen out in the wild, so we could maybe see a D6 before the end of the year. But I think more likely it'll come in early 2020.

The question though, is will Nikon be giving DSLR shooters a new innovative model with higher resolution (especially for video) and In-Body image stabilization, or will it merely be some modest improvements to the autofocus, including bringing over EyeAF from the Z series? I'm betting we'll get modest improvements which should also include Nikon making their transition to CF Express complete with dual card slots. But I also think that Nikon almost has to keep up with the current trend of offering IBIS to the platform. 

Mockup of Nikon D6 DSLRCredit: Nikon

Rumored Specs

  • 24.2MP Sensor
  • Two next-generation Expeed image processors
  • 4K/60 fps
  • Improved autofocus, incl. Eye AF
  • 3.2 million dot touch screen, with full touch capabilities
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Silent shooting in "mirrorless mode"
  • Longer manual exposure times up to 120 seconds at 1/8000
  • In-Body or Sensor based Image Stabilization (IBIS)
  • Silent shooting modes

I would also presume that Nikon will offer the optional RAW recording over HDMI upgrade. Nikon has changed course on this long-overdue feature, which was promised to the Z series platform the beginning of the year at CES. It was presumed to be a free firmware upgrade, but Nikon has since announced that it will be a paid optional feature to unlock external RAW recording.

We'll just have to wait and see, but we'll keep you updated.