This morning we woke up to a surprise announcement from Nikon Europe of the development of Nikon's next-generation flagship DSLR, the D6. It was a premature leak, setting the stage for tonight's official announcement. But even then, we may be seeing what could be Nikon's last great professional-grade DSLR.
Calling the upcoming D6 the "most advanced Nikon DSLR to date," Nikon USA stated that the D series has consistently evolved by incorporating some of the industry's most advanced technologies based on the strict demands of professional photographers. But Nikon also announced a new AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm F2.8E FL ED SR VR Telephoto Zoom lens, which Nikon is developing alongside the D6. With a focal length that long, and a constant aperture of F2.8, you can bet this lens is tailor-made for professional sports photographers, and they will likely be baptizing the 120-300 zoom at the biggest spectacle in sports...the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
And while we don't know much about the D6, or the 120-300mm F2.8, Nikon did give users some details about a new 28mm lens for their Z series mirrorless cameras. Here are the specs for the new Nikkor Z24mm F1.8S lens:
- Fast wide-angle prime lens -- delivers a sharp and high resolution across the entire frame, even at f/1.8 maximum aperture
- Offers fast, bright and sharp performance in nearly all lighting conditions
- Great lens for capturing wide-angle landscapes and street photography as well as nighttime shooting and starscapes (interesting they didn't mention sports)
- Features 9 rounded aperture blades, allowing users to capture circular bokeh
- Boasts dust and drip-resistant design for tough weather conditions
- Consists of four Aspherical Lens Elements and one Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass element to combat aberration
- Includes Nano Crystal Coat to help eliminate ghosting and flare
- Incorporates Nikon’s Multi-Focusing System -- uses two AF drives in tandem for fast, accurate autofocus, even at a minimum focus distance
- Also includes near-silent stepping motors, reduced focus breathing, a customizable control ring and exposure compensation
- available around mid to late October 2019 at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.95.
Nikon Europe, and Nikon Life both jumped the gun and announced the D6 as the next evolution in professional sports journalism, and many rumors outlined a list of specs that included a 24.2 MP sensor, designed by Sony, dual Expeed image processors, and also longer manual exposure times of up to 120 seconds at up to 1/8000 of a second. But the killer feature that everyone was expecting to hear about was in-body image stabilization or IBIS. None of which was announced tonight, only the promise of pricing and specifications "at a later date."
So we may not know much, but we do know that the D6 is officially coming, and with the Summer Olympics less than a year away now, we're definitely in the window for an announcement to happen sometime between now and NAB.
What do you think? Frankly, only to get just a single picture and no specs is a bit of a disappointment. Nikon is bound to make professional sports shooters happy with a still camera that will perform at an Olympic level and coupled with the Nikkor 120-300, this rig will quite literally capture the moving image. But when is the question.
So, it's only a matter of time before the D6 follows suit.