Next Nikon Camera after the Z9

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RichF

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What will the next camera be (or next few) after the Z9 is released and the Nikon development gets a well deserved holiday?

Which do you think Nikon will produce and which would like to see?

A few ideas

Z8 ( idea 1) - low res version (25-30 MP) of the Z9 w/o the integrated grip, perhaps 25-30 FPS in raw, 4K, not 8K video.

Z90 - gripless version of the Z9, still 47 MP but only 15 FPS in Raw, 8K video

Z8 (idea 2) - 60-75 MP, gripless camera, perhaps 10 FPS or less, video ?

Z6/Z7 III - update current cameras with latest Expeed processes, 8K video for Z7 III, Z9 compression algorithms, Z9 lite AF

Z60 or Z50 II - great DX camera, 4K not 8K video, gripless, Z9 lite AF, Hi efficiency compression,

Remember, rumors and speculation are fun. Of course we will miss the mark, but we can enjoy the process ..
 

Steve

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I think there's a chance that the Z9 isn't the "real" flagship, just the current one. I have a feeling that a Z1 may be coming in a couple years. There are a few places where the Z9 seems to hold back (EVF, built-in buffer capacity, etc) that seem to leave room for another camera. In addition, the price is almost too low for a flagship camera IMO (I'm not complaining :) ). Time will tell...
 

RichF

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I think there's a chance that the Z9 isn't the "real" flagship, just the current one. I have a feeling that a Z1 may be coming in a couple years. There are a few places where the Z9 seems to hold back (EVF, built-in buffer capacity, etc) that seem to leave room for another camera. In addition, the price is almost too low for a flagship camera IMO (I'm not complaining :) ). Time will tell...
agree that a new flag will eventually come, not sure about the name z1. Nikon seems to be naming higher single digits as higher in the line up.

Z7 is "more" of a camera (high MP) than the Z6. Z6 seems to be to be higher than the Z5.

Or course this could all changed. Camera naming seems all over the name with the exception of F, F2, F3, .. F6 was consistent and then the D3, D4, D5, D6 were a nice series.

With the Nikon ML, they broke then trend, wonder what their game plan is?
 

Hut2

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The Z90 looks to be the D850 version? Make it 20 fps and ready to ship and I will take 2
 

RichF

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The Z90 looks to be the D850 version? Make it 20 fps and ready to ship and I will take 2
Cross between Z9, Z7 II and D850? If it is too close the Z9, nikon will not make it. Too close to the z7 II (or potential Z7 iii) Nikon will not make it. Nikon needs to clear differentiate their products in order to segment the market place. Sorry, too much marketing speak
 

John Navitsky

Well-known member
I think the next camera(s) will be a “iii” camera or cameras where they bring the Expeed 7 to their midline for improved AF. Whole pro sport bodies are great, they need to beef up their meat and potatoes
 

jeffnles1

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In my career, I dealt with technology vendors every day. There are always 3 versions of their technology, the last version which they will demonstrate as being garbage and hindering your business, the current version which is really great but, it is the next version that will make your wildest desires come true. It is always the "next" version that they talk about.

I think cameras have become the same way, it is always the "next" one that is the one talked most about.

As for the question of what will they produce next? I don't know. Only Nikon knows and they may not even hav more than a desire or wish list at this point as their R&D and Marketing folks figure out which direction to go.

If I were a gambler here is where I would put my money. However, be aware, I've never won a dime at a casino or a horse track so take that for what it is worth.

Next versions in the coming year to 18 months will be iii versions of Z6 and Z7. Probably late 2022 or early 2023. I don't know what they will have, probably increased processing power, maybe dual CFe card slots (or maybe keep the mix of CF and SD card slots). 10-15fps frame rate. Improved AF based on Z9 AF capabilities. Not sure about stacked sensor of if they will keep same sensors and tech.

Probably some firmware updates for the Z6 and Z7ii cameras. Hopefully with some upgrades where they can. Also a series of firmware updates for the Z9 camera bodies.

Late 2022 early 2023 some kind of announcement for either a mirrorless equivalent of the D850 or perhaps a crop sensor Z90 version of the Z9 (like the D500 crop sensor relative to the D5). I kind of doubt the high end crop sensor though. I just don't see the market for it.

If Nikon could produce a camera that was 85-90% the Z9 at 80% the cost (say in the 4,000 to 4500 USD cost range) I think they would have another winner. It may be the Z7iii or maybe a Z8. Not sure.

But then again, I've never been lucky at gambling nor do I claim to be a prophet or fortune teller. I'll have to make my wish list and wait to see what comes down the road just like everyone else.

Jeff
 

Ad Astra

Active member
Obviously I have no insight into Nikon's plans, but there are plenty of Z numbers missing Z1, Z2, Z3, Z4 and Z8. I would not be surprised to see a Z 9s, like the Z 9 but lower mega pixel count for better low light ISO performance and sport use. The Z 9 looks to be an allrounder flagship camera which suits me but leaves room for a more D6 like experience.

Z 8 I expect to be a gripless pro camera as the Z 6s and Z 7s are aimed at the prosumer market. Also expect a new cropped sensor camera at same stage.

Which order is anybody's guess.
 

jeffnles1

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Cross between Z9, Z7 II and D850? If it is too close the Z9, nikon will not make it. Too close to the z7 II (or potential Z7 iii) Nikon will not make it. Nikon needs to clear differentiate their products in order to segment the market place. Sorry, too much marketing speak
I tend to agree. While Nikon did leave room for a Z8 between Z7 and Z9, I'm not sure what features such a camera would have unless it was a ultra high MP sensor (70-100mp kind of sensor) but at what point in the MP wars do we reach diminishing returns? Not sure where that lies.

I'm kind of hoping a Z7iii will come out within a year and be the mid-price pro-sumer (don't like that term by the way) body many of us are hoping for.
 

RichF

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If I were a gambler here is where I would put my money. However, be aware, I've never won a dime at a casino or a horse track so take that for what it is worth.

Jeff
I am not a gambler - on a trip to Utah we flew in to Vegas. On the way I went the convenience store to get a couple of bottle of water. I put a quarter into a slot machine and won $0.75 (okay, $0.25 was my original quarter). So I tripled my money on that trip :LOL:

For Hannukah I buy my wife $1 scratch off ticket on the first night, 2 such tickets on the 2nd night up to 8 on the last night. $36 invest. We typically get $20-25 back, yes I lose a bit of money but Jane gets very excited when she wins anything.
 

TonyB

Member
If Nikon sticks the the II, III, IV, etc for subsequent versions, then maybe the Z8 could be a sibling of the Z9, like the Z6 is a sibling of the Z7. Personally, I think there will be an update in the DX line to continue to compete with Fuji, where rumors are of a stacked sensor in an X-H2. I also think contemporaneous with that, we’ll see the AF and other improvements trickle down to the Z6III and Z7III, perhaps making the Z7III truly comparable to the D850.
 

RichF

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If Nikon sticks the the II, III, IV, etc for subsequent versions, then maybe the Z8 could be a sibling of the Z9, like the Z6 is a sibling of the Z7. Personally, I think there will be an update in the DX line to continue to compete with Fuji, where rumors are of a stacked sensor in an X-H2. I also think contemporaneous with that, we’ll see the AF and other improvements trickle down to the Z6III and Z7III, perhaps making the Z7III truly comparable to the D850.
what is lacking in the Z7 II that the D850 offers? Not an attack - just curious
 
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fcotterill

Well-known member
Unlike DSLRs, the major cost barrier to 'trickle' cutting edge technology of MILCs in the Z9 tier is the Stacked Sensor.

The strategy is already planned, if Nikon are serious about where they are heading. And they are. A cost effective tactic to sell more affordable and prosumer Z cameras (and thus lenses); Tweaking and modifying code to port algorithms to single-stack BSI sensors (likely already in the latest FW updates for Z6/Z7)

and/or

DX Stacked-sensor which should have higher yields from wafers IF it is cost effective to modify the Z9 sensor design into the smaller DX footprint. Following Zed taxonomy, this is the Z90 - positioned above Z50, and likely Z30 etc. Z9 haptics and menus, and Vertical Grip. If ENEL18d is essential, then a slightly smaller Z9 chassis but more polycarbonate. Heat production should be lower, perhaps.

If a Z90 gets close to performance of Z9 AF with 4K video and 30 fps (practical with smaller RAWs), then it will sell AND sell more Z telephotos, including 70-200 f2.8S, 100-400 S, 400 PF and Z-TCs.

A "Grip-less Z9" may turn up in a Z8 as suggested above but is still likely to need grip to use ENEL18d for top end features and realistic battery life.
 

RichF

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Supporting Member
Thread starter
Unlike DSLRs, the major cost barrier to 'trickle' cutting edge technology of MILCs in the Z9 tier is the Stacked Sensor.

The strategy is already planned, if Nikon are serious about where they are heading. And they are. A cost effective tactic to sell more affordable and prosumer Z cameras (and thus lenses); Tweaking and modifying code to port algorithms to single-stack BSI sensors (likely already in the latest FW updates for Z6/Z7)

and/or

DX Stacked-sensor which should have higher yields from wafers IF it is cost effective to modify the Z9 sensor design into the smaller DX footprint. Following Zed taxonomy, this is the Z90 - positioned above Z50, and likely Z30 etc. Z9 haptics and menus, and Vertical Grip. If ENEL18d is essential, then a slightly smaller Z9 chassis but more polycarbonate. Heat production should be lower, perhaps.

If a Z90 gets close to performance of Z9 AF with 4K video and 30 fps (practical with smaller RAWs), then it will sell AND sell more Z telephotos, including 70-200 f2.8S, 100-400 S, 400 PF and Z-TCs.

A "Grip-less Z9" may turn up in a Z8 as suggested above but is still likely to need grip to use ENEL18d for top end features and realistic battery life.
at some price point a stacked sensor is not warranted Cameras at that price point ($800, $1200) will not get great AF, must okay AF. Consumers for a $1000 camera will not buy 70-200 F2.8S lens, might buy a 70-300 or slightly longer zoom consumer zoom
 

Neil Laubenthal

Well-known member
Supporting Member
In my career, I dealt with technology vendors every day. There are always 3 versions of their technology, the last version which they will demonstrate as being garbage and hindering your business, the current version which is really great but, it is the next version that will make your wildest desires come true. It is always the "next" version that they talk about.

I think cameras have become the same way, it is always the "next" one that is the one talked most about.

As for the question of what will they produce next? I don't know. Only Nikon knows and they may not even hav more than a desire or wish list at this point as their R&D and Marketing folks figure out which direction to go.

If I were a gambler here is where I would put my money. However, be aware, I've never won a dime at a casino or a horse track so take that for what it is worth.

Next versions in the coming year to 18 months will be iii versions of Z6 and Z7. Probably late 2022 or early 2023. I don't know what they will have, probably increased processing power, maybe dual CFe card slots (or maybe keep the mix of CF and SD card slots). 10-15fps frame rate. Improved AF based on Z9 AF capabilities. Not sure about stacked sensor of if they will keep same sensors and tech.

Probably some firmware updates for the Z6 and Z7ii cameras. Hopefully with some upgrades where they can. Also a series of firmware updates for the Z9 camera bodies.

Late 2022 early 2023 some kind of announcement for either a mirrorless equivalent of the D850 or perhaps a crop sensor Z90 version of the Z9 (like the D500 crop sensor relative to the D5). I kind of doubt the high end crop sensor though. I just don't see the market for it.

If Nikon could produce a camera that was 85-90% the Z9 at 80% the cost (say in the 4,000 to 4500 USD cost range) I think they would have another winner. It may be the Z7iii or maybe a Z8. Not sure.

But then again, I've never been lucky at gambling nor do I claim to be a prophet or fortune teller. I'll have to make my wish list and wait to see what comes down the road just like everyone else.

Jeff
Jeff…I think you’re pretty close on that one. The 7III will likely get the sensor from the 9 because that’s a drop in replacement and will spread the R&D costs out over more production…the 6 likely won’t get it because it would be a new design although a partial redesign from the 9…and it is more aimed at landscapes anyway as I see it. I think the mechanical shutter will go on at least the 7III if it gets the 9 sensor. The EVF will likely also get improved…again it’s spreading R&D costs. Probably no 8K video or anything more than 20FPS…need to differentiate from the 9 for marketing. Better AF but some of that is the sensor so the 9 sensor-ed 7III would get a bigger boost than the 6III. I think the mechanical shutter days are limited for anything with a stacked sensor…maybe keep them on low end models because they’ll still have the less capable sensor. A 7III like that will sell a lot to people who don’t like the size, weight, or size of the 9 and eliminate a lot of the bias against Nikon bodies…I still see a lot of comparisons of the 7II vs the A1 but they’re not in the same market segment and one should expect a 6500 body to beat a 3500 one…duh. The 7III could even go up in price a bit…bracketsnalways creep up but much past 3800 or so then it’s too close to the 9 in price.

My second guess would be a 20 FPS mirrorless D500 with Expeed 7 and 9 AF…but that needs a new sensor and while an adaption of the 9 sensor to lower MP is less of a redesign than a whole new sensor it still is a lot of R&D…unless keeping the same pixel size and just scaling the physical size is easier and cheaper than I thought.
 

FB101

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Supporting Member
Not right away but I could see Nikon humour owners of old screw lenses with a FF Nikon Zf sporting the sensor of the z6 and an FTZ adapter with a built-in screw AF drive; with the form factor of the first FTZ they have room in the bottom part for the AF motor.
It won’t be their priority until they are fully recovered but they do have those quirky projects now and then.
 

John Navitsky

Well-known member
Jeff…I think you’re pretty close on that one. The 7III will likely get the sensor from the 9 because that’s a drop in replacement and will spread the R&D costs out over more production…
It's all hypothetical, but why would the 7III get the Z9 sensor? If you put a Z9 sensor (and an Expeed 7 to drive it), you basically have a Z9 and you want product differentiation. I suspect the Z9 sensor is probably the most expensive individual part in the Z9, and I suspect it, (and stacked sensors in general) will be reserved for "special" cameras until stacked sensor costs come down.

Wouldn't it make more sense to pair the Expeed 7 with the current Z7 sensor and basically get something that looks like a R5?

Personally, I suspect cameras like the 7 aren't going to get the Z9 sensor until the Z9 gets a new sensor.
 

RichF

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My second guess would be a 20 FPS mirrorless D500 with Expeed 7 and 9 AF…but that needs a new sensor and while an adaption of the 9 sensor to lower MP is less of a redesign than a whole new sensor it still is a lot of R&D…unless keeping the same pixel size and just scaling the physical size is easier and cheaper than I thought.
This is my bet for a high DX ML camera. The D500 was very popular so hopefully Nikon will learn that there is a market high DX camera.

Given the Z9 is $5500, what is a reasonable price for Nikon to charge a DX crop version of the Z9 (reasonable specs)? $3500, 4000, 4500?
 
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John Navitsky

Well-known member
Not right away but I could see Nikon humour owners of old screw lenses with a FF Nikon Zf sporting the sensor of the z6 and an FTZ adapter with a built-in screw AF drive; with the form factor of the first FTZ they have room in the bottom part for the AF motor.
It won’t be their priority until they are fully recovered but they do have those quirky projects now and then.
I don't disagree with your assessment, but I'm curious how big a deal this is. There's been a lot of angst on the internet over this issue, but these lenses are getting pretty old. Just as an example, i think the screw mount 80-400 came out in 2000. That's a lot of years. I suspect Nikon would decline to repair most of these lenses. And quite frankly, I don't even like that lens on my d500 which can drive screw drive lenses reasonably fast. And the 100-400 is going to be so much better in every way. And if you really wanted to go a budget route, you could probably pick up the non-screw drive 80-400 for not that much.
 

fcotterill

Well-known member
A FX Zf especially if it has improved AF indicators, which the Df never had. I would be tempted for leisure travel events etc, as my D5, D850 and pending Z9 are for wildlife

There are hundreds of thousands of AFD lenses in the wild (ie direct 'motorless' AF with D type aperture mechanism). The pros and cons have been thrased out in dozens of threads since 2018. The negatives are there are much improved AFS lenses etc. The other side of the coin is the unique Nikkors, including Defocus Control f2 primes, 70-180 Micro-Nikkor, 85 f1.4AFD aka Cream-Machine are excellent even on the D850. Focus-peaking and no need for AFFT are big pluses on Z cameras. There are prominent nature photographers still relying on the 200 4AFD Micro Nikkor.... Just a few examples.

The superficial dismissal these AFD lenses do not focus well on Z type AF is nonsense, because my 85 f1.4D and 70-180 AFD work significantly better in Liveview on the D780 ie Z6 sensor with PDAF.

Bottom line a FTZ-D will only sell more Z cameras. And many will pay extra to get the adapter. The feasible solution might be a grip with built in motor with gear coupling via an interface with the adapter: plus extra battery juice. This would keep the adapter compact.

One can get a decent set of AFD primes and robust, compact zooms for bargain prices. I put together the following options for students etc starting out with a new or Used DSLR. A Z MILC would work this glass significantly better, if it enabled adapted autofocus.

Prime Doubling Set #1 : 20 f2.8AFD @ £140, 35 f2AFD @ £194, 85 f1.8AFD @ £229.00 = £563

Prime Doubling Set #2
: 24 f2.8AFD £200, 50/1.8 D @ £80, 105 f2.8AFD Micro @£250 = £530

Zoom Set
: 18-35 f3.5-4.5AFD £160, 28-105 f3.5-4.AFD @ £110, 80-200 f2.8D AFS £400 = £670

Options:
16 f2.8AFD Fisheye @ £500, 28 f2.8AFD @ £160, 28 f1.4AFD @ £1000, 50 f1.4D @ £200, 85 f1.4AFD @ £420 105 f2AFD @ £600 135 f2AFD @ £600, 180 [email protected] £420

17-35 f2.8D AFS @ £419, 20-35 f2.8AFD @ £360, 18-35 G @ £419, 24-85 f3.5-4.5G £300

24-120 f4G £400, 80-200 f2.8 AF IF-ED @ £400, 70-200 f4G £900, 300 f4 AF ED £270, 300 f4D AFS £600, 300 f2.8D AF-II £1600
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
This is an interesting discussion. Partly that is because of how the features integrate. For example, the Z9 performance requires an integrated grip for a larger and more powerful battery. The battery powers faster processor speed, faster frame rates, and faster AF. The requirement of 8k RAW video is also a cutting edge feature. 8k video RAW requires a high resolution sensor and fast processor - as well as a fast CFExpress card. A fast CFExpress card and related processing needs a heat sink - delivered though the larger camera and integrated grip. Likewise the fast readout comes from the stacked sensor with dual readout - and without that sensor you have a blackout or lag even if it is minimal. The stacked sensor also supports the removal of the shutter as a slower readout would potentially still need a shutter.

When you have a smaller camera, you also have a smaller battery and that is going to mean a modest drop in frame rate, AF speed, and processor speed. The stacked sensor is going to be required going forward for any of these action cameras, and it's a major change. Would you really go back to a lag or blackout on any camera? If you want a DX camera or a standard resolution FX camera, you are giving up 8k video - and I'm not sure that works for a Z6ii replacement.

Would you see a DX stacked sensor that has 4k video but not 8k? That's actually quite doable. You can deliver a fast frame rate with the reduced throughput of a DX sized sensor. Maybe it's a Z90?

The FX options are challenging. A Z6iii might have a limit of 4k video, but a high frame rate and stacked sensor but it's just 24-30 megapixels. I don't know if a stacked sensor works for 24 megapixel FX density as there is less resolution for the blackout free readout used in the EVF. A z7iii picks up 8k video easily, but needs to slow the frame rate because it can't handle the data throughput without more power. Historically Nikon has slowed the frame rate when components have limited power or processing speed. Slower frame rates allow a smaller buffer to be adequate since you can write at 12-15 fps. I'd expect all upper end cameras have no shutter and use the stacked sensor in one of the variations. Lower end cameras would use a cheaper sensor that is not stacked and have a slower frame rate with the related impact of rolling shutter, blackout, and lag. None of that would be a show stopper for a $1000 and under camera.

One thing is certain - Nikon has a plan in progress. You don't make changes like this without a clear plan to move the innovations downstream into new models.
 

fcotterill

Well-known member
Well said.... however Nikon roll out there plan from 2022 onwards, stacked sensors will be at the core. This is especially because the cutting edge has maintain 8K, however 4K can be a compromise.

Nevertheless, as you say, Nikon has set the bar on the minimum hardware to maintain a blackout free EVF. It seems there is no longer escaping the demands for very fast sensor scan rates. This circles back to the Core...

.... Stacked sensors. The corollary is an electronic shutter, a fast scan rate permitting. So the unit costs centre on the stacked-sensor, EXPEED7 and pro assembly of the MILC including QC. Costs of any few mechanical inputs are likely the lowest part of producing such cameras.
 
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Neil Laubenthal

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Supporting Member
This is my bet for a high DX ML camera. The D500 was very popular so hopefully Nikon will learn that there is a market high DX camera.

Given the Z9 is $5500, what is a reasonable price for Nikon to charge a DX crop version of the Z9 (reasonable specs)? $3500, 4000, 4500?
Dunno…but I would be happy for one. My wife’s Z50 is amazingly light and a mirrorless shutterless D500 would have no real reason to be larger unless they wanted to use a CFE-B card as well as SD and that’s likely to support the higher frame rate. The only real drawbacks to doing that are first…the Z7III is just about the same weight as my D7500 or a D500 so except for crop factor there isn’t as much need for DX format and the FF Zs can do DX mode anyway. The other argument against this configuration is it would need a new stacked chip to support the frame rate and AF improvements to near the Z9…and I’m not sure how much R&D that is. With the 45MP FF sensor in the Z9…is just keeping the pixel size the same and lowering the MP and physical size to DX format easy and cheap or as hard as building a completely new sensor. And the Z9 is IIRC less than 20MP in DX…so maybe the physical size needs to be DX plus 10% with a 1.3 or whatever crop factor instead of the usual 1,5. Less than 20MP will lead to much negative marketing BS from other vendors and press it seems they need more…and a new sensor with tighter pixel spacing is more $$ than a straight scaling would be…I think. For a lot of people that model would be fine…but if one can get the FF Z7II at the same weight then perhaps the DX model doesn’t have as much going for it.
 
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