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Nikon’s Full Frame Mirrorless to Have New Z-Mount: Report

Nikon’s upcoming full frame mirrorless camera may not be compatible with F-mount lenses without the use of an additional adapter. A new report suggests that the company has developed a new “Z-mount” for its professional full frame mirrorless system.

During CES 2018 in Las Vegas last week, Nikon Rumors heard the interesting rumor that Nikon will introduce a new Z-mount with an external diameter of and a flange focal distance of 16mm.

By comparison, the Nikon 1 series mirrorless system has a flange focal distance of 17mm with its relatively tiny 1-inch CX sensor. The Nikon F-mount full frame system has a flange focal distance of 46.5mm and an external diameter of 44mm. The Sony E-mount, which is used on Sony’s full-frame cameras, has a flange focal distance of 18mm and an external diameter of 46.1mm.

A comparison of sensor sizes. Full frame and Nikon CX sizes are indicated with arrows. Image by Moxfyre and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Z-mount will be “[d]esigned for full frame mirrorless cameras,” Nikon Rumors writes. “Keep in mind that ‘Z-mount’ may not be the final marketing name, but I believe the dimensions are right.”

Nikon said in July 2017 that it was actively building a camera that would “raise the bar,” and the company followed up in September 2017 by saying that it must go full frame if it was to be competitive in the mirrorless market. Patents filed by Nikon for full frame lenses emerged around the same time.

Canon is also turning its attention to the mirrorless market, recently asking its professionals what features and specs they would be enticed by in a professional mirrorless camera.

“This is where Canon could really have an advantage,” writes Canon Rumors. “If they can somehow make the 130 million or so EF lenses compatible with a full frame mirrorless without an adaptor, they won’t have a hard time getting Canon DSLR shooters to add a full frame mirrorless to their kit.”

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