It was back in 2016 when Nikon pulled the covers off its newest professional-level action camera. The D5 was (and still is) an amazing camera, packing a 21-megapixel full-frame sensor, capable of shooting up to 14 Frames Per Second (FPS), sporting an advanced 153-point AF system and offer users the ability to shoot 4K video footage.
But, a lot has changed since 2016, including Nikon’s approach to mirrorless cameras. Ov the last 12 months, we’ve seen the launch of Nikon’s first-ever full-frame mirrorless cameras – the big resolution 47-megapixel Z 7 and the versatile Z 6. So, it shouldn’t come as a total shock that Nikon has now confirmed a mirrorless equivalent of the D5 is now in the works.
Nikon’s CEO confirmed the mirrorless sport and wildlife camera is going to be built when speaking to a Japanese newspaper and, although he didn’t add much extra information like a price or release date, the move to build such a model seems very logical.
Mirrorless cameras are better designed to handle high continuous burst modes, which is a key component in a successful, professional-level sports camera. Already, the high resolution mirrorless Z 7 offers 9 Frames Per Second, while the Z 6 offers a competitive 12 Frames Per Second – only 2 frames short of what the flagship D5 can currently fire out. What’s more, the Z 6 and Z 7 proved that Nikon didn’t have to compromise on weather sealing or build quality for its full-frame mirrorless models, as both the Z 6/Z 7 offer excellent build quality.
Thanks also to a mirrorless design, any new equivalent of the D5 using the Z mount is sure to be lighter – another important consideration for a professional-level sports or wildlife camera. The current DSLR D5 tips the scales at 1415g and, when you pair that with a fast prime telephoto, the extra weight will certainly be noticeable and, in some cases, restrive.
Lastly, the D5 proved that a sports and wildlife camera can still offer excellent video features, offering users ultra high-quality 4K movies. Perhaps the new mirrorless D5 equivalent can build on this technology and shift up to 8K video?
So, how excited are you about seeing a mirrorless D5 equivalent and what other features would you like Nikon to include?