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Fans of high-end mirrorless cameras will be happy to hear that Nikon is working on just such a system.

It’s official. The Nikon 1 line isn’t going to be the imaging giant’s only foray into the mirrorless market. A statement from the company has confirmed initial rumors.

In an interview with the Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Nikon President Kazuo Ushida hinted at a high-end mirrorless camera in the company’s future, initiating a new round of Nikon mirrorless rumors. Interviews translated from Japanese publications have been stretched and misconstrued before — but now Nikon has released a statement confirming what the translation suggested.

“While details are confidential, we can say that we are currently developing new mirrorless products that build upon Nikon’s strengths, and offer the performance prospective customers expect, including the ultimate optics performance, image-processing technologies, strength and durability, and operation,” a Nikon spokesperson told Digital Photography Review.

In the interview, translated via Google, Ushida says, “With generations grew up on smartphones I will give out a ‘Nikonashii’ mirrorless camera that made a difference to other companies in terms of performance. I want to overwhelm the performance of the lens by utilizing industrial lens technology, but also need playfulness.” Nikonashii apparently means, Nikon-ish, or a camera that continues in Nikon’s traditions in a way that other manufacturers cannot compete with.

The passing mention in the interview leaves much up to the imagination. Does the smartphone reference mean the camera will cater to smartphone-like portability and simplicity? Or does the reference simply mean the camera is going to cater to younger generations? Will the “industrial lens technology” mean a separate lens line, or finally a camera company that decides to make a mirrorless body compatible with existing DSLR lenses?

Nikon’s official statement doesn’t clarify much, but it does confirm that a mirrorless line is currently in development. While the Nikon 1 line allowed the company to make a jump to mirrorless, the smaller one-inch sensors are aimed more at consumers than professionals.

Late last year, Nikon announced a companywide restructuring plan, saying the company would refine its focus to high-end cameras and lenses in order to remain profitable in the smartphone era. Since then, the company has canceled a line of DL compacts after a delay and created a separate division to focus on lens technology. The company’s new focus certainly suggests that the camera would be more high-end than the Nikon 1 series.

Update: After the interview was published, Nikon responded with an official statement confirming that a new mirrorless system is in the works.






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