Nikon is halting DSLR camera development to focus on mirrorless market, insiders say

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,576   +174
Staff member
Editor's take: Nikon is reportedly preparing to pull out of the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) market to focus on developing smaller and lighter mirrorless models. While not unexpected considering the continued encroachment by mobile cameras, one has to wonder where pro photographers will turn next.

Sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei that Nikon has increasingly been losing out on sales to smartphones with powerful integrated camera arrays. Nikon hopes to beat out mobile competition with mirrorless cameras featuring more advanced digital technologies.

This isn't the first time we have heard rumblings of this nature, nor is the revelation surprising. Nikon hasn't released a new DSLR model since the D6 arrived in early 2020 and stopped making compact digital cameras a few years earlier. All the while, smartphone cameras have been improving with each generation.

Notably, Nikon will still manufacture and distribute existing DSLR models – they simply won't develop any new models.

Canon late last year confirmed it is also exiting the flagship DSLR business.

The shift away from high-end DSLRs could have a profound impact on professional photographers that rely on flagships for the best possible image quality. The consumer market may very well be trending toward mirrorless cameras but with Nikon and Canon out, who is going to service this small but important segment moving forward?

Image credit: Vinícius Vieira ft

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Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
All in all the DSLR's are going by the wayside. While the mirrorless camera's are more expensive, their quality is noticeably better and the mirrorless feature allows shooting at slower speeds. In time their prices will drop making them the new norm ..... but I'm still not giving up my 4x5 or 12x20 .....


Posts: 258   +328
All in all the DSLR's are going by the wayside. While the mirrorless camera's are more expensive, their quality is noticeably better and the mirrorless feature allows shooting at slower speeds. In time their prices will drop making them the new norm ..... but I'm still not giving up my 4x5 or 12x20 .....
Nah mate... the quality is not better to DSLR. In Fact right now the Nikon D850 is king of the cameras and not a single mirrorless camera or otherwise can touch it in terms of image quality. Not even a medium format phase one with 80megapixels which almost twice the D850s.
The problem with adaptation is not so much expensive cameras.. Its the Lenses. Which for a professional photographer your looking at over 20k in and for someone else me semi pro over 10k in lenses alone. The new adapter isn't all that bad but it cost a lot of money to change over to a new system the cost of the camera itself is nothing.


Posts: 3,428   +3,109
I'm too "old school" dad taught me photography in the 60's as a kid...use to help him rock the developer bath with the negatives. My first SLR was in 81, then I went digital in the 2000's.
I've played with a couple mirrorless in a camera store, but the EVF puts me off.
I'd rather have the SLR so I can see without the electronic view finder.


Posts: 1,399   +1,040
People are still buying film cameras 2nd hand - I should find mine and flip them .
The top DSLR bodies will hold much of their price- they are like swiss watches - fine engineering to get 100% view finder , super high shutter speeds .
Their is still a lot of premium glass - that does not need an adaptor .
One of Nikons claim to fame is being able to use every lense back to 1959 with limitations ( I think some exceptions like wide aperture fish eyes - best of luck buying those ones )

The mirrorless does video better

Now my useless predictions
Mods will become a thing for DSLR bodies like the top Nikon/Canon bodies - ie Sensor replacement , BIOS updates etc
Given that these will still be great cameras with no mods
What would probably kill them is new lense construction techniques - surpassing old glass by large amount

But myself I would be happy as a pig in **** to be Africa with a 4WD camper a couple of D6 bodies and 5 top of the range lenses - at various national parks - I did this with a VW camper a N90 & N801 in the 90s for 6 months in Southern Africa - loved every day of it- didn't have expensive telephotos - could see big difference between photos say with my Nikon AF80-200 F2.8 and my sigma 400/5.6 - ignoring tripod, beanbag , holding shake
Rain ,dust , knocks - never had a flagship body - but these things are beautiful beasts that will go and go
Now for


Posts: 116   +79
The good thing is that the DSLR takes excellent photos, and they will keep doing that no matter what. Yes you can always want faster and more sensitive gear, but in the end it is the skill of the photographer that matters.

My D7500 takes excellent shots, and will keep doing so far many years, combined with the excellent range of dx lenses nikon has made.


Posts: 384   +253
The main advantage of an SLR was that, with the mirror, you saw in the viewfinder almost exactly what would go on the film. But with a digital viewfinder on a digital camera, you are also seeing the picture that you will take. So the bulky mirror, which adds volume and weight, and makes the camera shake when it flips out of the way... doesn't really provide a benefit.
So the question isn't who is going to continue to make DSLRs, but who is going to make high-quality mirrorless cameras suitable for professional use.


Posts: 19,287   +8,433
Yeah, cellphone cameras are wreaking havoc on the DSLR market.

It's mostly about the "selfies". Once the monkey sees itself in the mirror, the novelty never seems to wear off, and there's no telling how it will behave after it becomes self aware.


Posts: 119   +189
This really isn't as big a deal as people seem to think. Mirrorless just has more opportunity to advance with digital tech so that is where they are putting their development focus. You can still buy both and people who aren't really into photography will still use their phone and think it's just as good. Some photographers prefer traditional photography where you choose your shutter speed, iso, and aperture. To them mirrorless may even be heresy. Others appreciate the benefits of mirrorless, which is doing away with the shutter so setting up the camera is not traditional, but it can introduce features like eye tracking and increased focus points, which makes it easier to get great shots. Mirrorless has improved a lot recently and is the probably the future because it makes photography easier without really sacrificing quality. High-end mirrorless cameras are still very expensive and still have interchangeable lenses. They just don't have a shutter.