Nikon D7500 DSLR
Image courtesy: Nikon

This week, rumors and articles appeared online claiming that Nikon would stop developing its DSLR cameras. However, the true picture is still far from clear.

What’s the story?

Earlier this week, Nikkei Asia ran a story under the headline “Nikon to stop making SLR cameras and focus on mirrorless models”. The Nikkei article stated that Japanese camera-maker Nikon was going to withdraw from the single-lens reflex camera business. It went on to explain that Nikon was going to shift toward “digital offerings.” The feature also cited intensifying competition from smartphone cameras as the main reason.

Nikon’s history

Nikon launched the company’s first SLR camera, the Nikon F, in 1959. Later, the D1, the first-ever purpose-built digital SLR model, came onto the market in 1999. However, Nikon hasn’t launched a new DSLR model since the D6 back in 2020. The company launched its high-end Nikon Z mirrorless system in 2018, and the current flagship Z9 model was released in 2021

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Nikon’s response

However, shortly after Nikkei Asia ran their story, Nikon posted a brief statement on the news page of the company’s website. The statement said, “There was a media article regarding Nikon’s withdrawal of SLR development. This media article is only speculation and Nikon has made no announcement in this regards. Nikon is continuing the production, sales and service of digital SLR. Nikon appreciate your continuous support”.

What does this mean for Nikon DSLR cameras?

It’s clear the future of digital cameras will be mirrorless. Without a mechanical mirror shutter, mirrorless cameras can be smaller, lighter and quieter in use than DSLRs. Mirrorless cameras also have better autofocus and much higher burst speeds for still photography. However, it seems that Nikon still intends to support its dwindling DSLR line, at least for now.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.