Japanese camera maker Nikon is planning to cease production of new SLR cameras, a potential blow to photographers who have retained an affinity for optical viewfinders and the noise of an internal reflex mirror.
Nikkei, the source of the report, claims that Nikon will “shift toward digital offerings amid intensifying competition from smartphone cameras.”
Nikon reportedly plans to continue producing and distributing its existing SLR models, but the company’s focus is now on digital mirrorless cameras.
Mirrorless cameras have grown in popularity for many reasons, including lighter designs, how quickly they can shoot, and electronic viewfinders, which have gotten better at replicating the experience that’s provided by the optical sort found in DSLRs.
The Nikon Z9, released last year, can shoot 120 images per second — more than ten times faster that most SLRs without the wear and tear of a moving shutter. This makes them ideal for sports and wildlife photography. Mirrorless cameras are lighter, smaller and soundless without the shutter.
Mirrorless cameras have also been coming down in price to below 100,000 yen ($730), which is less than comparable SLRs.
With enhanced viewfinders and less lag, the quicker image processing helps photographers in fast-moving situations.
It’s unclear how reputable Nikkei’s report is, however. Shortly after its publication, Nikon shared a statement calling the story “speculation” and clarified that it has made no such announcement.
“Nikon is continuing the production, sales and service of digital SLR,” the company stated.