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Could the next Nikon mirrorless Z camera be retro-inspired?

(Image credit: Nikon)

Rumors suggest that Nikon is about to announce some new products, with an event scheduled in Asia for early June. 

We’ve been waiting for a new APS-C mirrorless from Nikon for a couple of years now, with hints that the Z30 could be just around the corner, a logical product launch as many of us head into the sunniest months of the year – during which we might actually be allowed out to take some shots.

What could prove to be very interesting though is the perhaps slightly wacky suggestion that a retro-inspired body akin to the Nikon Df, and other cameras from Nikon’s heritage, could be about to make an appearance.

Nikon met with a mixed response when it released its Df DSLR back in 2013, but there are plenty of other mirrorless models on the market, particularly from the likes of Olympus and Fujifilm, that show there are plenty of consumers out there who prefer the old-school look. 

To date, only one Nikon Z model has featured an APS-C sized sensor: the Nikon Z50, which was announced in 2019 and is aimed primarily at the more beginner end of the market. It would arguably therefore make sense for a new APS-C model to feature retro stylings, since it’s likely to also be aimed at a younger, more inexperienced, and more fashion-conscious user. 

Body design 

According to NikonRumors, the camera would feature mechanical dials and an articulating screen, while the body itself would be very slim, and quite closely resemble the Olympus OMD or Nikon FE10 (analogue) cameras.

There’s also a chance that Nikon could take the gamble even further and release a full-framer, perhaps called the Nikon Zf, using the same internals and design principals as the Nikon Df.

Other than that, details are sketchy at the moment – and of course, it could all turn out to be nothing more than a designer’s wishful thinking. A design patent filed for what was assumed to be the Z30 shows it looking almost exactly like the Z50 – so fashionistas perhaps shouldn’t get too excited just yet.