Nikkei Asia reports that camera maker Nikon will discontinue further development of its single-lens reflex (SLR) camera lineup, leaving the longtime professional standbys behind and shifting its efforts to smaller mirrorless models.
For its part, Nikon has denounced the report as “speculation” and stresses that the company “is continuing the production, sales, and service of digital SLR.” But this rebuttal does not mention the development of future SLR cameras—the company’s last new DSLR cameras, the Nikon D6, was released in February 2020, and the company discontinued its entry-level D3500 and D5600 DSLR cameras last month. The Nikkei report indicates that Nikon’s development efforts will shift to mirrorless cameras, which are smaller and more lightweight.
Early mirrorless cameras generally couldn’t match the image quality or lens selection of DSLR cameras, and their electronic viewfinders lagged behind the real-time previews that a DSLR’s optical viewfinder could provide. But newer mirrorless cameras have largely addressed those shortcomings while retaining their smaller sizes and lighter weights. Mirrorless cameras also usually offer superior video quality, which is useful for people who need their cameras to multitask.
Nikon’s biggest competitor in the dedicated camera business, Canon, has also indicated that it is winding down its DSLR development efforts; The company announced in late 2021 that its EOS-1D X Mark III would be its last professional DSLR model. Canon will also shift focus to its mirrorless lineup, though it will continue developing and producing entry-level DSLR cameras “for the time being.”