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Thinking About What I Want in the Next Nikon

See my Nikon wish list and other wish lists at B&H Photo.

The Nikon D810 has served me well for 2 years now, and its sensor is still among the very best, though the Pentax K1 bests it—two years of Sony sensor development have mattered.

With two years of technology advancement, a lot has changed, so it is remarkable that the D810 still remains a top workhorse, at least for me. This entire list won’t be for everyone’s needs, but this is what I’d like to see in a D810 successor.

  • Pull a “Sigma” and make a mirrorless model with a Nikon F lens mount. But replace the optical viewfinder with a 4-megapixel EVF so it is a mirrorless camera. Same idea as the Sigma sd Quattro and kudos to Sigma for making that bold and very smart step. Yes I know some folks want OVF, so make a different camera for them.
  • Make the rear LCD a Retina-grade display, iPhone style. Something 4 megapixels or so.
  • Make it 50+ megapixels with the same or better per-pixel quality than the D810. Use base ISO 50 if necessary to get to that goal (it’s 64 in the D810). Must have EFC shutter.
  • Keep file quality extremely high. Do not pull a “Sony” with file quality. This is what I love about the D810 (and the Pentax K1)—no half-cooked raw as with Sony. Forget about any ISO past ISO 1600 and I’m happy as a clam—optimize it for ISO 50 and ISO 100.
  • Add a dual-exposure 15+ stop automagical dynamic range mode in which a single raw file of normal size results. Something reasonable (two exposures) that gives me one more stop. And have it figure out what exposures are needed not to blow the highlights, and just do it right.
  • Add in-body image stabilization along with a SuperRes pixel shift mode like the Pentax K1. But do it right—standard frame plus a sidecar image file with the additional frames, so the user can have the best of either world, or just use the first standard frame with no compatibility issues. And—please!—figure out when there are motion/lighting changes and warn the user at the time when the shot is made by sound and visual blinkies. No nasty surprises later. Or just do pixel shift properly with 4X the exposures at 4X the speed round-robin style, averaged for true color into one frame right in the camera.
  • The camera should charge over USB, so that it can be used off-grid without an AC inverter. Sony does this and it allows battery-based charging and solar charging. Make the external charger also be usable via USB.
  • Keep all the good things about the ergonomics and buttons. Make the buttons glow faintly at night (optionally) so that I can see them and the camera.
  • Let me go past 30 seconds on exposure time without having to resort to timing. When I twiddle that dial to 30 seconds it should go to 60/90/120/180/240 at least.
  • Leica mode: at an option, the rear display shows only a land-of-the-rising-sun red dot and the top display allows choosing only ISO and aperture. The autofocus system should mis-focus at least 50% of the time. This model can be sold for 2.5X the regular price, or 5X the usual price in warthog scrotum leather. The ladies will love it.

There’s nothing here that is not already being done (well maybe a minor thing or two and some leather), so clearly the existence proofs are there. It sure would be nice to have one vendor like Nikon pull it all together. Right now all the Good Stuff is spread piecemeal among 3 or 4 different camera manufacturers.

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