Disclaimer! This page is a round up of rumors on the internet from various sites that specialize in this type of information. I have linked the sources at the bottom. I have relationships with some of these companies, but don’t have any inside information on new product announcements. Even if I did, that usually means I’m under a non-disclosure agreement so I won’t say anything. That being said, this is just a curated collection of what is floating around the web. Some of these may be accurate, some probably pure speculation. But it is interesting as our industry is changing faster than ever and its a fascinating time in the photography world for sure! Now on to the speculation…
Updated August 20, 2018
Probably the biggest news in the industry right now, Nikon will announce a mirrorless camera and 3 lenses on August 23rd.
Nikon has teased this with a series of videos that reveal the body and little else, but the rumors include:
• Full frame mirrorless body in 2 versions. A lower resolution and a more expensive, higher resolution.
• Versions named the Z6 (24 megapixels) and the Z7 (45 megapixels)
• 3 native lenses for the new mount (24-70 f/4, 50mm f/1.8 and a wide TBA)
• 58mm f/0.95 to be announced at a later date
• An adapter for older lenses that will probably use a mirror for autofocus functions
• Panasonic LX100II – announcement on August 23, 2018
This is a curious day to announce anything considering Nikon will be making their big announcement the same day.
The latest rumors deal with Panasonic evaluating their direction. There has been talk that no more G or GF cameras will be released. The higher-end GH5 was targeted to video users, the G9 to still photographers. There’s been some rumors about combining these directions. This will be interesting to see – the GH5 and the G9 both are incredible cameras. The major improvement that Panasonic needs at this point is an updated sensor.
• New “High End” Camera in Q1 2019
• With “advanced” video features
• Pen F II in 2019
• Possible Pro Zoom (150-400mm) in development
• M.Zuiko PRO 12mm f/1.2 in 2018
• Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
• Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
• Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO Lens
• Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro Lens
• Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
Hasselblad, like most other medium format cameras, uses a Sony 50 megapixel sensor. As Sony is rumored to be developing a 100 MP sensor we can assume that at some point we’ll have:
• 100 Megapixel Mirrorless – Probably a X2D or something similar
Hasselblad released a roadmap of coming lenses – we can expect to see over the next year:
• 65mm f/2.8
• 80mm f/tbd
• 35-75mm f/3.5-4.5
• 135mm f/2.8
Phase One Rumors
Phase One keep pretty quiet with information. We know Sony has a 150 megapixel sensor in the works so we can assume that Phase One will have this in cameras at some point.
We know that Canon is working on a full frame, mirrorless system but there are no further details at this time. Its not expected to see anything announced until 2019.
Marketing Event scheduled for September 13 or 14 September 4 or 5, 2018 – no further details.
Other upcoming rumors (likely before Photokina 2018) are:
• Canon EOS M5 Mk II
• Canon EOS 90D/80D Mk II
• Canon EOS 7D Mk III
Recently released from Canon:
• Canon Powershot SX740 HS with 4k recording and 40x zoom lens
• Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
• Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens
• Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens
X Series APS-C
• X-T3 by September 2018
Current rumored specs are claiming a 26MP X-Trans, possibly stacked, 20 fps continuous shooting, new vertical grip, new processor, no IBIS, touch screen, improved battery performance, made in China.
New Lens Roadmap
• XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR
• XF 16-80mm f/4 R LM OIS WR
• XF 33mm f/1.0 R WR
GFX Medium Format
• 100 megapixel GFX model color
• 100 megapixel GFX model monochrome
• GFX Rangefinder type camera
There have been various rumors about interchangeable sensors and monochrome versions of the X-T3 and the GFX – we’ll likely know by Photokina. Monochrome I would be really excited to see!
Recently released by Fujifilm
• Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
• Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2 OIS WR Lens with XF 1.4x TC F2 WR
• Fujifilm XF 10
• Fujifilm X-T100
• Fujifilm X-H1
Camera Industry Sales Numbers (CiPA Reports)
One thing that is very important to understand is all the activity you see from any camera manufacturer in our industry hinges on the numbers shown here. These numbers represent cameras sold over the last few years broken down by month. Why is this important? Sales trends will dictate what camera companies will produce.
The following charts are taken from the current CIPA report which includes the statistical data of products shipped by its member corporations for the last 3 years. CIPA is the Camera & Imaging Products Association and their members (listed below) include most of the major camera manufacturers. Some of the smaller, boutique medium format companies are not part of this so it doesn’t represent everyone in the business (only Japanese corporations), but there is enough data to get an idea from the big players what is happening in the industry.
What do these numbers tell us?
Well first the bad news. Digital camera sales (all of them) have on the decline. Point-and-shoot compact cameras have been hit the hardest in the 3rd graph (built-in lens type). The Interchangeable Lens chart includes both mirrorless and DSLR (reflex-type) cameras. It shows considerable progress digging out of the hole, but this graph doesn’t tell the full story as its essentially DSLR’s and mirrorless combined.
If you go further into the reports (this graph is compiled from the monthly reports) you will get detailed information by camera type which gives you the following data for 2018:
While at first glance, mirrorless seems to be only half of DSLR sales. But consider this – DSLR sales have been on the decline for the last 10 years. Mirrorless is a new category that didn’t previously exist, and it has been on the rise. Mirrorless has helped slow the decline of sales. The industry is moving away from the DSLR model. When you consider that these rising mirrorless sales are coming only from Sony, Fujifilm, Micro 4/3 and Canon’s APS-C line – you can see why Nikon is being so aggressive with new developments (all mirrorless). They badly want a piece of this market. These numbers don’t express it directly, but Nikon sales have likely been the same at best, if not moving down over the last few years. All of these companies are predicting change over the next 10 years and want to act now.
There is much theory and speculation as to why this is happening. Many blame it on the rise of cell phones and now everyone has a camera in their pocket. Perhaps only those that are serious about photography spend money on system cameras? I think that’s a fair conclusion, but I also think we’ve seen a major shift in the role photography plays in our lives. What used to be a popular hobby now serves also a utilitarian function. The smartphone simply is more productive and adequate for most people. However, the rise in popularity of mirrorless is fascinating because its a newer trend. Perhaps the rise of mirrorless is enough reason for people to purchase cameras once again.
Speculation aside – I don’t think most people realize how low these numbers are. In fact the indicate a serious problem in the industry that threatens someone going out of business. With fewer cameras being sold – can these lower sales sustain an industry? This is the troubling question. Can the low sales numbers sustain all the corporations providing the technology?