The elimination of the mirror box from DSLRs brings significant benefits to shooters, as evidenced by the array of vendors’ full-frame offerings spread around the NAB floor. There are, among others, the Panasonic Lumix S1, Sony Alpha 7, Canon EOS R – and Nikon joining the fray, doing some especially notable things in its Z6 mirrorless camera.
The 24Mpx Z6 features a particularly wide full-frame ‘Z’ lens mount at 55mm – the widest available of any DSLM [digital single lens mirrorless]. This is important to shooters because it enables Nikon to more efficiently utilize the full width of the camera sensor. More practically, the elimination of the mirror box (as in all DSLMs) enables lens manufacturers like Nikon to produce more compact, lighter weight zooms because the lens mount can be placed further back closer to the sensor.
Nikon’s shallow 16mm FFD (flange focal distance) is the shortest among the major DSLM manufacturers. For shooters, the implication of this is that Nikon’s latest ‘S’ wide-angle zooms can be made with a less bulky front element group – a welcome development for exhausted globetrotting shooters long burdened by cumbersome front-heavy optics in the past.
And speaking of optics, the new 58mm Nikkor Z f/0.95 Noct lens produces truly astonishing full frame pictures; the lens takes advantage of the camera’s mirrorless design to serve up a distinctive flare and coma around point sources that gives shooters a raft of new creative options along with, of course, an extremely narrow depth of field.