Nikon kicked off its Z system in style last year, launching two models at the same time to entice the widest crowd possible. But with the cheapest Z6 model still commanding around £2000/$2000 for the body alone, the need for a more junior companion at nicer price has been clear from the start.
The naming convention chosen by Nikon for the series suggests that such a model could be dubbed the Nikon Z3 or Nikon Z1, and an image purportedly of the latter model has now surfaced. Nikon Rumors asks "Is this the new entry-level Nikon Z mirrorless camera? (opens in new tab)", and with no top-plate display and a simplified design, it certainly looks plausible at first glance.
But we're not convinced. There's good reason to believe that a model aimed at a much more junior audience would break from convention a little, but this looks more like an elaborate Photoshop job than anything else.
One giveaway is the fact that the Z1 logo isn't in the same bottom-right-hand place as it is on the Z6 and Z7. The fact that the 'Z' isn't in the same style as it is anywhere else Nikon uses it makes it look even more suspicious.
The 'FX Mirrorless Z-mount' text on the mount is also inconsistent with what we've seen before, while the Auto icon on the mode dial isn't green like it is on the Z6 and Z7, but white. The fact that the icons on this dial run in the opposite direction to the ones on the Z6 and Z7 is also curious, although this could be explained by the fact that it's positioned on the other side of the viewfinder chamber to where it sits on the Z6 and Z7.
It seems certain that Nikon's next move for the Z system would be to introduce a more affordable body than the two it currently offers, but our money is on something that looks a little different to this one.