We've had reports that Canon is testing its latest full-frame mirrorless camera with a select group of photographers, and rival Nikon is also widely thought to be developing its own high-end mirrorless camera.
Now, according to NikonRumors, the Japanese website SankeiBiz has suggested that a new Nikon mirrorless camera will be announced in the current fiscal year (Nikon's runs until March 2019), with the company said to be developing the new camera at a rapid pace.
It's also hinted that Nikon will launch the camera at a large-scale overseas exhibition – and they don't get much bigger than Photokina, which takes place in Cologne, Germany in September.
Sony predicts mirrorless rivals from Canon and Nikon
Even Sony reckon we'll see something soon. In an interview with DPReview in February 2018 at the CP+ Imaging Show, Sony’s Senior General Manager of its Digital Imaging Business, Kenji Tanaka, predicted that both Canon and Nikon will unveil full-frame mirrorless cameras before next year’s CP+ in February 2019. Tanaka's prediction is founded on what he sees as the technological advantages offered by mirrorless cameras, which isn't surprising given Sony's pedigree in the market with the likes of the brilliant Alpha A9, A7R III and A7 III.
Tanka said: "One of the reasons that companies like Sigma and Tamron are creating native Sony FE lenses is that they’re looking forward to a future where full-frame mirrorless is the norm. How long will that be? This is just my personal opinion, but I think that maybe by next year’s CP+ you’ll see full-frame mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon. I think [by then] they will be participating in this market."
He added: "Just look at our technologies, like eye focus. All of that data comes from the imaging sensor. In DSLRs, the data comes from separate sensors. The main imaging sensor is blanked out, 90% of the time by the mirror. The sensor is turned off. But the imaging sensor is very important. So if cameras are going to develop, and be more able to capture the moment, manufacturers have to develop mirrorless technologies. So within one year, I think."
Like Canon, Nikon has a tough decision to make as to whether to continue with its existing lens mount for a new mirrorless full-frame camera, or start with a clean slate. With Sony having stolen a march on its longer-established rivals in the mirrorless arena, both Canon and Nikon will need to deliver something pretty special.