Nikon to launch mirrorless equivalent to D5, according to Japanese newspaper

Nikon D5
Image credit: Nikon

Nikon's newest mirrorless Z system will be welcoming a Nikon D5-level camera, according to Japanese business newspaper.

In an interview with Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Nikon President Toshikazu Umatate stated that a model on the same pegging as the D5 was in the works. 

The article doesn't confirm when such a model will arrive, nor how much it will cost, but with the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo just over a year away, Nikon is no doubt keen to give existing D5 users a good reason to stay loyal to the brand.

Such a model would be a natural rival to the Sony A9, which is currently the only full-frame mirrorless camera targeted towards sports and action shooters. That camera recently received a significant firmware update that boosted its AF system, and also gained a new FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS stablemate aimed at sports and wildlife photographers.

The Sony Alpha line recently welcomed the sports-photography-friendly FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS. Image credit: TechRadar

The Sony Alpha line recently welcomed the sports-photography-friendly FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS. Image credit: TechRadar

Currently, Nikon's Z system only has two cameras, the flagship Z7 and the more affordable Z6. Rumors of new additions on either side of these models have been circulating almost since the range was launched, although Nikon hasn't given any official word on what camera bodies will come next – only which lenses are on the cards, via a lens roadmap.

Although the roadmap for these lenses only has one telephoto zoom down for release – the 70-200mm f/2.8 S, arriving later this year – users of Nikon's DSLRs can currently use hundreds of F-mount options via the FTZ adapter. Even so, it's likely that Nikon will look to complement a new high-end Z-series model with new native telephoto options.

The right time

While the Z6 and Z7 are certainly capable of capturing moving subjects, neither model can manage the same kind of continuous focusing performance or burst shooting speeds as the company's D5, which remains the most obvious option in Nikon's portfolio for the sports-oriented pro.

The news of a new high-end Z series camera follows fresh reports of a new mid-range mirrorless model joining the range. Unsurprisingly, Canon is also said to be preparing a new high-end mirrorless companion to the EOS R and EOS RP in its latest EOS R mirrorless line.