Nikon is developing a full-frame mirrorless camera system

The Nikon F kicked off the SLR revolution way back in 1959, and the lens mount of that iconic camera has persisted all the way to today's lineup of Nikon DSLRs. Nikon and rival Canon have both struggled to adapt to the burgeoning revolution in mirrorless cameras that's gained steam over the past few years, though, a shift led by Sony and its relentless refinement of its Alpha family of mirrorless bodies.

The Nikon F. Image: Dnalor 01 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nikon is facing the music today with the news that it's developing a professional-grade mirrorless system of its own. Unlike the abortive Nikon 1 family of small-sensor interchangeable-lens cameras, the Nikon mirrorless system being announced today uses a full-frame 35-mm image sensor, known as "FX" in Nikon parlance.

In what may be the most painful thing to read about the new system, Nikon says this FX mirrorless camera will use a new lens mount, too. It'll therefore break the largely unbroken line of compatibility that the F-mount has boasted until now—and the hearts of many of the Nikon faithful.

Nikon says an F-mount adapter will be made available for the new camera system, but that adapter will almost certainly be a stepping stone for pros who already have a large investment in F-mount lenses. It's clear that in order to take the pictures of the future, Nikon will need to make a clean break with the past. This Nikon user is eager to see what that future holds.

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