That Nikon and Canon both have mirrorless cameras solutions in the labs seems like a foregone conclusion. It would be silly for them not to at the very least be looking into it. But this is one of the first glances we’ve had at something other than patent illustrations and spec rumors: a picture that is claimed to be of Nikon’s new compact interchangeable lens camera system. The mount and sensor, specifically &mdsah; no body or anything, though the black finish does suggest it’s more than a lab prototype. Right now it’s known as X810.
The dedicated Nikon fans at Nikon Rumors have done a little extrapolating based on the only element that seems reasonable to estimate: the screws. Assuming they’re ~3mm wide, their calculations put the sensor at about a 2.3-2.6x crop, larger than Pentax’s Q system but smaller than the popular micro four-thirds sensor size seen in cameras from (among others) Panasonic and Olympus.
It makes sense considering the size and depth of the camera that this is supposed to be from. The mount is new and the optics unknown, but if you’re not “marrying” a sensor to its lens (a la the Fujifilm X100), miniaturization tends to be the rule and Nikon seems to be taking that to a fairly extreme degree. I have my doubts that this tiny sensor would produce the quality of image people would expect from a Nikon EVIL camera — which I would guess would probably be priced in the $600-800 range.
Whoever shoots first in the Canon/Nikon fight is at a disadvantage, since it’s a long game they’re playing. If Nikon goes for extra small, their arch-enemy will know where to direct its feature set. A sensor like this has various advantages and disadvantages, and while many of the commenters at Nikon Rumors are disappointed, it’s far from over and much depends on the price and lenses.