An interview (Japanese) with Ikegame Hiroyuki, manager of Nikon’s video business, shows that the company doesn’t believe it was late to the full frame mirrorless game. He indicated that viewfinder quality and battery life technologies just weren’t good enough before they launched the Z series. When the interviewer pressed on a slow lens lineup build, Hiroyuki called it “a fair start.”
Addressing the dramatic cost cutting Nikon has been doing, he indicated that software development would be consolidated so that all mirrorless cameras would be running the same system. Hiroyuki believes that a critical unique selling proposition will be Nikon’s large aperture lens mount, allowing it to develop better lenses. Nikon’s mount is 1mm, or about 2 percent wider than that of Canon’s RF mount, 3mm wider than the L mount, and 9mm larger than the Sony E mount.
While Hiroyuki indicated that Nikon’s future is linked ever more closely to the professional market, the Z mount lens lineup has concentrated on cheaper lenses so far, with reviews of those lenses not yet calling out an appreciable positive difference in quality versus other mount systems. Because Nikon’s lens roadmap does have more professional-oriented lenses in store over the next two years, the interview may indicate that we will see lenses that do indeed exploit the wide mount system for some benefit.