Nikon announces “development” of D5 DSLR (No, we don’t have any idea what that means, either)

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posted Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 12:42 AM EDT


 
 

In what has to qualify as one of the most cryptic press announcements we've seen in recent memory, Nikon just announced the "development" of the D5 DSLR, along with a new SB-5000 flagship Speedlight, and a new Wireless Transmitter, the WT-6.

Here's the whole text of the release, apart from an introductory sentence similar to the one above:

"The Nikon D5 will offer professional photographers an even higher level of performance and image quality. When combined with these advanced accessories and the vast lineup of existing NIKKOR lenses, Nikon is offering photographers new levels of imaging expression.

Details about these products, including release date and suggested retail price will be announced at a future date and time. For more information about Nikon and the latest Nikon cameras and products, please visit www.nikonusa.com."

That's it.

I'm honestly not sure of the purpose of this announcement, other than to perhaps reassure D4s shooters that the next generation is indeed coming. I don't follow the rumor sites much myself; are there rumors of Canon coming out with a big update to one of their pro models soon? The 1Dx and 5D III have both been around for a long time now, so it'd be logical that one or both of them would be updated soon, and on a quick check, there seem to be vague murmurings of a 1Dx II and 5D IV, but nothing sounding at all imminent. Ditto rumors of a "pro" mirrorless camera, perhaps the camera Maeda san hinted at when I interviewed him at Canon Expo New York 2015, back in mid-September. That wouldn't likely be something operating at the D4s level, though.

Could Nikon be concerned about Sony's very successful forays into the full-frame world with their A7 models? Those are certainly very strong players, but I can't see a D4s user contemplating a system change to move to one of them.

So this is frankly pretty perplexing. Given how long the D4s has been on the market, it wouldn't take any leap of logic to assume that Nikon was working on a D5, so the release doesn't tell us anything that we hadn't already assumed. If they'd said something like "The D5 is going to be announced in the next 3 months", that would have been news, but the release makes absolutely no mention of timing. 

Ditto with the SB-5000 Speedlight and WT-6 Wireless Transmitter.

So, for whatever it's worth, you now know as much as we do; if any of you have a better idea of what this announcement means, please enlighten the rest of us in the comments section below :-)