Nikon just officially announced the development of the Nikon D6 professional DSLR, a camera Nikon says will be “its most advanced DSLR to date.” Oh, and there’s also a crazy 120-300mm f/2.8 VR lens on the way.


“Nikon released the D1 digital SLR camera in 1999, making 2019 the 20th anniversary of the single-digit D series,” Nikon says. “Thanks to the imaging know-how cultivated over Nikon’s long history in camera development, Nikon’s professional DSLR cameras have continued to evolve by introducing some of the industry’s most advanced technologies and responding to the strict demands of professional photographers with the ultimate in performance and reliability, even in the most severe conditions.”

Aside from revealing that the camera is incoming, Nikon is mum on details — release dates, pricing, and specs will be fully announced at a later date.

The D6 will definitely be a DSLR, but possibly with some 'mirrorless features', such as in-body stabilization and improved or new silent shooting mode to compete with the Sony A9, for example.

We also hear that the Nikon D6 will have an improved autofocus system. The 153-point AF system in the current Nikon D5 is already pretty legendary, so it's hard to see how Nikon could improve on this – unless it can migrate the on-sensor PDAF (phase detection autofocus system) from its Z-series cameras like the Nikon Z 6 and the Z 7 to the sensor in the Nikon D6.

If that were to happen, it would put the Nikon D6 on a level footing with the Sony A9 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II for live view autofocus. The Nikon D5 already offers uncropped 4K video, so we might also hope to see developments in that direction too, especially given the great strides Nikon has made with the video capabilities of its Z-series cameras.

We hear that the Nikon D6 is already being field-tested but won't become available until 2020 – which makes sense, because that's the year of the Olympics – but might possibly appear at the CP+ 2020 Imaging Show in Japan in February 2020.

That said, we believe Nikon's arch-rival in the pro DSLR market Canon is also due to replace its top sports model, and that the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is already being field tested for the 2020 Olympics.

In addition to the Nikon D6, Nikon also announced the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR F-mount lens.

“This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Nikon F mount,” Nikon says. “The new AF-S NIKKOR 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR F mount lens […] will provide professional photographers in fields such as sports photography with even greater support.”

As with the D6, specs, pricing, and availability of the upcoming 120-300mm f/2.8 will be revealed at a later date.