The news of Nikon developing the next generation high-resolution D850 DSLR camera have been generating a lot of buzz all over the photography community. The Nikon D810 has set such a high benchmark for a DSLR, that any thought of an upgrade is certainly getting a lot of people excited. Nikon’s promise to deliver a product that will exceed customer expectations is surely intriguing Nikon fans, and there are all kinds of talks in regards to the not-yet-revealed specifications of the camera. One of the hot topics that is surrounding the upcoming Nikon D850 is its viewfinder – people are speculating whether the camera will feature a hybrid viewfinder, something we have never previously seen on a DSLR before. If Nikon does indeed make it happen, we could see the very first DSLR with a hybrid viewfinder. Interestingly, I wrote a detailed article about how this could happen two years ago in an article titled “Transitional DSLR with EVF Capability“. Let’s revisit that article and shed a bit more light on how this might change the way DSLRs work today.
First of all, give the above article a read, as it explains my thought process behind building a hybrid EVF on a DSLR camera in detail. If Nikon indeed makes a transitional DSLR out of the D850, it will be a huge change in the way we perceive DSLRs today. This would open up a lot of potential for DSLR owners, because they could continue utilizing their existing lenses and potentially even take advantage of older manual focus lenses, since an EVF would allow for more precise focusing opportunities using focus peaking and zooomed in views.
A hybrid viewfinder would work in two different modes. The default mode would be to have the mirror in the 45 degree position, which would reflect the image into the pentaprism, giving the photographer an optical viewfinder. In live view mode, the mirror would raise up and the image from the sensor would be duplicated on a separate OLED screen that could be placed on the back of the pentaprism, as shown below:
Since a raised mirror does not consume much battery life, the mirror could stay locked in this position for a long time, allowing photographers to take advantage of an EVF and LCD for extended periods of time. As explained in the article, this could present so many great opportunities for Nikon shooters. If Nikon does it right on the D850, it could potentially eliminate focusing issues people experience on DSLRs due to calibration problems related to phase detection AF system, which would in itself be a huge achievement.
Please keep in mind that a hybrid viewfinder on the D850 is pure speculation at this point. We cannot confirm if the camera is going to have one, at least not at this point.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!