CES 2012: Nikon stand report

Visitors to the Nikon booth had a variety of exhibits and demonstration areas to explore with a strong focus on the Nikon 1 system and the D4.

As is usually the case, the Nikon booth is among the largest of the camera manufacturers at CES, featuring three separate live demonstration areas. While all of its newest additions had been announced well ahead of CES, this was the first opportunity for many attendees to get 'hands-on' time with the Nikon D4, which obviously proved to be a big draw.

Nikon's D4 attracted a lot of attention... ...with attendees getting to try its improved portrait-orientation handling.
The rear controls have received a considerable re-jig... ...but pro shooters are likely to find their way around pretty quickly.
The rather more affordable AFS Nikkor 85mm F1.8 G also drew the crowds.  

Nikon has taken the opportunity to really push the 1 series system at this year's CES, with the colorful J1 in particular, on prominent display.

The Nikon 1 J1 appeared in a variety of colors... They weren't the only colorful models also at the booth.

The company's line of entry-level and enthusiast DSLR bodies, lenses and accessories occupies a central location in the booth but it's impossible to miss the biggest products at this year's show for Nikon - the mirrorless 1 system and the new professional-level D4. With regard to the D4, Nikon was keen to show off its video capabilities, with live demonstrations and display models mounted on professional video rigs.

Even with the emphasis on newer models, there was still interest in the CoolPix lineup... ...including (from l to r) the P500, S8200 and the P7100.

Nikon's Coolpix lineup is a more modest presence in the booth area, but plenty of attendees were lining up to try out the enthusiast-oriented P7100, as well as popular travelzoom and ultracompact models. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

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Total comments: 24
By anirudht96 (Apr 22, 2012)

wow this is great

By Shomari (Jan 13, 2012)

Do I see evidence of sbh orbs in this photo..:-) ?

Just kidding and nice job guys, thanks.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
By Nate21 (Jan 13, 2012)

Just wondering did Nikon have a mock-up 500mm f4 at CES it seems some publications stated it


By the_rascal (Jan 13, 2012)

it's the SONY 500/4 G SSM prototype (not a new thing BTW).

SAL = Sony Alpha Lens FYI

By choochoo22 (Jan 13, 2012)

Could someone who would actually consider buying one please help me understand why a professional photographer would put up with cameras the size and weight of a D4? Is it really just "mine is bigger than yours"? Unless you are using them to club your way through crowds it can't possibly be an advantage to wield a 4lb (guessing) camera the size of a shoebox. There's nothing in there that isn't in a D5100, just a slightly bigger sensor and more computing power. I would think Nikon, or any competent camera company, could build something like this half this size if the market demanded it. So why aren't people demanding it?

Back in the 70's the OM-1 showed the world an SLR didn't need to be so big and heavy and in a few years all the companies were making smaller models. It seems way past time for a similar revolution in DSLRs.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By DimiExter (Jan 13, 2012)

Two simple reasons:
1) Sport - try to shoot a Gymnastic Meet Event with a 5100 and send us the shots, they will look like impressionism or abstract art, but not like crisp gymnast action shots
2) Photojournalism: go to Irak embedded in a military team int he middle of the desert, or more realistic just attend a vigorous protest somewhere with smoke, water, dust
Those bodies are heavy yes (0.9 kilos, not 4 pounds although), but robust , fast and reliable.
Last: try to shoot 100,000 shots and see how your body resist. Studio D1x Nikon are know to have absurd 1,000,000 shots.

By cjep1 (Jan 13, 2012)

Add to this: The pro glass (14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 200 f/2 etc) are all quite heavy; hence, the body weight/size balance those very well.

I was looking at a D700 with vertical grip and that is even bigger than the D3!

yusuf ddi
By yusuf ddi (Jan 13, 2012)

I think this is the way the digital technology professionals prefer. They do little improvements each time. They need to earn money out of that... I own a D700 and quite happy with it. But I definitly expect a smaller DSLR with similar features...

By choochoo22 (Jan 13, 2012)

DimiExter-- I think you may have missed my point. I'm not suggesting you don't need the features of a D4 or that a D5100 is in any way just as good. I'm just suggesting that the D4 functionality could/should be in a smaller and lighter package. Wouldn't those sports and conflict shots be easier to capture with a more agile camera, particularly in crowded situations? Not to mention transportability.

cjep1- Balance seems like a valid concern but when you are shooting hand-held, don't you generally support the lens-camera with the left hand and control with the right hand. I don't quite see how a lighter camera would be a disadvantage. Weight aside, it would seem the bulk of a D4 would be a hindrance in any hand-held situation.

By costinul_ala (Jan 13, 2012)

think about the things that take up space and how can they make them smaller
Battery, viewfinder assembly, grip, display, sensor - which would you like to shrink in a flagship camera? it wouldn't be flagship anymore ... there are already the d300 / d700 for other applications, they have it pretty much covered

By nikonjohn (Jan 13, 2012)

They might be able to provide a body that is a little lighter and more compact but once you include the battery grip, state of the art electronics to support professional features and a FF sensor, large viewfinder and rear LCD, and encase it in a metal body, you are bound to have a size and weight difference vis-a-vie the D5100.

By choochoo22 (Jan 13, 2012)

Sounds like a little bit each of:

a) You don't believe the electronics can be shrunk. (the physical elements already exist in smaller cameras which, themselves, should probably be shrunk) I think anything electronic can be shrunk.


b) You like having the vertical grip built in vs removable.


c) You like mine-is-bigger-than-yours.

Thank you, now I think I understand

By NotSteve (Jan 14, 2012)

As far as the argument for high speed indoor sports, like gymnastics, I think we are looking at a function of shutter speed and aperture, so then if you present what those criteria are, then it's objective what cameras are up to spec and what are not.

Regarding photojournalism at protests, I can say from first hand experience that the size of the camera and weather sealing have entirely nothing to do with being able to take pictures under those circumstances. I would even venture to guess that today, with activists themselves having cameras, point and shoots or in their phones, even a professionally trained photographer with a massive brick of a DSLR, will not necessarily be the ones to get the great shots, shooting from the sidelines.

By love_them_all (Jan 14, 2012)

You wanna talk about the 70's? Go check out the Nikon F2 high speed with the huge motor drive and the 250 shot film magazine. What is bigger and heavier now?

Remember the pro bodies comes with a vertical grip and also an oversized prism. These things are there for comfort and stability. I am not saying they are not big and heavy, but different tools for different jobs.

By Remarkablerocks (Jan 14, 2012)

I like the handling of a full size camera when pro lenses are attached. I agreed that electronics can be downsized but somehow I think the pro cameras are designed in certain way to meet the needs of the customers, and Nikon is particularly good in listening to their consumers. I love the size of my D700 with the vertical grip when the long 70-200 f2.8 VRII is attached. I recently got myself a D3s in anticipation of the release of D4, because I feel the D3s has more features than I will ever need and I want to get one before they stop producing them and the price will go up, because not that many people can afford or need the D4 and will be forced to buy D3s used at higher price than when it was new. That is the typical scenario of the Nikon evolution process from my 30 years experience of owning Nikon equipments. I also don't understand why people complaining about the delay of releasing new cameras from Nikon. I can safely say that Nikon has more than enough cameras for everyone now!

By jmmgarza (Jan 12, 2012)

Great products from the premier manufacturer of photography equipment. I look forward to hearing about the D800 (updated D700) or whatever it will be called.

1 upvote
By kayone (Jan 12, 2012)

So basically they announced stuff we already knew from the News section. Oh well

Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jan 12, 2012)

Nikon did not announce anything at the show, but this was the first opportunity that most journalists and industry figures had to try out the D4.

By ScottRH (Jan 12, 2012)

For those at the show, any insight in the D400 DX ?

By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2012)

Howabout a 25mm f/2.0 lens for the 1 series?

Yes, I get that the earthquake and the Thai floods delayed things, but really.

Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jan 11, 2012)

And destroyed thousands of properties, scores of factories and a great many lives, plus causing damage to infrastructure that might take years to properly repair. I'm sure more lenses are planned for the 1-system in the future...

Daniel Lowe
By Daniel Lowe (Jan 12, 2012)

Delayed things indeed.

There are other 'D' words you could use to understand the situation, death, destruction, depression, devastation.............

Somehow I understand why they think your lens can wait.

By jtan163 (Jan 12, 2012)

The more lenses that get made, the more money will be available to fix flood damage.
With that in mind...

Blow the 1 series!!!!
How 'bout some fast DX lenses?

By garyknrd (Jan 14, 2012)

I live in Thailand most of the year. I was caught by the flood waters in BKK. These floods happen every year. But never flood BKK very bad. I talked to one government official who told me it was an error in judgment from the flood control offical. Also all the thais know about the floods and what to do and it was not done this year. That said it is back to normal here in most places.
Actually I am a little surprised that the major manufacturers in Ayutthaya have not water proofed there plants? This has been going on for years and years.
But the earthquake in Japan is tragic in my opinion.

Bottom line is. I think two to three years for normal operations to resume.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
Total comments: 24