Nikon 1 System First Impressions

Nikon 1 V1 with 10-30mm, SB-N5 compact Speedlight, 10-100mm video-optimized powerzoom, 10mm and 30-110mm lenses

Over the course of the last year or two, mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera systems have gone from being interesting portents of things to come to distinctly mainstream products. And with the likes of the Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung all building up their systems into very credible alternatives to DSLR outfits, Nikon has now decided the time has come to show its hand. The result is the 'Nikon 1' system, initially two cameras and four lenses (plus a smattering of accessories) built around a new sensor format that the company calls 'CX'. At 13.2 x 8.8mm in size, the 1 system's brand-new Nikon-designed CMOS sensor is about a third of the area of the DX sensor used in the company's mainstream SLRs.

Nikon's Masahiro Suzuki, General Manager, R&D Department, Development HQ, says there were three factors in choosing the sensor size: image quality, responsiveness and ease of use (specifically in terms of portability). He says the sensor was both designed and engineered by Nikon and stressed it is 'not built by Sony.'

Initial attention has focused on the relatively small size of this sensor compared to other mirrorless systems, and this is a pity as it risks overlooking the impressive technology Nikon has designed into it. Not only is it capable of extraordinary shooting speeds (full resolution images can be captured at an astonishing 60 frames per second), it also incorporates a 'Hybrid' autofocus system that employs both Phase and Contrast Detection focus methods. The result is, according to Nikon, the fastest autofocus of any camera the company has ever made - including its professional flagship DSLR, the D3S. Not only that, the 1 system cameras can shoot at 10 frames per second while maintaining focus on a moving subject.

The system can choose from 135 points when utilizing contrast-detection AF and 73 when using phase-detection AF, and will automatically select what it thinks is the most appropriate method.

We have seen on-sensor phase-detection systems before but Suzuki says the Nikon 1's system is 'much more advanced than the Fuji sensor.' Indeed, he says the system is the fastest of any Nikon camera 'in terms of speed and responsiveness.'

The camera's shooting speed is supported by an all-new image processor, branded as EXPEED 3. This allows the camera to achieve a remarkable data throughput of 600 MP/sec, which Nikon claims is the 'fastest in the world'. A slide at the press launch event graphically made this point - in terms of sheer data processing speed, the Nikon 1 system cameras outpace the D3S by a considerable margin.

A slide from Nikon UK's launch presentation, illustrating the high-speed data throughput of the 1 system compared to other cameras on the market, including Nikon's own flagship D3X. 

This being 2011, the sensor also has serious video capabilities. It's capable of recording Full HD movies (1920 x 1080 resolution) at 60i or 30p, and full-resolution stills can be captured at a press of the shutter button without interrupting recording. This is the first camera we can think of that gives the user the choice of how the video output is packaged (60i and 30p are essentially the same data presented differently), depending on whether you want to just view the footage or edit it. The phase-detection AF system means the cameras can also track a moving subject during video shooting. All-in-all the 1 system represents an impressive convergance of stills and video capabilities into a single camera.

Who's it for?

Perhaps the most important point to understand about the 1 system is the type of customer Nikon is aiming for. It's most certainly not designed as a second camera for SLR users, but rather as an entirely different type of system that users intimidated by the size and perceived complexity of SLRs can upgrade to when they outgrow their compacts. Nikon says that its customer surveys worldwide reveal that such users value small size, ease of use, and operational speed as much as outright image quality - and the 1 system aims to strike a specific balance between these demands.

The DSLR market is still growing, says Suzuki, but equally the mirrorless market it growing as well. 'We learned from our mirrorless competitors' he says, about how to distinguish the '1' system from F-mount. He considers the Nikon 1 to be different from the existing offerings, instead describing it as 'a new class of camera.'

In fact, the company has even coined a new acronym to match: A-CIL, for 'Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lenses'. We're not sure quite how far this idea holds up in reality, but the point is clear. The 1 system is supposed to sit between compact cameras and SLRs, and not directly compete with either. And, if the company's market research is correct, there's every chance this market sector's expectations are very different from those of the enthusiast photographers who are currently scratching their heads and expressing their dissatisfaction about the new product.

This targeting, plus the sensor's high speed capabilities, results in a very different look to the camera's interface, exemplified by its mode dial. Gone are the scene and PASM modes familiar to SLR users (although these can still be selected through the menu), replaced by four positions which represent different applications of high speed stills and movie recording. The 'Motion Snapshot' mode combines a slow-motion movie with a simultaneously-recorded still image, while the 'Smart Photo Selector' mode takes 20 full-resolution images from a single shutter-button press (including some captured before the button is fully depressed), then analyses them,saving what it judges to be the best five (even recommending the very best of the bunch). There's just a single position to cover all aspects of conventional stills shooting, plus one more for movies. 

Nikon 1 V1 vs J1 - What's the difference?

The two cameras Nikon has initially launched are very similar in size, and share the same sensor and many key specifications. But dig a little deeper and there are a fair few differences between them, helping underline the different types of users Nikon is hoping to reach:

  • V1 has a built-in high resolution electronic viewfinder
  • J1 has built-in pop-up flash, while V1 has an accessory port in place of the pop-up flash, initially compatible with a tiny slide-on flash unit and GPS device, but with more accessories proposed to follow.
  • V1 has higher resolution LCD (921,000 dots, rather than the 460,000 on the J1)
  • J1 has only an electronic shutter, whereas the V1 has a mechanical shutter too. In principle this should afford better image quality to the V1 under certain conditions. It also helps the V1 achieve a flash sync speed of 1/250th seconds, rather than the J1's 1/60th limit.
  • Cameras have slightly different control layouts (flash mode button on J1 replaces focus mode button on V1)
  • Body materials are different - V1 is an aluminium/magnesium alloy, J1 is a simpler aluminium alloy

Mr Suzuki explains that both models are aimed at compact camera upgraders, with the difference being down to shooting style. The J is aimed at users who want a compact camera experience (LCD only), while the V is aimed at the higher-level user - a delineation Nikon has made through the addition of the EVF. This also explains the single control dial on the J; making the operation less complex.

For now, the company will focus on compact camera users as the target for its mirrorless cameras. Luxury ILCs (such as Sony's NEX-7) represent a very small niche. Nikon, he says sees 'much greater potential' at the lower end of the market.

Comments

Total comments: 255
123
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Sep 22, 2011)

I think the very first people who buy these mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are those who read and participate in this website other than compact updaters. 9 out 10 people who bought M4/3 or Nex's must have bought serious DSLR's. Those who are not interested in photography won't bother with these mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

0 upvotes
GunnY_vds
By GunnY_vds (Sep 22, 2011)

ASM is still available as far as I've seen, but just not on the dial.
This system will not be for me, but it might have its merits.

Curious to see the real life test results of this.

0 upvotes
Greg Lovern
By Greg Lovern (Sep 22, 2011)

I understand that Nikon is aiming these at compact camera upgraders, but I wonder how many people want a bounce flash unit but don't want a PASM dial.

Greg

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Sep 22, 2011)

Realistically, given the very limited variation in DOF on offer with this combination of slow lens and small sensor, PASM dial mode is pretty much useless, as it is on any compact, truth be told.

People like to have it because it makes them feel important - it doesn't actually do anything useful.

Consider, on the other hand, that a bounce flash is probably the single most important item to make your photographs look better.

3 upvotes
Anssi Kumpula
By Anssi Kumpula (Sep 22, 2011)

And not having sense of depth and smooth backgrounds and foregrounds is what these cameras are not having. I believe many compact camera users find sense of depth in SLR photos flattering to the eye but they won't get that.

1 upvote
boogerschnot
By boogerschnot (Sep 22, 2011)

talk about a crappy pop up flash for the j1! on the other hand swivel and tilt flash that comes with the camera! nice one there even pany didnt do swivel on their flash same with oly.

0 upvotes
Deleted78792
By Deleted78792 (Sep 22, 2011)

Whatever happened to the plain vanilla fixed lens cameras? Why does everything have to be an interchangeable lens system? If 1/1.7 inch sensor size cameras of the Olympus 5050C era could carry a fixed lens, why can't the 1 inch sensor camera have a fixed lens with a reasonably fast lens?

No interest at all in the 'mount'.

And instead of making the camera a machine gun, maybe Nikon should focus on base ISO IQ first and foremost.

4 upvotes
mpetersson
By mpetersson (Sep 22, 2011)

I agree with you. I can definitely see the point of a large-sensor compact that would have better IQ than the slew of G10/P7000-sized cameras. But honestly, why bother with the interchangeable lenses. The way Nikon themselves express it, this is for P&S-upgraders. Would they really want to bother with the lenses? And above all the camera is far too expensive.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Sep 22, 2011)

Why would a fixed (zoom?) lens have any advantage in IQ over an interchangeable one? I don't see the logic behind your gripe.

The reason the 1/1.7" sensors had fast zoom lenses was because the sensor was so small. It would be possible to make an F2.5-2.8 zoom on CX format, but it would cost a bundle and be very large, defeating the purpose of the camera IMO.

No one is forcing you to detach the lens if you don't want to. On the other hand the ability to switch from a zoom to a fast prime (if Nikon evetually gets around to it) or a macro, or wide angle, or a F-mount lens, is a significant increase in flexibility.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 22, 2011)

Because the sensor is too big for a bright zoom lens (laws of optics).

Only prime lenses may be small and bright, like the ones from Olympus and Panasonic.

0 upvotes
Deleted78792
By Deleted78792 (Sep 22, 2011)

The 1" sensor is not that big a step-up from the 1/1.7" sensor. So, a reasonably fast fixed lens is still possible, instead of the slow kit lens that is now being supplied with the CX mount. And the mount certainly makes a difference in the size. It takes up space on the camera and the lens. On a fixed lens camera, there are two benefits- one, integrating the lens in the body makes it possible for the lens parts to be inside the the plane where the front of the body will be, thus reducing the lens size. Two, it allows shorter separation between the lens and the sensor, potentially allowing for better IQ. I am no lens design expert, so if an expert claims that is not the case, then I defer to his/her opinion.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Sep 22, 2011)

Way too expensive, lenses too big and heavy, sensor and lenses are poor for short DoF, sensor is likely going to turn out IQ inferior to m43 and APS-C mirrorless cams. Body no smaller than compact mirrorless competitors.

Other than the AF and/or shot processing, I see nothing compelling at all.

3 upvotes
magic_carpet
By magic_carpet (Sep 22, 2011)

+1

1 upvote
LokTo
By LokTo (Sep 22, 2011)

no 50mm equivalent lens is total fail!

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Sep 22, 2011)

This is what kills it for me as well, but we are not Nikon's target audience, at least not yet. I'm sure Nikon has it on the playback, they've pretty much admitted as much (well, depending on what you define a "portrait lens" as...)

Here's the thing: an F2 or even F1.4 lens isn't going to have much DOF, largely defeating the point of having a fast prime. It just helps to keep the ISO down in low light, that's about it.

Face it: CX is not the place to look for photographic creativity, so a fast selection of lenses is pretty meaningless.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 22, 2011)

Not even Canon APS-C DSLRs have a dedicated 50mm equivalent ... And i hate them for it. Nikon has the 35/1.8AF-S for DX, but canon with 1,6x crop should have a 31 or 32/1.8AF-S tho it doesn't have either. There is a 28/1.8 but that is a old and relatively expensive full-frame lens. It's even worse with wide-angle primes for crop. In this aspect the ILC type cams actually have plenty options, even high-grade ones. Why do thèy get all the good stuff huh.

0 upvotes
adrian mctiernan
By adrian mctiernan (Sep 26, 2011)

I bypassed Canon and bought a yashica 28mm f2.8 manual lens and an adaptor for my Canon 400d. The lens is actually very good sharpness wise, at f8 is my favourite, but has some CA. I like panoramas, and find that using the camera portrait format, I can print a 30inch wide x 11.4inch print at 300dpi, and get very nice shots indeed, which sell. My first shot paid for the lens. Their 50mm f2.8 lens is as good as the Carl Zeiss Planar 50 T* at f8, but not bigger apertures. I have both, and am a pixel-peeper, and was shocked to find this. But as Yashica used to make lenses for Carl Zeiss, I guess they learned something vital. Since I use almost always the f8, I am very happy with either. I wish manufacturers would concentrate on making bigger sensors cheaper - I love medium format, but even hasselblad messes about with smaller sensors, 120 film is nearly 2 and a half times more area than the Hasselblad back square format costing thousands - lets have a 6x6 sensor camera for £1000 - please!

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Sep 22, 2011)

What Nikon teaches us : Faster is better.
We learn : The company with the fastest chips makes the best cameras.
I've rarely seen something that is more ridiculous that this slide.
A sad day in terms of photography. Especially since I own a Nikon cam and really really love it.

4 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

fast is nice, but processors are cheap, and sensor size is expensive. So the value for money is certainly not there, just because its speedy.

1 upvote
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Sep 22, 2011)

Still a niche for good video capture with stills. If speed it is for fast action or sports then there's no need for an interchangeable system. A built in lens would suffice and compete with 1/1.7" compacts and beat the competition. The interchangeable system seems to be there just for Nikon to have something to compete against m4/3.

Zooms is a must for video capture.

Too expensive camera just for simple use.
I don't see this any better than other cameras or system for image capture.

0 upvotes
iunius
By iunius (Sep 22, 2011)

This is a brilliant strategy by Nikon.

Now we've got 3 sizes to choose from: Nikon, 4/3, and APS-C. People will go Nikon for compactness or APS-C for quality, and 4/3 in the middle will lose out.

Longer term, sensor tech will improve, and lenses will get faster. They'll pass the quality bar for more potential customers with each iteration, and more people will forgo the advantage of larger sensors in favor of compactness.

All the while, they have a format that is cheaper to manufacture, so they can put the difference into other features, or just have higher margins and invest more in R&D.

0 upvotes
Ken Aisin
By Ken Aisin (Sep 22, 2011)

Higher margin only when people are buying them.

1 upvote
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

Only, these aren't any more compact than Nex or Gfx.

This strategy is assuming that a lot of people who can't read will spend $600-$800 on cameras, because they saw the slide that shows it to be as fast as a jet.

Yesss! I don't have to buy airplane tickets anymore, I got my Nikon J1!!

0 upvotes
olindacat
By olindacat (Sep 22, 2011)

Pity we all waited so long for Nikon to poop out on us. Like I want to buy a whole new system and glass. I've got everything they make worth a hoot. Why can't I expect a mirrorless system that wows me and can kick Sony's ass and work in concert with what I already own? Why do I have to even consider buying an NEX just to have a large-sensor mirrorless and to boot, have to get their crummy E-mount lenses? I WANT A MIRRORLESS NIKON THAT KICKS SOME ASS. And, for $900 or so dollars, even the soccer moms out there expect something that will rock their worlds. This won't do it. Totally bummed. Bummmmmmmed!!!

5 upvotes
sergueis
By sergueis (Sep 22, 2011)

As I see it aims for the market of enthusiast compact cameras which currently have 10-12MP 1/1.7 sensor. Nikon 1 should deliver better IQ. But:

1. Due to much slower lens, for low light conditions it has to use higher ISO by 2 stops, e.g. 3200 against 800 for Panasonic Lumix LX5 or Canon S95/S100. Is its pixel size 4 times bigger? No. Hence, IQ will be worse despite bigger sensor.

2. Including lens, it's 2 times bigger and heavier.

3. Including lens, it's 2 times more expansive.

In total: my big doubts.

4 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 22, 2011)

Your statements #1 and #2 are true for all system cameras and DSLRs with kit lenses.

High end compacts like LX5 and XZ-1 are simply hard to beat when you look at them as a system.

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

That's why there's always people clamoring for an LX5 type camera with an APS-C sensor...

But Manufacturers stand to make way more money with interchangeable lenses.

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Sep 22, 2011)

I really wish they would have combined the features. Sorting through the J1/V1 list makes me think I need to keep looking else where. Maybe the X10 is more in line with what i want.

0 upvotes
cm71td
By cm71td (Sep 22, 2011)

"It's most certainly not designed as a second camera for SLR users, but rather as an entirely different type of system that users intimidated by the size and perceived complexity of SLRs can upgrade to when they outgrow their compacts"

Why would someone who is "intimidated by the complexity of SLRs" need an interchangeable lens camera?

4 upvotes
Ken Aisin
By Ken Aisin (Sep 22, 2011)

Exactly, and they will be intimidated by the price tag too. Besides, I don't see people who are intimidated by the complexity of SLRs would be interested in a prime lens and an external flash with swivel head.

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 24, 2011)

You see, I was waiting for Nikon's release, not as a second camera to an SLR, but as a first and only camera. I haven't had an SLR since the days of little film cans.

And even though I loved shooting with it, my memories of lugging that around make me want to take advantage of the miniaturization Sony has proven works.

The only reason I didn't buy a Nex is cause Sony lacks a nice, small 30mm pancake like Samsung has, or even a 50mm prime.

I didn't buy a G3, solely cause I didn't want the smaller M4/3 sensor, even though I love the way that camera is set up.

I really wanted a small main camera out of Nikon, with the low light power of their D5100 at the same price but smaller size.
I was really waiting for Nikon to deliver a better alternative.

Ok, so they fear cannibalizing their DSLR market, but it wouldn't touch their high end cameras, and they wouldn't need to charge any less for a small (cheaper to make) mirrorless version of the D5100 and a more simplistic sister model.

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 24, 2011)

Getting bored with waiting and need a camera within one month now, so I'm considering getting a cheap NX11 with a 30mm pancake as a stop-over, till maybe Canon wakes up next year.

0 upvotes
frosti7
By frosti7 (Sep 22, 2011)

First impressions? this is an interview article, not impressions
please name this article by its name.

4 upvotes
Ken Aisin
By Ken Aisin (Sep 22, 2011)

"If it turns out to be capable of producing good results where existing cameras can often fail - school sports, for example - then it could easily turn out to be the long sought-after 'family camera' for users who want memorable pictures but have no interest in learning the technical minutiae of camera operation."

So, I suppose AF speed is pretty much the only potential advantage of the Nikon 1 system. I wonder what will happen to Nikon 1 sales when the competitors catch up on focus speed by implementing hybrid AF in their mirrorless cameras.

1 upvote
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

This may be the one great benefit of this release: Prod the other manufacturers into improving the AF on their Nex and GFx models

0 upvotes
Pchai
By Pchai (Sep 22, 2011)

I dont understand the part where it says

" it is capable of extraordinary shooting speeds (full resolution images can be captured at an astonishing 60 frames per second)" and then it says " the 1 system cameras can shoot at 10 frames per second while maintaining focus on a moving subject."

So is it 60 frames or 10 frames per second?

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Sep 22, 2011)

It's 60 fps with focus locked when you press the shutter button, 10 fps with tracking autofocus (refocuses every shot).

0 upvotes
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Sep 22, 2011)

Gee, last I remember Nikon making a suicidal move was by sticking to 12mp with their D3 camera. Last I checked, that camera single handedly revolutionized low light photography!

0 upvotes
meyr
By meyr (Sep 22, 2011)

haha.. love the picture with the xmen jet and and a vespa

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Sep 22, 2011)

Xmen jet? Take that back sir! That's an SR71 blackbird, I'll have you know!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LockheedSR-71Blackbird

Much cooler... :)

3 upvotes
Fraucha
By Fraucha (Sep 22, 2011)

Correct an SR-71, of which I have flown in. Fast, very vast.

0 upvotes
Fraucha
By Fraucha (Sep 22, 2011)

oops, not only am I old but it is early in the morning ... Fast, Very fast*

0 upvotes
Anton Marcu
By Anton Marcu (Sep 22, 2011)

the entire business model is predicated on a market segment of compact users who want to upgrade, but I think the vast majority of these would just upgrade to the newest iteration of the compact they already have NOT to a paradigm-shifting interchangeable system, no matter how compact it is (it's not really) or how fast

Nikon will have a though challenge ahead to convert their intended target market and convince them this is what they need, but who knows, in 5 years this maybe the next ipod

0 upvotes
Fraucha
By Fraucha (Sep 22, 2011)

I think though, that maybe the upgrade from compact is not the real target, but the in between market of those who want to change lenses but are intimidated by buttons and menus. This fits, it will be huge if it is marketed properly. Remember how Apple changed the computer world ... The Computer for the rest of us .... this is that camera. Simple, small and yet packs enough power for something completely FUN ...Like filming a short sequence of video and yanking out the perfect motion shot .... Family and H.S. Sports.

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

@ Fraucha ok, so it comes down to "marketing it right", cause surely, yanking out the perfect motion shot I'm already doing with my 1080p recording Galaxy smartphone. Somehow, it keeps video better in focus than stills :P

The Canon GF3 and the Nex do a good job of that already.

So we end up comparing AF speed vs sensor size / IQ...

I think Nikon just wanted to a) save money, b) not cannibalize DSLR sales, c) enter the new market before shareholders revolt.

All the strategy / slides / advertising looks like it was created after the DSLR department told them what they weren't allowed to use.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Sep 22, 2011)

"It's most certainly not designed as a second camera for SLR users, but rather as an entirely different type of system that users intimidated by the size and perceived complexity of SLRs can upgrade to when they outgrow their compacts"

So basically its not for the large majority of DPR readers.

0 upvotes
Fraucha
By Fraucha (Sep 22, 2011)

True, that stuff will come later.

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

uhhh, how much later?

I thought it was pretty late already...

2 upvotes
Ross Murphy
By Ross Murphy (Sep 22, 2011)

"If it turns out to be capable of producing good results where existing cameras can often fail - school sports, for example - then it could easily turn out to be the long sought-after 'family camera' for users who want memorable pictures but have no interest in learning the technical minutiae of camera operation."

Like they said its for the masses, take it or leave it, your going to see some of this stuff in DSLR's and then you'll be happy, but for now Nikon may strike a home run, time will tell, I know a lot of none photogs that will be very interested in new system.

Ross

0 upvotes
TOR8472
By TOR8472 (Sep 22, 2011)

It will be interesting to see how this works out for Nikon. For those who say it will fail, remember the D40? On paper, it looked like a dumb move for Nikon. Who would buy this body without a focus motor? Everyone on DPR hated it. The price of used D50s went up.

Why was the D40 such a success? Because people shooting on full auto were getting outstanding photos. I can see "soccer moms" (pardon the term) getting this thing with the 10-100, shooting 10 in-focus frames per second of their kids playing sports, and turning the 55-200IS shooting Rebel moms green with envy. Time will tell.

3 upvotes
Sarge_
By Sarge_ (Sep 22, 2011)

If Canon's new mirrorless camera uses at least and APS-C size sensor, I'll ditch my NEX-5, and convert all my pro Nikon gear to Canon, as the APS-C sensor.

I use the NEX-5 as an alternate for travel and backcountry use to the bigger D3 gear (unless I'm getting paid to lug the big stuff around.

If I could use a Canon mirrorless with both smaller system lenses and full size SLR lenses, I'd have the perfect full system. Nikon's missed the boat, as far as I'm concerned.

3 upvotes
DB Custom
By DB Custom (Sep 22, 2011)

Well, in a highly competitive market it looks as though Canon is in line to resume a healthy lead margin. Let's see what they do with the opportunity. I, for one, am really interested in seeing what the new S100 will do IQ wise, shame they hampered the zoom range with slowness but I guess it's the nature of the beast (read compact camera here) This really makes me look forward to seeing what Canon has in store for the full frame DSLR line!

1 upvote
Palau Blue
By Palau Blue (Sep 22, 2011)

If the new F Mount adapter works well, I'll buy it.

2 upvotes
Don Simons
By Don Simons (Sep 22, 2011)

Too late and too expensive.The Germans produced a V1 back in the 40s and that bombed out as well. No Nikon, people who own compact cameras to take snaps do not want a bag full of lenses and a one inch thick operating manual.This appears to be just another paranoid decision by a moribund seniority based management system. Perhaps the brighter, younger executives might like to compile all the negative comments here and elsewhere and table them at the next Nikon board meeting.

1 upvote
DonTom
By DonTom (Sep 22, 2011)

Well, the German version was DESIGNED to bomb out.......but seriously, many buyers of DSLR's just want something with better IQ and faster focusing than their compact. I know about 5 "soccer mums" seriously disappointed by their DSLR's with kit zooms. This will help the sports photography, at least outside, but will be no better in an auditorium or sports hall. And it is much smaller than an average DSLR with kit zoom.
Not saying I love, I don't....not buying one. Happy with my m43. But I would recommend it to a true "soccer mum", over an LX5 or the like, if outdoor sports was its main intended use.
If they bring out a Nikon "3", with an FX sensor and similar full capabilities with the FX lenses, I could see that pleasing all the crying masses...... Fair enough that they practice on a new format and market before bringing out the version for the more experienced users.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Sep 22, 2011)

True 60i is not the same as 30p. Fake 60i is the same as 30p but fake 60i has no purpose other than to screw with people.

0 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Sep 22, 2011)

what are u talking about shaocaholica?

there is 60 interlaced which gives a 30 fps output
and then there is 30p which stand for 30 progressive frames per second. i never heard of such a fake 60i; the output (in 60i) is
both of those fields INTERLACED = /2

gashô

0 upvotes
nosnoop
By nosnoop (Sep 22, 2011)

>there is 60 interlaced which gives a 30 fps output
>and then there is 30p which stand for 30 progressive frames
>per second. i never heard of such a fake 60i; the output
>(in 60i) is both of those fields INTERLACED = /2

Actually, for most camcorders, 60i comes from 60fps capture. So if you de-interlace it by using Bob (doubling the lines) or Discard, you would end up with a 60fps footage albeit at half vertical resolution. And you can get a pretty smooth slo-mo when playing it back at 30fps.

OTOH, the 60i from many digital cameras (including Nikon 1) are only 30fps capture, and they just split up the lines for the 60i format. It's not all bad though, as it allows shutter speed to go down to 1/30s instead of 1/60s for 60fps/60i capture.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Sep 22, 2011)

^^^
What he said. True 60i takes 60 interlaced images per second at distinct points in time so field 1 at time 1, field 2 at time 2, etc etc. Fake 60i is when you split 30 good progressive frames into 60 fields where field 1 is at time 1 and field 2 is also at time1.

It screws with people who don't understand how it works and try to de-interlace using bob or worse creating horrible artifacts which would not be an issue if they used 30p which contains the same data anyway.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Sep 22, 2011)

Basically, there's nothing to be gained from turning 30p into 60i so why even offer it?

0 upvotes
MaikeruN
By MaikeruN (Sep 22, 2011)

to confuse the crap out of innocent newbs

0 upvotes
RiderV
By RiderV (Sep 22, 2011)

Yes, it's a shame, Nikon. At least for now. But you, guys, hold on tight, as samurai, and smile. It will all pass.

1 upvote
uncleskull
By uncleskull (Sep 22, 2011)

The sensor size reminds me of Nikon's try at a new, proprietary RAW file system (I have forgotten what it was called - key word is WAS).

1 upvote
maxmillia
By maxmillia (Sep 22, 2011)

Excuse me if I'm confused or wrong...
This article is more like reading Nikon's Product Press Release rather than DPReview's "First Impressions".
Seriously, I don't see any of the writing as anyone's hands-on product "First Impressions".. WT??

9 upvotes
GrahamJohn
By GrahamJohn (Sep 22, 2011)

I love the design, simple and elegant, especially the V1 with attached flash. Of the course the proof will be in the image quality, but look at the good response the Olympus XZ-1 has garnered since it's introduction. I eagerly await a more thorough review with samples.

1 upvote
Dan4321
By Dan4321 (Sep 22, 2011)

Some good ideas, but the lenses... not what people want. Slow and oversized.

1 upvote
putomax
By putomax (Sep 21, 2011)

i kinda feel i am the only non zega photo company strategic expert around these bands... but if i keep reading, who knows...?

ô

1 upvote
spiderhunter
By spiderhunter (Sep 21, 2011)

This is tragedy at its worst. The technology, from what I read, is God-send but there is one fundamental flaw - the sensor is of the wrong size. The could well be the beginning of the end for Nikon as another brand can always have the same technology or better with a APS-C or FF sensor, and this little Nikon creation will bite the dust.

Already, the negative opinion against these latest releases is overwhelming. I can't remember any other occasion, and I stand corrected, when a new product has received such concerted negative reaction. No doubt other players are observing, taking down notes, waiting at the wings and ready to launch their attack.

Obviously, in their blind lust to protect their DSLR market, they became disorientated and marched into the quicksand. Sad, sad.

1 upvote
Harold66
By Harold66 (Sep 22, 2011)

The beginning of the end for Nikon ? are you serious
I think as dp review said this camera is not aimed at most people who read these forums . it does not make it a WRONG product simply because you , me and most people here are not interested in it. There is a whole bigger world out there. try to be less self centered around what YOU like and you will see it ... maybe

2 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Sep 22, 2011)

You're right, Harold66, until you get to the small matter of MSRP...

I know a few of the people you're referring to. A friend of mine, who uses a little canon snapper once said to me an LX5 would be wasted on him, he'd not use it enough to warrant spending $500. And this guy isn't short on cash, he's just not interested. Then there's my mom, if you walked her into a camera store and left her there, she's buy whatever the sales guy told her to buy. So, if Nikon's J1 offered the best margins to dealers, that's what she would come home with.

I really do wonder where this Nikon fits in between the don't-want-to upgraders and the would-like-to-but-too-expensive upgraders

Putting a Nikon J1 next to a discounted Samsung NX100 on Amazon's shelf; even at price parity of $399, I can already see the same customer-reviews previously seen there: "yeah, xyz camera is neat, but the bigger sensor camera is the sharper sword"

0 upvotes
Rob Klein
By Rob Klein (Sep 21, 2011)

I am not sure who or what Nikon wishes to better with this offering, but the entire concept does nothing for me. I am now curious as to whether Canon will come forth with a m4/3 system or will be looking to compete with the Fuji X100 and put a digital gut into one of its tried and true rangefinders from the last century with interchangeable lenses like Leica, but for a Canon price. It is clear that most of the posters here are not just shooting with point and shoots and this system seems to be an expensive version of that with some frosting that makes one want to put your finger in and taste, but not necessarily then ask for a piece.

1 upvote
Harold66
By Harold66 (Sep 22, 2011)

one thing is for sure ; canon WILL NOT go with the 4/3 system . they would not do that gift to Panasonic and olympus . Either they will have a APS size sensor ( my guess) or would come up with a new size on their own. since they make sensors , they have more options that most other brands

1 upvote
Ehrik
By Ehrik (Sep 24, 2011)

Hmmm Harrold66, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Nikon make their sensors too. Only Oly and Pentax don't.

0 upvotes
Jon Stock
By Jon Stock (Sep 21, 2011)

Nikon have always made SLR's I like and want. I have never been interested in any of their small cameras. They are like Microsoft dominant at one thing and suck at the rest. This camera is like a Zune mp3 player released into a market full of Ipods

3 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 21, 2011)

Some more samples at imaging resource - night time street images that are nothing special. Agressive noise reduction in use here not unlike higer end compacts - G12, LX5 etc. These and aother samples I have seen dont seem to be up to the level of M4/3.

Cheers

1 upvote
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Sep 21, 2011)

exactly i downloaded some of these RAW and JPEG images and looked at 100%. Looks like very very good point and shoot. JPEG has a lot of lost details similarly to Sony point-and-shoots, except Sony point-and-shoots are now 16MP so you can hide the lost details because nobody needs to zoom to 16MP.

0 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Sep 21, 2011)

have you check the raws?

cambio

ô

0 upvotes
TonGolem
By TonGolem (Sep 21, 2011)

"up to the level of M4/3" - lol. that level ain't too high either :D i just say: noise performance of sony nex 5n. or nikon d3s.

0 upvotes
TorsteinH
By TorsteinH (Sep 22, 2011)

Some looks at photos, while othe reads noice specs.

0 upvotes
TonGolem
By TonGolem (Sep 21, 2011)

I actually like the announcement. It sounds like a fresh and different approach to ILCs, with some unique features. Intelligent move by Nikon to avoid competition with the established 4/3 brands. The only question will be, if people are willing to pay the price. The camera is definitely worth it, the problem is that there are cameras out there with MUCH bigger sensors for a lot less money (the brilliant Nex 5 for less than 270€!?!?!!? I can literally buy used Leica glas for the price difference - and I did!). Innovation and speed are cool, but cooler than bokeh? For the target audience it will all come down to this: innovation or bokeh?

2 upvotes
Jeff Folkins
By Jeff Folkins (Sep 21, 2011)

No Flash on V1??....crazy... what is Nikon thinking?
My D300 has a built in flash. My various compact cameras have a built in flashes. What is the market for a middle range camera with no flash? If I am willing to carry around an external flash I might as well carry a DSLR. This just isn't consistent.
(BTW, I rarely use my built in flashes, but sometimes I do need it).

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Sep 21, 2011)

Ask Sony

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 22, 2011)

IMO, a photo with built in flash looks worse than one with a little motion blur, but either way it won't be very good anyway ...

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Sep 21, 2011)

Still can't get past the appallingly slow lenses. f/5.6 on a 2.7x crop sensor is the same as f/15 on FF when it comes to DOF. These lenses are even slower than the rubbish dished up on m4/3. Given the size, weight, and cost compared to m4/3 and APS-C EVIL cameras, I'd say this is an epic failure in the making. Only the AF sounds interesting.

3 upvotes
nikclick
By nikclick (Sep 22, 2011)

What 'rubbish' are you talking about?

20mm f1.7?
25mm f1.4?
25mm f0.95?
7-14mm f4?
100-300 f4-5.6?
12-35 f2.8?
35-100 f2.8?

And those are just the reasonably fast MFT lens... none of which can in any way be classed as 'rubbish'.

2 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Sep 21, 2011)

There's an error in the third photo on the second page. It should read "Both cameras feature a rocker-lever on the shoulder. While it's only marked as a zoom control in playback, it has other functions too" (Not two).

0 upvotes
Fujifilm Finepix F30
By Fujifilm Finepix F30 (Sep 21, 2011)

Wake up Nikon! Even with the perceived compact user 'target market', this interchangeable lens camera line with small sensor is simply NOT GOING TO WORK. Interchangeable lenses is too complex for the typical compact camera user, not to mention clunky and expensive. Why would a compact camera user want to go into that inconvenience and outrageous cost?

Creating a new camera line in order to avoid further erosion of your dSLR sales by the new m4/3 and other mirrorless systems is NOT the solution. Resistance is futile, Nikon. You have to fight them at their own game even if it means cannibalizing your own dSLR sales with your own m4/3 release. You'll have better chances of survival as a camera maker in the long term if you learn to accept reality and face the eventuality that dSLR's are not going to be around for long because m4/3 and other mirrorless systems are getting better by the day and slowly but surely, aggressively eating up the dSLR market.

3 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Sep 21, 2011)

It seems to me that it's priced too high for the stated target audience. The J1 should be priced around the $400 range and the V1 around the $600 range. Otherwise people will be thinking "for that kind of money I could get a 'real' camera (dslr, in their minds) or I can spend less and get a camera that fits in my pocket"

9 upvotes
CarlPH
By CarlPH (Sep 22, 2011)

Indeed, the price range is quite steep for that audience. Just like most of the new m4/3rds lenses.

0 upvotes
mojojones
By mojojones (Sep 21, 2011)

Looks like a nicely designed system but it's certainly not "simple". I like that they concentrated on speed rather than megapixels, and put a viewfinder on it, but the IQ doesn't seem any better than my S95 and it looses on compactness. Plus the price put is in the "enthusiast" range. They'll probably sell a lot of the pink ones with the special cases.

1 upvote
AnandaSim
By AnandaSim (Sep 21, 2011)

What is sad is the company decision to amputate their design to achieve product differentiation and segregation within their own catalog. Nikon engineers must be as good or better than anyone else. However, from their product philosophy, they purposely cripple their D3100 and D5100 line by not having an AF motor so that it does not steal sales from their D90 and above lines. And I hear (I don't own one) that they cripple their D90 class with metering handicap for manual lenses vs their D3 etc..... These are not technological can't do, they are management and product design decisions.

Now, they are doing every other brand a favour by purposely choosing an in-betweener sensor size - it's not small with the advantages of small like an LX-5 class and it's not DX with all the advantages of DX.

It seems "normal" lenses, not try-hard-primes are difficult to make small for any crop bigger than a bridge camera size sensor. That big lens for this cam is huge.

1 upvote
increments
By increments (Sep 21, 2011)

And at least with the DSLR differentiation, they are also differentiated on price. These are grossly overpriced.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 21, 2011)

Not overwhelmed by this announcement, but anyone who thinks that Canon s95 and the like produce better or equal IQ to the V1/J1 have not seen the sample images on Nikon's website. Pretty impressive.

1 upvote
shoevarek
By shoevarek (Sep 22, 2011)

And isn't any brand doing the same? What about Sony not providing feature to enter and store manual lens information? What about time that took them to allow to shoot manual lenses in A mode? Does Canon act differently? Does Panasonic or Olympus? Every company tries to keep their system closed in some way or other to force users buy their other accessories or limits features to force users buy their more 'advanced' and expensive products.

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Sep 21, 2011)

The truth is nobody knows much of anything about it yet. This Nikon sensor might be a winner and be as capable as most APS-C or M4/3 offering. It might be more capable. Deciding that the size cripples it prior to ever seeing and image or review, much less trying it, is a bit silly.

Personally, I've never understood M4/3 or APS-C mirrorless cameras, though I know they sell. Once you stick a lens on them, they're not really much smaller than an entry level DSLR. You can't stick them easily into a shirt pocket. I bought the Canon S95 as my shirt pocket camera for when I don't have the real thing. It takes excellent images. I might swap it for one of these after checking it's ability to fit in pockets and glove boxes.

It's got a lot of nice modular system type features. I'm sure that down the road, they will come out with a P1 or something with PSAM and other more enthusiast controls. None of these will replace my D700. It's a different animal and for what it is, looks pretty nice.

3 upvotes
tilariths
By tilariths (Sep 21, 2011)

Small sensor is small.

m4/3 system are really much smaller then an entry level DLSR, and more important, they got lenses that are not entry level, and are much smaller.

It seems that Nikon here was really afraid to compete with itself.

It will be the biggest flop since Pronea S (in case you forgot how badly can Nikon flop)

2 upvotes
sacundim
By sacundim (Sep 21, 2011)

"Personally, I've never understood M4/3 or APS-C mirrorless cameras, though I know they sell. Once you stick a lens on them, they're not really much smaller than an entry level DSLR. You can't stick them easily into a shirt pocket."

You can't stick them into a shirt pocket, but once you have to pack the camera and 3 lenses into a bag (e.g., 7-14mm, 14-140mm, 20mm), oh boy there sure is a big difference.

With Panasonic's new collapsible motorized zoom lens, also, the future isn't looking too great for cameras like the G12 or the LX5. (Cameras like your S95, on the other hand, are still well positioned against it.)

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 21, 2011)

tilariths:Why would Nikon want to make a different type of camera that is too similar to what they already have? Going very different is a very good way to capture different customers which is one of the easiest ways to sell more products!

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 21, 2011)

tilariths:Why would Nikon want to make a different type of camera that is too similar to what they already have? Going very different is a very good way to capture different customers which is one of the easiest ways to sell more products!

0 upvotes
TonGolem
By TonGolem (Sep 21, 2011)

About size: I actually wear my Nex 5 + Leica C-Summicron 40mm EVERYWHERE I go, it just slips in my jacket pocket. Loosing the mirror has tons of advantages, too (faster bursts, less camera shake, easier sensor cleaning, etc.). So there is stuff to like about the Nexes, 4/3s and NXs out there.

About image quality: we know in good light it doesn't make too much of a difference how big the sensor is, but in low light... and the shallow depth of field you can get with a bigger sensor. you know best, why you own a d700 and not a coolpix.

but true, no judgement before trying!

1 upvote
Prime_Lens
By Prime_Lens (Sep 21, 2011)

Here I was holding my breath for Nikon's version of mirrorless system.
And I have to say that I am greatly disappointed.. to say the least.

It is great that it is so responsive, and 60fps is awesome feat., but most of the consumer are not looking for whooping 60fps speed demon camera. At least it is not one of their primary objectives, me included. What they want is a ticket to get out of bulky and heavy DSLR system, and adapt true alternative to DSLR solution.

MicroFourThird was already small enough, and we do not yet another even smaller sensor size. For that we already have armies of plain or high-end P&S cameras to choose from.

Why can't they simply understand that simple nature of desire? I know they got the technology know how to make it happen. They are just saying "no" to it.

Well Nikon, I will tell you what.
I will shop over here with Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung.
If you want my money, you know what to do.

7 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Sep 21, 2011)

In their minds they do understand the nature of desire.

"Nikon says that its customer surveys worldwide reveal that such users value small size, ease of use, and operational speed as much as outright image quality - and the 1 system aims to strike a specific balance between these demands."

However, we all know that how people respond to surveys and what they actually do are two different things.

1 upvote
increments
By increments (Sep 22, 2011)

We also don't know what the questions were, and how they were worded. Market research companies have a long history of asking the questions that will get the answers their clients want.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Sep 21, 2011)

I don't think their "target market" exists. People I know who want to upgrade their compacts either want to get a dslr, or they want to get a single-lens "bridge" camera, neither of which this is.

Other groups this doesn't apply to either - same body size as m43rds but smaller sensor, not small enough to be "jeans pocketable", smaller sensor means worse low light performance, smaller sensor means less blurry background effects, etc etc.

The really fast fps is a neat trick - but not something that regular compact users are going to jump all over.

The only thing I can think this might work is for sports photographers. Maybe the smaller sensor would be an advantage as they would get more zoom out of the lens because of the crop factor.

This camera is worse at all of the existing segments of people who would be interested - small size with larger sensor, low light, blurred background, low price, want to move up but don't want to pay to much, want to move up but not deal with lenses.

2 upvotes
The Scurvy Dog of PR
By The Scurvy Dog of PR (Sep 21, 2011)

I think the target market is primarily Asia and Europe, not so much the US. This is what you get when you don't want to compete or rob market from your own gear. They wanted a slice of that 4/3's mirrorless pie and this is their take on it. Lots of pretty colors.

1 upvote
RiderV
By RiderV (Sep 22, 2011)

ANY crop factor you would give from any image editor for free.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Sep 21, 2011)

I'm beginning to like it. The frist RAWs from IR look pretty decent on RawTherapee and the AF may well be the great item here. Now the issue of this not being made by Sony is interesting.

2 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Sep 21, 2011)

the issue of this not being made by Sony is interesting.

very good

^

0 upvotes
Total comments: 255
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