Photokina 2012: Interview - Dirk Jaspers of Nikon (Part 2)

Dirk Jesper is Product Manager for Professional Products and Product planning at Nikon Europe, holding the Coolpix S800c - Nikon's first Android-powered camera. Photo: Barnaby Britton

When we spoke to Dirk Jasper, Nikon's Product Manager for Professional Products and Product Planning, at Photokina, we ended up having a pretty long conversation. In this interview - the second of two - Barnaby Britton spoke to Dirk about the development of the Nikon 1 System, as it marks its first anniversary, and the challenges of creating a hybrid 'connected camera'. 


Dirk, the Nikon 1 System was unveiled about a year ago - we had a few concerns about it when we reviewed the cameras, what sort of feedback have you had from customers?

The feedback was pretty good. Our approach was to make a speedy, compact system which looks nice, so the J1 and V1 really fulfilled all of those things, and fulfilled all the expectations. We were one of the last manufacturers to come to the mirrorless segment, but nevertheless, within less than half a year, we became number one in Europe.

Of course there might be systems that have aspects that are superior to the Nikon 1 but our idea of the 1 System at the beginning was to have a full package that delivers on the experience of the joy of photography and that's what the J1 and the V1 definitely did, and that's why they've been so successful.

We had a certain idea, a certain concept, and it worked. There are systems that are more professional, but we never aimed to make a professional mirrorless system, that was never our goal.

How many people actually bought additional lenses for their 1 system cameras?

I don't have those figures, but we have an attachment rate that's higher than one, definitely.

Well that's good! What position does the Coolpix P7700 occupy, then, in relation to the 1 System cameras?

The P7700 is made as a second camera. You see this with pros, when you see them working they do first impressions, location shots and so on with compact cameras, and the P7700 is a perfect companion for this, for someone that is experienced with photography, who can handle the manual settings.

The J2 is Nikon's latest 1 System offering, and provides a low-cost entry point into the system. Designed to be as easy as possible to use, the J2 doesn't offer much in the way of customization but does boast some impressive technology, including hybrid AF. 

Is there room in the 1 System for that kind of consumer, in the future? Or if someone buys a V1, and wants to develop their photography further, should they just jump systems and go for a D3200?

Well the V1 already offers a lot - you can do serious photography with that camera. You may have seen that we have a spokesperson here at Photokina, a South African photographer, he's doing motorsports with the Nikon 1 System. He used to work with professional DSLRs, now he's working with the 1 to shoot professional motorsports, motocross, things like that, due to the incredible speed and the autofocus. The V1 can offer a lot, especially with other lenses, we have an adapter that lets you use other Nikon DX and FX lenses, and there are more than 70 million out there.

Has the adapter been a popular product?

Yes, definitely for users of the V1. Less so for the J1 users.

The 1 System cameras have a hybrid AF system that automatically switches between contrast and phase-detection AF depending on light levels. Is it your intention to give 1 System users the ability to use the faster phase-detection AF in lower light than they can right now?

The range of feedback we've received over the years from customers who are not that experienced in photography is that they hate it when they miss a situation, so when their children are playing or something is happening and they want to take a picture.

Compact cameras are not always the fastest compared to SLR equipment and non-experienced users want a compact system that could capture that kind of subject. That was the idea for the Nikon engineers when they created the Nikon 1 - to create a system that just - click - does it. And you will end up with the picture you desire, not just almost. We were not originally thinking about sports photographers, we were thinking about people who take pictures of events, and children and so on.

In my experience, it was precisely those situations - indoors, with kids running around, where the 1 cameras often fail because the light might be too low for the faster phase-detection AF.

Well that depends on the situation. But yes, it's not a 100% solution for everything, I agree.

So is this something that you're working on?

We're constantly trying to improve the technology, and it has a future, for sure. This is the first generation and there's a lot of potential for the future.

Do you think there's room for a product like the Fujifilm X100 or Sony RX100 in the 1 System lineup? Compact, a nice sensor, but a fixed lens?

There are a few cameras like this around, but to me it looks like manufactures are testing the water, seeing what they can do. But we have a very clear idea with the 1 system and a clear message that we're delivering with our products.

But of course everyone is trying to find the extra Euro, the extra dollar, because compact cameras are a declining market. Cameras with fixed lenses are not as popular as they used to be in the past, because, in part of cameras like the J1 and V1 but also the DSLR market is still growing. In the compact sector, many manufacturers are trying to do something new to keep their market share.

The Nikon S800C, your recently-released Android camera is getting a lot of interest. How long ago was the idea for that camera born?

I can't say. But of course it didn't happen overnight.

I spoke to Samsung in Seoul, in spring, before they officially unveiled the Galaxy Camera, and one of the executives said that in his opinion, in the future a non-connected camera would be meaningless. What would you say to that?

Well he definitely has a point. One of the things about connectivity is sharing. Sharing your images. And this is even more popular in the US than in Europe, people like to share an image as soon as they've taken it. But people are often very disappointed by the performance of their smartphone's camera. With the S800c we tried to bring a camera which offers the connectivity, but it's a camera, with very good image quality, and standard camera functions. But still, it's very compact. You can Skype on it if you want to, but it's not a telephone, it's a camera.

The Coolpix S800c is a 16MP compact camera which uses the Android operating system. Connectivity comes courtesy of built-in WiFi. Here you can see the standard Android 'homescreen'.

What was the hardest thing about introducing a hybrid camera like this?

It's a new market for us. If you compare Nikon with some other manufactures, who are more tuned into this area, they're also in the phone market, the connected device market, for Nikon this is something new. Our strength is that we have a lot of knowledge about cameras. We know about optics, we know what people need and desire from a camera. That is something that we bring, and with the S800c we want to combine it with a good, open, widely-used mobile operating system.

One of the biggest differences between the Nikon S800c and the Galaxy Camera is the lack of 3G/4G connectivity in your product.

Yes, and of course come people will criticize this. But we are not a telephone company. You might see products with this connectivity in the future, but it's something we need to develop. It's very complex too, to provide this connectivity and for it to work worldwide. If you're already in the market, and you sell products all over the world already with 3G/4G connectivity…

Like Samsung…

Yes, like Samsung, then it's easier to go all the way. Because you've already done the R&D, and you have the contacts and everything already.

But I've had my hands on the Galaxy Camera and to me it doesn't feel like a camera. It's just not what I would call a compact camera. It's a smart device and it has a huge lens on it, which makes it very handy, and it's brilliant technology, but we have brilliant technology as well. We're just focussed on photography and the performance of the camera. We have decent, good connectivity, whether you use WiFi or you make your smartphone a hotspot and send images that way.

How will you generate feedback from S800c buyers?

We constantly do reviews, of course, we ask users for feedback, what they like and don't like… we do that for all products, whether it's a Coolpix or a D4. We do it constantly. We get the feedback, and send it to the engineers in Japan. If you want your products to be successful in the market, you have to meet the needs and desires of your customers. And sometimes you can bring something to the market that no-one has thought of before, something that everyone wants but did not know that they wanted. The Nikon 1 was such a product.

Comments

Total comments: 120
KodakFans
By KodakFans (Oct 11, 2012)

nice

0 upvotes
sorinx
By sorinx (Sep 27, 2012)

It feels like a discussion between two Nikon sales agents.

2 upvotes
LX93
By LX93 (Sep 28, 2012)

It's almost as though this website is owned & operated by a major retailer. Come to think of it...

2 upvotes
Chris Donnet
By Chris Donnet (Sep 27, 2012)

Where is the part 3, in which the DX format and the D400 are discussed ?

1 upvote
GPW
By GPW (Sep 27, 2012)

Screw the point and shoot cameras, where is the D400. I wish someone would grow a set of b@##s and ask some real questions.

0 upvotes
a43anshi
By a43anshi (Sep 26, 2012)

I am not happy with Nikon coolpix entry level cameras, eg; 2600,3300,3400,4300,

If anybody buy this camera he will never go for Nikon anymore,

1 upvote
toneil14741
By toneil14741 (Sep 26, 2012)

Could you please ask him the plans for future Capture NX since Google has now bought NIK s/w? Nobody seems to have any information on this and it's not fair to leave people hanging.

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Sep 26, 2012)

Excellent Question.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 26, 2012)

Nikon have been responsible for CNX for a while now. i.e. expect more of what you've been getting for the past few years.

0 upvotes
toneil14741
By toneil14741 (Sep 26, 2012)

I know, but NOBODY has any answers and we are just left hanging. I don't really want to make the switch. I personally love NX2 and am used to it. Obviously the other are good too, but I just wish they would keep building on this product.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 26, 2012)

Yes one of Nikon's (and indeed any large organization's) weakness is a disconnect with their customers. They think good sales figures mean all is well, even when there's evidence to the contrary.

0 upvotes
ThomasH_always
By ThomasH_always (Sep 26, 2012)

This interview is very disappointing. Reviewer did not asked any "difficult" questions. The celebratory claim of Nr 1 in Europe (without numbers!!) contrasts the massive list of user wishes, dramatic downfall in value, questionable J2 release, year waiting for any wide lens, year waiting for firmware upgrade, which is a minimalist change rather.

I understand that Mr. Jasper is a PR-man, he has to smile and sell roses and lilies, but Dpreview should know better what happens with the Nikon 1 system, and how desperate users are for improvements. Foremost Jaspers claim of "see, press, done" speed of operation angers me in context of the camera deep-sleep mode, 4-6 sec to wait time to boot, which I regularly clock, and the dreaded forced preview in viewfinder. Luminous Landscapes put it well in their terse writeup about the camera, and even put the name Pronea in context of Nikon 1.

One star for the interview, job not well done, Dpreview.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 26, 2012)

If you want improvement for Nikon 1 - you should jump-ship to other mirrorless. My bet goes that within 5 years everyone forget that this system ever existed.

2 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Sep 26, 2012)

Mirrorless: ".............. within less than half a year, we became number one in Europe."
Wow! AFAIK the Sony NEX was the leader on EVIL cameras...., but what do I know? There's also Panny Lumix, Olympus, etc

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 26, 2012)

The numbers we've seen (from several manufacturers) suggest that it varies between territories and there's not much in it.

Number 1 in Europe for Nikon is entirely plausible.

2 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 26, 2012)

@R Butler

And it will depend a lot on periodicity.

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Sep 26, 2012)

I didn't even know a part 2 was coming. But it is always good to learn about attachment rates.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

"We were one of the last manufacturers to come to the mirrorless segment, but nevertheless, within less than half a year, we became number one in Europe."

Jasper you are claiming you became the nr1 in Europe in mirrorless despite Olympus and Panasonic having dominated for YEARS. I don't know a SINGLE photographer who OWNS a Nikon 1 camera and I have only seen ONE on sale in the entire Icelandic photography community.

"How many people actually bought additional lenses for their 1 system cameras?"
Jasper:
"I don't have those figures, but we have an attachment rate that's higher than one, definitely."

You don't have the sales figures for the Nikon 1 either apparently, Jasper you are full of BULLS***!

Because of bulls***ters like these I gave up on Canon and Nikon and went to Olympus m4/3 from DSLR's. I am tired of being lied to and being spit in the face when I ask for ANY customer service!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Sep 26, 2012)

I'm sure he doesn't lie :)

"within less than half a year, we became number one in Europe" = One time, six months after launch, we where on the top of some charts.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 26, 2012)

"Because of bulls***ters like these I gave up on Canon and Nikon and went to Olympus m4/3 from DSLR's."

That's kinda like cutting off your nose to spite your face, isn't it?

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Sep 26, 2012)

To the OP. I don't understand your irrational rant except to say that since you have no information at all your accusations are rediculous. My local dealer is selling more Nikon 1 cameras than any other mirrorless model, including Panasonic. The fact I use a Fuji doesn't mean it bothers me.

0 upvotes
luka3rd
By luka3rd (Sep 26, 2012)

Fine! Canon and Nikon make serious cameras for true professionals. No kids questions and answers. Enjoy your 4/3 - not SLR! :)

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

57even First Jasper comes out with claims and then say's he doesn't have the numbers with him, and in MY country which is IN europe the Nikon 1 has been a massive disaster in sales.
So how can he claim the Nikon is at the top? Especially since Panasonic, Sony and Olympus got a few YEARS more of experience and a fuckload more customers of mirrorless than nikon?

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Sep 26, 2012)

I dont know but I don't call someone a liar until I have evidence. YOUR country is not ALL of Europe. I don't even know what Nikon classifies as "Europe" because all companies do it differently. Moreover, you have shown no figures to prove that it was a "disaster" in your country so your whole assertion is based on absolutely nothing. Now given a choice I will listen to the head of Nikon Europe and act like you don't exist. OK?

Come up with facts, or don't call people liars.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 27, 2012)

@57Even when Jasper backs up his claims with facts and statistics I will not call him a liar but when he does NOT show ANY statistics to back his claim I will call him a liar.

Also asking people in the store here says one thing Nikon was a disaster.

And my country IS a part of Europe and Nikon is probably claiming "it was popular in a SINGLE european country so that must be entire europe" As long as Jasper keep's claiming stuff without showing EVIDENCE or statistics then he is nothing but a liar.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 26, 2012)

The answer to the question about a Nikon 1 with a fixed lens a la RX100 or X100 is surprising. Jaspers claims that fixed lens cameras are not as popular once were, but the huge success of the Fuji X100 and RX100 contradicts he view.

Personally I think an RX100 type camera from Nikon with a fast Nikkor ED zoom and Nikon 1 level AF would be a huge hit IF Nikon can make it with a cracking sharp lens like the Zeiss zoom of the RX100.

Similarly, an Nikon version of the Fuji X-Pro1, a digital Nikon S3 rangefinder-esque camera would be wonderful. But that's probably a fantasy as Nikon doesn't seem to be interested in a retro style reboot camera. Pity.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 26, 2012)

There is a reason fixed lens rangefinders almost disappeared from the market. I don't think that niche market is a good approach for Nikon. And they have never put the fastest lenses in Coolpix. They just will not do it for consumer cameras. I have been studying the new Fuji X camera, soon to be released. That thing has Nikon written all over it, spelled F-U-J-Icon. The AF system is being compared to Olympus, so that is a weak point in that it has only CDAF. The EVF is supposed to be very good, but it is still EVF. But good lord look at that shutter speed dial. And the aperture is on the lens. The initial lens line-up is excellent. Stick a V1 AF system in that thing, and forget about video. Walla.
I don't know that any of us have the right answer, but I am sure that, so far, neither does Nikon. All the engineers were apparently working on D4/D800/D600, and that's not a bad thing. What a line-up. But where is my FM2D ??? It might be an X-E1.

1 upvote
dorff
By dorff (Sep 26, 2012)

Wow! Pros and advanced amateurs use the 1 IN SPITE of Nikon not seeing them as a target group. Who would have thought? The system has great attributes, but it needs a higher end camera and quite a few missing lenses. Don't force photographers into artificial categories - many of us operate in different ways for different purposes and use a wide variety of tools. The fact that advanced users show interest in the 1 system should be a wake-up call to you, Nikon, not something you should feel proud about. If you broadcast the message that pros are not an intended market (implying you will not develop suitable products for them) they will leave and look for those things elsewhere. Is that what you want, Nikon? Firstly, I can't believe that any company would be that daft. Secondly, it makes me concerned for the overall brand if you stumble upon a good concept and can't recognise the potential and what needs to be fixed to make it a total success.

4 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 26, 2012)

Only one question about a larger sensor compact, and it was deflected. I love the V1. It is very capable, and one of the very best AF systems available. But it looks like the Fuji X-E1 is almost the camera Nikon should be building, and doing so with a much better AF system. Even if it were F mount I think it would sell in huge numbers. The total package with F mount lenses would be larger than most, but that hasn't stopped Sony and Samsung. The Nex 5 is a pretty big package, and the AF system is awful. Lots of room here for Nikon.
This is not to say Nikon has done a good job with the 1 System. They gave it that great AF system and a couple of lenses, and then they just let it lay there. The J2 with a non-stabilized kit lens is not exactly "the other shoe dropping". Those boys better WTF up.

0 upvotes
Bulva
By Bulva (Sep 26, 2012)

I am tired with pointless discussions on unecessary products. Probably only Nikon staff use those inventions. Having and using D800 I wanted to buy Nikon's camera I could take with me everywher I go and .... I had to buy Sony RX100 because Nikon's guys play in sand box with android or similar toys as stupid Nikon 1 ...

3 upvotes
Chris Donnet
By Chris Donnet (Sep 26, 2012)

It seems that this guy doesn't my money (spared for the D400).

0 upvotes
yverkind
By yverkind (Sep 26, 2012)

The only camera that I expect is the hypothetical D400. And we still have no information about its possible release.
This becomes very long, what a pity!

2 upvotes
nikoninmybag
By nikoninmybag (Sep 26, 2012)

I think there will be a 24mp D400 coming. Thing is the D600 is just out now and they want to sell it so telling everyone that a 400 is coming soon would likely hinder 600 sales. Early next year when the 600 has worn out its initial burst is my guess.

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Sep 26, 2012)

These interviews are pointless. Hot shots defendeing themselves and their stupid decisions. Nikon1 could be such a great camera, but it's not. Well we have enough money so stop buging us. "Thank you Nikon"

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 26, 2012)

"We know about optics, we know what people need and desire from a camera." -

yea, sure you know. That's why you release one of most worthless mirrorless systems in the world, while people clearly over and over asked for something completely different and much more ambitious.

8 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 26, 2012)

well, all companies do the same, don't they?
Canon brings a, useless as second camera for us, mirrorless P&S with ILS, then Pentax brings a useless camera to hang to your car key bundle, then Nikon brings V1-J1, then Sony brings an expensive tourist P&S with FF, fixed lens and 2000th max speed. Leica turns slowly to a FF Panasonic that cost 8 times it's price. So, in exception that Sony brought A99 and NEX6, Nikon the badly hidden surprise D600 at a (sick) price that anyone can afford, we can say that there is nothing new under the sun. What most of us want is still what most of us continue to wait for. On the end, only Olympus brought to their customers what they awaited, except a new Pro E-DSLR.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 26, 2012)

"within less than half a year, we became number one in Europe."

- I call that: BS. Number one in what?! 1" mirrorless ILC segment? LOL.

Cause certainly not in mirrorless market as general. Sony with Panasonic take first 2 spots there, Olympus goes 3rd, Nikon? Somewhere behind.

7 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

I don't know a single person in Iceland who owns the Nikon 1 and I have only seen ONE for sale online on Icelandic "ebay" websites since it came out he is so full of it

3 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Sep 26, 2012)

Show me your sales figures.

0 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (Sep 26, 2012)

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/img/dcw/docs/561/587/html/28.jpg.html

That's the sales ranking for 4/2011 to 3/2012 (Japanese fiscal year)

Check the Germany, UK, France, and Russia entries. I assure you Brand A and Brand B aren't Nikon.

Granted these numbers come from Sony, but they are officially from the company and not from the mouth of some PR guy, so I would put more weight on them.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 26, 2012)

On what basis do you make that assurance?

If Brand B were Nikon, it would be consistent with what this chap says.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 26, 2012)

IF Brand B is Nikon then it'd be a greater surprise then both: Sony RX1 and RX100 blend together. And It'd mean that Nikon 1 users go out with their cameras only when there's noone else around with other mirrorless. And that they don't buy it in shops but rather directly teleport from Nikon HQ. The same one that makes Nikon sensors - located on the other side of the moon with Nazi Germans.

Seriously though - regardless of who is the brand B - you'd have to use Pyrovision in order to see Nikon 1 taking first spot in Europe. They do exactly nothing while competition runs forward like crazy - with Sony releasing NEX6 + zoom-pancake and Panasonic releasing GF3.

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Sep 26, 2012)

@Plastek: Thinking you know a lot about something is not the same as actually knowing it. You'll realise that when you're a bit older.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Hauer
By Hauer (Sep 26, 2012)

How could the interviewer not ask about the D400 DX that so many of us are waiting for? Lack of interest in respresenting this website's Nikon client base? Am certainly not amused DPReview!

3 upvotes
Nikon Convert
By Nikon Convert (Sep 26, 2012)

If the question of a possible D400 was not asked, I suggest that these guy's should be in another job - hopefully, that suggests that they did ask and we should have some good news soon! If Nikon always take note of forum questions regarding their products, then they must be aware that a D400 is a big issue!

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Sep 26, 2012)

A second nikon review? What's up with the Canon review?

1 upvote
Chris Donnet
By Chris Donnet (Sep 26, 2012)

Of course, not a single question about the D400; why are the journalists always asking uninteresting questions during these corporate fiestas ?

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Sep 26, 2012)

If the D400 is real and imminent it's likely dpreview is under an NDA. That just blows my mind that journalists could agree not to talk about something, but that's how they get the prerelease cameras so they can come out with a review/preview right after the products are announced.

They could "play dumb" and ask anway.....

2 upvotes
Peter Hayward
By Peter Hayward (Sep 26, 2012)

Pity the chance wasn't taken to ask about the D400!

1 upvote
bryand7k
By bryand7k (Sep 26, 2012)

+1 lost_in_utah

0 upvotes
lost_in_utah
By lost_in_utah (Sep 26, 2012)

Enough of this V1 silliness. Where is the D400?

8 upvotes
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Sep 26, 2012)

Not the most fascinating interview. Obviously those guys have to promote what is in the shops now. They also have to reassure readers that they have a roadmap for the future while avoiding to say anything that might lead anyone to postpone a purchase. Basically those guys are not allowed to say anything meaningful at all. They have to follow to the letter the Q&A document prepared by their marketing and comms teams. Why waste time on such interviews?

6 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

To bad that road map leads to a dead end.

1 upvote
jsis
By jsis (Sep 27, 2012)

That's what I said in an older post, they are similar to a product specialist salesperson or manager at an electronics store. He doesn't have a final say or decision on what's going forward, you'd have to travel to Japan for that.

1 upvote
photobeans
By photobeans (Sep 26, 2012)

Nikon 1 system will be extinct in a few years. It was a mistake and they know it. Now that I've seen what Nikon has to offer in their mirrorless segment, I'm selling off my Nikon DSLR and lenses soon and leaving the Nikon system. I'm not interested in your stuff anymore, Nikon.

4 upvotes
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Sep 26, 2012)

I'd bet quite the opposite. The CX format has very many advantages, both in terms of high end "compact" cameras and in terms of small and light interchangeable lens systems, for beginners and for accomplished photographers alike. Not mentioning the N1's unique ability to cater for high quality supertele performance at a very reasonable cost.

On the back of the recent 18.5mm launch, all they/we really need now is a native ultra-wide option and perhaps a very compact native macro/portrait option.

The Nikon world is moving on 2 fronts: towards FX as "standard" DSLR system and towards CX as beginner/backup/long reach system.

When the Nikon 1 lens line-up is completed and we have a V2 or V3 with good low light PDAF, I see no room at all for DX DSLR. Question is "when".

They should also launch a mid-range FF AFS/VR tele lens asap (135 f2 or 180 f2.8), as that would turn that V2 into an absolute killer long reach machine. On top of completing the FF line-up.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 26, 2012)

1" sensors should go to Point &Shoot compacts. Sony made RX100 showing that it's a perfect match: Small sensor and small camera.
Nikon 1 is a joke - small sensor and a large camera with large lenses. Pointless waste of people's time.

5 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 26, 2012)

"I see no room at all for DX DSLR. Question is "when""
you are probably one of the lost souls who believes that. APSC is a format that combines IQ as good as FF in a smaller sensor with affordable lenses. Sony shows us that FF and APSC can live together and, they can do that in a NEX body without any problem. Now, look at your N1 system and see the size of the body first, compare how Pentax brought a sensor at half the size of the CX sensor in a body a quarter the size of J1, and how Sony packed the CX in a smaller body, just one the size of a common P&S. So, why is Nikon not able to do this. Why does Nikon waste time with a system that is subject to critics in every Paper, in every forum and why do they claim to make a break-trough in market with that system while we all know that this is fantasy, not reality. So, yes to the Nikon CX, with a higher pixel count, better glass and half of it's actual body-size. By then, it could become a pocket gadget that we will buy and use.

1 upvote
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Sep 26, 2012)

As a"lost soul" I do indeed believe what I wrote.

I have the V1 and its 3 lenses and like it a lot. It does serve a purpose, and the 30-110 in particular is unique on the market in how it combines reach, quality and very small size (+ VR).
The V1 is far from perfect. In particular in terms of low light PDAF, native lens line-up and control layout.

Now, while there are indeed a lot of critics out there, there is a general consensus in the industry to recognise that the system sold in very large numbers. I am not surprised Jaspers's claims in that respect.

Some explain that success by the global advertising campaign in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Anyway it did very well, and is now ready for a rebound, especially at the high end (V1).

The 18.5mm is a step forward. They do need a V2 and super wide angle option. For longer focal lengths the 30-110 does pretty well and the FT1 + Nikkors adds great capability. I also hope for a Nikon compact "à la" RX100, which is a great offer from Sony.

1 upvote
moebius22
By moebius22 (Sep 26, 2012)

The issue of no manual control in Live View on the D600 somehow slipped the mind of the interviewer!?

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Sep 26, 2012)

I didn't think it particularly relevant to a discussion about the 1 System and Coolpix S800c.

2 upvotes
moebius22
By moebius22 (Sep 26, 2012)

It's relevant to the reader though.

3 upvotes
Tom_A
By Tom_A (Sep 26, 2012)

What I found an interesting bit is his claim that the 1 series are number one in Europe, in the mirrorless segment. Are there independent numbers to back this claim? Also, what would be the share in the rest of the world?
I must say that th V1 impressed me when I examined it.

1 upvote
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

It is not nr 1 it is bullsh** backed by no numbers, I have seen only one for sale in my country used on an "ebay" like website and non of the people i know in the photography community here owns one. Also the focus is garbage in the nikon.

2 upvotes
Turbguy1
By Turbguy1 (Sep 26, 2012)

Ah, now the cam's in focus, and the face isn't....musta been done with an FX...

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Sep 26, 2012)

Barnaby, what crappy camera did you use for that shot? Horrible blown reds ...

1 upvote
ageha
By ageha (Sep 25, 2012)

Dirk Jaspers is product manager at Nikon Europe. He knows as much about Nikon's longterm strategy as anybody else working for a Japanese camera maker outside of Japan. You don't even need to bother interviewing them.

5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Sep 26, 2012)

You're completely correct. But there is an advantage to not knowing what's coming. It forces you to concentrate 100% on what you have to sell right now.

1 upvote
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Sep 25, 2012)

a bunch of b.s. answers. first he ignores and not answers the initial question about why phase detection does not work in low light and switches to contrast detection, while phase detection is exactly what you'd want in low light for quick AF on 1 series.

then he says that Cameras with fixed lenses are not as popular as they used to be in the past when asked about RX100.... what is he smoking? RX100 was number one camera on amazon sales for a while, then was in top 3 for a while, and still is in top 10 (number 6 right now in point and shoots, and number 10 in overall cameras) http://www.amazon.com/best-sellers-camera-photo/zgbs/photo/ref=pd_dp_ts_p_1

4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 26, 2012)

Another fun fact: This compact is more popular then their pointless mirrorless system taken all together. No wonder anyway - it's by far more portable and at the same time offers better picture quality then Nikon with same size sensor.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Sep 25, 2012)

I am running out the door as we speak to buy this crap.

6 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

I hope you are being sarcastic.

0 upvotes
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (Sep 25, 2012)

Thom Hogan wrote a very interesting article on sensor sizes a few months back.

Basically, the conclusion he came to was that high-end smartphones will eat into the market for the Nikon 1 and smaller sensor cameras, while m43 and APS-C erode the market for Full Frame cameras.

m43/APS-C hit the "good enough" sweet spot at a much lower cost than FF.

I think the Nikon 1 system would be much more interesting if it had better lenses. A Panasonic LX7 or Olympus XZ-2 style camera with a 1" sensor would be a lot more interesting than the Nikon 1 system.

You can read the whole article here...

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/june-2012/sensor-sizes-redux.html

4 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Sep 26, 2012)

Or full frame gets cheap enough to compete with aps-c, eating into that market share. A lot of people are betting on ff right now....

2 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Sep 26, 2012)

Full-frame's just too expensive and heavy to be mainstream with the smaller formats around. Even if it eventually drops below the $1000 line, it's relevance is fading as smaller sensors advance. Today's sweet-spot is APS-C, followed closely by M4/3. Tomorrow's will be M4/3 and after that 1" cameras and smaller (talking of inter-changeable lens cameras, here).

It's true that the space between today and tomorrow is small, but its large enough to affect most people's purchases. Which means that, however much Nikon hopes for the Nikon 1 or FX, I can't see them doing as well in the mainstream as their DX line. Of course mirrorless FX could be a different story, if they can shrink the lenses.

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 26, 2012)

you don't need to shrink the lenses. The RX1 has a common Zeiss glass on it, for sure the back has been reshaped for that camera. But, if you can do that to the 35 Zeiss, you can build all lenses that way, even if you take the lens a bit further away from the sensor, like in Leicas. Then, if you use an M-Adapter, you have a huge choice in lenses. With Sony's Manual Focus assist system, AF becomes useless. I use up to 90% of time manual focusing on the NEX-7, and only this sensation that it is me who makes the shot and not the camera makes my shot a higher value to me.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Sep 26, 2012)

"Thom Hogan wrote a very interesting article on sensor sizes a few months back.

Basically, the conclusion he came to was that high-end smartphones will eat into the market for the Nikon 1 and smaller sensor cameras, while m43 and APS-C erode the market for Full Frame cameras."
I said the exact same to Hogan 8 months before he continued to defend the Nikon1 system to the hilt, others have told him the exact same thing.

0 upvotes
Zigmont
By Zigmont (Sep 25, 2012)

Not much info here, basically political answers that aren't surprising.

I've been a Nikon customer for over 30 years, with thousands of $ invested. I have never received a survey, review request, letter or email from Nikon in all that time -- not one piece of communication. So I have no idea where he's getting all this "owner feedback".

12 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Sep 26, 2012)

Ha ha! Same by me! And I've been buying Nikon kit since 1961.

2 upvotes
dorff
By dorff (Sep 26, 2012)

Yeah, I have been using Nikon since the early 90's. I'd say if you can actually get a message through to Nikon it would be a miracle. It is easier to bash your head through a 12 inch reinforced concrete wall. They have apparently no idea who uses the V1 and why. If they had, they would prioritise a few lenses for it, and fix some of the annoying features like the horrible mode dial. A small 35-40/2.8 mm macro lens, and a 30/1.2 portrait lens would really be good additions, not to mention a fast wide prime. And no: 10mm is not wide, and f/2.8 is not fast. How about a 7mm/2? I have the F-mount adapter, it's a neat piece of kit if you are invested in an F-mount system, but makes the package clumsy and heavy, and makes no sense for non-F-mount owners.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 26, 2012)

I used Nikon since 1965 up to 2007, then I gave up on buying it. All I have kept is my D40. It makes good alround shots, the kids enjoy it and it never has any failures. I am now divided between Fuji and Sony and both work for me better. But, note that nor has Fuji ever, nor has Sony ever, made an feedback or asked me any questions, same as Nikon.

1 upvote
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

eeeyup I dont know a single nikon 1 owner in my country and i have only seen one for sale used online

1 upvote
rubicon
By rubicon (Sep 25, 2012)

Why didn't they ask point blank, what about a 80 400 and 300 f4 replacement!!
Whats Nikon waiting on, a third party to show them how?

2 upvotes
Artak Hambarian
By Artak Hambarian (Sep 25, 2012)

Well, I certainly formulated the question in a too blatant way. However the fact is that Nikon buys sensors from Sony. Do you think all details of the deal are publicly open? Sure not. Then how can you be sure that there is no some kind of agreement, or if that kind of agreement is at all detectable in any form other than analogy with politics? After all, Japaneese companies very often exhibit sharing of technologies and quite a bit of sinergy. Well, if this a very inconvenient topic, lets stop it.

0 upvotes
Noirist
By Noirist (Sep 25, 2012)

What a bunch of B.S. Sony destroyed the entire Nikon 1 line up with a single camera (the RX100).

10 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (Sep 25, 2012)

I'd like to see you mount a tele lens on that RX100...

3 upvotes
Pes Lhipchepiw
By Pes Lhipchepiw (Sep 25, 2012)

With a non-interchangeable prime lens?

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 25, 2012)

I'd like to see you put a a 28-100 f1.8-4.9 PZ lens that's 6mm thick on that J2...

10 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 25, 2012)

It's almost as if they're dramatically different cameras for really different use-cases.

7 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Sep 25, 2012)

to say that cameras with fixed lenses are not popular anymore, what planet is this guy on? RX100 has been in top 10 selling cameras for many months now, killing in sales... probably sold times what Nikon 1 series sold

2 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Sep 26, 2012)

You certainly haven't used them. And the guy is right, I saw more J1s in Paris last week than many of the other ML cameras. The V1 is a very nice traveling camera, that I can assure you. And I never had a problem with focusing in low light, its CDAF is still faster than that of most compacts and earlier m43, and present Nexs actually.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
oklaphotog
By oklaphotog (Sep 26, 2012)

The thing holding the 1 system back is lack of telephoto lenses. The FT1 is a big fail because you loose C-AF. If you could C-AF while having FT-1 + 75-300VR mounted, it'd be dreamy. Otherwise it's as big as m4/3 without nearly as good of a sensor. The rx100 at this point kills the 1 series because it's IQ is better, it's much smaller, and has a better lens. It's perfect for people who don't need long tele lenses. Long tele lenses are one of the biggest reasons to have interchangeable lenses and you often need C-AF for the situations you use these types of lenses. Big mistake Nikon!

1 upvote
Artak Hambarian
By Artak Hambarian (Sep 25, 2012)

Guys, I would ask this question: "Does the companies act like polyticians? Like Obama, Putin, others agree upon regions of influence, does Nikon, Sony, Canon have agreement e.g. - Nikon will get the 36MP, Canon will get the video, Sony will get the mirrorless."

3 upvotes
Pes Lhipchepiw
By Pes Lhipchepiw (Sep 25, 2012)

I think your analogy is flawed. If such a situation did exist, it would be an example of a cartel, and therefore a violation of trade law in most countries.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Sep 25, 2012)

I would not ask that question. Neither the question itself, nor the assumptions behind it, makes any sense.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Retzius
By Retzius (Sep 25, 2012)

This doesnt make sense

NIkon - "The 1 system is not a pro camera, it wasnt our goal. Its just a fast high quality point and shoot"

DP - "what is the P7700 for then?"

Nikon - "Its a second camera for pros to scout a location that want manual controls."

DP - "it would be nice if the V1 had that."

Nikon - "It does. We have pros using it for motocross even. You just click it and it always get it"

DP - "really, cuz the focus sucks in low light"

Nikon - "exactly, it has room to improve."

wait huh? this guy has more doublespeak than Orwell's 1984.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
21 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 25, 2012)

It's an example of why I could never interview one of these guys. I'd just be banging my head on the table going "At least make your lies consistent!"

13 upvotes
Devendra
By Devendra (Sep 25, 2012)

just because it is not a pro camera does not mean pro's cannot use it? That is flawed reasoning. In fact the explanation is simple that it is even used by pros to show that it is capable of certain type of photography, while still having some drawbacks.

5 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 26, 2012)

@Devendra

No-one's saying pros can't use the Nikon !. It's merely that he goes to such pains to point out that the 1 series is for P&S use, dismissing the idea of a model with manual controls, and then goes on to say pros are using it now. Thus he completely contradicts his own argument that there shouldn't be a Nikon 1 with proper external controls for the pro/enthusiast market.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 26, 2012)

what is a pro camera anyway. Normally it is something that is solid, can be miss-treated, makes ten times less than any consumer camera for ten times more money. All I ask from a camera is to give me a top quality raw, no gadgets, not bling bling. If I want to shoot in rain i want a rain protected gear and pay for that. Now, want a Pro camera for 1300$, buy an OM-D, I has all a Pro camera has too. And, you are wrong, not all Pro's shoot FF or medium format.

1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Sep 27, 2012)

Pros are irrelevant for cameras like the Nikon 1 because there are so few of them, comparatively. Sure, he likes to point out that there are some pros using it, because it makes the camera sound better, but they're still going to design them for the other 99.9 percent of potential buyers, mostly p+s upgraders plus some enthusiasts who need/want a smaller everyday camera. If a few pros use them, it's nice but no reason to change the product strategy.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 27, 2012)

@MarkInSF

Making a model with external controls needs not affect the current models, or overarching aims, one bit.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Sep 25, 2012)

"We never aimed to make a professional mirrorless system, that was never our goal."

BIG mistake, Nikon, BIG mistake. Already your D5100, excellent though it is, gets let use than my Olympus micro 4/3rds do, because they give excellent image quality in a smaller package. If you guys would get your head out of your rear posterior and make something more enthusiastic-centered (heck a "digital Nikon SP" would be wonderful), I would've stayed with you.

But you appear to be so concerned about cannibalizing your DSLR sales that you're losing people who don't see the mirrorless models as glorified point & shoots.

LRH

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
9 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 26, 2012)

I went from a Canon DSLR to the OM-D E-M5, I have used tons of cameras in the few years I have been photographing and I was never really fully happy, My last DSLR really made me not want to shoot because it was so heavy and I was tired of carrying it around, the OM-D so far is a delight to carry around, I am waiting until I can afford the 20mm 1.7 as I only own the kit lens which I will sell later on and the 45mm 1.8
Lenses in Iceland cost sometimes double in my country compared to prices in the usa but my god are they worth it.
I hope to afford the 20mm 1.7 after 2-4 months Can't wait.

2 upvotes
Island Golfer
By Island Golfer (Sep 25, 2012)

"We constantly do reviews, of course, we ask users for feedback, what they like and don't like… we do that for all products, whether it's a Coolpix or a D4. We do it constantly. We get the feedback, and send it to the engineers in Japan. If you want your products to be successful in the market, you have to meet the needs and desires of your customers.

Seriously! Where is the D400? Two years of "user feedback", requesting it! And, you call that "meeting the needs and desires of your customers"? How so?!

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Sep 26, 2012)

He said they constantly seek user feedback. He didn't say they take any action.

3 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Sep 27, 2012)

And you don't know what other users are telling them, just what you want (and at least a few others). Companies also pay attention to sales. If current models still sell well, replacing them is foolish. Expensive and foolish.

0 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Sep 25, 2012)

If a Product Manager for "Professional Products" tells me I can do "serious photography" with a camera, well I guess this has to be true...

2 upvotes
increments
By increments (Sep 25, 2012)

Wow, he worked hard to ignore some very good questions!

5 upvotes
jsis
By jsis (Sep 25, 2012)

He's a product manager. In other words, he's actually not the one who makes the decisions to build the camera. The guy doesn't know anything more than the salesperson at Best Buy.

4 upvotes
PLShutterbug
By PLShutterbug (Sep 26, 2012)

Nonsense (I'm a product manager myself at a technology company). PMs have enormous impact on product design and what goes into them. They are part of the marketing department, they are in front of end users all the time, and their suggestions are what create new products - not those of the engineers. They also have lots and lots of experience in the market segments their products impact.

To compare a PM to a Best Buy sales rep shows complete ignorance of product development.

2 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (Sep 26, 2012)

VERY GOOD that you gave us that information PLShutterbug! It doesn't have to mean bad intentions on someone: we (at least I) don't work in that area and as such we DON'T know it!!! :)
THANKS AGAIN FOR SHARING REAL KNOWLEGE!!!
Way too MANY times is the most needed AND lacking thing in these posts! :)

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Sep 27, 2012)

Depends on the company. Many Japanese companies indeed are run largely by engineering staffs. Many of the Japanese car companies haven't historically had a chief designer (as all European and American brands have for decades.) The head of engineering for Toyota made all the design decisions and it shows. The Japanese revere engineering in a way we don't, and have often been very poor at market research, working instead toward decisions by consensus Sony and Honda are exceptions, but they were upstart companies with founders who were American-style entrepreneurs.

0 upvotes
jsis
By jsis (Sep 27, 2012)

PLShutterbug, congratulations, you just reaffirmed what I just said. Product Managers have some input into product development (feedback) but they do NOT make the final decisions. As you said, they are a part of the marketing department which is customer relations.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
1 upvote
SHood
By SHood (Sep 25, 2012)

I like how he tried to skirt around the low light AF performance issue. Still a non-answer after 3 tries.

5 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Sep 25, 2012)

"Q: How many people actually bought additional lenses for their 1 system cameras?

A: I don't have those figures, but we have an attachment rate that's higher than one, definitely."

I cant read on anymore, I have to ROFL!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
14 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Sep 26, 2012)

...like 1.01?

1 upvote
Kim Seng
By Kim Seng (Sep 26, 2012)

Well I am a Nikon V1 user, I am planning to buy two more lens. I find it is a good camera worth investing and my needs. Gives me the good shots. I want to try the new lens soon.

1 upvote
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Sep 26, 2012)

micahmedia,

You sure it ain't 0.99? ;D

0 upvotes
KodakFans
By KodakFans (Oct 11, 2012)

nice

1 upvote
Total comments: 120