Nikon J1 as a P&S upgrade (success or failure)

Started Sep 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
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The Skipper
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Nikon J1 as a P&S upgrade (success or failure)
Sep 25, 2011

It seems that much of the complaints against the J1 has come from enthusiasts, which IMO is invalid because that camera was not designed with them in mind. I would like to discuss here whether the J1 is successful from a P&S upgrade perspective.

I have an interest in this because I have been searching for such a camera for the last 6 months, and found nothing. I am really, really hoping that the J1 will do the job.

I want to keep the V1 out of the discussion, because it clearly is not aimed at the P&S upgrade market (I have no idea where it fits). So, here is the list:

1) Better IQ than what these P&S users are currently getting. It does not have to rival APS-c. These users do not pixel peep. It is probably safe to say that Nikon has succeeded.

I quickly shot a few low light photos with my Canon SD870IS at ISO 400, and they look worse, way worse than the sample J1/V1 photos at ISO 3200. This leads to my second point ...

2) These users do not care about primes. The high ISO will compensate for the slow aperture of the zooms.

I cannot visualize my niece putting on a front cap, removing the lens, putting on a back cap, putting the lens in her purse, taking out another lens, removing the back cap, putting it on the camera, taking off the front cap, putting both caps back in her purse, and then taking a photo. It ain't going to happen! Not even one time in a day.

Or she can just press the shutter button as she usually does, & the camera will take care of it by assigning a high ISO. I know which she prefers.

3) Build-in flash. This is mandatory. A show-stopper.

4) Fast response.

5) Compactness. If your current camera is a full frame DSLR, then any mirrorless camera will be small to you. But if you are from the P&S world, then you are only willing to accept a small increase in size.

Here the J1 fails. The camera is too big (it is only slightly smaller than a M4/3 such as the E-PL2 that has a build-in flash), & the kit zoom is too big.

6) 16x9 mode. Almost every monitor & television is 16x9. The cameras should have this option.

IMO Nikon has succeeded in 5 out of 6 areas. It now needs to focus its valuable resources on achieving compactness. Bring out the planned smaller kit zoom ASAP. Forget about primes & concentrate on producing smaller zooms. If necessary, compromise on quality & aperture. There is nothing wrong with software lens correction, and f4-5.6 zooms.

And design a new model that is "identical" to the J1, only without interchangeable lenses. That should be a significantly more compact camera.

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