Quite innovative of Nikon. A camera with far more megapixels than the vaunted Olympus EM-1, weighing less than the Olympus EM-1, complete with a new collapsible zoom, all for less than half the price of the EM-1 body alone.
Add the advantage of direct SLR viewing, a wide range of low cost used lenses (save wide primes), fast autofocus, and this is a shot across the bows of mirrorless.
Look at the evolution of the DSLRs- they are becoming smaller, lighter, and retain their overall competency at an affordable price. It's no wonder they are gaining market share over mirrorless.
For the last few years we've constantly heard bloggers and forum posters proclaiming the death of the DSLR. The DSLR begs to differ, and wonders which segment is really dying.
This may not have the features of the EM-1, but it has gone beyond the 16MP ceiling, and arguably gives up nothing in picture-taking ability or photo quality, at a more attractive price point.
"Innovation?" What would that add?
Congrats to Olympus. I have an EM-5, but passed on this new Olympus EM1. I find it too big and bulky for the format.
It's the same size as the Sony A7, but with a much smaller sensor. This gets away from the entire raison d'etre of micro 4/3, and it's a trend that makes me uneasy.
No doubt it's great for the 100 people in the world that have the old full 4/3 lenses, but it's way too full figured for me. I'm holding out for the EM-6.
Patrick Kristiansen: If one needs 40+mp's to crop a pic into something worth watching, one is not taking one's pics right. And 16mp is enough for just about anyone without a very special need. Not many lenses justify a higher resolution either. And not to mention the need for exceedingly high shutterspeed and/or tripods. Nah, super-high resoultion is bonk imo. Can't wait to receive my em1 and 12-40 lens. And can wait even less to try out my OM-lenses on it.
The ability to crop a shot is a feature. It means you can eliminate carrying one more long lens. This reduces weight and load.
I thought weight was the bete noir of the micro 4/3 zealots who need to buttonhole every passerby to tell them that DSLRs are dead and micro 4/3 is as good as 135 format. Instead, they deem such opportunity for weight reduction a bad thing.
Every aspect of every other camera is bad to these micro 4/3 zealots. The Nikon 1 can never be as good because it is smaller. The line stops at micro 4/3, however, as the laws of physics are at that point suspended because micro 4/3 is automatically better than any larger format.
nicolaiecostel: I don't think I've ever seen so many trolls and nay-sayers gathered in one place. Even when Nikon fulfills the age-old wishes of the majority, it's still not good enough.
For 10 years I hear people wanting a digital FM, a retro dSLR with a retro 35 mm sensor. Now you got it and the design stinks. Cause it's old and retro ..
For years I hear people wanting a low MP high sensitivity sensor in an affordable model, just like the D700 was. Not that 16 Mp is low, but now you got it, and it's too low on resolution (Looool !). I print 35x70 cm high quality photo albums from my puny D700.
And it's really affordable (1/2 price compared to a D4, but same sensor so same IQ, and that's just to start), and it's plenty fast (5.5 FPS, decisive moments are shot and were shot with manual Leica's .. how many FPS ?), and it's damn sexy, and I could go on all day.
For me, this is a dream come true and the only thing I hate is the sh*t AF taken from the D7000. The rest of you don't deserve this camera.
This ain't a digital FM, unless it has a glandular problem. It's twice the weight and twice the size.
The digital FM2 body could be had for $210 US in its prime. It was robust, affordable, an everyman camera.
The digital FM2 was well laid out for 2 handed operation. Shutter speed dial was there so your right hand could change it while advancing film and clicking the shutter, while our left hand supported the camera, focused, adjusted aperture- two hands working at the very same time. This camera has a shutter speed dial as a design affectation.
The FM2 had a meter not taken from the parts bin of other cameras, its own innovative shutter, its own internal parts. It was not compiled of existing parts thrown together cynically to meet a competitive market challenge requiring little R&D beyond assembly and production.
We asked for a digital FM2, not this poseur in its halloween costume.
Probably a nice personality, if a little tubby. Price tag is nuts, however. A compact trying to pass for a non-compact in a quickly evaporating market needs aggressive pricing. $500 would be nice introductory, would like to see some Black Friday deals under $400. Otherwise this model will just be a footnote.
AlpCns2: One word: Impressive. Fuji is one of the very few companies actually listening to customers. Together with the stellar optics, this is one heck of a camera system.
I read a lot here how Fuji is uniquely listening to customers. It seems like some planted marketing viral meme to me. Damningly slow autofocus, known to them but the model was released anyway? Still no native RAW support for popular editing software? Constant new product releases in short timeframes making loyal early adopters reconsider their choices.
I like Fuji, and I've used their medium format stuff for almost 30 years since their first clever G645.
lolopasstrail: "We're pretty sure that no one has ever done this before. We've seen major updates to relatively old products before (Canon's venerable EOS 7D was given a serious shot in the arm last year) but never to a camera that has been superceded and discontinued."
Pretty sure Nikon has done that with at least one of its Coolpix top of the line models. Forget if it was the P5100 or P7000.
Yep, it was DPR itself who announced Nikon's firmware update for a discontinued model:
"We're pretty sure that no one has ever done this before. We've seen major updates to relatively old products before (Canon's venerable EOS 7D was given a serious shot in the arm last year) but never to a camera that has been superceded and discontinued."
Abaregi: Well done Sony.For such a short time in the camera business they keep pushing out innovative stuff. Hopefully this might push Canon and Nikon to do something exiting.
Konica got in the photo business 136 years ago. Minolta got in the photo business 80 years ago. Sony bought out their companies and with it their camera lines.
lolopasstrail: So the Nikon P7100, the 7700's immediate predecessor, is reviewed here and is dinged for its optical viewfinder. Not praised because it at least has a viewfinder, but has it listed as an actual con.
And now the Canon's optical viewfinder is praised here as a benefit.
So the P7100 viewfinder is listed as a con because its coverage is low at approximately 80%.
To be consistent, then, every other review needs to rate viewfinder coverage. For example, the P7700 needs to have as a con its viewfinder coverage at only 0%.
A feature almost no camera in this space possesses- an eyelevel viewfinder- gets listed as a con in the P7100, but is ignored in other models.
So the Nikon P7100, the 7700's immediate predecessor, is reviewed here and is dinged for its optical viewfinder. Not praised because it at least has a viewfinder, but has it listed as an actual con.
Back in the day I had a GR1 film camera and loved it. In fact, I still have it. This looks very similar.
But it is just another me-too in an increasingly crowded field.
Too bad- whoever is first with an eyelevel finder in a small size wins.
And I don't buy the common wisdom here- that it would have to be so much larger to accommodate said finder. Just a few years ago eye level finders were more common in such point and shoots.
The Canon SD1200- a much smaller camera, had a tiny zooming eyelevel optical finder. Even simpler if you don't have to zoom.
The aforesaid GR1 had an optical finder- plus an entire film transport mechanism, plus electronics, plus collapsing lens.
I dispute there is a technical obstacle. I aver that the vendors have rather a price point obstacle.
First one to take the dip in the small form factor wins.
Declaring a best all rounder without taking acquisition price into account is delivering only a partial review.
These are consumer products. Toys like this are a major expense for people, and going out on a limb to buy toys they can't afford are a major problem for people.
Let's have a new attribute to include in reviews. Let's call it the price/performance ratio. Take you quality metrics, your imaging ability metrics, and whatever other subjective ingredient to throw into the stew, and divide it by today's actual acquisition price.
And then let us determine the best all-arounder. Is an LX-7 with a ppr (price/performance ratio) of 8.3 better than the Sony with a ppr of 4.8? Or whatever.
Because without real world, practical business attributes shared, this is just soft core spec porn.
Tom_A: I have the XE-1 bought as a limited launch kit with the 35mm 1.4 lens.This is such a nice combination, giving very convincing bokeh and perfect sharpness and colours, that I was a bit disappointed when trying the 18-55 in a japanese shop. Yes the quality seems to be good, but the speed and bokeh is lost. I may eventually still buy the 18-55 as a good single lens for holidays.But for now, I think I'll just stay with the 35mm and walk a bit more instead of zooming :-) There is something to be said for minimalism !I am curious about the 23mm, it has the perfect angle of view for walking around like a classic full frame 35mm lens. However if I read the DOF charts well then at medium distances this 23mm f1.4 lens has a similar DOF as a classic 35mm lens at f2.8.
What on earth does "very convincing bokeh" mean?
That out of focus areas appear actually to be out of focus?
Ouch, damning with faint praise.
At this price point it needs to excel on all points- focus speed, focus accuracy, eye level finder...
There is more to these consumer products than a list of features that allow it to take nice snaps. Millions of cameras to that. What makes this one stand out?
More to the point, what makes this one stand out to justify the price point? Of importance to engineers and product designers everywhere- including those who design this particular camera- is the price:performance ration of components and assemblies and production. Almost never brought out by reviewing sites who also make revenue based on sales of said item reviewed, is the price:performance ratio.
Seems like it will be a nice ax, but it lacks distinction among features, and from a price:performance standpoint it is way out of whack.
Absolutic: will probably produce the best picture out of all compacts, and could be on the same level with M4/3 when pictures downsampled from 20MP to 12 or 16MP.
What is meant by 'bright' zoom? Is this the same thing as a fast zoom? I understand how lenses are slow or fast, depending upon max aperture- what the heck is 'bright?'
munro harrap: The sensor is tiny . When I read large sensor I thought, ah, 36x24mm compact at last, but no, large here means tiny, and in a huge body- big enough for a 36x24mm sensor, and an inbuilt 64Gb SD type memory, and a viewfinder, so I'll keep on with my DSLR until Sony do that. They will eventually, they can now, but like Olympus Nikon Canon and Samsung etc, they just love the way you will go on "upgrading" to NO purpose at all.
There isn't even a viewfinder, so it is not even a camera for me.
Tiny Canon SD1200- definitely tinier than even the Canon S100 and XZ-1- managed to sport a quite useful zooming optical viewfinder. The internet buzz that gets repeated that a viewfinder would take up lots of real estate is a fable and an excuse. I call absence of any kind of viewfinder simply a cost savings by the manufacturer with bogus excuses.
Douglas F Watt: Let's see - 250 comments about a price increase? Too many people have too much time on their hands. And why can't software folks running blogs create a digital HTML 'whining filter'?? It really doesn't make sense to me - you are talking about a few hundred dollars matched against at least $8,000-10,000 for camera body and lenses? Come on guys. Whine about something more important . . .
The only thing worse than someone wasting their time to whine about a product on the internet is someone wasting their time to read 250 comments and then whine about other people wasting their time.
I'm trying to wrap my head around why the optical viewfinder is listed as a "Con"
To me, the presence of an optical finder on any compact camera is a "Pro." Very few digital compact models offer this feature.
So either DPReview considers the presence of this rare feature as a negative, which is interesting. Or alternatively, DPReview likes this feature, but just doesn't like Nikon's implementation of the feature. In which latter case, DPReview must rate the LACK of an optical viewfinder on any other compact camera as a Con... unless DPReview assumes the lack of a feature is more desirable than a 100% home run of a feature. In this case, I'll submit that the viewfinder is just fine as simple viewfinders go in any compact, non-pro camera ever. I mean, did you ever squint through a viewfinder of pre-coupled rangefinder 35mms?
So it would be good to know exactly what DPReviews criteria are for the presence, lack, and implementation of simple viewfinder windows.
rallyfan: Excellent camera for 2010.
Like the proverbial MOD that insists on fighting the previous war and not this one, Nikon insisted on releasing this when the body is too large, the sensor too small, the price too high, the interest too low, and the circumstances entirely different.
From the test it seems to be a great camera. I have no idea why it would be chosen over a μ4/3 or other mirrorless at this stage though.
I paid $350 new for the P7100 on Amazon some three months ago. I can't think of any equivalent machine at this price point.
This body fills an excellent niche with the kind of full external control the V1 could only dream of. Photographers who like to readily make adjustments will find few competitors in the compact segment anywhere (outside the fine Canon G series that is)