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)
migus: A 400gr. and $400 camera in AD2012 that seems to outclass my '06 PowerShot A620 in IQ, zoom and handling. Well done, Nikon! :-)
However, last year i got an NX100 for $280 (now 199Euro), on which i also can use all my Nikkor glass. Like NEX, the NX produces APS-C type of IQ at about the same size as P7100, but for 30-50% less cost than a Nikon P&S. If i want a more serious rangefinder P&S, i could buy a Fuji X (w/o orbs, hopefully). And finally, the ever increasing m43 lineup, the G1X etc. All make the P7100 seem rather irrelevant in its class today...
We know that canikon must (a) first realize what's *relevant* in their future markets, then (b) flush their (overbloated dinosaurian) OEM design pipelines, and (c) eventually try to adjust their courses. Or shrink and fade away into niches.
One of the best things cameras such as this offer is a wide range of external controls that are relatively changeable without diving into and navigating menus. This list of up-front external features is what contributes to the size and flexibility. Those who tend to use P and Auto settings are probably better served elsewhere. But this ready full featured capability is what makes designs like those in the P7100 and Canon's so refreshing to a photographer, so unique is it in the run of themill compacts.
SeeRoy: "The P7100's optical viewfinder coverage is roughly 80%."80% - Roughly.Ie A completely useless peep-hole - roughly speaking.
The finder is extremely useful. I use it at least 50% of the time when taking photos, and wouldn't have bought the product if it was absent.
Xiaomao: Hope Fujifilm will put their in releasing a brand new X11 or X12, instead. I like the desigh and idea of X10, but will buy one without orbs.
This discussion of random ball lightning in your photos can be misleading in the sense that the discussion tends to overshadow other problems with this camera.
I purchased it with delight last fall. I never experienced specular clouds. I did experience other issues, such as lack of convincing IS, hidden by a tendency to choose soaring ISO when possible; inexplicable AF misses, image quality not living up to the hype, very good but still average for the segment; sometimes not powering up when turning the lens, high contrast capability ("dynamic range") that didn't live up to the hype. Autofocus and power on speed only average for the niche=
A nice camera with a great lens, but notliving up to the price by any means. Returned it for a P7001 for $350- near half its price, with albeit a slower lens.
I am not saying the X10 is a bad camera. I am saying that I found it a very very disappointing camera.
Low Budget Dave: The people who are buying this camera don't want bokeh. They want the best point-and-shoot Nikon makes. If the picture of Mr. Yamamoto above was shot with a V1, then I bet the photographer was 20 meters away.
Do you know what Bokeh means? It is a feature of a lens, not a camera body. It describes how unfocussed areas appear, not the existence of unfocused areas.
I think it's Bunkeh. I really don't care how out of focus areas look. They have no interest to me. I want the image to appear as an image in its own right, not one that screams, hey, look at me, I am a photograph made from a camera by a photographer who is clever enough to use the focus control.
I won't use a little camera if I wanted shallow DoF. I'd use medium format.
In fact, for my uses, I don't want shallow depth of field I want deep depth of field. Background blur looks too photographic, too much like a cliche.
Deep DoF is not a drawback of V1, it is a benefit.
No- Deep DoF is neither a drawback nor a benefit, it is a simple characteristic of any small camera. To excpect a small format to deliver shallow DoF is to expect a small camera to make your coffee, and to complain when it doesn't.
lolopasstrail: Informative. We are learning that:Auto-ISO is one of the most important features of a digital camera, enough to be emphasized at least four times during the review, and to be the number 1 listed drawback of this camera. (Ignoring of course, that some photographers prefer the Nikon approach, a deliberate design diametrically opposed say to the Fuji X10's, which raises ISO quickly prior to dropping shutter speed).
Secondly, that a camera must be judged by a format it is not. For example, in film days, a typical review of say a 35mm camera would repeatedly harp that it was not in fact a 2-1/4, but only a silly 135. Wait.
A challenge with many reviews of digital cameras is that final result (outside studio shots of wine bottle labels and doll eyes) are not what is judged, so much as operational features and functions, which are then disproportionately overemphasized. More, these are selected arbitrarily as to importance, and inconsistently compared across camera reviews.
No, Richard, The V1 is a CX format and should be judged as such. There is no such format as 'mirrorless,' which is a feature description, not an image surface area format.
The advantage of a Leica M over an Olympus OM1 is small lens size, since the format is the same and camera size comparable, but the Leica M lenses are much smaller; so are the N1 lens photo family (not the video lens) tinier.
highwave, no. We do not review cameras based on the 'targeted user,' whatever that is. We base it on the camera itself. Basing things on an assumed 'targeted user' is a marketing review, not a camera review.
Informative. We are learning that:Auto-ISO is one of the most important features of a digital camera, enough to be emphasized at least four times during the review, and to be the number 1 listed drawback of this camera. (Ignoring of course, that some photographers prefer the Nikon approach, a deliberate design diametrically opposed say to the Fuji X10's, which raises ISO quickly prior to dropping shutter speed).
photo nuts: The number of comments these G1X preview images has received is amazing. For good or bad, it shows Canon marketing has done their homework just right and they clearly know how to time the release of their products. When it was first announced, the Canon 5D also received a deluge of criticisms, both good and bad... and history shows us how influential that camera has become.
Perhaps, but what will really show their homework is not anonymous chit chat on the internet, but lots of sales at $800 a pop.
andersf: Looks awesome. What I don't understand is why they decided on a 4:3 sensor? 3:2 or even 16:9 would have made more sense.
What a nice camera, I'm glad people make things like this.
Too bad it won't do real good in the market. Other than niche marketers (Fuji), mainstream buyers have a hard stop at $400.
All-in-one compacts that try to enter at $500 don't last at that price too long. Panasonic FZ-150, Nikon P7100 quickly dropped sub $400, and the S100 is starting to fall through as well.
This is certainly worth a modest price increase over the G12, but I don't think the market will sustain their wish prices. I'm calling for heavy discounting off intro price by summer.
T3: Some people are saying the pricing is too high, but in reality this is the poor-man's Leica M8 (even though it's not a true rangefinder). In that context, it's not too expensive. Plus, this is a boutique camera, not a mass-market camera.
Or, you can blame the public for the high price because everyone went ga-ga over Fuji's previous "rangefinder-styled" cameras. Any smart company is going to want to get the most money for their product. So they're going to make the most (or at least the most profit) of the photographic public's love affair with these retro-styled cameras.
I don't think the price is due to build quality.
A $200 Nikon P7000 has excellent build quality, I'm guessing even equivalent build quality. This new Fuji, though, appears to have much more expensive materials. However, the materials chosen for each suit their missions.
More expensive materials probably also translates (possibly) into more expensive finishing and assembly. This probably contributes to a higher price.
However, I'd guess that the target price of this has less to do with materials, and more to do with pure-d marketing. This is a premium price, and part of the positioning would be that it deserves a higher price, and the target audience is willing to pay it.
Note also that this is likely a niche product - $3500 and up for a 3-lens kit is not something most would pay. Thus, reduced sales volume could also justify a higher price.
Although for $3500 some might consider a used Mamiya 6 plus three lens kit...
Tlock: I use a canon 7D with 5 lenses. Love it, but I've been waiting for this camera as a compliment. I want to upgrade from Canon G12, for simple street use, travel, personal fun. But the more I look at the new X-pro regarding size, cost, and the added complication of more lenses to carry and switch, the better I think the X-100 looks to me. Simple, small, and excellent image quality. Waiting was a good thing to confirm this. Anyone else see it this way?
Hank Carter's Leica III f's (and earlier models) were smaller even than a Fuji X100, much svelter than this Big Mamou.