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Hands-on images from the Nikon 1 launch, including mock-up lenses

By dpreview staff on Sep 21, 2011 at 05:42 GMT

Live report from the New York launch of the Nikon 1 system. Dpreview.com attended the unveiling of Nikon's new mirrorless camera system, which included the launch of the J1 and V1 cameras. We had a chance to handle the cameras and their associated accessories. Here are our images from the event, including mock-ups of possible future lenses.

Images from the Nikon 1 system launch

Nikon J1 in-hand
Nikon V1 with and 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 and SB-N5 compact speedlight
Nikon V1 with and 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6, showing accessory port on leftNikon J1 with 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 extended.
Portrait prime lensLandscape wide-angle zoom
High-power zoom lens (For travel)Super-telephoto zoom (For sports)
Close-up (Macro lens)Pocket-size (thin-normal zoom lens)
Pocket-size (thin-normal zoom lens)Portrait prime lens
Projector accessoryExternal mic and LCD finder
LED video light with bracketExpect to see the J1 in many colors

Comments

Total comments: 132
12
bricci_mn
By bricci_mn (Dec 20, 2011)

Just to add some noise... :)
I was very sceptical about CX sensor e this new ecosystem made by Nikon.
But I had V1 and J1 in my hands for few minutes last week in a shop here around.
I was REALLY astonished by the construction quality they both show.
The V1 has a SPECTACULAR viewfinder. and the J1 is solid despite its plastic body (what a NICE one!)
I cannot say if they could compete with other cameras, as I previously said it is too early to know, but I also can confirm that the building quality of a Nikon is deeply within these two small masterpieces.

0 upvotes
Michael Oersigh
By Michael Oersigh (Oct 4, 2011)

Looks nice but I hope Nikon come up with a pancake zoom to go with the compact lines and the prime lens. The sensor is not an issue unless it performs badly, and 1 inch sensor looks about right for this system. CX could well be the natural patner to DX better hopefully than DX/FX.

0 upvotes
Ema2010
By Ema2010 (Sep 29, 2011)

With all the wows of the Nikon new kids, the sensor is still small and smaller than other already in the market mirrorless cameras . I hope Canon will take that into account and make a real sensation.

0 upvotes
Nikon-Freak
By Nikon-Freak (Sep 26, 2011)

dont see myself using this on weddings and foto sessions.. size still matters, no matter what people say or think.. this system is nice for the show of amateurs and for people without that much imagination.. personaly i think that the mirrorless idea is great, but please.. build it in normal Camaras..
Nikon ? wake up !!!

0 upvotes
glasscanvas
By glasscanvas (Sep 27, 2011)

It not intended for that. Get a big DSLR for wedding photography.
It's a light camera with a better sensor and response than a point & shoot super zoom. I have my big DSLR and small P&S cameras and know what they can do and get great results. I have a great imagination and get great photographs regardless of the camera it's perhaps you who's lost your imagination!

1 upvote
briarwoodsman
By briarwoodsman (Sep 26, 2011)

Nikon is trying to protect their DSLR business where they could be, instead, leading the parade into what will become the high ground as people figure out that the kludgy moving-mirror-box is no longer needed in an age when the sensor always sees what the lens is seeing. My hope is that the "1" system leads quickly to a DX and then an FX body that truly merges still and moving image capabilities, adds robust audio inputs, and even supports video RAW capture. That's the future; get me there quickly, please, Nikon. And TIA.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Sep 26, 2011)

Nikon can throw in every adjective to describe the new camera, use all the marketing hype, try to create a new "word" to describe the system, and lump all technological gizmos and bells and whistles.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make 'em drink.

(well unless you cut the price in half, maybe...)
That's what it's really worth, sorry Nikon.

1 upvote
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Sep 25, 2011)

I think Nikon should be applauded for this system. They are targeting a different segment of the market. Yes I know about the sensor size but I think it’s a smart move. They are not going to infringe on their DSLR market and this system is designed to stand by itself. They are also not going to get involved in a sector where they have to continually bring out a new camera’s when another supplier using the same sensor size releases a new camera. To those Nikon DSLR users that are bitching be very glad that it did not come out with a DX sensor. Have a look at Sony and even Olympus for that mater the emphasis on true SLR is fading and the slapping mirror and optical view finders are going to be a thing of the past. The bottom end of the Nikon DSLR market would have faded away. So I see it as a blessing in disguise for Nikon DSLR users.

0 upvotes
Jim Lowell
By Jim Lowell (Sep 25, 2011)

I think most here that bitch are Canon users. I use Canon DSLRs. Kudos to Nikon for trying something new. 10 years from now we won't be having to use those big heavy old 35mm dinosaur lenses we are using today and the typical DSLR format will be history.

0 upvotes
briarwoodsman
By briarwoodsman (Sep 26, 2011)

10 years from now? More likely in a couple of years. You can get there now, just not with Nikon.

0 upvotes
Nikon-Freak
By Nikon-Freak (Sep 26, 2011)

@briarwoodsman Canon dude right ? can tell you something shocking.. Canon will quit making SLR within 5 years.. in quality they lost the cold war allready 5 years ago

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Sep 24, 2011)

No decent hand grips. The J1 has an entirely flat front with no grip at all, while the V1 has the slightest of a finger ridge to grip onto. And with big lenses mounted, it seems like a rather tight squeeze for grip hand. They don't seem very ergonomic at all. Design-wise, seems like style over functionality. And even the styling is questionable.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Sep 24, 2011)

They all look like S9100 and P300 on steroids.

1 upvote
Neil Morgan
By Neil Morgan (Sep 24, 2011)

Are the lens bodies Alum or plastic.
I held the oly pen and was thoroughly disappointed in the plastic lenses.errr At least the were shiny.
No where does it say whether these are plastic or metal

0 upvotes
bricci_mn
By bricci_mn (Sep 23, 2011)

I think they're nice. But futile.

1 upvote
sharkfeeder
By sharkfeeder (Sep 23, 2011)

Geez...I was kinda hoping someone would put a full frame sensor in one of these little mirrorless cameras, combined with a set of compact pancake style lenses. I'm a Nikon guy, but I use the Sony NEX-5 as my carry anywhere camera, and that's probably how it will stay for now.

0 upvotes
RUcrAZ
By RUcrAZ (Sep 22, 2011)

I love the "refrigerator white" color and the nice, clean look. So much for visual impact, but as a machine that takes photos...with hardly any easy-operable controls....people that change lenses also want handy controls, I think.

0 upvotes
Nikon-Freak
By Nikon-Freak (Sep 26, 2011)

this type of cameras is nice for amateurs and toy geeks.. for semi or professional use its basicly useless. Size Matters.. dont see myself shooting an important event with toys like this.. people will laugh there ass off..

0 upvotes
jsandjs
By jsandjs (Sep 22, 2011)

Well, now we've got 1/2.5", 1/2.33", 1/1.8", 1/1.7", 1/1.63", 1/1.5", and the newest 1/1". Will canon give us something between the 1" and the u4/3?
One thing I don't really get is its highest iso. Is 3200 a limit of an 1" sensor? I looked at the samples under iso 3200 and was not too impressive about the cleanness on my screen. I was wondering if the pixels reduced to 5M will help.

0 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (Sep 22, 2011)

To be fair, you'd have to make a direct comparison between the high-iso output of Nikon's CX sensor the the m43 sensors used by Panasonic and Olympus before you can say "impressed" or "not impressed". No one should expect the Nikon J1/V1 to perform as well as the DX sensor used in the D3100. None of the m43 cameras can do that either.

Personally, I was surprised by the quality (relatively speaking) of the Nikon's iso 3200 shots. Even the iso 6400 shots were usable, which is well beyond the capabilities of even the best enthusiast's pocket camera.

What's disappointing to me is that the Nikon CX cameras are explicitly aimed at point-and-shooters rather than enthusiasts looking for better IQ in a more compact package. My guess is that the appeal of the Nikon CX cameras will fade a little once Panasonic and Olympus upgrade the aging 12MP sensor used in most of their cameras. It may not be long either, as Panasonic has already put a much better sensor on the well-priced Lumix G3.

2 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Sep 22, 2011)

Cute but no cigar.

0 upvotes
Charles Lau
By Charles Lau (Sep 22, 2011)

As a long time NIKON fan for more than 30 years, I must say I am deeply disappointed. Nikon reallyndropped the ball on this one. They have the perfect opportunity to lead the mirror less market with an APSC sensor camera to compliment their existing SLR line...and I emphasize compliment, not compete, as Sony did with their NEX line and the E mount. Going to all that trouble to create another sensor format does nothing for the consumer except create more confusion and additional hardware that will be difficult for 3rd party suppliers and lens manufacturers to support. Wouldn't it be great if the new Nikons are APSC, sharing the E mount? ....Just think of all the nice Zeiss glass that may be available. Don't get me wrong, I think both Nikon V models are beautifully designed, but they will be no match against the new Sony NEX5 and NEX7....
Sony listened, and gave consumers what they want..I bet the waiting list will be long. Nikon, are you listening?

3 upvotes
Jamesphotographer
By Jamesphotographer (Sep 22, 2011)

Yes, very disappointed design with small sensor and aperture lenses. I shall be 100 % giving up. I think Sony NEX lens are much better than Nikon 1 system. Don't burn your money for this preliminary version.

2 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (Sep 22, 2011)

On the other hand, the big downside of compact APSC-format cameras like the Sony NEX is that the lenses are the same size as the ones we're already using on our DX DSLR's. Much of the benefit of the smaller body is lost the minute you put a zoom lens on these cameras. The smaller the sensor, the smaller the system lenses can be. Panasonic and Olympus have already proved the point. When you buy an m43 body, the whole package (including the lens) is considerably smaller and lighter than any DSLR.

What is disappointing to me (in addition to the explicit focus on the point-and-shoot crowd) is that Nikon chose to add yet another format to the mix rather than come out with their own m43 offering. The V1's integrated, low-profile EVF makes it a very attractive physical package, and sets it apart from the Panasonic and Olympus offerings, which can only add a bulky and expensive clip-on EVF.

0 upvotes
pjsalty
By pjsalty (Sep 23, 2011)

You're absolutely right. If Nikon made a m4/3 format camera with this fast new AF system and fast frame rates then they would really have my attention.

0 upvotes
rsalles
By rsalles (Sep 21, 2011)

IMO Nikon got it right. APS-C sensor in mirrorless is pointless as lenses do not get smaller. There is a big chance that I change my G12 for one of these.

0 upvotes
kryters
By kryters (Sep 21, 2011)

I think I agree, but looking at it you'll spend half your day looking for the exposure compensation control in the software, together with the iso settings and everything else. On your G12, it's all in the top, joy.

2 upvotes
R Ortiz
By R Ortiz (Sep 21, 2011)

Yes, that kills it for me.

1 upvote
briarwoodsman
By briarwoodsman (Sep 26, 2011)

One of the beauties of Nikon is that Nikon glass remains usable as the system moves forward. Many of us have a larger investment in glass than bodies (which are basically disposable). So I have to disagree that the APS-C is pointless. It's the DSLR that is becoming pointless.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 21, 2011)

Not an answer to an Fuji x100, which is extremely popular, and produces some of the best IQ of any camera that isn't FF.

As far as why the sensor is smaller than m43, I think Nikon didn't want to a) pay Pany/Oly for m43 mount b) and didn't want to make a camera in m43 space in case it was worse than Olympus or Panasonic, it would be truly embarrassing for Nikon. Now, if the Nikon 1 is a dud, they can always say, "well it's not meant to compete with m43 because it has a smaller sensor".

3 upvotes
Paul Grupp
By Paul Grupp (Sep 21, 2011)

It is very clear to me that this product line was conceived with very little Nikon USA/Europe input, and is designed primarily for the tastes of consumers in the Japanese home market. I think its a complete miss outside Japan -- too fidgety cute with too many little parts and pieces, all of which are far too expensive.

Outside Japan this product line will be an embarassment that will quietly disappear over the next year.

1 upvote
Shomari
By Shomari (Sep 22, 2011)

I think the camera was designed for a current consumer market that can afford this camera with it's feature points.

0 upvotes
kryters
By kryters (Sep 21, 2011)

Well I think Nikon is rather getting the point that the other mirrorless manufacturers missed. Nikon has tried to up scale the canon S90 / LX5 a bit and give it interchangeable lenses. The Canon / Panasonic's are great cameras that can produce great results as well as being light and portable, but they lack the versatility of interchangeable lenses. The other mirrorless manufacturers have concentrated on targeting the point and shoot brigade, this looks like an attempt to aim at the enthusiasts market. When we get it in our hands we will see if they have succeed. I hope they have.

1 upvote
kryters
By kryters (Sep 22, 2011)

I think I must retract the comment above, looks like Nikon haven't produced an enthusiasts camera :-(

1 upvote
dan_7d
By dan_7d (Sep 21, 2011)

after we waited all this time nikon can only bring us a joke id rather buy the pentax Q i thort nikon made cameras not toys

1 upvote
petepictures
By petepictures (Sep 21, 2011)

What I was expecting from Nikon was at least A full frame if not larger, mirorless system with a range of fast F 1,4 lenses. with a 30MP sensor maybe and combining those pixels by 2 and 3 to create a 10 MP image with great low light capabilities.
I was expecting of the shutter to be able to sync with flash up to 1/4000 for great daylight flash portraits.
Pity I was disappointed.
Lately I am enjoying film photography anyway.

1 upvote
Peanut88
By Peanut88 (Sep 21, 2011)

z z z Z Z Z

Next ! ! !

1 upvote
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Sep 21, 2011)

In this arena, I would wait to see if Sony delivers on their NEX lenses. If they don't, I'd stick with my m43 system. I see no challenge from this Nikon system.

0 upvotes
jamesfrmphilly
By jamesfrmphilly (Sep 21, 2011)

the lenses are slow. the sensor is small.
you will never be able to blur the background and pop out a subject.

2 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (Sep 21, 2011)

Nikon just put the m4/3 camera makers out of business.

There's no reason to buy them now! They're not as good as DX and not as compact as CX!

1 upvote
tilariths
By tilariths (Sep 21, 2011)

It is the other way around. Nikon 1 will not have as good image quality (slow lenses, small sensor) as m4/3 and DX is too big.

m4/3 is just the perfect compromise of size and quality. The more player scramble up to join the party the more clear it becomes that Olympus and friends got it right the first time.

8 upvotes
zebarnabe
By zebarnabe (Sep 21, 2011)

I totally agree.... however m43 sensors are REALLY outdated, Panny and Olympus have been playing with JPEG engines and AF engines too much, leaving DR and other issue a bit unattended...

However, the latest Panasonic compact sensors could mean a bump in quality on the next generation of m43 sensors...

0 upvotes
Deusex
By Deusex (Sep 21, 2011)

µ4/3 will put the CX cameras out of business. Nikon's CX cameras are ugly and useless.

2 upvotes
dbateman
By dbateman (Sep 21, 2011)

Quick get the largest handed man in the room to hold up the camera and lenses. Hide the other systems and don't compare it to the M43rds or Nex cameras.

The first thing that popped into my head. At least Samsung tries to compare something.

My feeling is that 1million went into camera design and research and 10-20 million will go into ads and promotion.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Sep 21, 2011)

vomit......

2 upvotes
f_stops
By f_stops (Sep 21, 2011)

Common FOLKS!!! This is GROUNDBREAKING!!!

Never before could you match a LIME GREEN LENS to a PINK BODY!!!

I want to BUY ALL the LENSES and BODIES in ALL the COLORS!!! Crazy Blue on Yellow during the day, and Classy White on Black at night . . .

Digital Photography has entered a New Era!!!

/note to self - cut down on the Irish in the Irish Coffee in the morning . . . .

9 upvotes
IEBA1
By IEBA1 (Sep 21, 2011)

I'm sorry, but whatever "compactness" they went after with such a tiny sensor is lost by having lenses 3x the size of the camera just to have any zoom.

I'm waiting for a large sensor camera with a built-in lens. Like a "compact travel zoom" with a large sensor.

Yes, I know a large sensor means the lens has to be bigger and the zoom can't be as much, but I don't need 18x in a travel zoom. What I DO want is one handed operation (including zoom) and a large sensor camera that really is compact when turned off- the lens folds into the body.

3 upvotes
zebarnabe
By zebarnabe (Sep 21, 2011)

While it doesn't exactly fill your needs, Canon SX230 HS image quality looks pretty epic when you compare it with the 1/1.7" sensor powered S95.

Adding to that CHDK is now available for it :D

But yeah, long goes the time when cameras like S100 from fuji were made :[

0 upvotes
Deusex
By Deusex (Sep 21, 2011)

Just go and buy any µ4/3 with new panasonic X lens 14-42

0 upvotes
IEBA1
By IEBA1 (Sep 22, 2011)

If Panny GH3 can tell the new power-zoom cameras to zoom using the same zoom lever around the shutter button as most P&S cameras, I'm there.

I'm not looking for ultra compact (which no interchangeable lens camera is) but I want convenience. As the sole photographer who also has to wrangle two little kids on family trips, I have one hand for camera work, max.

I use a Canon SX20 now. It's nice, long lens, carryable, and- above all, everything is settable in my right hand. I can even flip the flash up with my finger.

I'd like something similar with dramatically better image quality, less CA, sharper, etc. 10 MP will do, I don't even need the 12 MP I have. Faster shot to shot (mine is 1.x seconds) and full HD. In essence, I want the camera I have, but better. And I'll pay for it. Because 28-520mm in my hand with an uber-useful tilt swivel screen is unparalleled when you go with a detachable lens.

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 21, 2011)

the sensor is 1". its bigger than pentax Q , S95, S100, LX5, DLUX4 and basically any high end compact todate.

So its going to score big on IQ, losing only to 4/3 onwards.

1 upvote
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Sep 21, 2011)

So what's the point. Its competition in m43, NEX etc. I think that Nikon got it fundamentally wrong here.

1 upvote
Shazbot
By Shazbot (Sep 21, 2011)

That's a pretty small body, and yet they somehow managed to put a VF on the V1 model. I would really like to see some of the high-end P&S cameras get something like that built-in.

1 upvote
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Sep 21, 2011)

Except that all the m4/3rd bodies are smaller.

0 upvotes
aleckurgan
By aleckurgan (Sep 21, 2011)

Looking at glossy white cameras with projector and video light mounted, I got a feeling that Nikon decided to enter the Lomography crap-camera segment. :)

3 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Sep 21, 2011)

The pentax Q has a raison d'etere; large DOF/high sync... anybody want some softboxes? :D... however I do not get this. this doesnt even have a hotshoe...

0 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Sep 21, 2011)

When was Nikon bought out by Fischer-Price?

4 upvotes
Razgriz
By Razgriz (Sep 21, 2011)

So many ranting people.

Why not wait until it comes out, pick one up, try the functions, press the buttons, zoom in and out, then take a few pictures, then download, view themm then make an honest description on what you like or dislike.
Then if its rubbish, then say so, not slag it off until then.
Stop moaning!!!!

3 upvotes
glasscanvas
By glasscanvas (Sep 27, 2011)

I agree.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Sep 21, 2011)

This is a beaut. It will fit places other cameras won't making for awesome 'you are there' type pictures. Also, the silly colors will disarm security guards and other enemies of photography making it much easier to shoot in public places. All in all, a great camera for what it will do.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Sep 21, 2011)

i thought they said it will be totally revolutionary and no one has those features they will offer in their mirrorless ??

i hope someone will lose his job for that

3 upvotes
spacegoret
By spacegoret (Sep 21, 2011)

Probably several people will lose their jobs. Maybe the whole team.

1 upvote
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (Sep 21, 2011)

Failure! They could have built at least one with fixed lens to answer X10 or X100 =D

1 upvote
ThomasH_always
By ThomasH_always (Sep 21, 2011)

I am stunned the disproportion between diameter of the mount and the small sensor size. Personally I think that Nikon committed a blunder. Why would someone take the CX sized sensor over the already established M43rd with so many offerings? The controls look very... plain, where are the wheels to adjust aperture/shutter for example?

3 upvotes
zamorac
By zamorac (Sep 21, 2011)

Where are the PASM modes? Am I blind? Command dial has only green AUTO, movie mode, and some scene modes probably??

4 upvotes
zebarnabe
By zebarnabe (Sep 21, 2011)

you are not blind ....
- Motion Snapshot (records 1 sec of slow motion video around your still photograph)
- Smart Photo selector (shoots 20 photos at 30fps, picking the best 5 of that selection)
- Still Imaging Mode (the green one - can shoot up to 10fps in full serolution with full AF, or at 30/60fps for a limited number of frames)
- Movie Mode (1080/30p, 1080/60i, 720/60p and allows hi-res still photos to be recorded during the video)

Auto-focus counts with 73-point AF system using phase detection

Engadget has a Nikon guy showing it :P

0 upvotes
ROFLOL
By ROFLOL (Sep 21, 2011)

Waiting for dpreivew comparison of Nikon J1,V1 to Sony NEX-5N, 7.
Can't wait for Canon to announce candy colored cameras.
What a joke.

2 upvotes
marcuz
By marcuz (Sep 21, 2011)

Nice look, very low capabilities against other mirrorless cameras, huge price...

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Sep 21, 2011)

So who is it exactly that Nikon expects will buy these cameras, well executed though they are?

0 upvotes
Mark Forman
By Mark Forman (Sep 21, 2011)

Where does the film go?

Can it shoot 4 x 5 sheet fim?

Where's the crank for the movie function?

I see it does 8 colors

Oh , I guess it is one of those new fangled Deegeetal cameras.

I won't buy it because Kodachrome can do more than 8 colors.

Then again I like my Canon 1D Mark IV better :----))

1 upvote
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 21, 2011)

What a waste

3 upvotes
Jackie Q Acomson
By Jackie Q Acomson (Sep 21, 2011)

Stupid cameras!

2 upvotes
mbbphoto
By mbbphoto (Sep 21, 2011)

A lot of effort for a snapshot camera.
How's the low-light noise?

0 upvotes
Jackie Q Acomson
By Jackie Q Acomson (Sep 21, 2011)

When I read the specs of Nikon 1 system, I had the feeling of being the fanboy of Arsenal and the Team lost to Man U 8-2.

3 upvotes
Total comments: 132
12