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Nikon V1 and J1 - hands-on first impressions

By dpreview staff on Sep 21, 2011 at 20:12 GMT

We've had a little more time with the Nikon J1 and V1, and have prepared a first impressions article about the Nikon 1 system. We also spoke to Masahiro Suzuki, General Manager, R&D Department at Nikon's development HQ, to better understand the company's reasoning. The article includes an explanation of their high-speed shooting modes and addresses why the mode dial doesn't say P,A,S or M.

Masahiro Suzuki, General Manager, R&D Department, Nikon Development HQ

Click here to read our first impressions of the Nikon V1 and J1

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I own it
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I had it
Discuss in the forums
311
I own it
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I want it
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I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 245
123
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 21, 2011)

So basically, with all these superimpressive speeds, data transfers, superintelligence that can select 5 photos out of zillion from a single shutter release, 60 frame per sec whatever ... this is a superduper video camera marketed as a photography camera. I mean photography as in 'a single frame', or 'a mind's picture' term.
Decisive moment, where art thou? Joy of living the moment?

With cameras like these, who needs photography anymore ...

0 upvotes
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Sep 21, 2011)

Does the pancake lens have image stabilization too? Couldn't find that info.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 21, 2011)

No. The other lenses have 'VR' in the name, the pancake doesn't.

0 upvotes
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Sep 22, 2011)

Thanks.

0 upvotes
LVPhoto1
By LVPhoto1 (Sep 21, 2011)

Nikon: “Congratulations “I expect this to become the norm for those who wish to have a camera to fit in the ongoing growth of digital capture;

2 upvotes
Sergiusbr
By Sergiusbr (Sep 21, 2011)

Jesus!
It seems that this nikon announcement became a joke!
Give nikon a chance in the mirrorless arena. . .

1 upvote
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Sep 21, 2011)

"For now, the company will focus on compact camera users as the target for its mirrorless cameras. Luxury ILCs (such as Sony's NEX-7) represent a very small niche. Nikon, he says sees 'much greater potential' at the lower end of the market."

Well, there we have it from the horse's mouth. The Nikon 1 is a low end system. Case closed.

5 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 21, 2011)

I thought the products expressed that pretty eloquently already.

2 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Sep 21, 2011)

Bit expensive for a low-end system, though.

13 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Sep 21, 2011)

Not with those prices. Lower end of the market my a$$. At $650 for the base model and $900 for the higher end one, these are far from the lower end of the market. Especially if they're considering the GF3 and EPL3 as being the higher end of the market. The GF3 is cheaper and smaller! It looks to me like Nikon is trying to create a market where there is none.

4 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 21, 2011)

It's a bit like the Bose effect. Sure, there are some nice features, but the very steep price and hype is in part driven by the name, not in the least thanks to amazing marketing. Leica uses its name to boost pricetags too, but that name isn't seen in TV ads 24/7.
In favor of Nikon though, they do more good for real professionals than Bose (altough Bose does make some professional stuff too).

0 upvotes
kongqueror
By kongqueror (Sep 21, 2011)

"I thought the products expressed that pretty eloquently already."

With it's high-end pricing, it doesn't.

1 upvote
njkdo
By njkdo (Sep 21, 2011)

Mr. Nikon... I love you, may you married me?

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Sep 21, 2011)

Ok dpreview changed the main picture :)

Michael Jackson said " It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White !!! "

0 upvotes
Ken Aisin
By Ken Aisin (Sep 21, 2011)

"it also incorporates a 'Hybrid' autofocus system that employs both Phase and Contrast Detection focus methods. The result is, according to Nikon, the fastest autofocus of any camera the company has ever made - including its professional flagship DSLR, the D3S."

This means Nikon has the capability to build DX and FX mirrorless cameras with hybrid AF system that can autofocus faster than D3s, but Nikon somehow chose a sensor with 2.7x crop factor. Interesting.........

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 21, 2011)

Except, of course, that all the lenses for the Nikon 1 system have been designed specifically for CDAF (small, light, short-travel internal focus elements). It would be much harder to achieve the same speed with bigger lens elements and we've never seen anyone make legacy (PDAF-designed) lenses work quickly with CDAF.

4 upvotes
Ken Aisin
By Ken Aisin (Sep 22, 2011)

Thanks for the explanation, Richard :)

Well, when it comes to mirrorless cameras, if I were given a choice between AF speed or larger sensor size, I'd definitely pick larger sensor size.

Saw the sample pictures of the V1 and I'm absolutely not impressed with the image quality from a camera that costs $899. Personally, I wouldn't even want to pay $450 for it no matter how blazingly fast the AF speed is. If I'm shooting something that requires fast AF speed, I can always go grab my DSLR and AF-S lenses. After seeing the sample images, I think Nikon has totally lost the plot with this one.

1 upvote
Julio
By Julio (Sep 21, 2011)

I'll file this one under "Things I didn't know I needed until the marketting guys had a go at me." Now I have a craving for jellybeans.

2 upvotes
arra
By arra (Sep 21, 2011)

OMG, It'll be so hard to choose from :( Sure my wife can help me decide ;)

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Sep 21, 2011)

Please tell me someone pushed the color saturation up in photoshop.

Surely these cannot be the actual colors for cameras that cost up to $900?
Perhaps for a $149 compact....

2 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 22, 2011)

This is a fun camera system and the colors are very appropriate for their targeted customers.

0 upvotes
zorgon
By zorgon (Sep 21, 2011)

I want the shiny orange one!

1 upvote
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (Sep 21, 2011)

... or pink with a yellow lens ...!

0 upvotes
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (Sep 21, 2011)

The reply was meant to IcyVein's post. ;-)

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Sep 21, 2011)

Hypercritical enthusiasts don't grasp the fact that not everyone has the same camera wants/needs as they do.

For current owners of compact cameras, this looks like a really nice upgrade.

3 upvotes
goloby
By goloby (Sep 21, 2011)

yeah right, at 650$ there's nothing better out there, lol

1 upvote
Daniel Villiers
By Daniel Villiers (Sep 21, 2011)

For $ 300 and $ 400 I would have said that it is ok as upgrade to p&s camera users. but at $ 650 and more it is insane, when you have the Sony 5N at S 699. An apsc size sensor rivaling the d700 in high iso etc. You know there is a world outside of Nikon.

0 upvotes
Shift4g
By Shift4g (Sep 21, 2011)

Choices only hurt the consumer. Individuality is overrated. Down with choices, down with individuality I say!

1 upvote
tilariths
By tilariths (Sep 22, 2011)

Not as nice of an upgrade as Olympus or Sony makes.

And not as affordable.

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 22, 2011)

I see m4/3 (Olympus and Panasonic) and aps-c (Samsung and Sony) cameras more as a nice upgrade. Specially the TRUE lower end cameras from m4/3 and aps-c mirrorless. $650? What a joke...! The sad part of the story is that many people will get those cameras, just because got the Nikon brand on it.

1 upvote
BMS1
By BMS1 (Sep 21, 2011)

PLEASE tell me these cameras are just prototypes!...

4 upvotes
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (Sep 21, 2011)

... for Teletubbies. ;-)

3 upvotes
JJJPhoto
By JJJPhoto (Sep 21, 2011)

These cameras look like what I expect my 5-year-old daughter to draw if I asked her to "draw a picture of a camera." Someone at Nikon was paid money to design these?

5 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Sep 21, 2011)

"look like what I expect my 5-year-old daughter" is one of most sought after reactions between designers. Nikon 1 is now an archetype.

1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Sep 21, 2011)

So you can lick them & glue them on the ceiling !!! YEAAAA !!!

0 upvotes
Copiare
By Copiare (Sep 21, 2011)

Lipstick on a pig.

3 upvotes
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (Sep 21, 2011)

... sporting a pink Nikon 1. ;-)

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Sep 21, 2011)

Or water pistols...

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Sep 21, 2011)

Looks like Haribo Gummy bears...

3 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Sep 21, 2011)

I've got to admit, even though I am unexcited about the camera itself, those awesome color choices almost make me want one. Think how cool it would look to have a red camera with a green lens! Or Teal with a pink lens!

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 22, 2011)

Something tells me only the 10mm lens will be color and be a kit lens where you can't order just a camera body or just the 10mm lens. Remember this camera system is meant for P&S upgraders and nobody will have a lens already for this camera so there will be no body-only option.

0 upvotes
NeilRW
By NeilRW (Sep 22, 2011)

Then you could have a yellow tutu with pink trim to go with your sweet camera.

0 upvotes
perry rhodan
By perry rhodan (Sep 22, 2011)

what can one buy for this kind of money? the size and cost compared to sensorsize and IQ is not of this world. ROFL

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Sep 24, 2011)

Yet women will sometimes buy things because of color and color alone! Matching their car, purse or favorite color!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 245
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