Nikon 1 System First Impressions
1 Nikon 1 System First Impressions
|Nikon 1 V1 with 10-30mm, SB-N5 compact Speedlight, 10-100mm video-optimized powerzoom, 10mm and 30-110mm lenses|
Over the course of the last year or two, mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera systems have gone from being interesting portents of things to come to distinctly mainstream products. And with the likes of the Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung all building up their systems into very credible alternatives to DSLR outfits, Nikon has now decided the time has come to show its hand. The result is the 'Nikon 1' system, initially two cameras and four lenses (plus a smattering of accessories) built around a new sensor format that the company calls 'CX'. At 13.2 x 8.8mm in size, the 1 system's brand-new Nikon-designed CMOS sensor is about a third of the area of the DX sensor used in the company's mainstream SLRs.
Nikon's Masahiro Suzuki, General Manager, R&D Department, Development HQ, says there were three factors in choosing the sensor size: image quality, responsiveness and ease of use (specifically in terms of portability). He says the sensor was both designed and engineered by Nikon and stressed it is 'not built by Sony.'
Initial attention has focused on the relatively small size of this sensor compared to other mirrorless systems, and this is a pity as it risks overlooking the impressive technology Nikon has designed into it. Not only is it capable of extraordinary shooting speeds (full resolution images can be captured at an astonishing 60 frames per second), 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. Not only that, the 1 system cameras can shoot at 10 frames per second while maintaining focus on a moving subject.
The system can choose from 135 points when utilizing contrast-detection AF and 73 when using phase-detection AF, and will automatically select what it thinks is the most appropriate method.
We have seen on-sensor phase-detection systems before but Suzuki says the Nikon 1's system is 'much more advanced than the Fuji sensor.' Indeed, he says the system is the fastest of any Nikon camera 'in terms of speed and responsiveness.'
The camera's shooting speed is supported by an all-new image processor, branded as EXPEED 3. This allows the camera to achieve a remarkable data throughput of 600 MP/sec, which Nikon claims is the 'fastest in the world'. A slide at the press launch event graphically made this point - in terms of sheer data processing speed, the Nikon 1 system cameras outpace the D3S by a considerable margin.
|A slide from Nikon UK's launch presentation, illustrating the high-speed data throughput of the 1 system compared to other cameras on the market, including Nikon's own flagship D3X.|
This being 2011, the sensor also has serious video capabilities. It's capable of recording Full HD movies (1920 x 1080 resolution) at 60i or 30p, and full-resolution stills can be captured at a press of the shutter button without interrupting recording. This is the first camera we can think of that gives the user the choice of how the video output is packaged (60i and 30p are essentially the same data presented differently), depending on whether you want to just view the footage or edit it. The phase-detection AF system means the cameras can also track a moving subject during video shooting. All-in-all the 1 system represents an impressive convergance of stills and video capabilities into a single camera.
Who's it for?
Perhaps the most important point to understand about the 1 system is the type of customer Nikon is aiming for. It's most certainly not designed as a second camera for SLR users, but rather as an entirely different type of system that users intimidated by the size and perceived complexity of SLRs can upgrade to when they outgrow their compacts. Nikon says that its customer surveys worldwide reveal that such users value small size, ease of use, and operational speed as much as outright image quality - and the 1 system aims to strike a specific balance between these demands.
The DSLR market is still growing, says Suzuki, but equally the mirrorless market it growing as well. 'We learned from our mirrorless competitors' he says, about how to distinguish the '1' system from F-mount. He considers the Nikon 1 to be different from the existing offerings, instead describing it as 'a new class of camera.'
In fact, the company has even coined a new acronym to match: A-CIL, for 'Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lenses'. We're not sure quite how far this idea holds up in reality, but the point is clear. The 1 system is supposed to sit between compact cameras and SLRs, and not directly compete with either. And, if the company's market research is correct, there's every chance this market sector's expectations are very different from those of the enthusiast photographers who are currently scratching their heads and expressing their dissatisfaction about the new product.
This targeting, plus the sensor's high speed capabilities, results in a very different look to the camera's interface, exemplified by its mode dial. Gone are the scene and PASM modes familiar to SLR users (although these can still be selected through the menu), replaced by four positions which represent different applications of high speed stills and movie recording. The 'Motion Snapshot' mode combines a slow-motion movie with a simultaneously-recorded still image, while the 'Smart Photo Selector' mode takes 20 full-resolution images from a single shutter-button press (including some captured before the button is fully depressed), then analyses them,saving what it judges to be the best five (even recommending the very best of the bunch). There's just a single position to cover all aspects of conventional stills shooting, plus one more for movies.
Nikon 1 V1 vs J1 - What's the difference?
The two cameras Nikon has initially launched are very similar in size, and share the same sensor and many key specifications. But dig a little deeper and there are a fair few differences between them, helping underline the different types of users Nikon is hoping to reach:
- V1 has a built-in high resolution electronic viewfinder
- J1 has built-in pop-up flash, while V1 has an accessory port in place of the pop-up flash, initially compatible with a tiny slide-on flash unit and GPS device, but with more accessories proposed to follow.
- V1 has higher resolution LCD (921,000 dots, rather than the 460,000 on the J1)
- J1 has only an electronic shutter, whereas the V1 has a mechanical shutter too. In principle this should afford better image quality to the V1 under certain conditions. It also helps the V1 achieve a flash sync speed of 1/250th seconds, rather than the J1's 1/60th limit.
- Cameras have slightly different control layouts (flash mode button on J1 replaces focus mode button on V1)
- Body materials are different - V1 is an aluminium/magnesium alloy, J1 is a simpler aluminium alloy
Mr Suzuki explains that both models are aimed at compact camera upgraders, with the difference being down to shooting style. The J is aimed at users who want a compact camera experience (LCD only), while the V is aimed at the higher-level user - a delineation Nikon has made through the addition of the EVF. This also explains the single control dial on the J; making the operation less complex.
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.
Sep 18, 2014
Sep 20, 2014
Sep 19, 2014
Sep 17, 2014
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
Photo sharing site 500px has just added support for wide-gamut color profiles such as AdobeRGB and ProPhotoRGB, even allowing users to filter their searches by color profile.
DJI just released a mandatory firmware update for the DJI Spark. If you own a Spark and don't update your firmware by September 1st, DJI will remotely ground your drone.
Affordable flash manufacturer Godox has updated its smartphone app so that it can be used to control all of its wireless X flash units, not just the A1 smartphone flash.
Western Digital's new My Book Duo external desktop storage system offers up to 20TB of storage capacity, and comes with RAID-optimized WD Red hard drives.
Version 1.04 of the Sony a6500 firmware can be downloaded from the Sony Support website now.
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.