|Tetsuya Yamamoto, General Manager of Nikon’s Development Headquarters within its Imaging Division. (Image courtesy Nikon Inc.)|
At this year’s International CES show in Las Vegas, we spoke to Tetsuya Yamamoto, General Manager of Nikon’s Development Headquarters within its Imaging Division. We discussed the market’s reaction to the 1 J1 and V1, and how the system might evolve in the future.
According to Yamamoto, Nikon has been pleased with the success of the 1 System, especially the J1, in the American market but that even before the system's launch 'we were very confident that there were customers out there who would gravitate towards the V1 and the J1'.
He told us that the sort of people buying the J1 and V1 are those customers that 'want a DSLR but don’t want something big and heavy’. He went on, '1 System customers like the fast AF and the size of the cameras and lenses, and once they’ve used [new features like] Motion Snapshot they really like them'.
1 System sensor 'capable of 2K / 4K video'
Yamamoto told us that Motion Snapshot, which combines a still image with slow motion video in a single capture is a feature that Nikon is keen to improve in the next generation of 1 System cameras. There’s good news, potentially for videographers too - according to Yamamoto 'the [J1 and V1’s] sensor is capable of 2K (2048×1080px) and 4K (~4000px horizontal resolution) video and in the future we hope to incorporate [these functions]'.
'We are going to develop brighter lenses for better total performance'
Also on the agenda for future 1 System products it appears, are improvements to their innovative 'Hybrid' AF systems, which combine conventional contrast-detection AF with a faster phase-detection system, all using the main 10MP imaging sensor.
The key, according to Yamamoto, is faster lenses. He told us 'we want to develop higher speed AF, and specifically to improve phase-detection AF from the imaging sensor. This depends on lens aperture – if the lens [has a larger aperture] then AF is much faster'. In the future, he told us, 'we are going to develop brighter lenses for better total performance – brighter but still small'.
Manual AF control, in-camera NEF editing and Effects filters 'for the future'
Still on the subject of Hybrid AF, which switches between contrast-detection and phase-detection AF modes automatically depending on light level, we asked Yamamoto why Nikon made this system entirely automatic. 'We are studying [manual AF mode control] for the future' he told us: 'for V1-class cameras we would like to do this manually but [AF mode selection in] J1-level models will remain automatic'.
Also potentially on the horizon for future 1 System models, Yamamoto told us, are in-camera NEF (raw) conversion, and in-camera 'Effects'. Asked why the first two functions were omitted from the J1 and V1, Yamamoto explained 'the J1 and V1 are in a new category, and [for these initial releases] we wanted to [focus on] enhancing basic functions like AF and introduce new ones like Motion Snapshot'. In the future though, he told us, 'we are studying the inclusion of [both] in-camera effects and raw conversion'.
'We may provide an option to customize Auto ISO in the future'
During the process of creating our in-depth review of the 1 System cameras, our experience of the J1 and V1’s Automatic ISO system has been that they constantly risk blurry images in low light by selecting low ISO sensitivity settings and relatively low shutter speeds. Yamamoto assured us 'we are aware of the issue'. But, he explained - 'the target user [for the J1/v1] is a point-and-shoot customer and for that user we thought that it was better to make [the function] purely automatic'.
'We always have to find a balance [between noise and sharpness]' he went on, 'but after having a lot of discussions and getting feedback we may need to come up with another option'. Encouragingly, he added that 'we may provide an option for customers to customize Auto ISO performance in the future'.
We ended the interview by asking Mr Yamamoto for his vision of the future, and whether mirrorless cameras will replace consumer-level DSLRs. 'We don't think so' Yamamoto told us - 'mirrorless is one solution [if the aim is] compactness but it is just one approach. We don't think it is the only direction, and we are considering further reductions in size even for [our DSLR] cameras'.
- Nikon 1 V1 / J1 In-Depth Review (published January 2012)
- First Impressions: Using the Nikon 1 V1 (published October 2011)
- Mirrorless Cameras: A Primer (published Dec 2011)
- Nikon 1 System: First Impressions (published September 2011)
- Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera? (published September 2011)
|10-30mm lens, Red, Standard Packaging|
|Nikon 1 J1 10.1 MP HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm...|
|Sophisticated construction by the nature by Orchideon|
|After the Rain by Flor Tempra|
from Macro - Something Pink
|Asilah by Limburg|
from Cozy Corners
It started with a great idea and a slick promotional video, and ended with the company headquarters being raided by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Wired reports on Lily, the selfie-drone maker that never got off the ground.
With card readers disappearing from MacBooks, USB-C card readers are now a necessity. Macworld's helpful guide compares five models and decodes the current mess of card speeds and certifications.
A Sony a7S II mounted on the outside of the ISS' Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO) for the last seven months has sent back some impressive 4K video and stills.
A Federal judge has refused to throw out a copyright case against controversial artist Richard Prince, who used an image by photographer Donald Graham in an exhibition.
Sony has teased its customers with news of an upcoming announcement: it will soon take the wraps off a new CineAlta motion picture camera, one sporting a 36x24mm sensor.
QuikStories is integrated into the latest version of the GoPro app and automatically creates 'stories' using the video clips you've shot during a day.
Journalists photographing a protest in the US Capitol building claim they were told by Capitol Police to delete photos and videos of arrests.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus secondary display can be used for music playback, date and weather-related information, or as viewfinder when taking selfies with the rear cameras.
Nikon is marking its 100th anniversary in many ways, including the creation of a new scholarship program for 'future visual creators' in the USA and Canada.
Take one Digital ELPH (or IXUS), rotate it vertically, add a fully articulating LCD and a lens with a camcorder-like focal length, and what do you get? Why, the Canon PowerShot TX1, of course. In this week's Throwback Thursday we revisit Canon's one-of-a-kind hybrid stills/video camera.
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind, here's the definitive video proof that yes, a $50,000 cinema camera beats the pants off a $50 camcorder in a side-by-side test.
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.