Nikon 1 newbie says hi

Started Jan 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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JacquesBalthazar Contributing Member • Posts: 685
Nikon 1 newbie says hi

Touching base in this forum as a Nikon 1 Brussels-based newbie. Just purchased black J1 kit with 10 and 10-30 lenses, with my wallet already set on 30-110, then who knows...

If you care for background: I am mainly an old fart, and enthusiastic amateur from the days where integrated light meters were still a novelty, and AF was sci-fi. I also like new toys, like most boys. Through the years I have played across many brands, formats and technologies. And, in hindsight, I keep sweet memories of yellow branded toys in the Seventies and Eighties named FM, FE, FM2, F801, and not that many years ago, D100. For the last decade or so I have been fortunate enough to be able to become a Leica guy (M6, M8, M9, X1).

The real black hole in that setup is video of course, and family life calls for video traces. My old camcorder dies many years ago. On the stills front, the X1 takes good care of very high quality compact expectations. However, it is not very flexible and it operates too slowly for my taste. It already feels "old". The M9 system is the gem that it is. Lenses and body are relatively "compact" in size but broadly no lighter than DSLR in weight. It is a a high quality "dense" system. You think twice before taking it out on a stroll or a business trip. Not only because it is expensive.

I wanted something no bigger than X1 for day to day, something immensely faster to operate, really reactive, open to a good gamut of focal lengths , capable of very good and easy HD video, and capable of reliably good stills in usual shooting conditions. Did all the usual googling and forum lurking. Looked at 4/3, Nef, X100 and all the usual compacts (S100, G12, etc) as well as the latest CES launches.

I discarded Nikon 1 at the outset, as its concept runs against mainstream logic, missing key ticks in the box on sensor size, etc.

But as I was drilling down on product sheets, on real life comments and on my own contradictory requirements, that Nikon 1 thingy kept popping back up.

Finally, the design itself tipped the scale to bring me to test it last week, and purchase it one hour later.

Simply put, I am fed up and bored to death with pseudo-vintage design. The latest Fuji trio is a nostalgia cocktail prepared by lazy marketeers, playing to the old Leica sentiments. The Capa/Cartier-Bresson fantasies and associated kodachrome/triX daydreams. There are reasons for design to have evolved since 1953, and good design should map to the future, while embracing latest technologies, rather than point to a fantasised past. The latest Pana stuff, even the knobby GX1, also refer back to those days. I am blessed with having access to the "real thing" and I have the excuse of being old. But all that stuff makes no sense in 2012.

So I bought the J1. And I LOVE it. It is small, light, fun, agile, intelligent and very well thought through. Its default settings and control layout encourage different ways of "thinking" photography. It does to cameras what many Apple devices do in their respective patches, and invite to an innovative experience.

Been shooting away with J1 for a few days now, and I feel....rejuvenated. Yep, that is the right word! REJUVENATED!

Now, why the f... did I not opt for the V1....

Speak to you guys soon, I am sure!

 JacquesBalthazar's gear list:JacquesBalthazar's gear list
Nikon Df Fujifilm X-Pro2 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR XF 90mm +25 more
Canon PowerShot G12 Fujifilm FinePix X100 Leica X1 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
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