What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

Started Dec 1, 2012 | Questions
extesd Forum Member • Posts: 96
What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

First I think it is important to define the "philosophies of use", just as some cameras are designated as "amateur" or "professional" regardless of application. The Nikon 1 J1-2 come in a plethora of funky colors, the D3X does not. This is because Nikon has different target audiences for the J1-2 or D3X. Nikon expects the people who might buy the J1-2 to be more concerned about apearance, it may come in sun-dance orange. On the other hand the D3X does not come in sun-dance orange (yet, we can only hope). The D3X comes in something like professional-journalist black, because although pixy-fart purple is funky, it doesn't command the same respect in Fallujah (although this might prevent some journalists from being mistaken as insurgents). The point here is that although Nikon could produce sun-dance orange D3X it doesn't because the D3X isn't meant to be funky, its meant to be professional. The J1-2 comes in a magnificent rainbow of colors because Nikon most likely imagines the end user taking pictures of themselves and the house cat, while spinning in circles in their bed room for "blurry background". At this point I think it is important to restate that although cameras are marketed to certain cultures, this doesn't mean you can't take professional grade photos with your J1-2. The V1 fits in the same paradigm as the J1. Perhaps the V1 consumer is more experianced and knows the value of having an electronic view finder, but still recognizes the importance of Ashton Kutcher's mullet in photography (http://one.nikonusa.com/?cid=12n1hol158e).

And the people wept.

And Nikon created the V2.

I think that the Nikon 1 system has made serious strides towards serious enthusiast credibility with the V2. The Nikon 1 system, has allot to offer. Its image quality is much higher than majority of compacts and it has the potential to be a small and light weight platform. This functionality is realized in the V2. Functionality is important to enthusiasts and more serious photographers. The V2 appears to be Nikon's answer to the complaints that serious photographers had with the V1, which was that it wasn't very serious. Nikon learnt quickly that people don't care so much what color the V series camera comes in, people care if it the camera functions optimally in practice.

I would like to see a professional grade Nikon 1 system camera (perhaps V series), is this too much to ask for?

People run in fear when I take out my D7000, when I pull out my Canon S90 they smile and perhaps jazz hands. The V1 is small and innocious, it doesn't scream "I'm going to put you on CNN." perhaps allowing me to get the shot that I want. Its also light weight I could run around town and never get tired. Its already made with a magnesium body.

So my question is what changes to the Nikon 1 system would have to be made in order for you to take the Nikon 1 system serious in a professional capacity? Please remember that Nikon will most likely NEVER change the sensor size so its not an acceptable request. For those that already use the Nikon 1 system in a professional capacity, good for you much respect for finding the right tool for your job.

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Canon PowerShot S90 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon D3X Nikon D7000
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jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,402
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?
2

extesd wrote:


So my question is what changes to the Nikon 1 system would have to be made in order for you to take the Nikon 1 system serious in a professional capacity? Please remember that Nikon will most likely NEVER change the sensor size so its not an acceptable request. For those that already use the Nikon 1 system in a professional capacity, good for you much respect for finding the right tool for your job.

What is holding the Nikon 1 systems back right now is a dearth of  lenses:

  • No  constant large aperture zoom lenses.
  • No UWA zoom lens.
  • No high power zoom lens. (Currently 110mm is maximum focal length available).
  • No macro lens.

Also the Nikon 1 system needs wireless flash capability.

- Jon

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JacquesBalthazar
JacquesBalthazar Contributing Member • Posts: 686
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?
1

The only thing holding back Nikon 1 from being a fully fledged "pro" lightweight system is lack of choice in native lenses. Ultra wide angle absolutely requires some native offers NOW. At longer end and macro, the FT1 offers some options, but they are mostly stop gap options, defeating the small & lightweight purpose.

That said, the existing zooms do offer most of the useful focal length ranges in good light. And the 2 existing fixed focal lengths    also provide a great coat pocketable option. The 32mm f1.2 announced for 2013 will extend that,  and provide thin DoF capability, but we do need a few more before we can settle for that system.

The bodies are fine. The V2 seems perfect as a do-it-all camera.

nikon 1 and 1" sensor is potentially THE perfect complement to a FF system, and I am convinced a much better strategy in long term than the m4/3 or APS mirrorless options.  Needs those native lenses ASAP.

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coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 4,007
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

extesd wrote:

I would like to see a professional grade Nikon 1 system camera (perhaps V series), is this too much to ask for?

How do you make one, though?

Professional right now may use a D4 and/or D800. They have great IQ (especially that sexy D800), AF, handling, battery life, viewfinders, lens selection etc. All of that is what makes it a professionals (and serious enthusiast) choice. Can Nikon 1 match any of that? Maybe AF, as the PDAF-on-sensor will surely only improve, but the rest is a resounding no.

I don't see how Nikon makes it a professional grade camera. Their immediate goal should be to compete against the other "2nd camera" systems like NEX and MFT. It could be a good, small system that you use alongside your DSLR. They should start by coming out with more lenses, as soon as possible, and the 32/1.2 is a step in the right direction.

People run in fear when I take out my D7000, when I pull out my Canon S90 they smile and perhaps jazz hands.

I get friendliest reactions when I use older medium format film cameras (haven't in some time, though). Every once in while, an older guy, surely a photographer, would spot me from a distance and shout "hey, is that a...". Haven't yet figured out what cameras attract younger ladies.

cboudier Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

I think you first have to define what's a professional gear...

To my understanding, professionals first need reliable tools.

Is the V1 reliable (I don't know about the J1,J2,V2) ?
No. The too_easy_to_accidentally_turn_wheels are a real drawback.

Then (and without priority order), professionals need their gears to :
have a complete set of accessory (fast lenses at first)
be ergonomic,
be very well build (made to last)
be easy to replace/repair in case of problem (this concerns more after sales than the camera itself)
Does the V1 fulfill all these requirements : more or less... (guess where it fail)

And of course, but the exigency level may vary here, image quality.

After all of this, you also have to define the field of photography to be considered.
Is the V1 good (or better than other existing camera) for :
Studio : probably not
Wildlife, paparazzing : YES
Landscape : probably not
Sport : may be
Street shots : certainly
Journalism : hmmm, it depends (if you need flashlights or not)
and so on...

After all these considerations, you understand that a simple answer to your question is not easy.

My 0.02€

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Christophe Boudier

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OP extesd Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

Thank you for your response Jon.

You have a good point. With more lens options and “professional features” enthusiasts would have more options to entertain.

Jacques interesting perspective.

I agree that the CX format is optimal, for the market that its trying to fill. DSLRs aren't going anywhere for now, and Nikon knows this. Nikon has placed themselves in an interesting position with the CX mirrorless format. People are starting to recognize that the Nikon 1 sensor size is not a compromise from an DSLR size sensor, but rather a finely considered light weight camera system.

Coudet thanks for responding.

You say that DSLRs have AF, handling, battery life, viewfinders, and lenses. I don't think these qualities are exclusive to DSLRS. In fact I would say that in many respects these points you outline are advanced by the resent Nikon V1. The V1 has very fast and accurate auto focus. The V1 surpasses heavy DSLRs in handling, bag space consumption, and incorporates an entirely new grip. The battery life has been upgraded to 350 photos on a single battery, and has a state of the art EVF. The only thing you mentioned that really needs to be addressed is the lens selection.

If image quality was truly king, we wouldn't be on Dpreview, we would all be out there with you with our medium/large format cameras!I look at the mirrorless camera that Canon is set to release with concern. Just as we have seen with the Sony Nex the physics behind the typical APS-C DSLR sensor results in similar size cumbersome, and heavy lenses. The Nikon 1 sensor size encourages small/light weight design in both body and lenses, but the sensor is still large enough to churn out competitive image quality. Point being sensor technology can only get better, but even a APS-C DSLR is to some extent going to be porker.

coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 4,007
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

extesd wrote:

You say that DSLRs have AF, handling, battery life, viewfinders, and lenses. I don't think these qualities are exclusive to DSLRS.

Some are.

The V1 surpasses heavy DSLRs in handling

It's poor compared to smaller DSLRs, which in turn are poor compared to larger ones.

I'm talking about handling, not how much space it takes while sitting on shelf or in a bag.

The battery life has been upgraded to 350 photos on a single battery

Yes, which is extremely poor.

and has a state of the art EVF.

Exactly. EVF.

The only thing you mentioned that really needs to be addressed is the lens selection.

Lens selection should be the priority, no doubt.

If image quality was truly king, we wouldn't be on Dpreview, we would all be out there with you with our medium/large format cameras!

Funny you should say that, I used to shoot a medium format film camera.

I look at the mirrorless camera that Canon is set to release with concern. Just as we have seen with the Sony Nex the physics behind the typical APS-C DSLR sensor results in similar size cumbersome, and heavy lenses.

When equivalence - if you don't mind me using this word - is factored in, larger sensors come out ahead. Smaller lenses - like a pancake 45/2.8, just to name one example. That's the beauty of FF, one of many.. But, most people don't factor it in.

You can have small lenses for APS-C, btw.

vkyr2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?
1

coudet wrote:

..". Haven't yet figured out what cameras attract younger ladies.

I can tell you, mostly a crappy iPhone cam ...

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Valentino

vkyr2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

The professional future?

First of all the Nikon 1 system at it's current state isn't meant for professionals at all, look how they advertise it, look at the color options (pink, red, white ...) and you know who it is first of all meant for target, namely the common mass audience. Look at the shootings and video options, that's nothing a pro would usually need or make use of at all.

Actually Nikon doesn't have the typical dSLR user here in mind, instead more the casual people who want to take daily family fun shots and the like with a more flexible P&S system (...small still compact with a few exchangeable lenses etc.). IMO things like the FT1 adapter etc. haven't been thrown out first of all to attract the pros, instead they were probably more meant to overcome with their lens shortcomings when the system was newly presented. So Daddy can mount his big already available glass on Moms small daily on the go cam if desired.

The Nikon system 1 has to be seen more as a much more capable P&S upgrade or replacement than something to use as a dSLR downgrade or small replacement.

If the system 1 should be used in future more by professionals, or lets say at least more by higher demanding enthusiasts, then the things jonikon already named before would be absolute mandatory here!

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Valentino

rayman 2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,228
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

extesd wrote:

First I think it is important to define the "philosophies of use", just as some cameras are designated as "amateur" or "professional" regardless of application. The Nikon 1 J1-2 come in a plethora of funky colors, the D3X does not. This is because Nikon has different target audiences for the J1-2 or D3X. Nikon expects the people who might buy the J1-2 to be more concerned about apearance, it may come in sun-dance orange. On the other hand the D3X does not come in sun-dance orange (yet, we can only hope). The D3X comes in something like professional-journalist black, because although pixy-fart purple is funky, it doesn't command the same respect in Fallujah (although this might prevent some journalists from being mistaken as insurgents). The point here is that although Nikon could produce sun-dance orange D3X it doesn't because the D3X isn't meant to be funky, its meant to be professional. The J1-2 comes in a magnificent rainbow of colors because Nikon most likely imagines the end user taking pictures of themselves and the house cat, while spinning in circles in their bed room for "blurry background". At this point I think it is important to restate that although cameras are marketed to certain cultures, this doesn't mean you can't take professional grade photos with your J1-2. The V1 fits in the same paradigm as the J1. Perhaps the V1 consumer is more experianced and knows the value of having an electronic view finder, but still recognizes the importance of Ashton Kutcher's mullet in photography (http://one.nikonusa.com/?cid=12n1hol158e).

And the people wept.

And Nikon created the V2.

I think that the Nikon 1 system has made serious strides towards serious enthusiast credibility with the V2. The Nikon 1 system, has allot to offer. Its image quality is much higher than majority of compacts and it has the potential to be a small and light weight platform. This functionality is realized in the V2. Functionality is important to enthusiasts and more serious photographers. The V2 appears to be Nikon's answer to the complaints that serious photographers had with the V1, which was that it wasn't very serious. Nikon learnt quickly that people don't care so much what color the V series camera comes in, people care if it the camera functions optimally in practice.

I would like to see a professional grade Nikon 1 system camera (perhaps V series), is this too much to ask for?

People run in fear when I take out my D7000, when I pull out my Canon S90 they smile and perhaps jazz hands. The V1 is small and innocious, it doesn't scream "I'm going to put you on CNN." perhaps allowing me to get the shot that I want. Its also light weight I could run around town and never get tired. Its already made with a magnesium body.

So my question is what changes to the Nikon 1 system would have to be made in order for you to take the Nikon 1 system serious in a professional capacity? Please remember that Nikon will most likely NEVER change the sensor size so its not an acceptable request. For those that already use the Nikon 1 system in a professional capacity, good for you much respect for finding the right tool for your job.

I´m already using it for the job on a daily basis although I also have D800E and D4 and MF digital..

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50351940

Peter

mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,703
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

vkyr2 wrote:

The professional future?

First of all the Nikon 1 system at it's current state isn't meant for professionals at all, look how they advertise it, look at the color options (pink, red, white ...) and you know who it is first of all meant for target, namely the common mass audience. Look at the shootings and video options, that's nothing a pro would usually need or make use of at all.

Actually Nikon doesn't have the typical dSLR user here in mind, instead more the casual people who want to take daily family fun shots and the like with a more flexible P&S system (...small still compact with a few exchangeable lenses etc.). IMO things like the FT1 adapter etc. haven't been thrown out first of all to attract the pros, instead they were probably more meant to overcome with their lens shortcomings when the system was newly presented. So Daddy can mount his big already available glass on Moms small daily on the go cam if desired.

The Nikon system 1 has to be seen more as a much more capable P&S upgrade or replacement than something to use as a dSLR downgrade or small replacement.

If the system 1 should be used in future more by professionals, or lets say at least more by higher demanding enthusiasts, then the things jonikon already named before would be absolute mandatory here!

-- hide signature --

Valentino

+1.

The Series 1 is a great street/travel camera, and in some user's opinion is the best Nikon for astrophotography, but that certainly has to be coming from its huge crop factor effective magnifications with FT-1 adapted DSLR glass and its vibrationless electronic shutter, not from its raw noise levels.

The rather radical evolution in form from the V1 to the V2 I think demonstrates Valentino's point (and Nikon's stated design intent for the Series 1).  The V1 in contrast to the J1 and V2 appears very much an afterthought intended to draw in the casual user who wants a skosh more "professionality" than the J1, or the US DSLR user (typically an older male who grew up in the film era) looking for a compact camera that he can use a lot like his DSLR.  In the US, viewfinderless system cameras sell far worse viewfindered cameras, unlike the rest of the world.  The V2 suggests that Nikon really didn't understand what sells cameras like the V1.  Poof, a real grip appears; better controllability appears; etc., etc.

The Series 1 sensor size is well suited for its intended purpose, and for those applications where ultimate image quality and noise levels are not essential, but responsiveness and portability are.  PJ comes to mind.  However, more fast lenses and better low-light AF are really necessary for this.

Frankly, Sony has shown Nikon what the optimum form factor for this sensor size is in its RX100.  The RX100 is what the J1 should have been - and definitely should have beaten in lens speed - and the V1 perhaps should have been the only ILC Series 1.

Perhaps the best "professional" application for the Series1 is as a pro's backup or exploratory camera - the one the pro pulls out of a pocket to set up the final shot for the big iron mounted on the tripod next to it.  There's a need in this application for a viewfindered smaller camera with good responsiveness, but not so much one with interchangeable lenses.

I look forward to a fixed-zoom-lens version of the Series 1.  That's a camera I'd put in my pocket.  Can't do that now with the current offering.

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REShultz Senior Member • Posts: 1,108
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

JacquesBalthazar wrote:


nikon 1 and 1" sensor is potentially THE perfect complement to a FF system, and I am convinced a much better strategy in long term than the m4/3 or APS mirrorless options.

Why? I think M43 is really taking off. I bought in to the 1 due to lower priced lenses and silent shutter, but if money is not an object, seems that an OMD type camera with a three nice primes is really hard to beat.

Are you banking on major sensor advancements?

EcoPix
EcoPix Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?
2

Amusing, well written post, Extesd, congrats.

I think they should call a pro Series 1 body the S1. That would differentiate it from the J1/2 (point & shoot) and V1/2 (mid-range enthusiast) and allow them to upgrade in a pro line.

It would also have a nice heritage reference, al la OM-D, back to a former Nikon non-reflex interchangeable lens pro camera.

As to the form and specs, I agree that there’s room for a pro 1 Series camera with the CX sensor and:

-         A little chunkier form with bigger battery, oversized controls (for its size) and great robustness, which would still see a camera much more easily handled and unobtrusive than a D4;

-         A modicum of weatherproofness;

-         A serious optional battery grip;

-         A better heat sink so it doesn’t overheat and stop whenever more than a few frames are made on a hot day(!);

-         A bigger buffer so it doesn’t grind to a halt like the V1 does;

-         A more powerful processor, to speed up general response times;

-         Customizability, with comprehensive function buttons;

-         CLS for sure, and a hotshoe adapter;

-         Improved viewfinder sensitivity to low light, so you can see what you’re doing at night;

-         Improved low-light AF along with it;

-         Ports for remote triggers, GPS etc etc – all those things professionals need to plug in to a camera.

They would also need to upgrade the FT-1.

Things to keep:

-         Silent shutter;

-         Plain, understated appearance;

-         Fast accurate AF tracking, if not improve on that.

-         Image quality, if necessary – we all want better, but we have bigger cameras for that.

Things to drop:

-         Gimmicks like motion snapshot and smart selector and ultra slow slo-mo – that entire mode dial on the V1 can go;

-         Fiddliness – build the thing properly.

I would buy one! Yes, it would be expensive because it wouldn’t sell to the masses like the Jx and Vx, thus keeping the economy of scale down, but pros are used to that.

And if they made one in Strike Me pink, maybe I’d buy two!

Kings1 Regular Member • Posts: 176
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

:-)extesd wrote:

And the people wept.

People run in fear when I take out my D7000, when I pull out my Canon S90 they smile and perhaps jazz hands. The V1 is small and innocious, it doesn't scream "I'm going to put you on CNN." perhaps allowing me to get the shot that I want. Its also light weight I could run around town and never get tired. Its already made with a magnesium body.

So my question is what changes to the Nikon 1 system would have to be made in order for you to take the Nikon 1 system serious in a professional capacity? Please remember that Nikon will most likely NEVER change the sensor size so its not an acceptable request. For those that already use the Nikon 1 system in a professional capacity, good for you much respect for finding the right tool for your job.

Your right about the people wept.

As far as people running from a bigger camera, I don't buy that statement. I pull out my Sony SLT and have have no problem with taking great pictures, but the Nikon isn't made to compete with the 3000 dollar or more DSLR.

I think the Nikon 1 camera system, that includes the J1 and the V1 is a good concept, but Nkon didn't think of the professional when they designed it. It appears they released it too early as well without really working out the bugs first.  It appears to me Nikon had a person like me who already has a much bigger and better camera who want something light, or those who want a point & shoot with interchangable lens in mind.

As far as Nikon doing a bigger sensor look at the new Nikon V2. The sensor got bigger, they added a flash as well. They must have been listening cause I heard those complaints as well.

As far as for me I wouldn't consider a Nikon 1 at all if I was shooting pro, but that is just my opinion.

OP extesd Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

You were right not to buy that statement Kings1, I don't honestly remember anyone running away from my DSLR :-). That doesn't deminish the implied message that DSLRs are stigmatised http://www.petapixel.com/2011/12/05/dslrs-banned-from-uk-tube-station/ .

Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,912
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

Seems to me the Nikon 1 system is a test run before a big sensor MILC from Nikon. We can see how much of the Sony NEX-7 that has already crept into the V2, just add focus-peaking and an APS-C-sized sensor (slightly smaller is OK, too), an articulated display, and you have something that can lure away both the M43 gang, and the NEXers! DX lenses would of course fit, using an adapter, while a few super-small lenses would be the ones many would long for!

Seriously, for my ex-job as journalist on a daily paper my V1 would have done just fine - remember that not that long ago 3.5MP was what the class-leading Nikon D1X offered!

I personally would prefer that the anti-shake was inside the body, for the small primes, and conventional Nikon in-lens anti-shake for the longer ones!

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OP extesd Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

Yea the Nikon 1 system seems to hold a lot of potential for a light weight, field, journalism camera. I would like to see an addition with the following features.

- Wireless Flash, as Jonikon mentioned above.

- Waterproof, more robust, massive buffer, as EcoPix pointed out.

- I don't care if its pretty, put the bunny stickers on the J1. This is a work horse we are talking here I want it to be light weight, yet durable.

I love to hike and get out into the mountains. I would bring this camera with me everywhere, a DSLR is just to bulky, and M43 isn't that far away.

quezra Veteran Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

N1's future is to out-bridge the bridge camera segment.  It needs a better long tele lens than the FZ200 (and has the decided advantage that it can start at 90mm equivalent), better fast normal zoom than the RX100, and then fast tele and macro primes that fixed lens cameras can never afford to be stuck with.

I'd say it's still about two years away from that, but it will be very competitive if it gets there.  But it still won't replace APS-C or FF cameras.

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altair8800 Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

extesd wrote:

So my question is what changes to the Nikon 1 system would have to be made in order for you to take the Nikon 1 system serious in a professional capacity? Please remember that Nikon will most likely NEVER change the sensor size so its not an acceptable request. For those that already use the Nikon 1 system in a professional capacity, good for you much respect for finding the right tool for your job.

Do not change the sensor size, change the body to D300. I like the sensor size for birding, but I need long lenses. The V1 (and probably V2) are too limiting with the FT-1 as you do not get continuous AF and other features common in pro or semi-pro bodies. The Nikon 1x system (CX D300 body) would solve a lot  of problems.

Dan

KnightPhoto2
KnightPhoto2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,980
Re: What is the professional future of the Nikon 1 system?

Prime lenses are going to help. I fully intend to get the 50mm FOV equivalent and shoot it wide open or near so to maintain low ISO and maximize IQ.

I love the weight of the 1 Nikkors, I can carry (and afford) a bundle of them.

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Best Regards,
SteveK
'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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