Nikon 1 V3 Announcement

Nikon has just announced the Nikon 1 V3, an update to the existing Nikon 1 V2 mirrorless camera that was released two years ago. Unlike many of the recent camera introductions which have been relatively small improvements over previous versions, the Nikon 1 V3 is a substantial rework and renewal of the Nikon 1 V2 and frankly, the changes appear to be exciting.  First, is a new sensor with  more resolution (18.4 MP), better ISO sensitivity (12,800) and a new EXPEED 4A processor to accompany it.  Second, there is an improved hybrid autofocus system which incorporates 171 autofocus points (171 points for contrast detection and 105 points for phase detection) for fast and accurate focus acquisition and tracking. For comparison, the V2 uses 135 focus points (135 for contrast and 73 for phase-detect).  These alone would be nice improvements, but Nikon went further and improved the frame rate to a WHOPPING 20 fps at full resolution AND full autofocus. To put that into perspective, the new D4s which costs $6500 “only” shoots at the rate of 11 fps. Why stop there? How about a new tilting touch screen monitor with higher resolution than the previous V2? Finally, throw in built-in WiFi and you’ve made not just an incremental upgrade, but a totally new camera.

Nikon 1 V3

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Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2 Announcement

Nikon has just announced a brand new lens for the CX mount – the Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2. While this news might not be interesting for Nikon DSLR, it surely will be to anyone that owns a Nikon 1 camera system. It is the first Nikon 1 lens with an insanely fast aperture of f/1.2, Nano Crystal Coat, Silent Wave Motor and a real manual focus ring. With a focal length of 32mm, this lens is equivalent to an 86mm lens on full-frame, which makes it a really nice portrait lens. In terms of depth of field, because the sensor of the Nikon 1 system is only 1 inch in size, the full frame equivalent would be around f/3.2 – a downside of a small sensor. Still, considering how much technology Nikon put into this lens, it will surely be the sharpest lens in the Nikon 1 line.

Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2

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Nikon 1 J2 Review

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This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 1 J2 mirrorless camera that came out on August 9, 2012, less than a year after Nikon debuted its mirrorless system with the introduction of the Nikon 1 J1 and V1. Along with the J2, Nikon also released the 1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5-6 zoom lens, a very compact lens to complement the J1/J2 cameras. In this review, I will go over the features of the camera, talk about its pros and cons and compare it to other mirrorless cameras such as Sony NEX-series, Canon EOS M and Olympus OM-D E-M5. This is the first camera from the “Battle of the Mirrorless” series. The recently evaluated Nikon 1 V2 will be featured in the second part.

Nikon 1 J2

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What went wrong with Nikon 1 V1?

Bad product? Bad marketing? Predatory pricing? A simple act of desperation? Or all of the above? Nikon has just slashed the price of the Nikon 1 V1 kit (with the 10-30mm VR lens) again, down to $299. A product that sold for $899 exactly one year ago when I reviewed it. Wait, there is more – the Nikon 1 J1 camera, which has far less impressive specifications sells for $100 more. Doesn’t make sense, does it?

Nikon 1 V1

How can a product get 3 times cheaper in less than a year? Usually, you don’t see a 66% discount on an electronics product in a 12 month period after its launch. That just doesn’t happen…typically. And when it does happen, there is usually something wrong with the product, or the product fails to sell due to lack of mass adoption. Like Betamax versus VHS or HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray wars. Or many other similar stories. Nikon came a little late to the mirrorless market with its Nikon 1 system. The Micro 4/3 alliance already matured by then, with excellent lens choices, bigger sensor and lots of built-in features. Sony also gathered a big fanbase around its tiny cameras with big APS-C size sensors. Others were pushing hard with innovative designs, great lens choices and more. While Nikon wanted to capture the hearts and minds of many photographers, the product did not get the stamp of approval from the mirrorless community, mostly due to its high price tag. Many reviewers praised the Nikon 1 V1 camera, but could not justify its high price when compared to the competition. Not when Sony was selling its excellent mirrorless cameras like Sony NEX-5N for several hundred dollars less. And with Canon also adopting APS-C sensor size for its new EOS M mirrorless system, it was getting clear that Nikon would have a hard time competing in the mirrorless market. And now here we are – the Nikon 1 V1 is the cheapest of them all (in the high-end mirrorless category).

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Nikon 1 V1 vs V2

In this article, I will show feature differences between the Nikon 1 V1 and the newly announced Nikon 1 V2 mirrorless cameras. Judging by the J2 and V2 updates this year, it seems like Nikon will be refreshing the 1 line fairly often, so I am planning to provide feature comparisons like this to show what has changed between cameras after each announcement. As you may already know, the whole Nikon 1 line has a CX mount with a 2.7x crop factor and the J1/J2 cameras are targeted for photo hobbyists, while the V1/V2 cameras are targeted for more serious shooters. Hence, there is a significant difference in size, feature and performance between the two lines. Please keep in mind that this Nikon 1 V1 vs V2 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon 1 V2 Review.

Nikon 1 V1 vs V2

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Nikon 1 V2 Announcement

Nikon has just announced the Nikon 1 V2, an update to the existing Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera that was released last year. Unlike the disappointing J2 release earlier this year that had almost no improvements over the J1 that it replaced, the V2 seems to be a much bigger upgrade. First, the camera body went through a complete rework, with a different ergonomic design of a much more serious camera. The camera grip looks similar to those found on Sony NEX series mirrorless cameras and there is now a dedicated PASM Command Mode Dial on the top of the camera. A small built-in flash is now included in the body, with an additional hot shoe that allows mounting Nikon 1 speedlights, similar to the also newly announced SB-N7 speedlight.

Nikon 1 V2

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Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 for Nikon 1 Announcement

In the recent sea of announcements, with such cameras as Sony A99, NEX-6, and Nikon D600 receiving all the attention (understandable, of course), it’s very easy not to notice the small things. But then, small things make the bigger ones complete.

Today, along with the attention-grabbing Nikon D600, Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 prime lens was also announced, expanding the growing Nikon 1 lens arsenal. This lens will act roughly as a normal 50mm f/1.8 lens would on a full-frame camera (such as the great Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G) in terms of angle of view and light gathering (aperture speed). I see it as an extremely welcome addition to the line, complimenting the 10mm f/2.8 lens very well. Both for my personal work and weddings, a 50mm lens proved to be the most versatile so far, and with the 18.5 f/1.8 for Nikon 1 introduced, this mirrorless system has suddenly became much more attractive to me. If only Nikon 1 V1 was (much) cheaper. :)

Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 lens

What I reluctantly didn’t mention at first was that it will not act nearly as a normal fast prime lens would on a full-frame camera in terms of depth of field. Due to the small CX sensor (2.7x crop factor) of Nikon 1 system, depth of field is greatly enlarged because of the shorter focal length (or longer focus distance, depends on how you look at it) needed for the same magnification as compared to a 50mm f/1.8 mounted on a, say, D700. As it happens, tiny depth of field, along with great dynamic range and low-light performance, is one of the most attractive points when it comes to fast lenses. But does that mean there’s no more use for large depth of field? I don’t think so. I personally believe that it takes a lot of skill to use larger depth of field in such instances as wedding photography, and it’s also great for street and travel photography.

But then, you know who you are and what you want. If you found Nikon 1 system to suit you well, this lens is likely going to be a great companion, especially at a low price of around $190.

Pre-order Links

We trust the largest photo reseller, B&H, the most when it comes to gear purchase. Here are some links if you want to pre-order the new lens for your Nikon 1 camera:

  • A black 18.5mm f/1.8 lens for your black Nikon 1 camera ($186.95)
  • A silver 18.5mm f/1.8 lens for your silver Nikon 1 camera ($186.95)
  • A white 18.5mm f/1.8 lens for your white Nikon 1 camera ($186.95)
  • Of course, you don’t have to match them if you don’t want to. That would turn heads, wouldn’t it?
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    Nikon 1 J2 and 11-27.5mm Lens – A Minor Update for Less

    On August 9th, Nikon announced a mild refresh to the popular entry level Nikon 1 J1 camera – the J2. While it doesn’t seem to improve much on the camera it replaces, Nikon made a smart move by lowering the initial price by $100 compared to J1. It makes for a very sensible choice for those who were thinking of buying the “older” camera.

    Along with the new compact system camera, Nikon also introduced an underwater housing for Nikon 1 J1 and J2 cameras, and a new zoom lens.

    What’s New?

    1) The Underwater Case

    The new underwater case WP-N1 is suitable for both J1 and J2 and will house one of these cameras with a 10-30mm VR lens attached (read review). The case is waterproof up to 40m (approximately 131 feet), which is likely enough for any kind of vacation you may take your J1/J2 to.

    2) The Lens

    While it’s hard to say what advantages the new 11-27.5mm F/3.5-5.6 lens may have over the basic 10-30mm VR kit lens without properly testing it first, Nikon wouldn’t have released it just for the fun of it. The lens, being equivalent to 30-75mm (in 35mm format), is very small (3cm/1.22″) and lightweight, and thus would suit your J1/J2 camera very well. It features one aspherical element and internal focusing.

    1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm Lens (white)

    3) The Camera

    Likely the biggest change J2 brings us is the higher resolution screen (921k dots versus J1′s 460k dots) previously used in the higher-end V1. Hopefully, these sharp screens will now be default choice even for low-end devices. Also, the J2 is built around a metal body (J1 has an aluminum front panel), so it should be ever so slightly tougher than its predecessor. While other changes, like the Creative Mode (artistic filters) and more body color options (now available in orange, too) make it a nicer camera on paper for some, the biggest omission still is the lack of EVF – a potential deal-breaker for many buyers. But then, there has to be something to separate the J2 from V1, and EVF is one of such features.

    Nikon 1 J2

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    Nikon 1 30-110mm VR Review

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    This is an in-depth review of the new Nikon 1 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR lens, also known as “1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6″ that was announced on September 21, 2011 specifically for the new Nikon 1 system, together with three other lenses and the new Nikon V1 and J1 cameras. The Nikon 1 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR is a consumer-grade telephoto lens designed for the new Nikon 1 camera system to complement the Nikon 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens. With its focal length of 30-110mm on the Nikon 1 CX sensor (2.7x crop factor), its coverage is equivalent to a 81-297mm lens in 35mm format. The variable aperture of f/3.8-5.6 means that its maximum (largest) aperture changes between f/3.8 to f/5.6, depending on the focal length. It is a very lightweight lens, and similar to interchangeable lenses from other compact mirrorless camera manufacturers, the lens is collapsible, which also makes it quite compact for travel and transportation.

    1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6

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    Nikon 1 10-100mm VR Review

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    This is an in-depth review of the new Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens, also known as “1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM” that was announced on September 21, 2011 specifically for the new Nikon 1 system, together with three other lenses and the new Nikon V1 and J1 cameras. The Nikon 1 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 VR is versatile 10x superzoom lens specifically designed for shooting movies on the new Nikon 1 camera system. It is the first Nikkor powered zoom lens with a voice coil AF motor that makes no audible noise when zooming in and out while recording videos. Unlike other Nikon 1 system zoom lenses, the Nikon 1 10-100mm VR lens has no zoom ring; zoom action is controlled by a switch on the side of the lens with three adjustable zoom speeds. This is done to prevent any additional lens shake that is caused by rotating a zoom ring on regular lenses. With the Nikon 1 10-100mm VR lens, you can get closer or further away from your subject very smoothly and naturally – the new AF motor is designed in such a way, that it prevents abrupt stops. Plus, the latest generation of Vibration Reduction technology further helps to keep the camera and lens steady, preventing jittery movements and reducing blurry images. With its focal length of 10-100mm on the Nikon 1 CX sensor (2.7x crop factor), its coverage is equivalent to a 27-270mm lens. The variable aperture of f/4.5-5.6 means that its maximum (largest) aperture changes between f/4.5 to f/5.6, depending on the focal length.

    1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM

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