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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Nikon 1 J1 and V1 Firmware v1.2 Released

Today, Nikon released a firmware update for their popular Nikon 1 J1 and V1 compact system cameras. Updates bring minor improvements to camera operation and fix a couple of bugs previously affecting some of the cameras. Here is the list of changes for both J1 and V1:

  1. The exposure control program used with shooting in Smart Photo Selector mode, or still image shooting mode with Exposure mode set to P Programmed auto or Scene auto selector, has been revised for faster shutter speeds to prevent blurred subjects.
  2. Auto white balance performance has been increased.
  3. Exposure accuracy with ISO sensitivity set to Auto 100–3200, Auto 100–800, or Auto 100–400 has been increased with shooting using the optional Speedlight SB-N5 (built-in flash for for J1 owners) to photograph subjects at close distances.

Also, the following issues have been resolved:

  1. An error message was sometimes displayed during interval timer shooting, preventing capture of the specified number of shots.
  2. When the camera was turned on by releasing the retractable lens barrel lock on applicable lenses, there was sometimes a slight delay before the shutter could be released.

Nikon 1 J1

You can download the new firmware for your J1 from the official Nikon Support website by following this link, and if you have the V1, this link is where you need to go.

If you are currently thinking about buying either of these great little cameras, maybe our review of the V1 will help you decide?

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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Nikon 1 J1 Review

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This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless camera that came out on September 21, 2011 along with the Nikon 1 V1 camera and three 1 Nikkor lenses. The Nikon 1 J1 and V1 cameras are Nikon’s first attempt to produce a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, which took 5 years of careful design and development by Nikon’s engineers. Why did Nikon decide to enter the mirrorless market and where is the mirrorless technology positioned relative to the DSLR and point and shoot market? How does the Nikon 1 mirrorless system compare against the competition? In this review, I will provide answers to these questions, along with comparisons of the Nikon 1 J1 against the Sony NEX-5n and the Olympus E-PL3 mirrorless cameras.

Nikon 1 J1

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Nikon 1 10mm f/2.8 Review

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This is an in-depth review of the new Nikon 1 10mm f/2.8 CX pancake lens, also known as “1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8″ 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 10mm f/2.8 is a consumer-grade pancake lens designed for the new Nikon 1 camera system. Designed to be an ideal companion for the compact Nikon J1 and V1 camera bodies, it is currently the smallest and the lightest lens from Nikon. With a fixed focal length of 10mm on the Nikon 1 CX sensor (2.7x crop factor), its coverage is equivalent to a 27mm lens in full-frame format.

1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8

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Nikon 1 10-30mm VR Review

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This is an in-depth review of the new Nikon 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens, also known as “1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6″ 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 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR is a general-purpose consumer-grade lens designed for the new Nikon 1 camera system. It is bundled with the Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 J1 cameras as a standard kit lens and cannot be purchased separately. With its focal length of 10-30mm on the Nikon 1 CX sensor (2.7x crop factor), its coverage is equivalent to a 27-81mm lens. The variable aperture of f/3.5-5.6 means that its maximum (largest) aperture changes between f/3.5 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 such as Olympus, the lens is collapsible, which also makes it quite compact for travel and transportation.

1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6

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Nikon 1 V1 Review

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This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera that came out on September 21, 2011 along with the Nikon 1 J1 camera and three 1 Nikkor lenses. The Nikon 1 V1 and J1 cameras are Nikon’s first attempt to produce a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, which took 5 years of careful design and development by Nikon’s engineers. Why did Nikon decide to enter the mirrorless market and where is the mirrorless technology positioned relative to the DSLR and point and shoot market? How does the Nikon 1 mirrorless system compare against the competition? In this review, I will provide answers to these questions, along with comparisons of the Nikon 1 V1 against the Sony NEX-5n and the Olympus E-PL3 mirrorless cameras.

Nikon 1 V1

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Nikon 1 V1 Mini-Review

Update: A full and detailed Nikon 1 V1 Review has been posted.

Before I take off to another trip to continue testing the Nikon 1 V1 / J1 and other cameras, I decided to post a quick mini-review of the Nikon 1 V1 camera, along with some image samples + a short bonus time lapse video. I have had the camera for about two weeks now and I have a few things to report about. Let me start off with some general impressions and notes.

Nikon V1

First of all, the Nikon 1 system is not as bad as I thought it would be. When compared to the competition, and I am simultaneously shooting with the Sony NEX-5n and Olympus E-PL3 (Samsung NX200 is on the way), the Nikon 1 cameras actually perform really well in many ways. The first major advantage I want to point out is Autofocus – it is very fast and accurate. I am reviewing over 2 thousand images from my past trip to Utah and I have not yet seen a single image with bad/incorrect focus. Granted I have been primarily shooting at apertures between f/5.6 and f/11 and many of the shots are focused at infinity, it is still pretty darn impressive. Took some images of the kiddos at largest apertures and close distances and all images came out tack sharp. Nothing like the problems I had with the Fuji X100 before.

Another huge plus is the menu system that Nikon has incorporated into the V1/J1 firmware. It is simplistic, intuitive, elegant, slick and puts all current Nikon DSLR menu systems to shame. It is really that different and that much more better! As you switch from one mode to another, the firmware presents different options, making it super easy to use the camera. Just put the battery in, set the date/time and timezone and you are ready to go. I specifically did not touch any of the mirrorless camera manuals. I wanted to see which camera is the easiest to use and whether I need to invest time in learning the cameras before I use them. So far, the Nikon V1/J1 cameras are the easiest ones to use and operate, followed by the Sony NEX-5n and lastly by the horrendous Olympus E-PL3.

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Nikon 1 Camera System Announcement

Nikon has just announced the Nikon 1 Camera System with two brand new mirrorless cameras: Nikon V1 and Nikon J1. While talks about a new mirrorless system from Nikon have been all over the Internet for quite some time now, the mirrorless camera system is now a reality. The camera system specs and image samples from the J1 are impressive, but is it revolutionary as Nikon claims it to be? I don’t think so. In fact, if the product line is not managed well, I believe it can actually hurt the company in the long run.

Nikon J1

Why do I believe that? Because it is another product line that Nikon will be spending R&D time + money on creating lenses and accessories for, which might eat away resources from R&D for DSLR cameras and lenses. If this happens, it might hurt photo pros and enthusiasts that heavily invested in Nikon’s DSLR line of products.

Given the growth of smaller advanced cameras in markets like Japan, Nikon sees a huge potential for growth in the mirrorless segment. With new mirrorless product lines from Sony, Fuji, Pentax and others, the biggest question is around sensor and mount sizes – how big should the sensor be and how bulky is the camera going to get when a lens is mounted? Sony took a unique approach when it announced its NEX mirrorless product line – it is using an APS-C size sensor (which is 23.5×15.6mm, about the same size as DSLRs like Nikon D7000) with a mount that allows using regular DSLR lenses through a converter. This is very appealing to current DSLR owners that want to have a more compact camera. So Sony has essentially produced a very compact camera with DSLR features. Nikon, on the other hand, took a very different approach – they are using a much smaller 13.2×8.8mm CMOS sensor manufactured by Nikon specifically for the Nikon 1 Camera System. The sensor difference between Nikon 1 Camera System and Sony NEX is huge and as you may already know, smaller size equals larger depth of field and potentially worse image quality (if pixel density is higher and pixels are smaller). The difference in sensor size allows Sony to cram 24 megapixels into their larger sensor on the NEX-7, while Nikon is currently stuck at 10 megapixels. Sure, pixel size is not important for most people. But it is for those of us that want to print large. It does not hurt to have more pixels.

All this puts the new Nikon 1 Camera System above its current point and shoot market and below the DSLR market. Why couldn’t Nikon just add a new point and shoot line instead of making a whole new line of cameras? Because it wanted a new compact camera with interchangeable lenses. And it did not want to allow reusing the bulky Nikkor line of lenses because it would defeat the purpose of having a compact camera.

What do you think about the new Nikon 1 Camera System? Do you see a good future for this camera? Are you going to get one?