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?


  1. September 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Well, lets consider someone that shoots sports for a website, like MMA or something that does not require more that 800 pixels, he could use the Nikon 1 with an 85/1.4 and shoot two stops faster than the 70-200mm guy and 52 frames per second faster.

    Would I buy one? No, actually I like the m4/3 systems better for a “compact” camera…if I ever get the money to invest in a second camera, I guess I would go m4/3 :-)

    By the way Nasim, this is a GREAT site, I love it. Keep up the excellent work!

    Wishing nothing but the best!

    Rafael (from Puerto Rico)

    PS: Your pictures from Puerto Rico are priceless!!!

  2. 2) Peter
    September 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    The Nikon 1 venture proved to be a good learning experience for me. My conclusion: I will not waste my money on point-and-shoot cameras that offers a smaller and smaller sensor. I have a Nikon D300 and a D700 . Why would I ever consider buying a Nikon with a 9mm x 13mm sensor that has a 2.7 crop factor?
    This is pure marketing BS.

    Remember the old 110 film cameras? It had a bigger file size than the Nikon 1! Great progress!

    The digital camera market is going nuts. Don’t encourage it by buying junk like this.

  3. 3) Jay
    September 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    It is very difficult to see any obvious and clear advantages of the Nikon system. Of course, a lot is unknown at this point. I think a few areas where it could potentially be better are:

    1) Phase detection on sensor: potentially better performance than other systems although contrast detect autofocusing is already very good.
    2) High speed shooting: Electronic shutter may allow you to capture what might be missed with other systems.
    3) Silent shutter: Don’t know if it is silent, but an electronic shutter will allow that.
    4) Size: Although not realized yet, future camera bodies can potentially be very small. I’d love to see something the size of a Ricoh GRD which has a sizeable grip in spite of being small.

    Honestly, I can’t think of many more. Overall, it feels like Nikon engineers were clearly boxed in with instructions to not tread into the DSLR market rather than design the best camera system they could that might someday replace the low and mid end of the DSLR market. The Silicon Valley saying comes to mind, “If you don’t eat your own lunch, someone else will.”

  4. September 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    What Jay said…dont get me wrong, I am not saying that this is the best camera ever, but I can see where they are coming from (at least I think I do, haha). I like that it has a new processor…specially now that it is dual core. Which means that we may see it on future DSLRs in the future (hopefully). It also means that Nikon is making imaging processors again…which is a good thing. Lets not forget that because we may not use that camera that other people will not use it as well ;-)

    I also love the phase detection autofocus…if it performs as well as it is hyped, who knows? Maybe it will be the future and Nikon will start removing the mirrors on higher-end cameras!



  5. 5) khuncho
    September 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Nikon might have been thinking another way.
    Just sharing the link from dpreview

    By the way, your website is one of my favorite. Thanks for great articles.

  6. September 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Be still my heart!

  7. 7) Gary
    September 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Nikon would spend there R&D resources much better by getting us a pro spec 70-200 VR f4

  8. 8) Starred
    September 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Nikon claims the 1 has the same image quality as their dslrs…..

    DE: Okay. So to use the larger sensor, obviously the cameras would have been slightly larger. But you felt you could get good enough image quality; that you could meet your image quality objectives with this size sensor?

    MS: We are quite confident that we achieved almost exactly the same quality as our DSLR.

    DE: (surprised) The same quality as DSLRs.

    MS: Yes…Please evaluate! (laughs)

    DE: Yes, obviously, we’ll test and we’ll hold you to that! That’s very interesting, because this is a much smaller sensor, but you say the same quality.

    MS: Mm-hmm.

    • 8.1) Carl TightShooster
      September 23, 2011 at 6:09 am

      Probably that’s was I missed, the sensor is magic in it’s capabilities
      will see

  9. 9) Francois
    September 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Interesting question. If the 1 line can be profitable on its own I assume that it won’t have to negatively impact the DSLR line. And I’m glad that Nikon is willing to take risks. That is what gets and keeps technology companies in the lead – intelligent risk taking.

    My big gripe is that μ4/3 offers a similar sized solution (with a larger sensor), that is built on an open architecture mount that already has an excellent selection of available lenses. The performance Nikon promises is great and outguns anything from the μ4/3 crowd. But this can easily be corrected in future μ4/3 cameras. Shame on Nikon (and Sony, Samsung, etc) for pushing mirrorless into proprietary waters again.

    If someone asked me to recommend an EVIL camera I would only point to Nikon 1 if they want high data and AF performance right now. Or Sony E-mount if they are looking for the best low-light performance.
    But for anything else I would still recommend μ4/3 as a system.

  10. 10) JY
    September 23, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I have been reading your site for quite sometimes now, it is very informative.

    With regard to Nikon 1, it seems that majority of people only looking at the sensor size and compare it to DSLR sensor (FF and aps-c) without actually realise how good current high-end P&S offering already are (G12, P7100, etc). This Nikon 1 actually has a sensor that much bigger than any of these high end P&S.

    I have a gripped d700 and the 3 trinity 2.8 zooms, love them to dead, however, i am really wish they are not as bulky and heavy. Hence, I have been wanting to get a good P&S that I can put in my pocket or my wife’s purse for traveling or a nite out with family or friends. This Nikon 1 fit perfectly to my need and I am sure I am not the only one who wanting a small compact camera with better IQ than current high end P&S that can be carry around all day long without hurting your back. The only hold up for me at this stage is the price seems to be a bit too high. Ofcourse with this size of sensor, one can’t really expect the camera to produce bokehlicious pictures (for that purpose I will use my d700).

    I understand the current lenses line up are still too bulky and slow, however, the pancake prime looks good. I am sure over time Nikon will introduce faster lens and hopefully smaller as well.

    I do think the design can be much better, however, the purpose is to actually taking pictures and have fun. So i don’t really care about the look.

  11. 11) Carl TightShooster
    September 23, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Only one Thought is hushing thru my mind ‘Huge Disappointment’;
    Why on earth a system cam is built on such nano-sensor ???
    Nikon DSLR department did not allow having better specs to their In-house mirror less cam.
    Then there is no competition In-house now but also no way to win against the other competitors.
    This Mirror less-phobie could cost Nikon all in the long run.

  12. 12) Faizal
    September 23, 2011 at 2:05 am

    I agree with JY. I really can’t see why people would not be delighted with this. Photographers take photographs with anything that can. It’s not about how you capture the image, but when. I can go into a crowd and be less conspicuous with this than I could with a DSLR. Of course, better have something that can secure it onto your wrist to avoid thieves. My advice, don’t think narrow…think ahead!

    • 12.1) Peter
      September 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

      In the final analysis, the market place will decide on this type of camera. My guess: It’s a camera for Moms and kids who want something better than a cell phone photo.

      Regardimg your position, you have drawn a conclusion from one example, i.e. photographing in a crowd.
      What about landscape photography, action sports, portraits, macros or any situation where you’ll need a substantial enlargement? Would you go to a studio to have a family portrait done with one of these cameras?

      • 12.1.1) Francois Malan
        September 23, 2011 at 7:56 am

        Moms and kids who want something better than a cell-phone can buy a compact camera. Much smaller and lighter than the Nikon 1. The 1 just fills a gap between compact cams and micro-4/3. Anybody’s guess if it will succeed commercially. At least with their good marketing it stands a chance.

        • Peter
          September 23, 2011 at 9:07 am

          Overall, I’m beginning to think that the digital camera business is hitting a “technical wall” and is dumping “line-extensions” of their main product line into the marketplace. This is like the hi-fi/stereo business years ago and like computers – variations on the theme but nothing substantially different.
          A 100/200 MP sensor in a DSLR with minimal/no noise shooting at 1600 or 3200 ISO would be a WOW! But that would take new sensor technology. Dumping a mirroless camera on the market is cheaper.

          The old rangefinder film cameras were mirrorless. So, big deal with digital mirrorless. SSDD-Same Stuff Different Day.

          • Francois
            September 25, 2011 at 6:02 am

            Peter I don’t really think it is “hitting a technical wall”. Already 11 years ago there were prosumer-level digital SLR cameras (the Canon D30) offering 3.1 megapixel and ISO 1600.
            5 1/2years ago that progressed (with the same-sensor-size Canon 30D) to 8.2 MP and ISO3200. Recently we’ve seen the Canon 7D with its 18MP and ISO 12800. Progress in the last 5 1/2 years is of a similar magnitude (if not more) than the 5 1/2 years before that.

            Only recently we’ve seen the emergence of DSLRs with live view, video, etc. Much can still be improved in contast AF, video, face detection+regcognition, HDR etc. And High-ISO can also get better (we’re not at 100% quantum efficiency yet).

            Where is the wall? Not here.

            • Peter
              September 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

              I consider all the changes you mentioned as “features” or, at best, incremental changes or improvements. They do not rise to the level as the change from film to digital did – that was a substantial change that had significant impact on photography. It was a game changer and opened up a new market.
              Other photo “game changes” in history were: film, color film, SLRs, post processing sofware.

              When you hit a technical wall, as I believe, you spend most of your time as a camera company
              introducing new features. In the mantime, you work like hell at trying to discover the “game changer.” Neither Nikon nor Canon has dome this, yet.

  13. September 23, 2011 at 5:26 am

    so disappointed with Nikon! :(

  14. 14) Carl TightShooster
    September 23, 2011 at 5:53 am
  15. 15) Tony
    September 23, 2011 at 8:39 am


    I’m very glad you’re critical of the Nikon 1’s sensor (at least someone is). Personally, I haven’t read anything so far that is making me think that Nikon have not made a huge mistake using such a small sensor in the 1. Let me elaborate.

    Compare the Nikon 1’s sensor to the APS-C sensors Sony uses in the NEX. Even though it’s smaller and has fewer MPs, it is actually 50% denser than Sony’s 24MP sensor (and it can be argued that a 24MP DX sensor is already too dense! I hope Nikon never touch it!) and twice as dense than Sony’s 16MP sensor. Like you I’m not an MP addict and I prefer better image quality (DR, high ISO performance, etc.) over more MPs. However, the Nikon 1 has fewer and WORSE MPs than the competition. Talk about a lose-lose situation.

    Now, apart from compactness (and the 1 is not that much smaller than the NEX) there’s a good reason why a smaller sensor makes sense for Nikon: it’s cheaper to produce (smaller sensor -> smaller area -> higher manufacturing yield). However, this is not reflected on the price. The V1 with kit lens is $150-$200 more expensive (!!!) than the NEX 5N. This makes no sense to me. If it was $150-$200 cheaper, I’d consider it. At that price, the 1 is grossly overpriced, especially given the competition.

    Now, I do have to admit that a lot of the sample images looked quite a lot better than I was expecting. But this does not mean they are actually really good. Between the underwhelming sensor and the large amounts of softness of the kit lens, none of the samples looked to me to come from a $850-$900 camera. Nikon claims that the 1 has a lot of additional advantages (very fast response, better AF than the competition, very high frame rate, etc.). It’s great that they put a lot of effort on those aspects of the camera (especially the AF). However, this brings back a lot of memories from when the Canon 7D was launched: great handling camera, let down by a crappy sensor.

    To give credit where credit is due, Nikon should actually be congratulated for not jumping on the MP bandwagon by concentrating on a lot of other important features and being upfront that 1’s IQ will be more than good enough for the target audience (which is sadly not you and me). However, I feel that they went too far. And a better sensor would have appealed to a lot of the enthusiast Nikon shooters which would have meant more sales. (And seriously, unless you want to shoot long, does using F-mount lenses on the 1 make sense given it’s 2.7x crop factor? The 35m becomes a 95mm short tele!)

    If they were smart, the Sony (and maybe Canon in the future, if they jump on the mirrorless bandwagon) marketing folks will eat Nikon for lunch: bigger is better and here are the pictures that prove it.



    • 15.1) Carl TightShooster
      September 23, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Fully agree Tony!

  16. 16) Murray Foote
    September 23, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I think it’s useful to start from the marketing logic of this. Nikon make most of their money from digicams and are able to finance the DSLRs that way, not the other way round. This is intended as a camera system for digicam users to upgrade to, not and a small D3x or D3s. Without having looked at the samples (which may be misleading anyway), I would guess that image quality would be quite good up to about 800ISO, about where Olympus is now though Panasonic is about 1600ISO with their newer sensors. Samsung’s first model had an inferior sensor and until tests show otherwise, I assume that still applies. So the only choice for quality would seem to be the NEX5N or 7 or the FujifilmX100 or the Ricoh GXR /A12 with Leica/ Voigtlander lenses.

    However, another criterion in compactness, otherwise, why bother? You might as well get a compact DSLR. This is where the bodies are misleading. Many I think are too small; the more critical issue here is the size of the lenses. For coat pocketability I think they need to be 20mm to 30mm or perhaps 40mm long but not 60mm. NEX and Olympus don’t meet this criteria though Panasonic is starting to with their new collapsible mid-range zoom. Nikon 1 does and it should be easier for them to design compact systems. The X100 and GXR A12 are both quite specialised choices (lens quality is poor for standard GXR modules).

    NEX is also lacking in their lens range, still, and wide angle manual lenses may not work so well on their sensors. Nikon 1 might appear to be a bit lacking in their lens range but I don’t think that will be a problem for their target audience.

    The Nikon 1 autofocus sounds impressive and the possiblity of using F mount lenses is intriguing. A 300mm f2.8 + TC200 III mounted on a concrete tripod would give 1600mm with no mirror bounce.

    So I think it appears to be quite an interesting and rational alternative for a large number of people. Would I get one? Probably not but just maybe….

    • 16.1) Tony
      September 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm


      Let me respectfully disagree. I don’t think there’s anything about the 1 that you can refer to as rational. In fact, its features and market positioning are very, very confused (IMHO, of course).

      Nikon claims that the 1 is targeted to the P&S users who want to upgrade to something better (read: soccer mums) and not the high-end DSLR users. I accept that and I agree that its IQ should actually be more than good enough for the target audience. But, would soccer mums be prepared to pay 3x more in order to upgrade? I’m sure the S100 / G12 / P7100 will appeal to them much more price-wise (and features-wise). Also, why would soccer mums need, say, a macro lens (that I assume Nikon is planning for the 1)? Or a portrait lens? Would they know what to do with them? I’m sure the normal kit plus a tele (so that they can shoot their kids playing, well, soccer!) would probably be enough (in fact, this is exactly the two lenses most low-end DSLR users have today).

      You mentioned the 1’s impressive AF (and let’s add fast frame, responsiveness, “the processor is faster than the D3!”, etc. to the argument). Those features, along with some of the lens choices I mentioned earlier, sound too much like enthusiast features to me. But I don’t think many enthusiasts would be happy with the IQ. Putting such a small sensor in such a capable (by the sounds of it) body is like building a Ferrari and then putting a Toyota Corolla engine in it (and that’s a great analogy BTW).

      Regarding your argument about the 300mm 2.8 + 2x, seriously, do you think that many people that are willing to splash $6,000-$6,500 on that combo will be happy with the 1’s IQ? And if the 2.7x crop factor does appeal to some folks because it makes some of their lenses “really long”, that’s a very small and very niche audience. Smaller than the number of enthusiasts who’d like a compact camera with better IQ than the 1 can deliver.

      If Nikon had done a 2x 10MP-12MP sensor, it’d have similar density to the NEX, it’d have better IQ, they’d still need to shift roughly the same amount of data through the processor, and more importantly it would be more future-proof (and it’d still turn the 300mm 2.8 combo into a 1200mm lens!). But, they decided to doom themselves to be behind their competition forever, both in terms of marketing (as they are stuck with lower MPs to get decent IQ out of it, which is actually fine IMHO) and IQ (which is far from fine).

      I still don’t understand the reasoning behind such a small sensor. I wonder whether they had a strong “thou shalt not make anything that has IQ close to what the low end DSLRs can deliver” requirement from corporate not to cannibalize their DSLR sales (but let’s face it: it will, anyone who got a DSLR for the better AF compared to P&S will consider at the 1), so the dev team had no choice but to work within those parameters.


      • 16.1.1) Murray Foote
        September 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm

        OK, Tony

        Let’s start with image quality first. Roughly speaking FX to DX to 4/3 to Nikkor 1 to LX5 to digicam is a halving of the sensor size each time. Most people want a camera only for web images or for printing to no more than A4 and that occasionally. By that criterion the sensor is plenty large enough. In any case, I would expect that at low ISOs, certainly up to 400, probably up to 800, prints to A3+ would be no problem. No doubt you’d get better quality with a D3s or 6×17 but acceptable nonetheless.

        Obviously, the smaller the sensor, the more scope for compromise but I suggest the largest shortcoming will not be image quality, it will be low light sensitivity. To call the people who might buy the camera soccer mums is not very useful, I suspect. There are lots of people who are perfectly intelligent with good aesthetic senses who don’t want to be bothered with camera technicalities and there are lots who are very concerned with compactness. This camera delivers that better than most of the larger-sensor alternatives.

        I suspect the price is OK. It’s a new camera, they may even have trouble meeting demand for a while, especially in the wake of the earthquake and the price will go down in time.

        Actually, why not put a Toyota Corolla engine in a Ferrari, or at least a no-frills Ferrari-style body? I drove an MG Midget for 16 years until quite recently and that showed me you don’t need a huge engine and lots of power. With a small well-balanced convertible you can have fun inside the speed limit.

        The Pentax Q has too small a sensor, though. No point trying to put a Citroen 2CV engine in a sports car.

        I mentioned the 300mm f2.8 + TC200 III because I’ve got them and I‘d certainly be prepared to try the combination out. At that effective focal length the overwhelming factor is long lens technique which is why I suggested a concrete tripod. Bolted to a Hummer with no wheels or engine might be another option. It wasn’t really a serious suggestion at all. But then you can get some pretty serious teles for Olympus m4/3 and I’m really not sure it will prove all that much different.

        From my point of view, I think m4/3 is too small, particularly because of the compromise for low light photography. I’ve just picked up a mirrorless camera and it’s an X100. But other people’s priorities will differ and many will not agree. I wouldn’t discount that happening with this new camera either. I’m not predicting it but if (and it’s a big if) Sony were to relatively quickly generate pancakes, collapsible zooms and manual primes for NEX, then it might be m4/3 that gets squeezed.

        I don’t think it’s a case of avoiding competing with DSLRs. Nikon have found a significant marketing niche that no-one is competing in and they’re looking to take advantage of it.


        • Tony
          September 25, 2011 at 3:15 am


          You made some good points. Here’s some reaction…

          Maybe “soccer mums” was not an accurate term for the potential users of the 1. Having said that, I do know several mums who have low end DSLRs to take pictures of their kids playing soccer, so I was being quite literal in a way.

          You are right that low light sensitivity is the main aspect of the 1’s IQ that’s compromised due to the small sensor. Let’s call it high ISO performance, yes? Not all the shots casual shooters will take will be outdoors on a nice day. So, for indoor shots at a party, weddings, etc. good high ISO performance is really helpful (and how many bad indoor shots taken with a P&S have you seen over the years?). Also, the fact that Nikon put a lot of effort on AF, high frame rate, etc. tells me: action. But, clearly, only action outdoors as that tiny sensor will be far from stellar in, say, a dimly lit gym.

          To carry on the car analogies, the no-frills Ferrari doesn’t make sense since it has very limited appear: Ferrari fans won’t touch it and it will be too expensive for the average sedan driver (who will probably go for, say, a Fusion).

          Also consider this: if users really like the 1’s responsiveness, AF, frame rate, etc. but complain that IQ is not quite up to scratch, Nikon is stuck due to the small sensor. On the other hand, Sony can improve the NEX’s performance while retaining the better image quality. And I have to say I’m getting fed up with the “good enough” arguments. My SD880’s IQ is good enough for $300. At almost $1,000 I would want “best”. And the 1’s IQ is far from best.



          • Murray Foote
            September 25, 2011 at 8:42 am


            I think we can probably disagree and agree all at the same time.

            One reason I’m not so keen on focusing on soccer mums is it limits the target audience. For example,the 1 could be a useful travel camera for those who want good quality (especially as compared to a digicam) but are not prepared to get up before dawn to catch the light. That’s a much larger market than serious photographers.

            There’s two factors here, High ISO performance (HIP) and compactness. NEX is HIP but not compact (due to the lenses). Nikon 1 is compact but not HIP. m4/3 is usually not compact (lenses) and probably not HIP.

            On the cars, then: Realistically, why would anypone ever want a Ferrari for reasons that have nothing to do with ego? Expensive to run, probably unreliable and you’re probably never going to taste even a tiny fraction of its potential. (a bit like offering most people a 10×8 film camera). How about a 1961 Lotus Elise, then? I’ve got one, in a sense. That’s what the original Mazda MX5 was modelled on and I’ve got a more recent version at probably half the price of rival models. And no desire for a Ferrari.

            On pricing: It’s not all about HIP. That’s mainly why I went for the X100 but it’s not the camera for most people.

            I don’t think Nikon is stuck. They’re not competing here for the NEX-7 market. They could probably easily get a body to do that by converting the D7000 to a viewfinder camera but the 1. shows that if they were going to do that they would want to have a range of appropriately compact lenses, which is the sticking point.

            Electronic viewfinders have clearly recently become much more viable. There may come to be an argument for them on non-compact cameras, as a DSLR substitute simply because they eliminate mirror slap which is otherwise a significant constraint to sharpness.

            The other thing is that I suspect a lot of the technology in the N1 is not related to the size of the sensor. The earthquake may still delay things but we have yet to see what a D400 or a D800 will bring and I think we will see at least one of those in the next few months.


            • Tony
              September 28, 2011 at 11:51 am

              Hi again Murray,

              Yeah, let’s just agree to diagree on the 1. :-)

              I will be surprised if the 1 is a long term success if its price doesn’t drop by at least $150-$200. Note that its target audience look at the price tag before the feature list and for them “smaller and less capable” == “cheaper”. Nikon have a very steep upwards slope to climb wrt marketing the 1. Good luck to them.


            • Murray Foote
              September 30, 2011 at 10:14 am

              Hi Tony

              It may not be a camera for you or me but I suspect Nikon wil do quite well with it and while the price will probably come down, I think the starting point is probably quite appropriate. The Pentax Q is $800, for example while the J1 is $650 and the V1 $900.

              Thom Hogan: “some combinations are impossible (or at least improbable): small, inexpensive, and high quality, for example.”

              Also, DxO shows the J1 sensor as good as or better than current m4/3 cameras for colour depth and dynamic range though it does lag for high ISO sensitivity:
              (by about 1/2 stop they say in the summary, less than I would have thought). “In conclusion, the Nikon J1 may disappoint some serious photographers who are used to DSLR image quality. But for those who have been waiting for good tiny camera, at $700, the Nikon J1 is a good camera for the money!”

  17. September 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Hmm, am I the only one excited about the dual core EXPEED 3 and the phase detection auto focus and the fact that they are making sensors once again? :-(

    I agree fully with what most people have said about the camera, but I also see it as a stepping stone of better things to come (that does not neglect the fact that I find the new camera useless for what I do, hah).



  18. 18) Peter
    September 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Here’s a big news flash from Nikon: “Nikon expects their new mirrorless cameras to become #1 in Taiwan and Malaysia.”

    Wow! That’s like Apple saying that “we expect our new iPhone to be #1 in Peru and Costa Rica.” Maybe they can also capture some of the market in Guam and the Aleutians.

  19. 19) Pasquier
    September 25, 2011 at 4:02 am

    For an alternate view:

    I think this camera could indeed be a game changer….

    In the the interim I’m waiting for all that new exciting AF technology to trickle down to the next series of pro-DSLR’s.

    And, who knows – if it does work well with a Nikkor tele primes ( 300mm f2.8 etc), it may be a very useful birding tool to capture rare & elusive species.

  20. 20) Tony Padua
    September 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

    To try to sell me the more expensive V1 for $900 plus, that it would give me image quality better than my D3100 on a good day?

    I would call that a stretch. But Nikon is a marketing machine, maybe they pull it off.

  21. October 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Насим, а как Вы относитесь к дальномерным фотоаппаратам? Мне кажется, если бы на месте Nikon 1 возродилась линейка дальномерных камер, пусть даже за 2000$ за тушку, Nikon выиграл бы. А так, есть сомнительный продукт, заведомо ущемлённый более выгодными предложениями на рынке. Смысл его выпускать?

    Если только Fuji разовьёт линейку X[x00] до полноценной дальномерной системы… Мечты-мечты…

    • 21.1) Peter
      October 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      Очень интересный вопрос, но большинство из нас не читал русский язык. я делать, поэтому я могу сказать, что Никон никогда не будет делать камеры вы мечтали.

      • October 3, 2011 at 2:37 am

        I bet if Nikon will release rangefinder system, it will sell as a hot cakes. Just look at the Fuji X100 hype and this is not a true rangefinder :)

        Even at price $2000 for body Leica’s sales will drop instantly and Leica will have real competition on the market. Leica is great at making lenses but their cameras are inferior to cheaper offerings by other manufacturers. M9 is too expensive, keeping in mind that it is too poor at the spec-wise and performance at ISOs higher than 640 is a hope and a prayer. If Nikon will renew its old forgotten S-system, I will be first in line to buy it and many people around the world would too. Leica-ish style body with D700 sensor + 35, 50 and 75 mm primes – it’s the winner recipe by all means. Nikon 1 will die in shame in shadow of this hypothetic camera.

        • Peter
          October 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

          I love the rangefinder system and the split image. I grew up with it. The general consumer in the US would not like it now after looking in the back of their camera to frame a photo. It has seen its day, sorry to admit.

          I’ll stick with my D700 for now.

          • Дмитрий
            October 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

            Tastes differ. Maybe I’m just straight SLR-head, but I never liked ‘handle with two fingers’ approach. Grip means much and the way you build the composition means even more. MILCs are just improved point and shoots, they have nothing to offer over old-school viewfinder. More than that, manufacturers agree that VF (no matter what type) is important when it comes to total control and this is why they offer additional EVFs. What’s the point of that? EVIL engineers got rid a viewfinder and were forced to take it back? This is dumbest decision in special-purpose tool market. Okay, Nikon 1 V1 has built-in EVF but this doesn’t change anything. It is still just P&S with interchangeable lens offering.

            Going back to rangefinder, I have to say that some old technologies aren’t inferior to hi-tech bells and whistles and modern-day focusing screens in our DSLRs prove this. Why do I need purchase third-party focusing screen if I could use it in stock? Autofocus doesn’t get it for variety of shots and manual control is the only way to focus properly under some specific conditions. Conventional focusing screen of any DSLR does awful work here, you can’t focus precisely by eye. You have to rely on confirmation dot (which is headache) or use live view (which forces you to experience mentioned before ‘handle with two fingers’ approach, it makes the grip unstable). In absolute terms AF is faster but these fancy ‘record-breaking’ figures in speed were made-up by marketing teams and you know that marketing has very weak connection to real-world using. I found that in my practice manual control is still faster than automatic. While I choose right focusing point, while lens motor will hit-or-miss, while it snaps, I would focus faster and way more precise with my own hands, even if focus throw on my lens would be very long. Just provide good screen (like a Eg-S for Canon 5D MkII) without split-image and I will win. Split-image in rangefinder will give you somewhat different experience in focusing and seeing ‘that’ shot over one in SLR system but it is no way worse than today’s P&S’s grip with arms outstretched and eyes screwed-up.

  22. 22) Ilias Trou
    October 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Hello everyone , my initial response to nikon 1 system , when i read all the comments in dpreview , was similar to most people who are “committed” to nikon : felt betrayed and let down . Haven’t even read the specs and features of this camera .
    After a week , i read the features more carefully , read about R&D philosophy on this new camera system and saw a lot of videos in youtube .

    I liked this new camera a lot . Slow motion videos , shooting video and take full rez pictures at the same size. Change focus when shooting video . I saw some sample pictures too and the image quality was more than sufficient to me . In short , i would love to buy this camera because of its features . I was imagining the way i could use those new features and the more i was thinking the more exciting i was getting .

    I am a D90 owner and love to learn about shooting pictures the way i want . Well , nikon 1 is not meant for that . But on the other hand , my brother , my girlfriend and most of my friends are intimidated by the complexity of dslrs . Sometimes in some occasions , i was eager to lend them my camera and they didn’t want it :( .
    I am sure that they will appreciate nikon 1 a lot more than i do . They can be immensely creative with it , without having to do a lot .

    The only thing i don’t like in nikon 1 personally , is the price . I would really appreciate a cut in the price .

  23. October 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I suspect those into digiscoping and bird watching will be very interested in this camera.

  24. 24) KSPGM
    November 9, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Just flicking through all of the posts on this site I get the strong impression that very few have actually used the Nikon 1 system!

    I am a diehard Nikkonian – and yes I have a D300s and 12-24f/4 and 70-200f/2.8 and they are the best (for me!)! But they weight around 2000+ kg! I even have a 28-300 ‘walk around’ to cut down on the load.

    I tried a P7000 as a lightweight – but it just didn’t cut it. It didn’t convince functionally – although it was capabable of very good pictures – occasionally!

    So I went and bought the Nikon V1 tele combo. An frankly I am amazed at how good it is. It is one third the weight and size of my D300s kit and seems to be producing an image quality significantly above the P7000 and snapping at the heals of the D300s + 28-300. Now that to me is a reason to buy this – never mind all the technical stats on sensor size etc…..

    And what is more, the autofocus is stunning! I seem to be unable to take a bad picture – unless I really try hard.

    So all I can say to you other Nikonians is ‘give it a go’ and see just how clever those Nikon people really are …. and why you (probably?) buy their equipment in the first place!

    • November 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      KSPGM, I like the V1/J1 cameras so far, but the NEX5n seems to be better in my opinion. Not talking about image quality yet (will be doing tests this week), but purely on camera handling. The NEX5n is easier to carry with one hand (grip is awesome), it has a swivel touchscreen and focusing is a breeze. I don’t like the blackout Nikon 1 cameras have after you turn them on – that lag is too much for me. And the 10-100mm lens is just friggin’ massive! Nice optics, but I would never use it on such a small camera. I don’t know, I have mixed feelings right now. More positive than negative though. We will see, need more time with the Nikon cameras and lenses.

      • 24.1.1) KSPGM
        November 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

        Thanks for the reply Nasim!

        I looked at the NEX system before buying my V1. It uses an APS-C sensor – so it is always going to have advantages as I’m sure you know better than me! But it is not as compact – yes there’s not much in the bodies but a great deal in the lenses … and the weight. So I stayed loyal to Nikon and bough the V1 system.

        I have since sold on my P7000 to a friend. The V1 appears superior in every way for my use so I could not see me using the P7000 again. I have even done some comparative shots between my V1 with 10-30 and 30-110 lenses comapred to my D300s with 28-300 lens. I was shocked to find I preferred the colour balance and shapness of the V1! Even the 70-200 like for like (i.e without aperture advantage) does not completely draw away from the little Nikon.

        And the speedlight – which sincs at 1/250 – is great for a compact, with swivel and angle adjustment as well. I have taken amongst the best shots I have ever made through glass cabinets using this combo.

        It is early days yet – but so far I am pleasantly suprised at just how good the V1 is and it has sowed some seeds of doubt about my 3 kg of DSLR and lenses …… hmmm

        I look forward eagerly for your testing program Nasim!

  25. 25) Ray
    July 5, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I took advantage of the price drop and love this little camera. I use it for motorcycle trips where i cannot take my D700 and primes. Image quality is great for smaller printing and having video capabilities are a plus. The 10-30 mm and 30mm-110mm are all i need. Camera with both lenses for 646.00 was a bargain. Lots of features and small size works for me . If i want real high end photos i have other options , but for having a very capable camera to take along on Cycle trips , this is a complete system for me. IQ is more than satisfactory for 11×14 or smaller and the price was right.

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