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Wednesday, 21 September 2011


the PEN is mightier....;)

I read the announcement, saw the specs, looked at the photos of the cameras and immediately thought "IBM PC jr."

Me. Me. Me. I want. I want. I want. In the days before the internet, people could just ignore cameras on the shelves or flip past the ads in magazines. Now we get to hear everybody's opinion on why something doesn't suit them. Just maybe Nikon have identified a market and hope to make a profit from it. Most real people don't need cameras more capable than these (in terms of output) and they do seem to be doing some new things. So good luck to them.

As others have noted, this camera is butt-ugly. That said, ignoring the cosmetics, why would I want one? Too big to be pocketable, too awkward to entice me to use it in place of a cell phone camera, too small in sensor size to replace a decent dSLR, in short, too mediocre on all fronts to be a memorable camera. The recently announced Fuji x10 fits this "in between" format slot much better.

As a mostly medium format film exile, I have to say I never really understood why digital went the 35slr route in the first place -- it logically seemed that the rangefinder was a better design model, especially once the evf's came along. It probably is the end of the 35mm slr style, and that's no BAD thing...

IMHO, this Youtube movie communicates better than the long-winded and fluffy PR text the potential as a picture-taking machine of the new Nikons' fast hybrid autofocus, 60 fps full-resolution (!) image capture, automatic best shot selection etc.

The mini speedlight, GPS receiver and AF-capable mount adapter for the AF-S and AF-I Nikkor SLR lenses are also quite intriguing.


As for network connectivity, my guess is that the V1 and J1 — like the Nikon D90 — have some form of firmwawre support for the Eye-Fi SD memory card.

I could see the system growing into a powerhouse in its own right though. If they could make a few fast primes (or even better, use the small sensor to give us a compact high quality normal zoom), a normal hotshoe and give us some dials to work with I could seeing it being useful tool. Sensors grow more optimized over the years. The only problem would the limited control over depth of field. Dunno, really big apartures? hah!

What gets me is the people who don't understand the optics of all this and keep asking for a DX or FX mirrorless that takes F mount lenses. To achieve the image circle on a DX or FX sensor with a shorter lens to sensor distance is going to require a lens with a bigger image circle. You can't move a FX lens closer to the sensor and still create the same size image and therefore you can't create the more compact camera which is supposed to be the selling point of the mirrorless cameras.

Considering just the image circle issues (and not getting started on the focus corrections) perhaps using FX lenses close up to a DX sensor might work - but Nikon don't seem to be into making compact FX lenses at the moment.

Nikon is a small company, with much more limited assets than organizations like Canon. I am disappointed to say the least, that they're concentrating those assets on this 'Japanese-school-girl-fanboy' stuff, while I can't buy a decent medium level prime for their APS-C cameras, my 18-105 lens has gone back for not working correctly, and still shows errors until it's remounted on the camera every time I use it, and my 35mm f/1.8 started making grinding sounds on the first job I used it on. I know that professionals never kept these camera companies alive in the old days, it was all sales to the general public that wanted to own a camera like the professionals; but we may be witnessing the end of a company spreading itself too, too thin to compete with every nutty piece of photographica introduced by every other company in Japan. This is a model that answers questions no one was even asking...

Smaller than a 4/3 sensor?

I think they missed the mark.

I finally got around to reading this on the imaging-resource.com site

"The Nikon V1 also includes an electronically-controlled vertical travel focal plane mechanical shutter, where the J1 relies solely on an electronic shutter. The fastest shutter speed available with the V1's mechanical shutter is 1/4,000 second, while both cameras can achieve 1/16,000 second using an electronic shutter."

So at least on the J1 they finally got rid of the mechanical shutter (Yay!!), although the electronic shutter still isn't a global shutter (Boo & hiss)

Ian, the film SLR AF systems depended on the mirror, so when converting to digital, you either needed to lose AF, come up with a different system that was fast enough...or keep the mirror. (We're starting to see somewhat comparable Af capabilities integrated into the sensor today, some Ricoh models and this new Nikon.) Also, about the first three generations of DSLRs were Kodak products built into Nikon (and some Canon) bodies, and neither made rangefinder bodies at the time. Fuji also did that with the S1 and S2. For that matter, the D100 was based on the N80 body. Also, 35mm was the only system with a set of existing lenses of vaguely usable focal lengths on the various early sensor sizes, and they were all build for mounts with flange distances predicated on their being a mirror in there, so losing the mirror didn't give you a slimmer body (to use existing lenses).

Plus the 35mm SLR was the dominant format out there.

I'm still at a loss as to nikon's logic. While I'm sure the new cameras are fine, they had a beauty of a body/lens combo in the 28TI, one would think this could have been a very strong offering by dropping in a APSC sensor. Look to Fuji and see the popularity and appeal of the retro cameras.

Considering this some more -- this camera is exactly what my boss asked me to steer him to last year (we ended up choosing a DSLR then; his big issue with existing P&S was keeping up with active children). Assuming that the features all work roughly as advertised, that is! Fast AF, shooting modes for fast action.

However, those capabilities don't depend on the EVIL format; they could perfectly well be built into P&S, and I think most parents would choose an enhanced P&S given the choice.

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