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Wednesday, 21 September 2011


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What an anti-climax - looks like something from the 70's and not in a good way. Ergonomics - poor, spec - poor, lens- ordinary. I am certainly not coming!

I must say my first reaction on the new Nikons was `Yawn'. Sure, I have no doubt they'll be excellent picture-takers (Thom Hogan went into the 2.7x crop factor a few weeks ago, here (scroll down to `Size Matters?'), but on the whole, this is just another small system that adds little to the market. Sizes seem to be roughly the same as M4/3, interface is the same as every other `semi-pro' Nikon compact, etc. No innovation here.

I can't help thinking it's a bit of a `me too' product, designed carefully to lock people into the Nikon system. (Note that the `new' sensor size makes it uninteresting for third-party developers to make their lenses in this mount, since the focal lengths will be unsuitable)

Disclaimer: I'm probably not the target market for this product, my mirrorless camera of choice is an M3...

It's ugly and I can't see any direct access to WB & ISO. There's no PASM on the mode dial (but it does have them). The only prime at this time is a 27mm-e f/2.8: everything else is f/dark zooms.It looks like there's no onboard flash for fill - external is available.

The smaller the sensor the harder it is to blur backgrounds.

It looks like it's made for the point 'n' poke market.

Thom Hogan predicted 2.7x back in July (http://bythom.com/2011%20Nikon%20News.htm Ctrl+F to search for "2.7")

Reading the press release, I suspect Nikon don't realise the people who read press releases aren't the sort of people they're aiming this camera at. Maybe I'm too cynical, but some of Nikon's claims:

"revolutionary" — for Nikon maybe. The Lumix G was revolutionary, this ain't.
"iconic" — huh? It's only been out a few hours!
"high image quality that only Nikon could create" — well, that's not really true, is it?
... wait for it...
"a simple to use conduit for creativity, seemingly anticipating a consumer's needs in any situation" — excuse me?
"the world is becoming one of visual conversation, which paves the way for the next chapter in image capture device" = "people just wanna stick photos on Facebook"
"completely original concept" — well, no, that was the Lumix G
"fully electronic lens system enables the camera to keep pace with an active lifestyle" — wow, sign me up!
"a device that lives in perfect accord with any lifestyle" — my K-7 just lives in a cupboard, poor thing.
"the colors are vibrant, creating a stylish accessory for every personality" — I'll have black please.
"complemented by fashionable, premium accessories tailored to perfectly fit a user's lifestyle" - what, beanie hats and Chucks? Handbags?

By the time I got to the bit where they told me the Nikon 1 was for enthusiasts, I decided this enthusiast would prefer a PEN.

Yes, the camera seems clearly oriented to consumers (no PASM dial anymore?) but the price does not. As far as I've read since the little beast has been introduced, the public response seems negative. Very negative in many cases, as a matter of fact...

Definite "meh" from me, except for two things that have potentially huge ramifications for their DSLRs:

1) They can drive data off the whole sensor at 60fps. The sensor is a lot smaller than DX/FX sensor, but if they can get even close to that on the DSLRs, that could be huge for having downsampled video using the whole sensor (and I know how much that means to you Mike :p). Also means they can probably partially drive it much faster, which will be good for CDAF.

2) Focal plane phase detect - I haven't been able to find much, will look more, but if this is PDAF sensors embedded in the imaging sensor, good bye microadjust and systematic AF error, and they will have nuked the SLT AF advantage. If it's been properly implemented, SLRs are a big step closer to being...suboptimal (I hestitate to say obsolete)

On a related note, DPReview seems to have removed the sensor pixel "density" metric they used to give for every camera. Which is a shame because it gave some common way to compare sensors of different aspect ratio and megapixel count.

Without a measurement of density people fall back to calling some sensors "small" when they may in fact have lower density than a "large" sensor.

(* trying not to make a value judgement either way..)

I don't think you are the only one who is going to be underwhelmed. Reckon you got this spot-on

Yawn. All we need is SADC (still another digital camera). And in still another sensor size, yet.

It's essentially a camera for 900$ with sensor size half way between 2/3inch and 4/3 and without even a hot-shoe. Like in other Nikons the most expensive thing in it is The Badge. Great deal! ;)

However I find it interesting that the biggest for now gap between the subsequent sensor sizes have just started to fill.

It is a very smart move. Reflex cameras still have another decade of life in them for professional use, but joe consumer has little use for them.

Two or three years from now, Nikon can introduce an FX (24mm x 36mm) format mirrorless system for professional use that can accept F mount lenses (like Oly/Pana did moving from 4/3 to micro 4/3). Then Nikon can then squeeze Sony, Panasonic and Samsung from the top with FX mirrorless and from the bottom with CX mirrorless.

Expect the D5 to come without a mirror. Don't worry, the F mount to micro F mount adapter will be included in the box.

The new Nikons with their 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens have a similar clear aperture* to a Panasonic LX-5, with its 24-90mm (full frame equivalent) f/2.0-3.3 lens. That means the noise performance and depth of field isolation will be similar to the LX-5, which costs 40% less than the J1.

However it will probably be a commercial success since the target market seems to be compact camera upgraders who typically won't know the difference between an APS-C sensor and a 1" sensor. Having a smaller sensor means smaller lenses and lower production costs. Which means that Nikon can offer a "large sensor interchangable lens system camera" at a lower price than competitors, and in a smaller size, while making more gross profit, some of which can be thrown back as dealer margin to incentivise retailers to push the 1 System over technically superior competitors.

As a design engineer I hate it when marketing trumps engineering - but it does, most of the time.

* clear aperture is the diameter of the aperture opening. For a given angle of view (i.e. equivalent focal length) it determines the amount of light reachng the sensor.

Nikon just gave Sony a huge boost.

What I like: the integrated viewfinder in a housing that doesn't look like a wunderplastic DSLR.

What I don't like: oh, come on, Nikon, even Pentax Q has an F1.9 lens. It's not like you're the first in the market and cannot compare with anybody else.

What irritates me: Dear Nikon, couldn't you have spared us the marketing hyperbole? This is not revolutionary.

Ewww... unattractive AND class-trailing. Nikon bows at the throne of King Olympus and begs its humble, ugly and insignificant self leave to be in the same court. Who would have thought?

Mike, here are the MTF charts and diagrams for the new lenses.

I do not understand the idea of small sensor compact cameras with interchangeable lenses. Mount a lens, pack a few more and "compact" part is nowhere to be found anymore.

If compactness is the goal with solid image quality and full control over shooting parameters, then good small sensor coupled with a non-removable lens is the answer (like Olympus XZ-1, Panasonic LX5, Canon G12, or Fuji X10). Personally, I see no point in both Nikon 1 and Pentax Q systems.

Built in viewfinder good, but seriously, the stylists didn't really tax themselves over this one did they?
Would it be too much to ask for a camera to look good and not just like a slab?

The samples are good though.

It tempts me :)

But price is bad.

What's most amazing is that this MILF system – Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Format – is the first new lens mount from Nikon since the Nikonos. That was launched in 1963, 48 years ago in full frame time; multiplied by 2.7 for its digital equivalent, it feels more like 129.6.

Mike, are you grumpy about the 4/3's standard or Nikons move away from it with this new series camera? Got to say Nikon is taking a mighty gamble with this format but seem to be placing the camera in the amateur area of the user market, although it is pricey. Conflicting signals here.
I'm sure Nikon lovers will enthuse over it but I am not convinced at this stage - not knocking Nikon as I have been a Nikon user since the mid 60's, still got a load as well.
Time will tell!

As expected, Nikon opted to create its own proprietary system rather than join the Micro 4/3 standard*.

You know, we wouldn't want to have people buy lenses from other manufacturers, right?

To me also this whole exercise is too much about protecting current market share and products, and not focussed on creating the ultimate pocketable system camera. Looking at how Panasonic and Olympus cannot make up their mind on whether they want to create a consumer or semi-pro camera, they could easily have created themselves a nice niche there. Or go directly the DX route, even giving people the possibility to use those DX lenses via an adapter.

I agree Nikon has always been more the enthousiast's and pro's camera, and this is absolutely not fitting. Oh well, at least it fits nicely with Nikon's ultimately uninspiring compact camera line-up.

I'll go back into my corner and play with my Nikon FM.

This new Nikon line looks like a competitor to larger sensor compacts like the Canon S95 and Panasonic LX5, but with the small sensor size is no way in the same league as the NEX or even the m43 offerings. But Nikon never was good at making decent P&S so this is not a surprise.

That is really sad, with all the formats coming up (maybe canon has a surprise also with it`s own format 2,4x???)
I teach basic photography courses and it`s a mess for newcomers to undestand what a crop factor is and what kind of camera does one have not to speak about noise at higher isos and megapixels ...
The industry should standardized on max 2-3 sensor sizes...

Yawn. WTF is up with Nikon?

I'm underwhelmed by this one. Why would anyone buy this thing? Too expensive for the fashionable snap-shooting set; inadequate (at least by specs) for anyone else.

ACIL? Who needs TV when we're surrounded by all this marketing? Highly entertaining.

Aside from all that, the system might be just right for a lot of users. If anything, in a web-based world, the 10 mpix may be overkill, 6 or 8 would have been fine. Better than a run-of-the-mill p&s digicam, but not cheap though, is it?


APS-C format:

    Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3
    Length: 90mm
    Filter diameter: 62mm
    Weight: 450g
    35mm-equivalent max magnification ratio: 0.39x

Nikon CX format:

    Nikkor 10-100mm F/4.5-5.6
    Length: 95mm
    Filter diameter: 72mm
    Weight: 530g
    35mm-equivalent max magnification ratio: 0.34x

I have nothing against smaller-format image sensors per se — the picture quality they deliver is often more than good enough, and the cameras tend to be lightweight and compact.
Nikon's sensor also has an area about 4.6x larger than the typical 1/2.5" sensor used in compact digital cameras, presumably benefiting low-light IQ.

Still, smallish-sensor cameras are supposed to have an advantage as far as the size and weight of tele lenses are concerned, but that benefit doesn't seem to have materialized with Nikon's latest offering…
But then again, the Nikkor 10-100mm might be a fairly expensive design with a much better optical performance than the Tamron 18-270mm.

I have a fondness for using tools for purposes other than they were intended, so I would like to put forth what I call the Canadian CX-DX Conversion Method: Just think of a CX focal length as a temperature in Celsius, and a field-of-view equivalent DX lens' focal length is the same temperature in degrees Fahrenheit above freezing. If you have a C/F converter, and can remember that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or that the Nikkor brand was launched in 1932, you won't need to remember the crop factors.

The small sensor makes this camera DOA for me. Such a waste . . .

Advanced camera without P, Tv, Av and M on a dial and no dial for setting those values?

I'm dismissing it out of hand (personally, for me only), not for its sensor size (it could provide an interesting compromise between size & performance), but for the slow lenses. An f/2.8 pancake and f/5.6 zooms on a 2.7x crop sensor are just very slow lenses.

But I suspect that Nikon is targeting the same p&s upgraders that Sony targets with the 3/5 series of the NEX line and who knows - it may sell. Consumers don't realize that f/5.6 on a small sensor isn't as useful as f/5.6 on a large sensor, if they have any understanding of f/5.6 at all. (Personally, I think I'd rather the new Fuji X10).

And then there are the performance/tech aspects of the new system that are getting swept under the rug at the moment ... slo-mo video, high fps sequences, possibly excellent autofocus. These features could be genuinely fun for consumers and genuinely useful for some enthusiasts or even pros.

I'd have to see faster lenses to offset the smaller sensor before I'd have any interest, but I won't speculate further on it's future success ... I don't understand much of the market beyond traditional still photographers.

No comments till now...says a lot.
I think this is your new 'digicam'.
This is a pure marketing led product launch and has nothing to do with photography. And from that standpoint, it seems to be a good decision. The fact is that consumers "at large" are unaware of the sensor size, SNR and other image quality related parameters. Its a great brand, and that's what matters to people who want a better camera but not a slr.
The tiny sensor in a typical digicam is so tiny that cell phones are having it for breakfast, so something better, but not so better :) is needed, in order to revitalize the digicams market. So this is it. Better than a cell phone. And an affirmation that the digicam market is going to be dead in (not so near) future.

I think I'll keep my XZ-1.

>>So what do you think?<<

I think I'll hang on to my EVIL Olympus Pen.


Should watch bythom.com. It is not news as it was being predicted for quite a while now.

I still think that pancake or M lens plus APS-C is a better choice, probably not for general consumer. I am looking at Ricoh M module and Sony 7. If I have to go small, may be pentax Q keychain is better.

Really looking forward what your reader would say.

This is why the A55 was on the influential list. 4/3 did not jar the giants into action.

I truly regret the decision of manufacturers to develop their own mounts instead of joining forces. It's not only a waste of resources but also a way to irritate the poor adopters of freshly devised camera systems, who will be waiting for some lenses for ages.
However, as a m4/3 user I am delighted with Nikon's CX announcement and wish them good luck wholeheartedly.
Today may be remembered as the beginning of the end of the SLR era.

Ugly as home-made sin.
No mention of IS.
No teeny-tiny little "normal FL" high-speed prime lenses.

Hmmm I dunno. A big part of the romance of buying a new camera is how it looks. And this one, with the featureless evf hump, just looks like, meh. Why bother?

so it uses yet another new lens mount?

i guess it benefits the companies more than it benefits the users.

Reading some initial posts in the usual places (e.g., photo.net), it seems that this announcement is widely misunderstood. I don't think it means that all Nikon's mirrorless cameras will be CX. I think it means that their first is CX, and they are introducing the new CX class. Nothing at all keeps them from introducing a DX-class mirrorless in the future to replace the D3100 and to take F-mount lenses. But one thing at a time!

One thing i do like about the new CX format is the sensor has the same 3:2 aspect ratio as my Nikon DSLR.

I'm underwhelmed. I've been in the market for a mirrorless, interchangeable and have been waiting for Nikon to get in the game, but the sensor size spec is a big turnoff. And the lack of any command dial makes it feel more Coolpix than DSLR. It actually looks like it would be a PITA to use.

I'm intrigued by this thing. I bought a GF1 immediately upon release to free me from D3s when just roaming with family. I liked the idea of a large sensor, relatively speaking, in a small package. I'm interested in this Nikon because I like that they kept the mp count quite low, at 10mp. If this camera can produce good images at the higher iso's because of the lower mp, it could be interesting.


Here's where I see the problem. The M4/3 system already has a fair amount of decent lenses available. Serious enthusiasts already own some of those lenses. These are folks who are probably not going to sell off what they have to invest in a new system.

Add in the fact that adapted lenses are also a big part of the appeal and that leaves us with "who" is actually going to buy the new Nikon?

The most basic small sensor cameras are being replaced by camera phones, and those phones are increasingly going to take over more of the market. 1" sensors are a solid step up in image quality from anything that is going to fit in a phone any time soon and a solid step down in size from any CSC that exists now.

A nice flat little 35mm f/2 lens plus the existing 10mm f/2.8 could make for a truly pocketable two-lens combo. Lots of Nikon DSLR shooters would be interested, and so would I.

From BJP:

Both cameras also have a Smart Photo Selector feature, which, when selected, will shoot 20 full-resolution images in less than a few seconds. "You just press the shutter once and, utilising the pre and post capture technology, the camera starts to take the pictures before you've even fully depressed the button." The camera then automatically selects the best five shots, which are saved based on facial expression, composition and focus

My emphasis. It's come to this? Next self-propelled cameras that you can send out and wait for them to return with good pictures?

Hmmm. I do sometimes wish not to carry the lump of the D700 around, especially when travelling, but at this sensor size, and 10.2 mp, I am wondering why not just grab the lightest Nikon DSLR body that I bought her indoors a year ago and stick with that? Well, I guess this is cute and small and probably quieter (?) I must be missing something...

It's a small camera with a small sensor and a big price. I don't get it. I don't see anything in the specs or features that justifies the premium price.

I'd certainly have been happier for Nikon to join Micro Four Thirds, but I never really thought there was a snowball's chance in hell. However, I think M43 may turn out to be the way for the smaller players to combine to be competitive with Nikon and Canon in some areas, still.

Nikon is lagging in the consumer arena; arguably that's where they need to do something dramatic. Of course, yet another mirrorless system might not be sufficiently dramatic (though this one isn't DOA like the Pentax Q was).

The rumors sites (or at least NikonRumors.com, which I do follow some) did call this one exactly right, including the announcement date and the crop factor, some weeks ago. But they don't always, so I don't particularly think you're "making a mistake" not following them. I kind of enjoy watching their detective work; I'm not sure I would follow them just for the predictions.

I wonder how important it's going to be that 2.7x is hard to do in your head? I was glad I had Nikon DX rather than the smaller Canon DSLR sensors because 1.5x is easier than 1.6x :-) .

Okay, I forgot about the Pronea series of Nikon cameras; that makes the CX their first new lens mount in 76 digital year-equivalents. Perhaps their APS cameras might be a good parallel to the new format.

A smaller than micro 4/3rds sensor? Color me uninterested. And a proprietary, Nikon only, YAS (yet another standard)?

No, thanks.

Pass. (As if I need another camera anyway.) I've not read the whole product spiel but the camera has two features that immediately lose my interest for such a camera.

1. A smaller sensor than 4/3rds? Why? Fujifilm can engineer an APS-C sensor in such a camera (X100). Nikon's engineers must be drawn from the lower quartiles of their classes.

2. A center-positioned eyepiece? Don't these guys ever use cameras? Why not place it at the corner to prevent the camera from covering the shooter's face and enable shooters to see the scene with their left eye without dropping the camera? It's a fake viewfinder anyway so what the hell's the difference where it's placed? Must be the same dullard engineers, eh?

Big miss. My record at never having bought a Nikon camera seems unthreatened.

I guess I'm far from the target market for this system because I'm not interested at all. It seems like Sony has a substantial lead in putting large sensors in small bodies and making light compact primes for them at competitive prices. Why would anyone pay the same or more for something that is larger and heavier, but has a tiny sensor with much less DOF control and lower IQ? The only thing I saw that this MIGHT have over NX or NEX or MFT or GRX is faster AF and motion capture, which takes photos and video at the same time, although the horse sample on the website looks to have near zero shadow detail. Scratching my head in disappointment at yet another company refusing to innovate (unless a me too camera with a smaller sensor can be considered innovation.)

Good: It's small and light. An actual, if electronic, viewfinder. Looks reasonably ok, but a bit too sleek.

Bad: Seems too consumerish, modern. Not much of a grip. Possibly the sensor is too small for optimum image quality.

Wasn't the V1 those rockets Hitler fired on London in the final days of WWII? Kind of an inapt name, I think.
Will I buy one? Depends on image quality, functionality, ergonomics. Could be a good travel camera. I am somewhat disappointed.


Wow! The ugliest camera ever.

I wish there was more co-operation and interchangeability in lens mounts. What a mess having what, twelve or more COMMON mounts? Oh well.

I'm smitten by micro 4/3, I'm completely in love with the GF1+20mm pancake setup. I cant fathom the NEX system - its way out of balance with teeny cameras and Goliath lenses. Maybe Nikon will do something good with this mount, maybe not. Its all in the lenses of course... and since they invented a new wheel, unless they release something awesome (like the m4/3 20mm!) its going to be years before this mount is worth being interested in.

The sensor size may prove to be excellent, but until that's proven, I'm happy with m4/3 being perfection.

"No comments till now...says a lot."

It says "Mike has to sleep sometime." [g]


The cameras are interesting, though certainly not earth shattering. But I think the biggest disappointment is the lenses. Slow zooms and an f2.8 prime.

Surely it would have worth the extra costs (both in size and money) to at least make the prime an f2. As it stands it's not as fast or as wide as compacts like the Canon S90/95/100. Then on top of all that it costs a lot more than those compacts too.

Nothing against the sensor size but this could have been great. Instead, as many people have already said "meh"

Makes perfect sense to me. Smaller than m4/3 (which are not pocketable), and right between compacts and APS-C DSLRs. The lenses now announced are the obvious choices that accompany each new lens mount, I'm sure faster ones will follow. If only the design were a little less boring...

Oh wait, now I remember why m4/3 is great and this wont be.
1) Its SMALL (as a whole system, which duh, includes the lenses)
2) Image quality is excellent (optics, sensor, image processing, exposure controls wb/af/etc)
3) DOF control (biggest sensor and aperture you can get wins)
4) Excels in poor light (yay f1.7 pancake!, hooray for better sensitivity than early DSLR's!)

NEX loses on point 1, Nikon1 loses on point 3.

They've certainly handed Canon a gift. Adopting 4/3 or micro 4/3 would've made the statement that they're willing to compete on image quality and optics, or going with an APS-C sensor and F-mount would've made this a very interesting complement to a DSLR or "gateway" offering. Instead they sidestep the issue, left most folks scratching their heads, and are about to give Canon a ton of free market research.

Watch them sell ten million of them over the Holidays. It's a perfect gift, upscale enough to be significant better quality than their last crappy digicam or iPhone. It may displace D3100 sales but it may steal a lot of customers from other brands too. And since it must have a higher margin than the D3100, it doesn't hurt Nikon.

We're not the target. Nikon knows that eventually it will hook us for $1800 to get a pro-compact, that's the price point most serious amateurs will pay and give up their DSLRs. And why would they leave money on the table when they know we'll pay it for a really good camera?

Seems like they've crippled this system out of deference to their DSLRs. What, other than Nikon loyalty, would make you buy this over m4/3s? It's not winning on IQ, price, size, or lens assortment.

On the other hand, I'm sure this will make many retailers happy.

So, as it stand now, Pentax and Nikon seem to have articulated a similar approach to the market: Mirrorless interchangeable is important, but not so important that it should be in anyway a compelling alternative to a DSLR--even an entry-level DSLR. Call it the cute second camera approach.

Oly and Pani have said: DSLRs are soon to be a niche product for consumers. Entry level DSLRs are dead.

And Sony has said something similar, but it's putting some serious innovation in that niche. (And, notably, it's created a bridge between their two lens families from the get-go.)


The small pixel count seems like the best thing about it. If I was them I would go farther and make it eight rather than ten. Screw the megapixel wars. Maximize the ISO capability and you can still print 20x24 if the light is good.

The rest, meh. I see zero reason to give up my E-P1 and my wife would kill me if I tried to swap it for her S95.

Another dead-on-your-shelf-in-four-years exercise in design-by-marketing. Nikon could have broken new ground but decided to stay in the sand box. Yawn.

People are impatient with new systems. It took Oly 3 tries to really get the AF right on the Pen. I'd give Nikon a little time to get other things right on this. Eventually it might make an awesome little street/travel camera. One more thing--that AF system makes me wonder if we will see a larger sensor "2" system sooner or later. I would not be surprised.

What a pathetic sensor! Nikon can count me out.

I propose we label this new smaller sensor "Digital Disc."

Wow, every time I get ready to comment, there's another ten!*

I see two things:
1. This is meant for the post-cellphone crowd. iPhone cameras are getting too good for the P/S business. They might know exactly what kind of sensor Apple is prototyping, and the price point is designed for people who shell out for the latest iPhone. This is important,because it means they want to capture the most profitable corner of the future P/S business now.

2. This is also social signaling to the other camera companies. Remember, these guys all produce for their domestic market, and see themselves as competing directly with each other, inside their own culture. This is not GM vs. Toyota, this is GM vs. Ford. Nikon has just revealed a ton about what they can unleash on their competitors, any time they get out of line. On-sensor phase detect? That warns Sony that SLTs could become obsolete fast. Fast interleaved-with-stills video? That warns Canon that they can out-spec the 5DMarkWhatever.


*good work slogging through the word-mines, Mike.

ILTim, m4/3 loses point 3, and, interestingly enough, Samsung NX seems to meet all of those qualifications.

The cry for large sensor cameras is becoming almost a religious thing. If this is not aimed at you, don't buy it, but don't assume everyone wants the same thing you do.

I am interested in a digital camera for video. I could use a DSLR for that, of course, but it doesn't make sense to buy a camera just for video and then lose the use of the viewfinder. So, an EVF makes more sense. This camera seems aimed half at stills and half at video, so I'm interested and sorry for all you "mehs" and "yawns" out there. I'm interested in the Nex5n, too, but the video clicking flaw and lack of microphone input makes it less interesting.

I am a bit curious about why Nikon dropped 24p, as budding filmmakers cry for that the way many on the Internet cry for "full-frame" sensors. I guess 60i can be scaled down to 24p pretty easily.

Anyway, I'm waiting for the reviews before I get my torch and pitchfork and head to Nikon HQ to yell for a D4.

I simply don't see why anybody would get one, save for the Nikon badge on the front. And I say that as a happy D700 user.

Look at the major characteristics:
1) No smaller than micro 4/3 (at least the bodies and the kit lens).
2) No lighter than micro 4/3.
3) No cheaper than micro 4/3.
4) No better image quality than micro 4/3. At least, the smaller sensor and slow lenses make it extremely unlikely.

In the rush to avoid competing with their own lower-end DSLRs, they seem to have produced a product with no major selling points, other than the brand.



if amazon pre-orders are any indication, this new system is clearly not going to set the world on fire for enthusiasts.

as is, i don't think this system will even catch on with consumers. the kits are too expensive, and the sensor is only one step up from point & shoots. true, how much image quality do you really need for putting photos on the internet or flat-screen tv? but the small sensor and slow lenses won't make it much easier to take photos or video in low light or with shallow depth of field. the lenses also aren't small enough in a practical sense to gain an advantage over micro 4/3.

nikon may have shot themselves in the foot on this one.

Ashton Kutcher's gonna sell millions of these to people that don't read websites like TOP.

This makes the NEX-7 look even better. Sony must be over the moon today, Nikon have blown their chance.

The crop factor from DX to CX (Nikon APS to Nikon 1) is roughly 1.8. This means Nikon has a set of DX lenses that could be neatly repackaged with e new mount for the new system:
- 30mm f1.8 (80mm equiv) might make a nice "portrait prime".
- 40mm f2.8 (105mm equiv) might make a nice macro telephoto.
- 85mm f3.5 (230mm equiv) could serve as "the new legendary 200 f4 macro of old".

The lens design is done, the lens elements are probably sitting on some factory shelf already, so go ahead Nikon, just design a new lens barrel for the Nikon 1 system.

Dear Folks,

OK, I'm just musing here, and Thom (I hope) will correct me if I'm totally up the wrong tree on this one, but...

I'm guessing there's not a lot of money for the camera makers in bare camera bodies in the low-mid hundred dollar range. I suspect the margins, like for computers, are simply too small, given how fast the technology changes and new designs need to be engineered and introduced to keep up with the Joneses.

You can make some money on packages and all-in-ones. You can make some money selling good lenses. But most bare bodies? Not so much, unless you luck into a runaway best-seller. Which does happen, but about as frequently as with books.

Soooo... removes a certain incentive to join an existing mount system like m4/3. You can't guarantee that sales of your lenses will match those of the bodies, especially if someone else already has a hot lens in that range.

You'll sell lenses for other makers' bodies, to be sure, but then you're hitching your success to their star.

IOW, it's problematical to join the herd. Most 35mm camera makers didn't-- they favored incompatible mounts.

So, Mike? Thom? Does this reflect the business sense, or am I all wet?

pax / Ctein

"a simple to use conduit for creativity, seemingly anticipating a consumer's needs in any situation" — excuse me?

One word: automation.

Plus another word: consumer.

Equals a camera that will make all your choices for you. Even if you don't want to let it, I suspect.

Matthew, yes! That's the acronym we want for this kind of camera - MILF. I petition the internets to accept it. :D

Is it any relation to the earlier V-1?

V-1 Flying Bomb

Remember the "Hitler rants" video about D3x on YouTube In response to the Nikon D3x $8000 price tag.
This is not as elaborate but does make the point well:
Click the picture for a 16 sec video.

Bob Mc

@Will: Is the electronic shutter in the J1 another warning, with a shutter speed of 1/16,000. But why cripple it with a 1/60 flash sync speed, when electronic shutters have allowed faster flash sync speeds in the past?

I've not used it, read about it much, seen any samples, know very little about camera sales, let alone camera sales in Japan, and am never going to buy anything like it. Apparently, I am therefore perfectly positioned to comment along the lines of "it's rubbish", "what were Nikon thinking?", "it's too expensive", "those lenses are slow", "where's the D4?" yada yada.

The hybrid phase-detect/contrast detect AF system is the one very interesting thing about this.

I can see that technology allowing them to make a mirrorless F-mount body with full time live view and video with fast AF, plus ditch the prism for a good quality EVF and the advantages they offer now that they can be made with good response times and resolution.

Wow! Great image quality... for a coolpix P&S.
Not interested.

The NEX-7 is looking like an incredible bargain next to this.
However, Sony needs some pro quality fast wide pancake primes.

Why does the EVF have to be positioned in the center? There is no way to take a shot without getting nose grease on the display screen.

I mean......C'mon Nikon...........pay attention to detail!

For me, it will be either this or the X10. If the X10 is cheaper I will go with Fujifilm.

Unlike most of the other poster's here, I'm not really concerned with the sensor size. I'm sure that a talented photographer can wring some excellent images out of this camera.

I am, however, concerned with two things: (i) the lack of direct aperture/shutter speed controls, and (ii) the overall size of the camera. With respect to (i), one could be forgiven for thinking that Nikon would take a lesson from the popularity of the Fuji X100. No professional or serious amateur wants to take their eye from the finder in order to fiddle around with menus. With respect to (ii), I recently had the opportunity to handle the Pentax Q, and feel that this camera is basically unusable for somebody with average-sized hands. Nikon's claims that the 1 is the world's "smallest mirrorless camera with a viewfinder." If that's true, and the 1 is smaller than the Pentax Q, it raises serious concerns about its usability.

"Is it any relation to the earlier V-1? V-1 Flying Bomb"

Careful. You know how nicknames sometimes tend to stick. [g]


Come on Nikon, the [original, 1948 —Ed.] Nikon I has 24mm x 32mm sensor and optical viewfinder and full manual control of course. Good to stick with 10mp though. And why not put the logo on the front of the Mount Fuji on the V1 that hides the EVF? Kind of make it a little bit reasonable for me...

I'm as puzzled as everyone. Looking at it, Nikon probably intended to create a snapshooter-oriented camera with good video capabilities. It looks as it's *the* tool for your average Asian snapshooter on vacation. Just look at the advertised features on their website: 10 (or 60) fps, shoot-everything, motion snapshot, "smart" photo selector, etc.

It has the worst designed camera logo I've seen in a long time, especially the separate "1". Besides, sensor smaller than 4/3!? And it is not just about image quality, assuming that Nikon miraculously managed to get better quality than from larger sensors, it is also about greater depth of field (i.e., conversely, the lack of shallow dof). I see it more as a competitor to p&s, than a "serious" camera.

I won't be getting one, or even considering it seriously, inless they add a wider prime lens. Something in the 20mm to 24mm equivalent range would have me looking with some interest, but for now, I'll pass and not even look back.

Count me in the grumpy club. Laaaame.

Well, at least this makes me even more happy about my Olympus Pen Lite.

Why this continuing sensor size proliferation? Simple, there are no longer adults in the room (film manufactures)to keep the kids in line. I'd bet on yet another format from Canon with their mirrorless offering.

Surely the camera is not so much a snap shooter camera with video capabilities as a video camera with amazing potential for snapshots.
It may be a game changer, much as the iPOD changed the way we listen to music.

All this handwringing puzzles me. The price is a little high right out of the gate, but say it comes down $100 or so to, say $700-$800. There are plenty of people who extol the virtues of Oly OZ-1 or Pany LX-5 digicams and they cost $500, for which an EVF is a $200 option.

So here's the Nikon 1 for only $200-$300 more, a digicam with a built-in EVF and whose sensor is BIG, compared with the ones in those "high-end" digicams. And as a bonus, you can buy another lens for it one day if you feel like it.

People should stop comparing the Nikon 1 to 4/3s or APS-C cameras, that's beside the point.

I actually think there is a market for this sensor size, but the packaging is wierd and the lenses too fat (and slow) to make it truly compact.

The controls are very far from enthusiast territory but this is obviously designed for the Japanese consumer market, not us folk. It has lots of "cool" accessories and funky colours.

In principle however I would be interested in a camera that is really pocket friendly and decent quality, but why are the 1 lenses so, er, enormous? Seems to defeat the whole object!

And is it just me or are there some really horrible aliasing artifacts in the samples?

And RAW support?

An enthusiast version though may be more interesting - especially with some really quick pancake glass - cant see that on the horizon though.

I've been casually looking for a step-down direct view digital to use when I don't feel like dragging a DSLR around or wearing my hair shirt (M6 + 35 Cron.) I was hoping this new Nikon mirrorless would be in the running, but no dice.

To be honest, of the currently available and announced cameras the Fuji X10 is shaping up to be the best choice for me. I just know that as soon as I buy one someone will come out with a m4/3 with a NEX7-style integrated OLED EVF.

Yawn, wake me up when they make a digital Nikon SP.

Oh, and speaking of design... forgot to add that the overall design, especially of the V1, and especially the viewfinder part (as seen from the front), has all the beauty and elegance of, say, Soviet industrial design. Lomo, anyone?

I see this as more of a marketing fail than a disappointment. Looking at it as a compact camera upgrade aimed at consumers:
Compared to all the other compact point and shoots, it's sensor is HUGE.
it's got different lens choice options!
the smaller sensor compared to SLR's and m4/3's, APS-C, etc means lots of depth of field so your pictures are all in focus!
Built in EVF, a first for a compact camera!
Way faster and more responsive than other compacts!

pick the right tool for the job. If I didn't already have a D300 and lots of glass as well as m4/3 and all the glass, I might consider this for a compact point and shooter, but I've spent too much on camera gear to buy into yet another system.

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