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Nikon mirrorless system announced
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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Nikon mirrorless system announced on 09/20/2011 23:00:28 MDT Print View

Called the Nikon 1 system, they'll have 13.2x8.8 mm chips and on first blush, a very sophisticated metering system. The shape reminds me a bit of a Leica III.

They drop in a month, if you have your bank account in order.



Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Interesting ... on 09/21/2011 01:19:53 MDT Print View

Hi Rick

Looks neat, but their marketing guys should really be put in a small dark (hermetically sealed) box:

“ Nikon’s new 1 J1 camera allows consumers to have confidence in a new way to express themselves, with amazing speed, versatility, ease of use and portability.”
Which tells me absolutely nothing except that they have big mouths and little knowledge of the rest of the market.

" The new Nikon 1 system is a completely original concept, engineered specifically to strike the ultimate balance of performance, intuitive simplicity and portability to chronicle life like never before."
I am sure I have read that before, at the release of every other camera over the last 10+ years. Sigh.

" Furthermore, the J1 camera makes a personal style statement with a variety of matching colored camera bodies and lenses."
That does worry me. Is this a camera or a yuppy phone?

" The heart of the new J1 camera is the new Nikon developed CX-format, 10.1 megapixel High-Speed AF CMOS sensor that helps make this camera the pinnacle of portable performance."
Plenty of 10 Mp cameras around. And next year's release will be another 'pinnacle'.

Yeah, I know, I am being nit-picking. Or grumpy. Or cynical.
But wouldn't it be nice if they gave us some real DATA?


Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Interesting ... on 09/21/2011 06:22:02 MDT Print View

Nah its not just you, I totally felt that too Roger, that was horrible to have to read. The english was shocking.

Built in EVF could be interesting, but it would really want to do something impressive apart from that compared to the current crop of "EVIL" cameras. The sensor size sounds small (this is just me but a 2.7x conversion factor messes with my head). Being Nikon its probably quite well built. Hopefully it takes its speed and functionality from their SLRs and doesn't have small camera hang-ups.

Anyway I have to stop looking at new cameras and just use mine more. Its not the camera that takes the photos.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Interesting ... on 09/21/2011 10:50:14 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,

What, you want facts when you can have pink? ;-)

With the exception of a couple pancake lenses I don't see that they've taken full advantage of the reduced size format--some camera and lens shots here:

Reading between the lines, they've played an interesting hand in selecting this format, which is notably larger than advanced fixed lens compact imagers but notably smaller than their own APS-C dslrs, indicating they don't want to cannibalize their dslr sales but rather, grab a slice of the growing mirrorless pie. This may be a clever move or it could relegate the new system to ugly stepsister status among the other mirrorless systems. Nikon loyalists may be satisfied but will these cameras be good enough or unique enough to lure in other brand owners or those moving up from cellphones and compact digicams?

At least now we know Canon will have to get off their rears and release their own mirrorless system. They were clearly willing to out-wait Nikon but now must decide where to slot their efforts. APS-C? Smaller? Larger?

Considering the Lumix G1 was announced a mere three years ago this month and the Oly E-P1 nine months later, this category has certainly exploded since. At least we've answered the "Flash in the pan?" question.



Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: Interesting ... on 09/21/2011 16:04:20 MDT Print View

"...but will these cameras be good enough or unique enough to lure in other brand owners...".

I'm using an Oly E-P1 with Nikon 50mm 1.8D (on m43 mount adaptor), 20mm pany and Oly 9-18mm MZuiko. Although a good built in EVF would be lovely in some conditions, given the small sensor size of this new Nikon (I'm sure it delivers good results...but...) and lenses that so far don't smack me in the face as outstanding over my Pany 20mm, I won't be changing. I just can't be bothered learning another camera system or forking over the dosh. In other news I'm going to ebay off the 9-18mm soon as I only really need the one lens. Yep, less camera gear. Thats ~$500 I can spend on bushwalking trips.

Its nice that Nikon are going to make an F mount adaptor, but most of their F mount lenses are rather large, and with a 2.7x conversion factor, even the relatively small lenses like the 50mm primes suddenly become short-medium telephotos, which may or may not float your boat.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Nikon mirrorless system announced on 09/21/2011 16:52:29 MDT Print View

The small sensor size is dwarfed by my mirrorless NEX. And the 3200 reported ISO is laughable. Unless they can pull off some great professional reviews, I don't see any informed buyers making this choice.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Nikon mirrorless system announced on 09/21/2011 20:27:24 MDT Print View

It appears they're filling a niche between compacts and micro 4/3:
DPReview:Why make a small-sensor mirrorless camera?

More commentary from Thom Hogan:

The sizes of sensors tends to go by the square root of 2, so that you get about a stop less sensitivity/more noise each time as you go from ff to aps-c to u4/3 to nikon's new system.

Unfortunately, unless they release much more compact lenses, I don't think the convenience/lighter weight will overcome the quality hit you take with the smaller sensor... you might as well be using u4/3.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Nikon mirrorless system announced on 09/21/2011 21:19:36 MDT Print View

Unlike Roger I am totally sold by the advertising jargon.
I particularly like that "The New Nikon J1 Cameras as Well as Four New Ultra-Portable Lenses are Engineered for Expressive Living"
Now I am not totally at one with "Expressive Living" ( I will do a Google search later to find out what it is) but I am VERY impressed by all those Capitalized terms.
(if totally is not a hip term any longer, please send me a PM)

As predicted , Nikon did not choose the micro4/3 format because as with Canon they are not part of that group.
That is they have stronger connection with Sony than Pana.
As the" Why make... " article points out it was a deliberate choice to clearly differentiate from and not overlap with their own compacts and DSLRs .
If that is a wise choice or not , the market will decide but Nikon has created a new niche for themselves with it.

Now Canon should feel free to show us their version.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Interesting ... on 09/21/2011 21:39:51 MDT Print View

I know this doesn't help with the discussion, but I had to laugh at Roger's post (in a good way).

His criticism of the semantic rambling/advertising jargon is EXACTLY the type of criticism I would get from my college professors when I put on a colorful rhetorical display without actual substance.

Ok, resume the regularly scheduled programming...

Mark Primack
(Bufa) - MLife

Locale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
Nikon's news skewered at DPreview on 09/21/2011 22:23:19 MDT Print View

Hundreds of forum users at DPreivew have skewered the Nikon announcement. I've followed the site for several years and have never seen such negativity at the announcement of a new camera or camera system. The small sensor just doesn't make sense when you can have a larger sensor(better image quality) with more quality pixels(higher resolution) with a better selection of lighter weight lenses from Oly and Pana. Still, as many people point out, once the Nikon brand is on it, less knowledgeable people will buy it.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Nikon mirrorless system announced on 09/21/2011 22:40:52 MDT Print View

> Now Canon should feel free to show us their version.
I have no knowledge of what Canon might do, but is it possible that we have already seen Canon's response? Like - ignore?

We have been walking in the European Alps for the last 2 months. Saw quite a few people with great big DSLRs hung awkwardly around their necks - many of them Nikons. I watched them taking photos. I really think most of them would have been better served by a mobile phone.


Stephen Chan
(syc168) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
I'm not being misogynistic... on 09/21/2011 23:56:40 MDT Print View

...but this thing just screams "CHICK CAMERA". It is a lifestyle accessory that is more capable than your typical P&S for taking quick, non-blurry happy snaps and party/kid/family sports event videos, but it is small enough so that you aren't lugging a brick around.

I think Nikon can easily figure out what prosumers want in a mirrorless camera (a D700 wedged into the V1 housing with a short lens registration distance like the Sony and fast, sharp, tiny primes). But there aren't really any competitors in that category - the new Sony looks like it may be contender, but its unlikely that Nikon would be able to release a NEX7 competitor before Sony themselves, and Nikon may very well be dependent on Sony for the sensor in such a camera.

And they might get spanked very badly if they guess wrong on the specs and pricing - Canon has a lot more money to throw at this market than Nikon, and Nikon may not want to go all in on a prosumer before some test cameras on the low end.

Neither Nikon or Canon invented the SLR, and yet they pretty much own the market - you don't need to be first to market in order to make loads and loads of money.

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Another DPReview link on 09/22/2011 00:12:35 MDT Print View

Nikon 1 System First Impressions:

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I'm not being misogynistic... on 09/22/2011 00:28:12 MDT Print View

"It is a lifestyle accessory..."

That's pure marketing-speak if I've ever heard any.


Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Nikon mirrorless system announced on 09/22/2011 11:26:42 MDT Print View

Mike Johnson sums up the mirrorless marketplace, and Nikon's new entry, very succinctly, here.



Stephen Chan
(syc168) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Marketing speak on 09/22/2011 11:38:57 MDT Print View

"That's pure marketing-speak if I've ever heard any."

It *is* marketing speak, and it *does* mean something. Lets break it down into the components: (but maybe you know what it means already)
People often subscribe to some "lifestyle", whether it is some crunchy outdoors type thing, or an urban hipster or suburban soccer parent or whatever. In fact, some would argue that lifestyle has replaced politics or religion in how many people think of their identity.
"Accessories" are things that may not be entirely necessary, but they decorate or otherwise complete how you present yourself to others. "Accessorizing" your wardrobe is a pretty cliched term in certain circles.

People buy things they don't need or else sacrifice some level of functionality as part of creating a lifestyle identity for themselves. Witness the constant turnover of gear as people clean out their closets on the Gear Swap board. People wear backpacking gear around non-backpacking activities because its part of who they are.

Many of the DSLR's I see hanging around people's necks are basically necklaces because all the unused features on those cameras are more for decoration than actual use.

These Nikons identify the core reason people buy cameras and then dress it up as the fashion statement that they really are.

Edited by syc168 on 09/22/2011 12:23:45 MDT.

Larry M
(Maethros) - MLife

Locale: Mid South
Re: Marketing speak on 09/22/2011 11:44:08 MDT Print View

Too true.

Nikon has become The North Face of the camera world.

Edited by Maethros on 09/22/2011 11:44:43 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
dpreview comment on 09/22/2011 16:31:39 MDT Print View

From dpreview, with acknowledgement:
The philosophy behind the 1 system is clearly to deliver the goods without concerning the user about the process used along the way, for both stills and movies. And, crucially, to do so in a package sufficiently small that it won't get left at home all the time. As such, it's clear that it isn't a camera aimed at this site's core readership.

If it turns out to be capable of producing good results where existing cameras can often fail - school sports, for example - then it could easily turn out to be the long sought-after 'family camera' for users who want memorable pictures but have no interest in learning the technical minutiae of camera operation.

Hum ... an interesting perspective. A stylish, fashionable camera for the masses which can take (usually) acceptable photos despite the user's relative incompetance?
I have to say, while it is a gamble for Nikon, that could be a big market!

Granted, the camera might not suit someone who takes photography seriously, but look at the size of the mobile phone camera market. And it may be that the real competition for this camera is the next generation of mobile phones. But ... I am sure that there are many wanna-bes who feel that waving a mobile phone around just does not project the superior image of themselves that they want. It's just that they don't really want to have to cart a DSLR around and figure out how to use it.

What will Canon do? It will be interesting to see.


Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Its all about the ISO on 09/22/2011 16:45:34 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/18/2015 04:04:04 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Its all about the ISO on 09/22/2011 20:35:42 MDT Print View

Hell yep. I was hesitant against this new thing at first. But can you imagine the potential for military/intelligence community reconnaissance use? Much easier to pack a 2-300mm lens and this body than a DSLR and a (insanely expensive) 6-800mm lens, and given the better apertures available and the frame rate (or just shoot video), it may make up for any differences.