Nikon 1 System Announced

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Today Nikon announced the 1 System, a new compact system camera (CSC) platform based on a 1-inch (2.7X crop) sensor, which size-wise falls squarely between 1/1.7" sensors like the one in the Canon G12 and Four Thirds.

    The initial cameras for this system are the V1 (integrated electronic viewfinder, $900 MSRP including standard kit zoom) and J1 (no EVF, $650 MSRP) pictured below:



    The J1 also comes in pink, silver, red, and black. Both cameras use the same 10MP CMOS sensor.

    In addition to the two cameras, initial system offerings will include:
    • Kit lens -- 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (kit lens)
    • Pancake lens - 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8 lens ($249.95)
    • Zoom lens - 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens ($249.95)
    • Nikon's first power zoom (ideal for recording movies) -- 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 ($749.95)
    • SB-N5 Speedlight is $149.95
    • GP-N100 GPS unit is $149.95.

    Exhaustive coverage of the announcement can be found at the excellent 1001 Noisy Cameras.

    Not surprisingly, much of the reaction to the announcement has been negative. The loudest voices in our echo chamber have been asking for larger than 4/3 sensors, not smaller ones. Even DPReview wrote an opinion piece saying that this makes sense for Nikon because they needed to get into the CSC space without jeopardizing their DSLR sales.

    I'm not nearly as negative on the new Nikon system. As far back as 2007, I have been calling for 1-inch sensor cameras, which can offer a substantial increase in sensor performance over today's small (2/3" and smaller) sensor cameras (a segment being eroded by phone cameras) at a substantial size savings to 4/3-and-larger sensor cameras. For a fixed-lens camera with a zoom lens, it makes good sense.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure that this sensor size will work well for interchangeable lens cameras. We've already seen some very small bodies and lenses for Micro 4/3 and even APS-C CSCs. The new Nikon system will have to offer substantially smaller lenses than even Micro 4/3 to be compelling in this rapidly growing market. That said, 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.

    DPReview has photos of a number of prototype lenses which signal Nikon's plans for this system:
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    What I find interesting is that most people that complain about cameras like this, never make prints. They do mostly screen work. I say let's give them a chance. I'm glad to see Nikon recognizing the needs for smaller cameras. I hope Canon follows suite.
  3. matthewm

    matthewm Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Sumter/Charleston, SC
    Matthew Morse
    I'm not a Nikon guy. I shoot Canon. I'm not impressed by this camera, but it doesn't surprise me at all. Panasonic has slowly been getting rid of buttons with each iteration of their G-series cameras and just about every compact on the market is controlled by touch-screen or a few buttons with menus for the majority of functions. It's annoying for analog users, but it seems to be the way of the digital world. Buttons and knobs are intimidating and camera manufacturers want to appeal to the biggest number of consumers possible.

    That being said, I wish Nikon had done something different with the sensor. I can't believe it isn't APS-C (or at least m4/3 size). I made a quick size comparison between APS-C, m4/3 and Nikon 1 in Illustrator and it's pretty crazy how much smaller it is than the competition from Oly, Pany and Sony.

    I dunno, I wouldn't buy one, but that might be because I'm not a Nikon person. But I can say that this camera, to me, is just ho-hum on paper. Real world use might blow us away. We'll just have to wait and see.

    Here's my comparison of sensor sizes:
    View attachment 41718
  4. flysurfer

    flysurfer Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2011
    Certainly, but for this so called screen work, aka mostly publishing stuff on Facebook and sending pics via email, a HS20 for USD 375 with a 24-720 mm equivalent zoom range is fully capable, as well. And so much cheaper. I have just experienced this first hand. As long as "screen prints" aren't larger than 1024 points, most people won't even recognize a difference between a shot taken with the microscopic sensor of a camera like the HS20 or F600 and an APS-C camera like the X100. Actually, I will be hiding one single X100 shot in my little HS20 travelogue, let's see if everybody recognizes it. I mean, there should be an immediately recognizable quality difference, right?
    • Like Like x 2
  5. shinglj

    shinglj Rookie

    The Nikon marketing dept certainly had free rein on this.Small sensor ,unique lens system,high price.What exactly is the point of it ?
    And this ridiculous idea of distributing "sample" images at launch.They are completely meaningless.
    Let's hope that the forthcoming major Canon announcement is not so disappointing but I fear the worst .

  6. Grant

    Grant Veteran

    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    While I would have like to see a EVIL Nikon with an APS-c sensor I suspect one of their main competition would be Nikon dSLR with APS-c sensor and what is the business senses of competing with yourself?
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I agree totally. Any camera should prove acceptable for screen. Some of my favorite prints come from the RD1s. Of course I used my M glass and that helps.
    But for 6mp, they blew me away.

    The EX1 is another winner. The glass is beautiful and the files are also.
    Nikon has a lot of competition in the area and I'm sure they know that.
    We'll see how serious they really are soon.
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Better to cannabilise your own sales than let someone else do it for you?
  9. Boyzo

    Boyzo Veteran

    Jul 14, 2010
    Why a 2.7 crop sensor ???? 43 makes more sense .... more than adequate IQ simple 2X crop factor.
    Its as if Nikon wanted to deliberately avoid 43 to prevent further expansion of the format.

    Of course Canon will follow with a mirror-less system and probably an APS-C sensor.

    Olympus and Panasonic were hoping for a widespread adoption of 43 / m43 and it makes a lot of sense ... the same mount and digital interface, to allow sharing of a wide choice in lenses a great benefit to users.
  10. wolfie

    wolfie Veteran

    Sep 19, 2010
    Wasted opportunity

    The market will of course decide if Nikon has made a good design call. I think that the cameras are great on specs- fast AF, internal EVF, good lens selection - just the sensor kills it - at the current price they are asking for is the same price as an M43 or entry level DSLR!
    In the samples I've seen there is virtually no detail even at base ISO -vegetation is rendered as green smudge in the same way as a smaller sensored, cheaper, compact.

    It will sell to people who value cuteness over image quality.
  11. wolfie

    wolfie Veteran

    Sep 19, 2010
    I think that sums up the situation: Not smaller, poorer image quality, over priced. Three strikes ...
  12. retow

    retow All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Is it half full or half empty? I see a lot of excitement about the Fuji X10, with a sensor about half the size (yes half!) of the new Nikon. Yet the Nikon gets the bashing because of a sensor smaller than mft. I never owned a Nikon and probably never will, but it seems they got a few things right. Significantly bigger sensor than the X10 but only 10MP versus 12MP (pixel size!). The file quality produced by this sensor migh surprise some, maybe it will even surpass the old 12MP mft sensor Olympus is still using. Integrated EVF, unlike the smaller mft or NEX bodies. Interchangeable lenses. The fastest AF ever build into any camera?
    • Like Like x 2
  13. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have looked at the NEF files of and have to say quite the opposite. There are a lot of details and the sensor performs very well up to ISO 3200. There are a lot of details even at ISO 3200, much more than I would expect from my Olympus E-PL1.
  14. wolfie

    wolfie Veteran

    Sep 19, 2010
    A sad example of "comparative" marketing...Nikon shows an Olympus E-P3 with the biggest 'normal' they could find alongside theirs. Certainly shows to me that the Nikon body and lens are not taking advantage of the smaller sensor.

    What Olympus should take from this comparison is that they have no excuse for not doing an internal EVF and maintaining their current camera size.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    well spotted ... :smile:
  16. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Here are some of dpreviews images. They have some fullsized for download. I looked at a few of the ISO 3200 and ISO 6400. The ISO 3200 shot I saw was hammered by NR, as well as the 6400. I honestly think that with a lighter NR, that the performance is about a stop better than the LX5. I don't think it's up to mFT. I'll have to wait to see more.

    Nikon J1 real-world samples gallery: Digital Photography Review
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    I'm excited about the Nikon, and will likely try it out just for fun. But will likely not keep it. As noted in the MU43 site, more competition is good. Olympus and Panasonic need step up their R&D and come up with more innovative products, particularly Oly. They both also have to market their products much much much better. Otherwise, Nikon will crush them with an arguably inferior camera IQ-wise.

    As for why the use of a smaller sensor than 4/3, I tend to agree with some who said that Nikon does not want to cannibalize the sales of the entry level DSLRs.

    And for the comment about being able to tell the difference in web size 1024 pixel photos, IMO, the DOF can still be distinguished, all other things being equal, and assuming the use of large aperture lens.
  18. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    I wouldn't have too much problem with it if the lenses were smaller and lighter. The overall system doesn't seem to be much smaller than mFT.
  19. I haven't looked at the images, the price looks too much for my pocket (probably why I don't shoot Nikon, never been able to afford them except on superzoom which was a PoS). One serious problem I would have is the placement of that dial right where a thumb would normally rest. I hope theres some locking gadget to stop it from accidentally moving... what were they thinking?
  20. Grant

    Grant Veteran

    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I have been a big Nikon user. I have had a number of high end digital and film cameras that I am very fond of. Presently I have and use a D300 and an F5 so I was anxious to see what Nikon came up with in their in-between line. My first reaction was oh my god they have blown it! There is a lot of new technological changes but it is not for me. Then I got thinking out of the box. I think they are funky and have lots of hip appeal. The sort of understated flash that will appeal to young urbanites. But beyond that and into an area I never delve it seems to have all sorts of wonderful advantages to videographers. If that was my bag I would seriously look at this camera.

    Well, it is not my bag and I am more content than ever with my GF1 and happy that I didn't make a mistake the day I bought it.