Nikon 1 Mirrorless System Initial Impressions

Initial Impressions

Over the the last couple of years mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras have gone from just being a novelty to conspicuously mainstream. And with companies like Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung Sony all building systems which are credible options to DSLR systems, Nikon has now made a decision to throw it's hat in the ring. The outcome is the 'resulting Nikon 1' system, at the outset a pair of cameras plus four lenses (and a modicum of accessories) manufactured around a new image sensor format that Nikon calls 'CX'. Measuring 13.2 x 8.8mm, the Nikon 1 system's fresh-new Nikon-engineered CMOS image sensor is just about one third of the size of the DX image sensor used in Nikon's mainstream DSLR Cameras.

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Nikon 1 J1 with 10mm  and 10-30mm, Nikon 1 V1 with SB-N5 compact Speedlight, 10-100mm video-optimized powerzoom, and 30-110mm lenses

Nikon's General Manager of the R&D Department, Development, Masahiro Suzuki, , said there were three aspect in selecting the image sensor size: responsiveness, image quality, and effortlessness of use (particularly in terms of mobility). He said the sensor was designed, engineered and manufactured by Nikon and emphasized it was 'not made by Sony.'

The Initial focus was on the comparatively small dimensions of this sensor in comparison to other mirrorless camera systems, however this is unfortunate as the remarkable technology Nikon designed into it is at risk of being overlooked. It not only is capable of extraordinary quick shooting speeds (while full resolution photographs can be acquired at an astounding 60 fps), it also encompasses a 'Hybrid' AF system that uses both Contrast and Phase Detection focus techniques. The upshot is, the quickest autofocus in any camera Nikon has ever made and this includes its professional flagship D3S DSLR. In addition to that, these 1 CX system cameras can photograph at 10 fps while retaining focus on a subject on the move.

Nikon J1 colors Nikon J1 Colors, notice even the lenses match the camera bodies

When using contrast-detection AF the 1 system is able to select from 135 points and 73 points when utilizing phase-detection auto focus, and will automatically choose what it believes to be the most suitable method.

There have been on-sensor phase-detection in the past, however Suzuki said the Nikon 1 system is 'far more sophisticated than the Fuji image sensor.' Without a doubt, he said the 1 system is the quickest of any Nikon digital camera to date 'in terms of responsiveness and speed.'


To go along with Nikon's initial incursion into the new mirrorless camera field, Nikon has announced several new accessories to work with the V1 and J1 cameras.

The biggest deal of all the accessories is the FT-1 lens mount adapter, which lets you to mount AF-S and AF-I lenses on the Nikon 1 CX cameras. This is seriously important, as those who own Nikon lenses have the opportunity to use their existing lenses on this fresh smaller mirrorless layout. It also should provide for some interesting photography options, such as mounting a big 300mm lens on a miniature sensor to create super zoom factor.

 

Nikon 1 Accessories

Nikon has also releasing an array of Nikon 1 branded system accessories, which includes camera bags, lens hoods and cases, straps and camera grips yet. No camera system would be worth its salt is without having an external flash. So Nikon to the rescue here with a SB-N5 Speedlight for mounting on the top of your fresh J1 or V1 cameras.

The flash works with the Nikon 1 V1 which features a LED capture illumination light to help out in low light while using the Motion Snapshot of the Smart Photo Selector.

For those who often can't remember where they shot a photo, there's a GPS unit, the GP-N100 which again is V1 compatible by way of the multi-accessory port. It will insert geotags onto the image EXIF data along with things such as longitude, latitude, and altitude.

Video fans haven't been forgotten either; an external microphone, the Nikon ME-1 can be used in conjunction with the Nikon 1 V1 camera for superior audio quality.

Expect to pay $203 for the Nikon Speedlight and $172 for the GPS which both be available on October 20. Plus the very powerful lens adapter will be available on December 1, priced around $358.

Nikon 1 System

Cameras
Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless camera. new Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless camera. The innovative new design and technology of the Nikon 1 camera system breaks through visual barriers Generate and Express yourself as Never Before. The new Nikon 1 J1 provides the freedom to connect, acquire, and communicate to life. Convey quality, passion and depth to visual narratives and initiate conversations through photos, videos and multimedia. J1 highlights CX-Format High-Speed AF CMOS Sensor EXPEED 3 Dual Image Processor Interchangeable 1 NIKKOR Lens System  10 fps Continuous Shooting in AF Mode 73 Point AF Array 3.0" 460K-Dot Anti-Glare Color LCD Full HD (1080p) Movie Record Mode Motion Snapshot 1-Touch Photo Animation
Smart Photo Selector .  New Review Announced Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
new Nikon 1 System  V1 mirrorless cameraNikon 1 System  V1 mirrorless camera - Pursue and Express the Moments in Your Life. The new Nikon 1 V1 allows you to pursue and express every one of life's moments. Your images will spark conversations as the new Nikon 1 V1 assists you in interpreting it all. Let your creative freedom run free with an fresh imaging system engineered for both today and tomorrow. Behold the innovative fresh Nikon 1 System . A leap forward in technology and layout. Acquire each incredible moment of life using the latest imaging technology evolution. At the center of the Nikon 1 is the EXPEED 3, a finale of years of commitment to evolving digital imaging engineering. New Review Announced Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
Nikon 1 CX Sensor Lenses
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Nikkor 1 Zoom Lenses for CX Sensor Cameras
new Nikkor 1 VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens for CX SensorsNikkor 1 VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens for CX Sensors  - The Nikon VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 CX format Lens is a zoom 3x design created for be used with Nikon 1 CX mirror-less cameras. it's a 27-81mm (equivalent for 35mm SLR cameras) range delivers a remarkably useful range going from a wide-angle to a short telephoto that is just perfect for portraits, landscapes, parties, family photos, --in fact, perhaps 90% of all photographs. New Review Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
new Nikkor 1 VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom for CX Sensors Nikkor 1 VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom for CX Sensors  - The Nikon 10-100mm VR f/4.5-5.6 Zoom-PD lens, a simply amazing power zoom engineered for exclusive use on Nikon 1 CX mirror-less cameras. An equivalent 35mm format 27-270mm range is a genuine wide angle lens, a long telephoto lens and everything else in-between. Due to the Nikon 1's full HD 1080p movie capabilities, this lens contains silent zoom featuring an AF voice coil motor (VCM) allowing for three adjustable speeds--producing the ideal lens for capturing video. New Review Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
new Nikkor 1 VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Zoom for CX SensorsNikkor 1 VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Zoom for CX Sensors - The Nikon VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6, a zoom 3.6x lens engineered for exclusive use with Nikon 1 CX mirror-less cameras. Its equivalent 35mm format range of 81-297mm gives you an ultra telephoto zoom lens, perfect for landscapes portraits, action shots and sports. The VR II Vibration Reduction system allows for shooting at much less shutter speeds, producing sharper photos, than is normally available  New Review Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
Nikon 1 Prime Lenses
new Nikkor 1 10mm f/2.8 Lens for CX SensorsNikkor 1 10mm f/2.8 Lens for CX Sensors - Nikon 10mm f/2.8, a fast fixed focal length prime lens designed for exclusive use on Nikon 1 CX mirror-less cameras. Its (35 mm format equivalent ) focal length is 27mm, a versatile selection, equally able to take care of landscapes, family snapshots, party photos and portraits. New Review Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
Nikon 1 Accessories
Nikon FT-1 lens mount adapter
Nikon FT-1 lens mount adapterTo go along with Nikon's initial incursion into the new mirrorless camera field, Nikon has announced several new accessories to work with the V1 and J1 cameras. The biggest deal of all the accessories is the FT-1 lens mount adapter, which lets you to mount AF-S and AF-I lenses on the Nikon 1 CX cameras. This is seriously important, as those who own Nikon lenses have the opportunity to use their existing lenses on this fresh smaller mirrorless layout. It also should provide for some interesting photography options, such as mounting a big 300mm lens on a miniature sensor to create super zoom factor.  And when you employ one of your AF-S or AF-I Nikon lenses, you are still fully able use the fantastic Nikon 1 autofocus arrangement.  New Review Sep 21, 2011 blue stars
 

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