Nikon Just Announced Their Mirrorless Nikon 1 (V1 and J1)

The full details can be seen on their site.

As well as a multitude of other sites.

I’ll throw in my two cents along with a few facts about the cameras.

The first thing I noticed was this engadget photo showing the J1 next to a Sony e-mount camera and thinking to myself… It’s the same size, but Sony’s sensor is a lot larger. There is a little bad and good to be seen. While the new Nikons appear to be unappealing from a comparative size standpoint, their lenses should be smaller than most mirrorless systems out there (excluding the Pentax Q that has the smallest system and lenses). All that said, the Nikon might be slightly more pocket-able, but I’m not sure the smaller sensor is worth the very slightly smaller size. I’ll be curious to see how the image quality of the new Nikons stack up against the Pentax Q’s digicam sized sensor…

The initial lens offerings seem very odd given the sensor size. The fastest is a prime at f2.8 and the slowest zoom is a f/4.5-5.6. You would think with a small sensor like that they would be offering an f2 lens at the least. I’ll just assume Nikon will eventually offer faster glass considering their lens producing abilities.

They come in a multitude of colors, well at least the J1 does. From pink to orange. Given the target audience, it makes sense. They mention an F-mount adapter (FT1), which should be nice for existing users. The really interesting thing about that is it sound like it might support auto-focus. Just keep in mind the 2.7x crop factor (eg. A 35mm lens would have a FOV of 94.5mm after the crop and a 300mm would be 810mm).

The big feature of these cameras is phase detection auto-focus, which hasn’t been offered in a mirrorless camera before. This is the system that standard DSLRs use and should mean that the new Nikons will focus faster than most if not all mirrorless cameras (this new system sounds “better” than the ones in DSLRS). If it works well I’ll tip my hat to Nikon for that one. This might be why the camera isn’t much smaller than the Sony NEX cameras. Performance in general sounds promising with high FPS and tracking abilities.

Overall, I find the V1 (specifically) pretty interesting. It has a nice look to it and I could see it being a decent second body for Nikon DSLR users. As I mentioned in the past with my talk about the Pentax Q, having a mirrorless camera with a smaller than APS-C sensor could have benefits in telephoto. If you pair the new Nikon V1 with a nice fast telephoto from their F-mount lineup, you could possibly have a really impressive super-telephoto setup. The benefit that the Nikon has over the Q is that the adapter sounds like it will be able to auto-focus the lenses. The V1 also looks to have a add-on flash available, which looks good. I could see the V1 being a contender with larger sensor mirrorless cameras if the custom sensor in the Nikon can produce comparable results.

EDIT 1: A few more details are described in their video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gurU5UVnBuI

AF-S and AF-I lenses will auto-focus with the adapter!
– There is an add-on GPS.

A few more thoughts about the camera:
– Someone on PentaxForums pointed out it has no standard hot-shoe, so chances are the camera isn’t comparable with their DSLR flash system. If that’s true it could be a really downer, but I’m wondering if that port that takes the custom flash and/or GPS can mount a standard hot-shoe add-on in the future…
– Now that I’ve seen a 360 view of the camera from the video, it’s lacking in the button department. I’m surprised they didn’t add more direct control to the V1.
– It has an external MIC port, very nice. That’s been a very useful feature for me with my DSLRs when I make videos for this site.

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