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Thread: The Nikon 1

  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    The Nikon 1

    Nikon finally did it. I spent the day combing through the articles, the specs and the press release and here are my thoughts on the new Nikon 1 mirrorless camera system:

    Nikon 1 Compact Mirrorless Camera System >>

    So what do the rest of you think about the new Nikon cameras? Do they interest you? What do you like and what do you not like?
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    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Nice idea but I am under the impression that the very small sensor is P&S size: 1/1.7 just like my Canon S95. If that is the case, is the lack of pixel size worth it to get interchangeable lenses? Or maybe just stick with a P&S super zoom...
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    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Very interesting! Can't wait to see more of what it will do and how the hybrid AF works. - Terry
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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Quote Originally Posted by mwfanelli2 View Post
    Nice idea but I am under the impression that the very small sensor is P&S size: 1/1.7 just like my Canon S95. If that is the case, is the lack of pixel size worth it to get interchangeable lenses? Or maybe just stick with a P&S super zoom...
    You didn't read my article, did you?

    The new "CX" format is quite a bit larger than the sensor in the S95. It has about twice the area, in fact. However, it's about half the size of a Four Thirds sensor. So it should be considerably better than any point-and-shoot camera but it will have a hard time measuring up to the Micro Four Thirds cameras. On the other hand, Nikon has had the best DSLR image quality for the past few years and the Nikon 1 system has a new Expeed 3 processing, so it's possible they've worked some magic and it wil surprise us all.
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    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    The market is flooded with an excessive range of camera categories, and this new category I think is an unnecessary bridge. I don't think the marginal size reduction improvement qualities of the smaller sensor can redeem itself for the optical limitations. Right now image resolution is more a bottleneck of the lens than the sensor and as such, the sensor size is itself a statically limiting factor. They may have excellent s/n ratio granted by the algorithms of the Expeed, but I can't see that propelling itself into APS-quality image category.

    The ability to attach SLR lens seems a pointless novelty, why carry around a lens and use such a small section of its image circle? And if it's an APS lens, then it is probably fairly wide angle: at which point - why bother?

    My sentiments are not all that different from my sentiments on the Pentax Q. They aren't being aggressive enough with their pricing as well (albeit better than Q) - they need something to sit at $500, to compete with the slew of M43 and aps bodies out there and the current E-PL3/E-PM1/GF-2 and NEX 3.

    I'm honestly disappointed that they didn't go APS. I don't know how they plan to compete when their gear seems so run of the mill, maybe they can fly to success on their name brand alone. They're facing a pretty intense battle with M43 and NEX as they are very well established mounts already. Hopefully the consumers don't let the name brand give them a pass.

    But then I'm just a cup half full kind of guy! ;) ahhh.. Maybe I'm missing something or failing to see a market that is thirsty for marginal incremental improvements on the size of a CSC camera.
    - Charlie

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    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    I really like the new technologies, the hybrid AF, the HD video, the adapter, the included EVF, expeed3 is very fast, and plenty of IQ seems to be there.

    I'm interested to see comments/opinions on how is the experience of using f mount lenses on these cameras, mounted via the adapter, I think they will AF with AF-s lenses .. would that still be very fast ???

    Glad they finally announced something !!

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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Quote Originally Posted by armando_m View Post
    I really like the new technologies, the hybrid AF, the HD video, the adapter, the included EVF, expeed3 is very fast, and plenty of IQ seems to be there.
    I'm really curious about the hybrid auto focus system. I'd like to see a mechanical diagram of it. Normally, the phase detect sensors are located on the mirror of an SLR and that's why compact system / mirrorless camera have had to use contrast detect auto focus. So I can't help but wonder how Nikon has managed to incorporate pahse detect auto focus. This might warrant a phone call...
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    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Played with one this evening. It was working but I couldn't get any photos out of the camera. The image below was done with my Canon S95 compact, of which more later.

    It seems like when you turn it on the 10-130mm grows in length so what you have in your hands is actually quite a big package.

    The electronic viewfinder on the V1 is nice and clear. As soon as you press the shutter release it starts displaying yellow rectanges around faces. Focussing was quick but not startlingly so. Both cameras I had were set up to shoot video when I got them (perhaps an indication of the direction things are going).

    When I switched back to stills and did a shot something happened in the viewfinder, like it was slightly jittery. I'd already forgotten that it was an electronic viewfinder, and the jittery effect was the camera doing a string of 20 shots in quick succession as I pressed the shutter release, so that I was sure of getting the best shot. (Wow. See what I mean about video?)

    I switched over to a camera with the pancake lens, and compared the size with the S95. The V1 body is about the same size, but thicker and the pancake lens adds more to the thickness. It would still fit in my day bag like the S95 - but then the S95 has the equivalent of a 28-105 f2-f4.5 lens, not a 28mm f2.8.

    Looked at the camera controls - the user interface is nothing like the Nikon DSLR's (no PSAM modes). It looks to me like this camera is targeted at consumers and not at experts.

    Someone else did my photo on the V1. We looked at it closely on the LCD screen. It was really good. It had that smooth look about it, my grey hair came out looking grey and beautiful not burnt out as the S95 has rendered it (shot below was done on the S95)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Nikon 1-4470-005.jpg  
    Charles

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    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Thanks Charles, now that is the kind of instant feedback I like with new camera introductions.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


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    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    no PSAM? really?!
    - Charlie

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    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Looks interesting! Hopefully they'll have it displayed at PDN in October (yes, I'm going )
    Alex Luyckx | Photography
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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Sweet!

    Nice, Charles! So you were at one of the intro events? I didn't even find out about it until the announcement. I'm gonna have to have a talk with my Nikon contacts about that.

    Did they have any information about how they managed to combine phase detect and contrast detect auto focus? That's the biggest question in my mind - how did they do it? I'm also very interested in the auto focus performance. It's easy enough for them to give us specs about shooting speed. But auto focus is really something you have to experience.
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    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Charles how loud is the shutter? My Nex is fairly loud compared to a Pen.
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    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    I got a mail from Nikon France yesterday announcing the camera with a mention that there was a display outside the Beaubourg museum in the center of Paris. This is near where I change trains every day so I made a detour. There were the usual bright young Nikon demonstrators - the girl guessed why I was looking baffled at one point and explained the 20-shot trick.

    Next opportunity will be in two weeks time at the Salon de la Photo. There are always a few heavyweight technicians on the stand, I will ask about the autofocus if we haven't figured it out by then.

    There is certainly no PSAM on the dial. I was lost. I just picked it up and used it, like a consumer. It was certainly easy, and with the yellow rectangles showing me what the camera thought were important areas (faces), I probably had a high proportion of successful shots.

    Reply to Greg: As far as I can make out there is no mechanical shutter. There is no noise anyway. My guess is that the sensor is continuously exposed to the light and the "exposure" is just taking a slice out of the reading (or rather 20 slices while you are pressing the shutter release).
    Charles

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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    You guys really need to take a few minutes to read my article. I worked on it all day yesterday and a lot of the questions you are asking are answered there. The V1 has both an electronic and a mechanical shutter. The J1 just has an electronic shutter. When it uses the mechanical shutter is the question. If it's silent then it's probably not using it. But they say it makes a 1/250th of a second flash sync possible. So it must use it for flash.
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    n8
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    I read your article John
    I'm always one for new stuff, but I'm with Charlie on thinking these cameras fill a gap I wouldn't have to often. A big lens kinda takes away the selling point of it being smaller. I like my s95 b/c it's truly pocketable, but one of these wouldn't be. I am excited to think of how these new features will hopefully find themselves in the next generation of dslrs though. I'll just have to restrain myself from buying one then.
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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Quote Originally Posted by n8 View Post
    I read your article John
    It's good to know someone did

    I agree with having a pocket camera. I'll take it a step farther, even. I've been favoring pocket superzooms for a couple of years now, sacrificing a bit of the the image quality you get with your S95 for even more lens.

    But when your on the trail or traveling, sometimes it's good to have something in-between that delivers more than a point-and-shoot can. That's where EVIL cameras come in. And since I am an action shooter, I'm really liking the speedy specs of the Nikon J1 and V1. Of course, it is my job to be something of a new gear cheerleader.

    Rah rah - go team!
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    Liz
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    John - I read your article! :thumbsup: I didn't post anything because I was in a hurry - plus I don't find anything with the Nikon that would interest me - mostly because I just LOVE the E-P3 - and the E-P3 includes features that I wouldn't give up.

    I will say that my impression is that the lenses don't quite "match" the camera insofar as they are fairly large considering the camera size - plus I think there is only one reasonably fast lens - forget which one, but I believe it is a 2.8. Also, I think the cost of the cameras are a bit high for what they offer. However, being a bit "technically challenged" I may not be understanding all the technical features.

    At any rate, I will watch the process. It will be interesting to see how they sell around Christmas. That might just be the litmus test.

    Thanks for the quick pre-view - and the article. I did find it interesting.

    Liz

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    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    John I read it as well. I have to think as good ad Nikon is and being king of IQ I doubt they would put out a dog. I think everyone will be surprised with the IQ, just like everyone was with the E5.
    I was curious as to the noise of the shutter. For a street camera the Nex is way to loud and when shooting in anti motion it sounds like a small sewing machine.
    They all seem to claim fastest focus.LOL
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary View Post
    They all seem to claim fastest focus.LOL
    Yes, they do. If you read the press releases there's almost always an asterisk next to those statements and they qualify them carefully. What's been happening is that auto focus performance is being pushed hard at the moment. Everyone is one-upping the previous camera. I have no doubt that all the new cameras have excellent auto focus - better than what was available a year ago. For me personally, what I care about is continuous auto focus. Single shot isn't that big of a deal for me so even though Olympus was claiming the fastest AF for their new Pen cameras, they're still not useable for shooting action with continuous auto focus. The new Sonys also use contrast detect auto focus, which sucks for continuous performance. The new Nikon, however, has a "hybrid" system that they claim uses both phase detect (like a DSLR) and contrast detect. That has me very curious as it seems to be something that hasn't been done before and it could make a real difference in EVIL camera auto focus performance.
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    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    The hybrid system probably is there to allow for scene recognizing algorithms such as face detection, and then under the process of those algorithms, the CD system can relay information that is read onto PD spot area. I can't imagine two different focus processes simultaneously manipulating a lens focus gear, if even an 'either or' situation. I bet the contrast detect is for 'modes' and scene recognizing algorithms that compliment the primary Phase detect focus system.

    That is just speculation though, but, if I am correct, it wouldn't just by proxy improve the actual AF speed performance, only in assisting in the use of various AF points in an automated algorithm. I'm assuming that the PDAF is on a fully transparent filter over the sensor. Maybe I'm just thinking inside a box, maybe Nikon is doing something else altogether.

    John, I read your article too. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.
    Last edited by Anbesol; 09-23-2011 at 01:29 PM.
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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol View Post
    I'm assuming that the PDAF is on a fully transparent filter over the sensor. Maybe I'm just thinking inside a box, maybe Nikon is doing something else altogether.
    Having the phase detect array on a trasnparent filter makes sense. There's no need for a mirror on the camera but they have to have some way of placing the sensor array. The main thing I'm interested in learning is if the continuous auto focus performance is comparable to a digital SLR. If it is, then that's a huge achievement for Nikon. I'm also curious to see how the ew technology they've used in the Nikon 1 cameras trickles up into their digital SLRs.
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    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    In order for it to be as fast as, it would need to have cross-type PDAF (the fact that no such type sensor is listed in specs: I assume its not in there) and it would need a fast lens with AF geared for it. The only fast lens they have as of yet is the 10mm f/2.8 pancake. Focusing quickly at 10mm is not a major achievement either, and AF speed is sort of non-issue at such a wide angle, any relative measurement is almost irrelevant. I bet anything that their telephoto option: the 30-110 will not be as fast as any modern 70-200 f/2.8 (or equiv) paired with a cross type sensor, same with the 10-30 compared to a modern 24-70 f/2.8 or fixed in the range. They may claim "worlds fastest" this or that but, there is that limitation without a cross-type sensor. Just like how Olympus made the "worlds fastest af" claim even though (most) f/2.8 and faster options paired with a cross type are actually faster.

    Moreover - with these cameras being geared towards more casual purpose use, does the quality of continuous AF tracking actually merit much for its category? How many times do you use AF tracking in just your casual shooting conditions?

    Another caveat of Olympus' "fastest AF" is assuming it is an environment rich in contrast with a simple target, PDAF in difficult lit scenarios still exceeds the abilities of Oly's "worlds fastest AF". My A700 focuses on this white wall in front of me, by recognizing the faint and subtle texture, but the E-PM1 doesn't see that. I guess my point is, is that manufacturers make claims with a special asterisk that can only be explained and figured out when its in your friggin hands, lol. Also the point is, that the TECHNICAL numbers are absolutely limiting factors, at f/5.6, how can any lens be as fast AF as a 2.8 or faster with cross-type. Its just not going to happen.
    Last edited by Anbesol; 09-26-2011 at 12:42 PM.
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    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: The Nikon 1

    I found out (as many of you may already have) that the AF system is indeed not a combined simultaneous effort to drive the focus motor, but it can actually use either contrast or phase detect alternatively to drive the motor. The CD is indeed also used in the background to cue focus location for PDAF with such algorithms as face detect.
    - Charlie

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    Re: The Nikon 1

    I'm new here, but the last two weeks I have been researching four thirds cameras and decided on the Oly Pen E-PL2. I looked at the Nikon J1 but I really couldn't justify the cost compared to the Oly. Oly is known for good glass and I just didn't see what Nikon had to offer to justify the higher cost. Didn't really care for the looks of it either. Since I'm an old 35mm film guy, digital cameras that look like the older film cameras attract me. Eons ago I started off photography with a Olympus RC35 rangefinder and loved it. I don't think there are too many people here that remember that camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz View Post
    John - I read your article! :thumbsup: I didn't post anything because I was in a hurry - plus I don't find anything with the Nikon that would interest me - mostly because I just LOVE the E-P3 - and the E-P3 includes features that I wouldn't give up.

    I will say that my impression is that the lenses don't quite "match" the camera insofar as they are fairly large considering the camera size - plus I think there is only one reasonably fast lens - forget which one, but I believe it is a 2.8. Also, I think the cost of the cameras are a bit high for what they offer. However, being a bit "technically challenged" I may not be understanding all the technical features.

    At any rate, I will watch the process. It will be interesting to see how they sell around Christmas. That might just be the litmus test.

    Thanks for the quick pre-view - and the article. I did find it interesting.

    Liz

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