Thursday, September 22, 2011

1 Is The Loneliest Number

Nikon 1 Pepto-Bismol Pink J1 w/10mm 1:2.8 1 Nikkor
The last 48 hours have been remarkable to watch in the MILF world. I had a ring-side seat as one of the behemoths of the the contemporary camera market released a new camera to near universal scorn.

Or at least that's what many pontificating internet paperback intellectuals would have you believe.

I'm speaking, of course, of Nikon and its Nikon 1 Camera System, "built from the ground up." The Nikon 1 Camera System, "built from the ground up," consists of two bodies (the V1 and the J1) and four lenses and is delivered in a variety of colors, one of which, a nausea-inducing eye-blinding Pepto-Bismol Pink, you can see even with your eyes closed to your immediate right.

As an owner of perennial whipping boy 4/3rds and µ4/3rds, I stood in silent solidarity with Nikon over what Nikon has wrought, and at the same time in utter disbelief at the howls of rage and indignation rising up from the roaming internet forum monsters and former Nikon fanboys over Nikon's "obvious mistake."

For the most part (with the notable exception of that hideous pink color) I can actually appreciate what Nikon is attempting to achieve here. Or at least I'm willing to give Nikon the benefit of the doubt.

Two Can Be As Bad As One

As I noted, there are two versions of the Nikon 1, the J1 and the V1. While the J1 is apparently targeting young Japanese females (or the American equivalent, young southern California Valley Girls), the VI looks more button-down and serious, aimed at drifting twenty-something males on both sides of the Pacific.

What makes the V1 interesting is its price, $900. For that price you get a body with the Nikon 1 10-30mm 1:3.5-5.6 zoom lens. The bundled kit lens has the same 35mm focal length as the Olympus Pen's 14-42mm zoom. The Nikon 1 kit lens also comes with built-in image stabilization because neither the V1 nor J1 have IBIS.

For that price you also get a built-in 1.4MP EVF. It's the same resolution as the Olympus VF-2. You also get the most interesting piece of technology of all in the V1, its 1" sensor that in addition to stills shoots 1080i60 or 1080p30 video and combines phase detection and contrast detection autofocus, in movie shooting or 10fps continuous bursts. It's built to be a powerful multimedia creation tools.

Look again at that part about phase detection autofocus, the same PDAF that's in standard DSLR cameras. PDAF is built into the sensor. There are no PDAF capabilities in the Olympus Pens, only CDAF, and Sony requires a big honkin' LE-EAF Alpha adapter for around $350. I would imagine that the adapter for Nikkor autofocus lenses requiring PDAF support would be a lot simpler and cleaner, little more complicated than Olympus and Panasonic adapters with simple electrical pass-through from lens to Nikon 1 body.

All joking aside (except for that hideous pink color), the Nikon 1 is going to be a success, both because it does have something to offer (especially the V1) and because it has Nikon's marketing muscle backing it up. Would I buy one? I have no idea at the moment, as I've neither held or used one. But it's interesting enough to consider and not dismiss out of hand, unlike the Pentax Q.

With apologies to Harry Nilsson and Three Dog Night


  1. While I have no doubt that the Nikon 1 will take very nice photos, I have to admit that this is not the Nikon I was waiting for. I was thinking of, for some odd reason, something more along the lines of a mash-up of a P7000, Pen and Fuji X10. What we got is a Leica M9 look-a-like without any sex appeal.

    I have to hand it to Nikon: for the very first time, they've produced a camera I have absolutely no interest in. None. Zero. Zilch.

    I'm sure it will be a big seller in Japan, or maybe not...

  2. Something like this should have been done about a decade ago when the CP5000 was in need of a replacement. More megapixels on a bigger sensor than the 2/3 sensor of the 5000

    but no, the went smaller sensor higher pixel count

    hope it works for them

    mean time I'm so pleased with the Panasonic G series that I just can't think of a reason to consider this.

    I don't even think access to legacy lenses will be of much attraction because I don't think there are any which will have enough resolution to make it worth while


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