|Nikon 1 Pepto-Bismol Pink J1 w/10mm 1:2.8 1 Nikkor|
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.
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