Nikon Launches Mirrorless System 1 Line

Nikon System 1

The Nikon V1 Mirrorless camera - by Nikon

If you’ve been following the sales statistics in digital cameras lately, you probably know that in Japan, Nikon and Canon have been losing market share to companies like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and Olympus that are fielding smaller, mirrorless SLRs.  You may not have known Nikon and Canon lost up to 35 percent of the Japanese consumer camera market.With numbers like that, they were bound to hit back and the result may be the beginning of the end for the old flip-up mirror.
Because of the differences in how the companies field new products, it’s not surprising Nikon got there first.  Canon doesn’t usually announce new products until they’re already in stores.

Residents in seven European cities today might have noticed the appears of statues shaped like giant arms coming out of the ground holding the new Nikon System 1 mirrorless camera.

The new Nikon mirrorless cameras are being offered in two versions: The J1 is the color-coordinated entry level model and the V1 is offered in black, but has more add-on features that will appeal to the more serious photographers.

Other than the color and selection of attachments, there are few differences between the models.  The J1 has an electronic shutter and the V1 has a vertical leaf manual shutter, is slightly heavier,  and sports an optical viewfinder that the J1 lacks. The V1 also features a magnesium alloy shell, which explains the weight difference.

Outside those minor differences both cameras feature Nikon’s 10.1-megapixel CX CMOS sensor, which is slightly smaller than the micro 4/3 chip featured in Panasonic and Olympus cameras.

The System 1 models offer the kind of features you’d expect in mirrorless cameras, including a burst mode that shoots 5 full resolution pictures per second coupled with continuous autofocus.

Both cameras deliver 1080 video at 60i or 30p (sorry, no 24 fps support) packaged as H.264 in a MOV wrapper, along with stereo microphones.

Strangely the System 1 family has its own lens mount that requires the FT1 adapter in order to use any of your other F mount lenses.  It’s great Nikon thought to produce the adapter, strange they didn’t take the time to make the new model work with their current lens line.

All in all, it appears to me like Nikon rushed the line out the door to get on the shelves before the holidays.  It’s an adequate offering that should stop the brand name bleeding, but far from the stellar selection in the mirrorless camera world.

Nikon says both cameras should be available on October 20th.  The J1 has an expected price point of $649 with the 10-30mm zoom.  The V1 will cost $899 fitted with the same lens.

the System 1 family

Nikon System 1 Family - by Nikon



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