Nikon Joins the Mirrorless Camera Game

Posted Oct. 1st, 2011 by Daniel J. Cox

About two weeks ago I posted an entry on the Corkboard titled My Predictions of Changes in Camears Coming True.  It was a short piece that included a news item from Bloomberg highligihting the Mirrorless revolution taking place with nearly all camera manufacturers except Nikon and Canon. Well, a lot of things can change in two weeks and so they have with Nikon finally joining the Mirrorless group with their introduction of a new line of photographic tools called the Nikon 1 J1 and the Nikon 1 V1.


Nikon 1 V1 Mirrorless Camera

With the introduction of these two cameras they have brought some interesting new technologies to the game that sound quite interesting. However, they also chose to go with a considerably smaller digital sensor than any of their major competitors. For example the Sony NEX7 uses a digital capture sensor with a 1.5X magnification factor. Olympus and Panasonic chose the Micro 4/3’s route with a magnification factor of 2X. Nikon decided to go with an even smaller sensor that has a magnification factor of 2.7X. Below I’ve included a graphic provided by that gives you an easier to understand visual of the differences between all these different sized digital capture sensors. Please note that the size of the visuals are not the actual size of the sensors but rather size comparisons of all options.

So the good news is that Nikon has finally joined the game and that is a tremendous plus. However, the possibly not so good news is, they chose to go with such a minuscule sensor. We’ll all have to wait to see if this will be a serious flaw to the new line of Nikon cameras since in general, smaller sensors produce lower quality images. For photographers that put a tremendous emphasis on image quality I’ll remain concerned until I see samples I’ve shot for myself. Who knows maybe Nikon will pull another rabbit out of their hat as they did with the sensor in the D3 and D700. If so these cameras could be amazing. If not then they will only be cameras for the point and shoot crowd.  I’m really hoping they will be AMAZING!

Some of the more interesting new features in the Nikon 1 V1 include:

  • The capability to capture a still image even while recording in 1080P movie mode.
  • 73 Point AF sensors across the entire viewfinder
  • 12 Million pixel sensor
  • Color LCD Viewfinder
  • Frames Per Second equal 10, 30, 60
  • Entire new lens system but also will have the ability to use traditional F series lenses.
  • Movie Slow Motion
  • Smart Photo Selector for best image suggested by camera.

You can read more about the new line of Nikon 1 cameras at the following web sites.

Nikon USA
Nikon Press Release


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