Today, Nikon announced a brand new camera series in its product lineup. Calling it Nikon 1, this is a new mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens. The new Nikon 1 brand joins existing Nikon D-series digital-SLR cameras and the COOLPIX compact cameras.

Two models were announced and they are the Nikon1 J1 and V1 cameras, both cameras are similar in specifications and are powered with their new EXPEED 3 engine. The new J1 and V1 cameras will be using a new lens mount – 1 Nikkor lens mount. Fortunately, Nikon has mentioned that there will be a lens adaptor that allows users to mount F-mount camera lenses. Currently, up to 70 lenses have been tested to work with the Nikon1 cameras.

At the heart of the camera, Nikon1 cameras uses a new AF CMOS CX-format sensor, a new addition to Nikon’s existing DX and FX sensors. The CX-format sensor supports ISO from 100-3200 and further extended to 3200, with a H1 setting. Video recording is also supported with resolutions up to 1080i, both models sport 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, HDMI / USB connectivity.

A few key differences are the V1 supporting a electronic view finder, supports an external flash (not via hotshoe but a proprietary hot shoe for Nikon1 cameras) and mechanical systems for its shutter.


Nikon FT1 lens adaptor

Nikon1 J1

The Nikon1 series cameras are light and sturdy to the touch and on first look, it looks pretty sleek and user friendly for a beginner. The J1 is about the size of most mainstream compact digital cameras and weighs a mere 277g  (with battery and memory card but without body cap), and features dust shield glass, electronic shutter and pop-up flash.

Nikon1 J1’s rear

The rear holds the 3-inch LCD display, mode dial (still image, Smart Photo Selector, movie and Motion Snapshot) and standard buttons including Display, Playback, Menu, zoom etc.

The Nikon V1 is a little bigger than the J1 sibling and has a protrusion at the top that houses the electronic viewfinder. It also does not have the pop-up flash, although in its place is a Nikon 1 proprietary hot shoe for other camera accessories such as an external flash unit. At press time, the company did not announce the local retail price, and as for availability, both the J1 and V1 are scheduled to be available in end October (or later).

On the first impression, the specifications look humble. The Nikon1 series CX-format camera sensor comes with a 2.7x crop factor and its sensor appears to be smaller than other competitor formats. We will hold our reservations though as we do not have sample photos or videos to judge.

lens and accessories

Masanobu Tsunoda, managing director of Nikon Singapore announcing the Nikon1 J1 and v1 cameras


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