After much waiting, and lots o' leaks, Nikon finally unveiled its mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera line. But while you'd think the veteran Nikon would debut to an audience with pent-up demand for its product, signs point to Nikon fans greeting the Nikon 1 series J1 and V1 with less enthusiasm than expected. For example, Nikon Rumors ran a poll with more than 30,000 respondents--most likely Nikon fans--who indicate as of just before the announcement, almost two-thirds of them aren't planning to buy the camera(s). And that was before they'd even seen or had final specs for it.
That may be due in part to the sensor, dubbed "CX" to match the company's DX and FX mount/sensor systems, which turns out to be a surprisingly small, low-resolution version with a magnification factor of 2.7x, putting it between Olympus/Panasonic's Four Thirds sensor and Pentax's extra-small model.
While Nikon will likely be able to keep the photo quality up thanks to the relatively low resolution and support for 12-bit raw files, the smaller sensor negatively impacts the ability to get a nice shallow depth-of-field at a wide aperture, even with old Nikon lenses mounted via an adapter.
On one hand, it sounds like Nikon's pulling out all the stops with respect to autofocus, introducing a hybrid system that automatically determines whether to use contrast or phase-detection autofocus. Both Olympus and Panasonic have pushed contrast AF pretty far, though, so it remains to be seen how much of an advantage this confers on the cameras' performance.
Nikon has also done some interesting things with motion/movies, including a Motion Snapshot mode, which records a still image and about a 1-second clip, then plays it back at about 0.4x speed (slow motion) with music. There's also Smart Photo Selector, a 20-shot burst mode that saves the camera-determined best five photo.
Here are the camera specs in their competitive landscape:… Read more