Handled the Nikon 1 today

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by alex_iwonttell, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. I was a Nikon presentation today and handled the new cameras a bit. Just some quick thoughts:
    1) Ergonomics is okay for its category, though I hope Franiec will make a grip. Materials are top notch.
    2) Controls and menus are quite a mess. Aperture/shutter priority, manual mode as well as ISO - everything is in the menu, which is too simplistic and not sophisticated. No customization to speak of (custom menus etc.) At least the V1 would deserve better controls.
    3) The official designation of the cams is "Nikon 1 J1", "Nikon 1 V1". I wonder if the next model will be "Nikon 1 V2" or whatever.
    4) The cameras are slow. Like, really slow. It takes ages to switch between the display and EVF.
    5) LCDs are very good, not OLED quality, but close. EVF is quite okay, but it feels quite dull.
    6) The accessories are really cute, especially the flash.
    7) Exposure feels like the higher-end Nikon DSLR bodies. Very conservative.
    8) The F-mount adapter works ONLY with AF-S lenses. AF-D lenses are not recognized, the camera won't shoot. Also, slower lenses may only work in P mode.
    9) AF is not as fast in poor lighting as I'd expect from phase detection.
    10) In Auto ISO, the current ISO isn't displayed (just the maximum value).
    Overall, I like the J1 with 10 mm and 10-30, they feel qu iteright. The lenses are really cute. V1, not so much. Also, not a fan of the motor zoom, it's slow to turn on and zoom.
    Didn't check the image quality yet, gotta get to the PC first.
     
  2. The one benefit of this camera would be use of, e.g 300mm/4 AF-S lens, that on a 2.7x crop factor would acts as a 810/4 long lens.
    I wonder if VR in AF-S lenses is supported ?
    Seems like Nikon cannot make right point&shoot camera yet?
    It would be nice to know if the new focusing is at least as good and fast as Lumix DMC-LX5., with comparable size lenses. I hope long lenses would focus as fast as on a DSLR, since the in-lens motor is used.
     
  3. Alex said:
    I was a Nikon presentation today and handled the new cameras a bit . . .​
    Thanks for that hands-on report, Alex! A bit disappointing to learn of the lack of customization, and the slow display/EVF switching. The linked dpreview images shot at high ISOs are rather impressive, however.
    LCDs are very good, not OLED quality, but close. EVF is quite okay, but it feels quite dull.​
    Again, makes me want to go with the Sony NEX-5N + Sony OLED EVF accessory VF. How was the AF speed in good light? How was the high-speed, continuous shooting modes? Did those aspects seem fast?
     
  4. I'd be happier if the camera would accept Nikon F, Leica M, and other manual focus lenses with metering and a 1.5 crop. I realize Nikon doesn't really care about lenses other than AF-S and that the camera is designed not to work with manual focus lenses of any make. I find the 2.7 crop very annoying. These comments are from a Nikon user since 1977!
     
  5. You didn't happen to notice if there was any control in there for auto bracketing, did you?
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    To Paul Wheatland, I too bought my first Nikon SLR back in 1977. It is clear that after 34 years, you have your mind set on F mount type cameras. When Nikon introduced the DX format back in 1999, most people (including me) thought it was an interum solution due to sensor cost and up to merely 3, 4 years ago, a lot of people still thought all DSLRs would eventually go back to the FX sensor. Only in the last 2, 3 years the majority of the people realized that DX not only is here to stay but is now mainstream.
    The Nikon 1 series mirrorless cameras are designed for consumers/casual photographers. Their selling point is small size, simplicity and convenience. Mounting any SLR lens on them totally defeats the small size objective, so are complex, dedicated controls.
    For those who prefer DSLR features and capabilities, they should just buy DSLRs; most likely I fall into this category myself. The Sony NEX are quite different cameras and I am sure that Sony and Nikon will carve out different sectors in this market.
     
  7. At 60 frames per second, the N 1 series can auto bracket every dimension. Indeed that seems to be part of the appeal - bracket not just exposure but what was captured. Maybe you get the smiling kid before he puts two fingers in a V behind dad's head. Possibly you get the soccer ball as it is kicked, not when it is already out of frame.
    It's the "never miss a shot" camera. Maybe not for the masses, yet, due to price alone but soon.
    It isn't for me. I'd like a DX sensor equipped machine that is more oriented towards NEX style capabilities with good, and available good, glass. Even native glass. Decent SLR performance in non SLR smaller packages being the general feature target.
    Probably Nikon has it right and this new series will sell more units, but I wonder if some other company will eat their SLR lunch by focusing new developments (such as the NEX) aimed at power users who see some value in smaller packages. This is an idea whose time has come I think.
     
  8. It would be nice to know if the new focusing is at least as good and fast as Lumix DMC-LX5​
    It's definitely faster than P&S cameras, but I also found it to be not as relliable as we'd like. It's not as miraculous as Nikon describes it.

    Again, makes me want to go with the Sony NEX-5N + Sony OLED EVF accessory VF. How was the AF speed in good light? How was the high-speed, continuous shooting modes? Did those aspects seem fast?​
    Yeah well. V1 clearly lacks in comparison with other EVIL cameras like the NEX, since it's targeted at a more demanding user. J1 is great for people who are looking for a glorified P&S with more options.
    AF in good light is instant, faster than low-end DSLRs, both with 1 lenses and AF-S.
    Continous shooting is fast, the cameras have lots of fast modes, like the best-shot 20 fps mode. However, the LCD lacks behind a little (quite understandable) and after doing a continous burst, the camera needs a while to recover. At least in the modes I've tried.
    You didn't happen to notice if there was any control in there for auto bracketing, did you?​
    Nope, sorry. I didn't have the nerves to browse through the menu. It's just 3 tabs, so even if bracketing is burried in there somewhere, it's surely a bitch to use.
    I'd be happier if the camera would accept Nikon F, Leica M, and other manual focus lenses with metering​
    I have a bad feeling the 1 bodies will only support electronic lenses, since even wtih a AF-D lens mounted, they refused to work. Apparently a more sophisticated adapter would be needed to use old manual lenses.
     
  9. Yeah, I work in HDR, so auto-bracketing is critical. Looks like everything else I need can be handled. Then the only debate is if I need a true hot shoe or not.
     
  10. Well, I'm at my PC now and checking out the pics I made. (I can't show the samples, so you'll have to take my word for it.) I only took JPEGs in whatever settings the cameras were in when I handled them, the only thing I played with was the ISO.
    I'm not impressed. Low ISOs are okay, but in shadows in backlight, noise is very visible even at low values (and I'm not a noise freak, by far). The image doesn't seem quite right. It's sharp and detailed, sure, but the color feels quite plasticy, skin tones are too saturated (might be caused by the settings). It really screams 'CMOS', like CMOS sensors in some P&S cameras (Nikon DSLRs handle it better), if you know what I mean. The highest ISO I've tried is 2000 and it's okay, somewhat below D90 level, noise reduction is acceptable, desaturation is visible.
    I know it's not a fair comparison, but cameras such as G12 or Samsung TL500 give quite comparable performance when shooting in RAW. So, hopefully the 1 series will also give better images in RAW, but Nikon cameras are usually very good with their JPEG performance, so I'm not setting my expectations too high.
    I'm quite underwhelmed overall. The system is nice, the idea behind it is great, but it lacks in execution IMHO.
    It's definitely targeted at people who just want to live their life and take snaps as they go. Which I guess everyone knew already (I was more optimistic).
     
  11. For what it's worth: I was shooting along Mobile Bay a few day ago. One gent was there with a Sony NEX camera...I found out the Sony has a Thermal Warning system. When the camera is close to overheating, it has to rest a couple of minutes. If a no-mirror system acts like that, on a hot day with a 2.7X sensor...who knows what to expect?
     
  12. but the color feels quite plasticy, skin tones are too saturated
    This is a question of how the raw data was converted to JPG by the camera (I noticed the same thing when looking at the samples, there is a subtle too-processed look in skin tones etc., but it's not as bad as with point and shoots). Once you can use any raw converter on the files you should be able to choose the look yourself.
    cameras such as G12 or Samsung TL500 give quite comparable performance when shooting in RAW.
    I think one should wait to see what can be done with the RAW files from the Nikons. Does your comment apply to the ISO 2000 files you shot with the Nikons, i.e. can you get the same quality out of a G12? Anyway the performance should be fairly straightforward to estimate from looking at where the sensor sizes fall, after all the physics is the same for all manufacturers.
    Which I guess everyone knew already
    Yes.
     
  13. The Nikon 1 series mirrorless cameras are designed for consumers/casual photographers. Their selling point is small size, simplicity and convenience. Mounting any SLR lens on them totally defeats the small size objective, so are complex, dedicated controls.
    For those who prefer DSLR features and capabilities, they should just buy DSLRs​
    Given what I'm reading about the Nikon 1, I will stick with Nikon DSLRs, but there is a value to more capable mirror-less bodies even if we attach F-mount lenses to them. First, of course, they can be much quieter, and might allow us to shoot in environments that demand quiet without using a blimp. Second, even with a heavy lens, they are lighter than DSLRs with the same lens, and even small differences can be crucial for some of us. Adding both the weight of a mirror and the weight of a blimp adds up to a big difference, important for environments that not only prohibit noise but also tripods and monopods. But you're right, with the specs and descriptions thus far, I'm likely to stick with a DSLR.
     
  14. First, of course, they can be much quieter, and might allow us to shoot in environments that demand quiet without using a blimp.
    Have you tried the D7000? It is very quiet even in standard S mode, and has a "slowed-down" Q mode that makes the sound still less loud. A some people commented positively when I used it for PhD defences in a quiet classroom shooting close-ups with the 200/2. The FX cameras that I have are quite a bit louder (though the D3s has also a Q mode, but still its mirror and shutter are bigger). Finally, the D7000 can be used in LV mode without the mirror slap, but of course then you are stuck using the LCD for composition which can be awkward with a long lens.
    The cheaper J1 is supposed to have an electronic shutter only (no mechanical shutter), so perhaps it's totally silent (when configured to not emit sounds that mimic the shutter). So maybe it's worth trying nonetheless for this special application. For larger sensors, Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus provide just that, but you might not find all that big difference in the sound compared to the D7000.
     
  15. Does your comment apply to the ISO 2000 files you shot with the Nikons, i.e. can you get the same quality out of a G12?​
    In my opinion, yes. The TL500 (which I'm more familiar with than the G12) lacks somewhat in comparison to the V1, but not as much as you'd expect from a twice as large photosites and 3 generations newer camera. It's like a difference between a good m43 and an older APS-C, i.e. the larger sensor has an advantage, but not as much that it would make a difference when choosing one over the other.
    But again, it's just JPEG for now, so we'll see how the 1 handles RAW.
    Adding both the weight of a mirror and the weight of a blimp adds up to a big difference, important for environments that not only prohibit noise but also tripods and monopods.​
    In theory yes, but not really in practice. Lots of DSLRs (especially Nikon D3100, also D7000) are actually quieter than the mirrorless models. These days, most of the sound and vibration isn't done by the mirror; it's by the mechanical shutter. Best was is to compare the DSLR sound in normal mode and LiveVew (without the mirror slappping). It's almost the same. Give a DSLR an electronic shutter and it will be very silent.
     
  16. Note also that the sound of the aperture closing is a big part of the sound of a DSLR - you can see it very clearly when using live view in the D7000. The aperture is just as loud as the shutter.
    A mirrorless camera can be absolutely silent if the aperture is implemented quietly and there is just the electronic shutter. But you need dedicated lenses that have those quiet diaphragms, not F mount Nikkors! (Note, I have not used the J1 so I don't know if the aperture makes an audible sound within that system).
     
  17. 4) The cameras are slow. Like, really slow. It takes ages to switch between the display and EVF.​
    What did the Nikon rep say — did you do something wrong? Is the firm ware final or preproduction? There was some issue similar to this with the p7000 but they fixed it in p8000 and I hope we won't see it in the 1 system.
     
  18. A mirrorless camera can be absolutely silent if the aperture is implemented quietly and there is just the electronic shutter. But you need dedicated lenses that have those quiet diaphragms, not F mount Nikkors! (Note, I have not used the J1 so I don't know if the aperture makes an audible sound within that system).​
    There are demo on YouTube to show how the electronic shutter works, although in some of the clips, the sound was apparently turned on.
     
  19. MM I also think , reading this, that this camera is not for me, but... looking at the specs it makes me very optimistic about what nikon could build in their next series of DSLR ..... ( speed, 4 times this sensor size with comparable density etc....)
     
  20. Frank:
    The one benefit of this camera would be use of, e.g 300mm/4 AF-S lens, that on a 2.7x crop factor would acts as a 810/4 long lens.​
    You can do the same thing by using the 300mm lens on any larger sensor and just throwing away pixels until you get the magnification you want. This isn't really an advantage of smaller sensors.
    Eric
     
  21. Thanks for the low down, Alex. My train of thoughts is along the line of Hector's. While I still will give benefit of doubt to the 1 RAW file results and hope that they'll be much better than the description of its JPG files Alex had given thus far, the virtually silent operation without the 10 fps shutter noise (Alex, can you confirm this?) will definitely be useful in many situations (weddings & ceremonies at churches, meetings, certain sports, press conferences, etc.) The potential use of 85mm f1.4 on the 2.7x body (230mm f1.4) is intriguing too, though it all depends on the actual image quality and AF performance (including in low light condition, which apparently isn't "As fast,") for my use.
     
  22. What did the Nikon rep say — did you do something wrong? Is the firm ware final or preproduction?​
    I didn't check with the rep about this. I understand he cameras were 'production quality', so I guess they behave like the ones which will be in stores. I think.
    the virtually silent operation without the 10 fps shutter noise (Alex, can you confirm this?)​
    It's not completely mute, in high-speed modes there are some audible fast clicks (this goes for J1). Much more silent than any camera with a focal-plane shutter, not as silent as P&S or Sigma DP with leaf shutters. The photog can hear it, but it shouldn't be any problem unless the person right next to you demands absolute silence.
     
  23. This is Nikon's first attempt at mirrorless and who's to say they don't design a later model with a DX or even FX sensor. Certainly the compact size advantage over SLRs would be lost, but the phase detect sensor and it's allegedly super-fast AF could be ported over into higher end cameras of the future. This could be a precursor to the type of technology we will see in DSLRs down the road.
     
  24. "You can do the same thing by using the 300mm lens on any larger sensor and just throwing away pixels until you get the magnification you want. This isn't really an advantage of smaller sensors."

    Eric, with all due respect, you do not know what you are talking about.
    E.g. by doing what you suggest e.g. on D700 I would only get about 1.6 MegaPixels picture.
    That is cropping to the angle of view of a 810mm lens (crop factor 2.7) - you only get small fraction of pixel count. 12 / (2.7 * 2.7) = 1.66 Mega Pixels or so.
    With the new camera I get all 10 Mega Pixels, the pixels the camera has. With the 300 mm lens that acts as a 810mm long on a 2.7 crop sensor. The only question would be if the lens central portion optics resolving power is good enough at this small sensor size pixel density.
    1.6MP is perhaps OK for postcard size print or web publishing, but is nowhere near close to the 10 MP, e.g. for presentation or larger printing.
    I hope this new camera supports VR in the long AF-S lenses (?). If so, this camera could be good candicate for those who cannot afford to pay $$$$ for long lenses needed for wildlife photography.
     
  25. I hope this new camera supports VR in the long AF-S lenses (?).
    Reportedly it does. But the ergonomics of handling large lenses ... well, all the weight is then on your left hand.
     
  26. The brochure says the adapter supports VR
     
  27. There are sample images on Imaging Resource, and some even in daylight show obvious halos around some objects including bright lights but also a red helmet:
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/NIKONJ1/YDSC_0173.HTM
    This cannot be the lens, so it must be the sensor and/or processing. The J1 only has an electronic shutter, so this might be an artifact of the shutter. Not good IMO and a deal breaker. Or a reason to buy the V1, but blimey that one is expensive.
    Otherwise the IQ is rather impressive, much better than I have seen from example photos taken with a budget micro 4/3 zoom. If the V1 cures the halos, then it will be impressive. But that price tag ...
     

Share This Page