When it comes to camera technology, size really does matter. Which is why a lot of people were baffled at Nikon’s answer to the mirrorless compact system camera trend. (Sony NEX, Olympus Pen, Panasonic GF, Samsung NX) Being the imaging giants that they are, they were expected to try and maintain a larger sensor size by using an APS-C type sensor (1.5x crop) or a Micro Four-Thirds sensor (2x crop). Instead, they announced a new mount and sensor format that some would call a little questionable – a 2.7x crop factor one. It’s called the 1 System line of ILC (interchangeable lens compact) cameras and the first two that would feature it would be the 10MP J1 and V1 units.
Oh Nikon, Why You Do This? (V1 Unit Pictured)
The J1 and V1 units will of course feature the new 2.7x crop sensor format and 1 System mount. They will both feature 10.1MP CMOS sensors that can do some crazy burst modes – 1200FPS slo-mo, 10FPS burst, 1080x30p or 1080x60i, and will both feature the new dual-core EXSPEED 3 processing engine. The J1 will have a built-in flash, no EVF (electronic viewfinder), while the V1 has an EVF, accessory port for flash (etc.), mechanical shutter, mic input and built with magnesium alloy.
Sony’s APS-C NEX sensor (1.5x crop) vs. the Nikon 1 Series CX Sensor (2.7x) – via Engadget
In photography, the smaller the sensor gets, the more limited its capabilities are in terms of image quality, low light performance, and even providing a shallow depth of field – the popular photography technique of having only the subject in focus. Crop factors are based on the 35mm standard – which we admit is pretty hard to achieve in small, inexpensive cameras. The next best thing would be APS-C, with a 1.5x crop. Most DSLRs use this standard because it’s a great compromise between quality and size. Panasonic and Olympus have then created their own standard Micro 4/3 sensor with a 2x crop (half of 35mm), but they’ve introduced it as part of their currently popular compact system cameras. These promise great performance in a small package – which made them quite popular among enthusiast photographers. Sony and Samsung have also stepped in with their own systems, but have a much more appealing APS-C mount 1.5x crop sensor. Thus, giving DSLR quality images in really small, compact bodies.
The J1 Pop-up Flash – via Cnet Asia
Sadly, the new Nikon sensor is only 13.2mm x 8.8mm / 2.7x crop, which is significantly smaller than what we’d like to see. With such a small sensor, it will be pretty tough to get some out of focus areas in your shot. If that was the case, and with the announced prices (J1 – $650, V1 – $900) being higher than similar Micro Four-Thirds and NEX series cameras, the Nikon 1 System sounds like a tough sell to us.
But who knows, Nikon might just pull out something miraculous here and somehow be able to give us some amazing image quality despite the crippled sensors. We’ll never know until the release – which should be around October for North America. The Philippines? We’re not so sure. Thankfully you can always pick up a 4/3 or a NEX with a bigger sensor.
Source: Nikon USA
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