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- It's called "size and weight fatigue."
Realistically, DSLRs are more camera than most DSLR purchasers actually needed. They were the primary choice in the 1999-2005 time period simply because of image quality and other performance factors. If you thought you needed any level of image quality above snapshot, you didn't have a lot of choice but get a DSLR. In many ways, the camera companies mimicked what they did with film: there was a big gulf for quite some time between compact film cameras and SLRs. Eventually we had a handful of high-end compacts, including the Nikon 35ti, the Minolta TC1, and even something like the Olympus XA.
In the digital age, it took a while before small sensor performance allowed higher end cameras. But we're now living squarely in that world. I sense a strong pushback now: more and more DSLR users are balking at the bulk and weight. There are some planes I can't get on any more with a full set of high-end DSLR equipment due to weight restrictions, too, so it isn't just users that are pushing back on weight.
Here's the thing that I didn't write about the V1: if 10mp is enough, if you don't shoot in insanely low light conditions, if you aren't constantly tweaking camera settings, and if you don't need every lens ever made, the V1 is probably a better choice than any Nikon DSLR. Thing is, those things I just wrote apply to more DSLR users than you might think. Many more. It's a bit like one-ton pickup owners discovering compact performance sport utility vehicles. More will switch than you think.
The problem for Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Panasonic is that the rush is on. The enthusiasts are finding lots to like about all those cameras, but lots that didn't get done, too. They'll tolerate those missing elements for a while, but if one company gets more of it right than the others, it'll change market share dramatically.
And I think that's already happening. The Sony NEX-7 and Nikon V1 each have aspects that go above and beyond what we've come to expect in the mirrorless market. What they don't have is lenses. So it's now a race: will Sony and Nikon get lenses out before Olympus/Panasonic get serious about an EVF in a small form factor, low-level light ability, and continuous focusing speed?Dec 23, 2011
- Completely agree on your comments about size and weight. Glad to see you emphasize that point. As a professional, I have a need for a back-up camera, along with all the other gear I carry onto an airplane. This year I had the misfortune of recovering from a back injury, only to get a previously injured shoulder dislocated; I'm doing better, but still not fully recovered. How much I can carry now impacts what I do carry, which is what led me to the V1. I don't see it as an only camera for professionals, mostly due to questions about durability, but I might be surprised next year seeing someone do just that. Agree that Nikon need to get those other lenses out soon, especially one or more faster lenses. If they do make a more professional Nikon 1 body, I hope it includes weather sealing and stronger control buttons.Dec 24, 2011
- Thom, thanks for another great writeup. I've used the camera on an extended trip, really like the small size and weight, plus the autofocus is pretty good, even compared to my d300. I also miss the af-on, ala the d300, and agree with your frustrations on UI design. A couple more frustrations: why have a menu driven system and not have a User 1 and User 2 setting on the (otherwise useless) mode dial? My S90 has this, takes the pain out of the menu system. Also, in addition to the too limited auto iso settings, why have a displayed top iso limit shown on the heads up display, rather than a bliinking ACTUAL iso setting as in the d300? Can't be lack of computational power!
I'm really looking forward to trying out the FT1 for birding. The Nikon Europe site originally claimed that both AF-S and AF-I would be supported, though now it appears that AF-S is the sole AF contender. Any info on this? Thinking of picking up a used AF-I if it is compatible. Thanks!Feb 3, 2012
- Thanks for the write up. I'm thinking of trading in my X10 and a lense (Zeiss 50mm f1.4, the focus shift is really getting to me) for one of these if I can. I hated this camera when it was announced but the more I think about it the more it seems like it would be a great addition to my D7000, it was very smart of nikon to use the same batteries.Feb 7, 2012
- Thanks for the review. I spent the last 20 days with this camera and have grown to like:
1. fast focus and operation
2. size (or lack of compared to size/weight of my D90 kit) - the V1 and 3 lenses easily travelled with me on two trips. I never take my D90 kit anywhere unless is explicitly for photography.
3. video - got some excellent video on the ski slopes
Did not like:
1. manual focus - unusable (I really enjoy slowing down and taking good manual focus/exposure nature images with old lens)
2. controls/lack of direct functions
3. lack of features - ie. exposure bracketing.
So the V1 is being returned. This year I am selling my DX based kit and getting a small system that goes with me 80% of the time (Nikon lost my money here and an OM-D E-M5 with a couple of primes is on order) and later this year will purchase a FF kit after I watch the industry shake out FF in 2012.Mar 5, 2012
- Has anyone else had an issue using the v1 where you put your eye to the EVF and it won't then revert back to the rear display? This happened to me on recently. As I use a tripod to shoot at low angles it was pretty frustrating. I was having to switch the camera off and then back on to gain control.
I've just used a cotton bud to gently wipe the small channel to the left of the EVF and it seems to have corrected the issue (although it didn't look dirty!)>Mar 25, 2012