Rumors of a Nikon mirrorless camera have been floating around the web since the middle of last year, and recent leaks have made us wonder not if the company would release a compact ILC -- only when such an announcement would be made. Well, we finally have our answer. We journeyed to a secret location in midtown Manhattan tonight, with nary a peep from Nikon about what to expect until just before the clock struck midnight -- and only after more than two hours of laptop-free house arrest and live Counting Crows. Only the rumored mirrorless cam seemed worthy of such unusual precautions, so we were relieved to discover that Nikon had managed to justify this late night adventure. The company has finally announced not one, but a pair of compact "1 System" mirrorless cameras, and it seems totally fine with putting the focus speed up against the self-proclaimed champ. Head on past the break for more details!
Gallery | 35 Photos

Nikon 1 System hands-on




Nikon 1 System hands-on

The V1 and J1 share nearly identical specs, with the latter model sporting some fairly minor tweaks. Both ILCs include 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensors, HDMI / USB connectivity, a 1200fps slo-mo capture mode (!), 3-inch LCDs, 10fps shooting, high-res electronic viewfinders, and full HD (1080/30p) video capture -- though 720/60p and 1080/60i modes are thrown in for good measure. The J1 touts a built-in flash, auto-noise reduction on movie clips, a 73-point AF system, dual-core EXPEED processing engine, and a 29 minute cap on single movie files (far greater than the five minute ceiling on its earlier DSLRs), while the V1 boasts an EVF and supports an external flash, as well as a mechanical shutter, stereo microphone input, a "multi-accessory port" and a magnesium alloy chassis.


We're a bit disappointed by some of the specs, however, though Nikon's clearly aiming these at the novice / amateur crowd. Not only are they limited to capturing 10.1 megapixel stills (and a ho hum native ISO ceiling of 3200), but both new models use a new CX-size (13.2mm x 8.8mm) sensor with a 2.7x crop factor. This new guy is significantly smaller than the APS-C sensor used in Sony's NEX cameras as well as the Micro Four Thirds sensor used in similar offerings from Panasonic and Olympus. We'll withhold judgment until we have a chance to review sample images and video, but a beefy sensor tends to make a significant impact with image quality. High-end glass also plays its role, so we're surprised to see the lens selection limited to a small handful of entry-level optics.


Sony NEX-C3 sensor compared to Nikon J1 sensor

If you're curious about details on those, we've learned that the initial bounty will include a 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit lens), 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 ($249.95), 10mm f/2.8 ($249.95) and a 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 ($749.95), and a customized $149.95 Speedlight (SB-N5) flash will also be in tow. As for feature set? There's a "Motion Snapshot" mode that snags stills as a video is rolling, and geotagging will be supported for those who opt for the $149.95 GP-N100 GPS hot-shoe accessory. Furthermore, the company's drilling home the "non-pro" theme with a gaggle of colorful straps and cases to match the rainbow's worth of hues -- white, pink, red, silver and black -- that these guys will ship in. We know, we know -- you're curious at pricing, so here goes. The Nikon J1 and V1 will be available throughout the US starting October 20th, with the J1 + 10-30mm kit available for just $649.95. The V1, available with the same bundled piece of glass, will retail for $899.95. Nah, the specs aren't nearly where we want 'em, but those prices are hard to scoff at. Only one question remains: will Canon have a similar announcement to share?
Gallery | 6 Photos

Nikon unveils V1 and J1 mirrorless cameras (press photos)


Looking for buttered-up sample shots, straight from Nikon's press department? Here's a painter, and here's someone's best friend. [Warning: those are around 4MB each!]

Darren Murph contributed to this report.




Nikon 1 System HD footage, provided by Nikon
Show full PR text
BUILT FROM THE GROUND UP: THE NIKON 1 SYSTEM BALANCES SPEED, STYLE AND SIMPLICITY TO CREATIVELY CAPTURE ALL OF LIFE'S SPONTANEOUS MOMENTS

The New Nikon J1 and V1 Cameras as Well as Four New Ultra-Portable Lenses are Engineered for Expressive Living


MELVILLE, N.Y. (Sept 21, 2011) – Nikon Inc. today announced a revolutionary new digital imaging system built from the ground up to empower users with new ways to tell stories through photography, driven by imaginative next-generation technology. The iconic new Nikon 1 system is designed to become one with the user and their lifestyle, providing a unique form of expression with amazing image quality, speed and portability.

From Nikon, a company with more than 75 years in imaging excellence, the Nikon 1 J1 is an advanced camera with interchangeable lenses that opens the door to a fresh way to capture pictures and High Definition (HD) movies. This Nikon 1 system represents a new category of camera that challenges conventional thinking, emphasizing a pocketable form factor with unbelievable speed, combined with the high image quality that only Nikon could create. Thanks to a wealth of innovative technologies, the Nikon J1 camera is a simple to use conduit for creativity, seemingly anticipating a consumer's needs in any situation. Moments are instantly captured using amazingly fast new hybrid Autofocus (AF), and blazing fast speed with continuous AF. Users can also shoot with confidence knowing that the Smart Photo Selector will automatically capture the best possible image without a second thought. Furthermore, just a touch of the shutter button instantly captures a high quality image while simultaneously recording Full HD 1080p movies, and the exciting new Motion Snapshot mode captures fleeting moments like never before with a combination of moving and still images, bringing memories to life. To accompany this exciting new form factor, Nikon created the entirely new 1 NIKKOR lens system that seamlessly integrates powerful precision optics into a camera platform to capture more of the world around the user.

"The needs of the consumer are changing and the world is becoming one of visual conversation, which paves the way for the next chapter in image capture devices. The new Nikon 1 system is the culmination of more than 75 years of optical excellence and relentless pursuit to the unrivaled technological advancements in camera technology," said Bo Kajiwara, Director of Marketing, Nikon Inc. "Nikon's new 1 J1 camera allows consumers to have confidence in a new way to express themselves, with amazing speed, versatility, ease of use and portability."
One Purpose: A Revolutionary New System

The new Nikon 1 system is a completely original concept, engineered specifically to strike the ultimate balance of performance, intuitive simplicity and portability to chronicle life like never before. This breakthrough platform lays the foundation for future technologies, and the Nikon 1 system has been created for the consumer who wants to capture, share and connect to life. The fully electronic lens system enables the camera to keep pace with an active lifestyle and delivers amazing images and Full HD 1080p movies to connect with friends and family. Whether it's a spontaneous outing or a planned trek abroad, the versatility of interchangeable lenses in a convenient form factor will allow a consumer to take the camera with them wherever life leads. Furthermore, the J1 camera makes a personal style statement with a variety of matching colored camera bodies and lenses.

The heart of the new J1 camera is the new Nikon developed CX-format, 10.1 megapixel High-Speed AF CMOS sensor that helps make this camera the pinnacle of portable performance. The newly developed CMOS sensor has been engineered for amazing image quality in a variety of lighting conditions, with a native ISO range of 100- 3200 (6400 Hi-1) for maximum versatility. Images captured with this new sensor exhibit striking colors, vivid hues and rich detail so lifelike, it's the next best thing to being there as memories unfold.

Nikon's exclusive new EXPEED 3TM image processing engine drives the system and is the catalyst behind the camera's rapid response, fast AF and high-speed performance. In addition, the new dual core EXPEED 3 processor works to maximize battery efficiency while yielding images and movies with low noise and vibrant tones. The Nikon J1 is engineered for maximum ease of use, featuring a clean button layout and intuitive graphical interface. Distractions and menus are minimized; creating a clear path to the camera's advanced functions, further unleashing creative potential.

The Fastest One
From first steps to first date, life moves fast and the Nikon J1 is the camera to keep pace. The camera seemingly anticipates action with amazing autofocus, response time and operation. The new advanced hybrid AF system is the world's fastest autofocus1, allowing consumers to capture more of their world than ever before. The Nikon J1 features new focal plane phase detection AF that reacts instantly to deliver incredibly fast, split-second response. Wherever action is happening in the frame, the 73-point AF system will get the shot. This newly developed hybrid system continuously evaluates the scene at hand for optimal results, and can switch between phase detection and contrast detect AF to best suit the scene. Whether shooting in low-light conditions like a late night block party, or a fast moving pick-up game, photographers can capture details with confidence.

When the action is happening, users can also shoot at a fast 10 frames per second (fps), with full adaptive AF for frame after frame of images with incredible sharpness and detail. Additionally, the scene can be captured at full resolution up to a staggering 60 fps (AF locked), which is the world's fastest continuous shooting speed2. So go ahead and capture a best friend's high dive at the next pool party, and then confidently share every aspect of the leap with stunning detail.

The One That Inspires a New Way to Capture with Motion Snapshot
Motion Snapshot is a new approach to capturing images that will dramatically alter the way we perceive digital photography. By selecting the Motion Snapshot icon from the Mode Dial at the back of the camera, consumers can capture fleeting moments with staggering depth and emotion like never before. The result unites a frozen still image with a slow-motion movement set to a built-in audio soundtrack to create a portrayal of an occurrence with maximum impact. With Motion Snapshot, users are now able to relive memories in stunning detail, as real movement and depth are included in the image. Motion Snapshot provides a way to once again experience someone's hair flowing in the breeze or relaxing scenes like waves crashing or rustling leaves that evoke an emotional response.

Consumers are also able to create masterpieces of moving images from multiple files using the included Short Movie Creator software. This easy-to-use, intuitive software works in conjunction with Nikon's View NX2 to make managing photos and movies fun and easy. With these programs, users are empowered to organize, share and edit photos, Motion Snapshots and HD movies. Users are also able to connect and share Motion Snapshot files using Nikon's my Picturetown, an online resource at www.mypicturetown.com.

The One to Set Trends
Both the camera technology and exterior design were inspired by the pursuit of balance, as a device that lives in perfect accord with any lifestyle. The lines are clean and minimalist, the colors are vibrant, creating a stylish accessory for every personality. The design is meant to inspire creativity, with a simple interface and easy-to-use camera controls, intuitively placed for any user. Switching from modes and accessing advanced features is easy, enabling the user to further push creative boundaries, whether trusting the smart automatic settings or creatively exploring the full manual control modes.

Control highlights include a Mode Dial, with the four main common functions readily available, in addition to a Command Dial with common camera settings. The new "F" (feature) button is a new design element to Nikon cameras, which automatically brings up relevant menus and options based on what mode the camera is set.

The Nikon 1 system is further complemented by fashionable, premium accessories tailored to perfectly fit a user's lifestyle. These accessories include a custom fit body case set available in a variety of colors, as well as fashionable, color coordinated leather neck and hand straps.

The Smart One: Nikon's Smart Photo Selector
The new Nikon J1 is an advanced camera with interchangeable lenses that features new technologies aimed at creating better pictures, easier. Nikon's new Smart Photo Selector feature strives to deliver a perfect image every time. When a "can't miss" photo opportunity arises, users can switch to the Smart Photo Selector mode which uses the camera's pre-cache to start shooting and storing images. All of these images are analyzed within the camera, and the best photo is selected based on a number of factors including exposure, focus and advanced facial recognition. While the camera suggests the best image, five frames are recorded, providing the user a choice of their favorite photo. What's more, the J1 also includes favorite core Nikon technologies, such as Active D-lighting, Auto Scene Selector and Picture Controls.

One Device That Also Captures HD Movies
The new CX-format CMOS sensor produces breathtaking Full HD movies at 1080p (30 fps). Users can also shoot at a rapid 60 fps (1080i), or elevate the production with additional 30/60/400 and 1200 fps modes for super slow motion effects. The J1 is made to be flexible, and can capture both HD movies and high resolution images simultaneously. Simply press the shutter while recording to freeze the action with a high quality image file with sharp focus.
Additionally, the Nikon J1 applies noise reduction to movie files, giving the user amazingly sharp, crisp movies with deep black levels. This feature makes this the ideal camera for shooting movies when light is less than ideal, such as indoors or at night. A full HD movie can record a full 29 minutes, while the senses are further treated to sound sampled in full stereo for lifelike reproduction.

One Vision, Two Distinct Cameras
The Nikon J1 is the model designed for those consumers who use a camera as part of their connected lifestyle; always carrying it to bring passion and depth to visual storytelling. Both the camera and the lenses come in a variety of matching stylish colors, including white, pink, red, silver and black. Photos and movies are easily composed and shared on the bright 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD monitor. With the aid of the concealed pop-up flash, consumers can easily add fill flash as needed or shoot in most conditions including low-light.

The Nikon 1 V1 is for photo enthusiasts who value interchangeable lens versatility and desire a small form factor. In fact, it's the world's smallest and lightest camera in the world with interchangeable lens versatility and an electronic viewfinder (EVF)3. Aimed at the user excited about creating amazing images and movies, the Nikon V1 has added features including a 1.4 million dot high resolution EVF that automatically activates when the user raises the camera to their eye. In addition to the high-speed electronic shutter, the magnesium alloy body conceals a high performance mechanical shutter that affords tactile feedback and expanded shooting options.

The V1 camera also features Nikon's new Multi-Accessory Port for attaching options such as the new SB-N5 compact speedlight, or the GP-N100 GPS module. For those making movies, the V1 has a stereo microphone input for professional quality audio.

1 NIKKOR Lenses and Accessories
Building upon a 75 year legacy of NIKKOR lenses and optical excellence, the new 1 NIKKOR lens system has been developed to push the boundaries of what's possible. Experience as the world leader in optical engineering has driven Nikon to create a compact, lightweight lens system that provides users with stunning image quality. New technology in these lenses includes a Silent Stepping Motor (STM) for whisper quiet AF and zoom during operation and while shooting movies. Additionally, this high performance system places Nikon's VR II image stabilization technology inside lenses to minimize instances of camera shake. The result is sharp images in a variety of challenging lighting conditions, even while handheld.

The new system offers a lens for every occasion. The camera kit includes a color-matched 1 NIKKOR VR 10- 30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (27-81mm 35mm equivalent) for optimal focal range in a small lens. For those needing maximum versatility, a 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens (81-297mm equivalent) is available, or users can explore their creative side with a color matched 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8 pancake lens (27mm equivalent). For the movie enthusiast, a new 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 (27-270mm equivalent) power zoom lens will be available. This new lens is Nikon's first powered zoom, and provides smooth and silent changes in focal length while recording movies. Additionally, the FT-1 F-mount adaptor for legacy NIKKOR lenses will be available in the future, so that photographers can utilize their collection of quality NIKKOR lenses.

Price and Availability
The Nikon J1 and V1 will be available throughout the United States beginning October 20th. The Nikon J1 camera with 10-30mm lens kit will be available at a suggested retail price4 of $649.95. The Nikon V1 camera with 10- 30mm lens kit will be available for a suggested retail price4 of $899.95. For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the ImageTM. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the new Nikon 1 advanced camera with interchangeable lens system. In 2011, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 60 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon's heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nikon and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following @Nikon_USA.

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1: Based on performance with shooting using a standard zoom lens (10-30) at the maximum wide-angle position with AF-area mode set to Single-point (results based on Nikon test conditions)
2: The world's fastest continuous shooting speed: 60 fps (while the AF is locked in the first frame) (shot at full resolution (10M)). Among cameras with interchangeable lenses
3: Among cameras with interchangeable lenses with a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF).
4: Suggested retail price listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time
*Comparison models include the Nikon D3100, Sony NEX-5, NEX-2 NEX-C3 NEX-5N, Olympus E-PL1s, E-PL2, E-P3, E-PL3, Panasonic G10, GF-2, GH2, G3 Samsung NX-10, NX100

Key Features – Nikon Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lenses
The new Nikon 1 system is a revolutionary system, built from the ground up - Engineered specifically to strike the balance of performance, intuitive simplicity and portable design to enable users to capture and share their world like never before. This system is a platform for the future and targeted towards the expressive user who is connected to their world socially. The new 1 Mount is fully electronic, allowing for amazing speed and response High Speed AF CMOS Sensor - New 10.1 megapixel CX-format High Speed AF CMOS sensor engineered for this new system to deliver amazing image quality. Overall, it is one of the major components attributing to the optimally balanced package which was engineered to deliver the ultimate balance of portable form factor and image quality
New EXPEED 3 image processing engine - Dual core image processor helps drive amazing performance and speed

The Nikon 1 system has the worlds fastest AF - the cameras use a new advanced hybrid autofocus system that enables fast AF with 73 focus points. The advanced hybrid autofocus system combines phase detection AF, which enables faster focusing and superior subject tracking performance with moving subjects, while contrast- detect AF performs well in low-light conditions

Fast continuous shot - Users can also shoot at 10 fps, while frame after frame the full adaptive AF system will yield sharp photos. It also has the worlds fastest full resolution continuous shooting speed at 60 fps (AF locked) It's simple and intuitive - Thanks to smart technologies, the camera and interface are intuitive, and the user will want to capture more of their world
Motion Snapshot - By selecting the Motion Snapshot icon from the command dial at the back of the camera, consumers can capture fleeting moments with staggering depth and emotion like never before. The result unites a frozen still image with a slow-motion movement set to a built-in audio soundtrack to create a portrayal of an occurrence with maximum impact
o Works in conjunction with bundled Short Movie Creator Software and my Picturetown Smart Photo Selector - When a "can't miss" photo opportunity arises, users can switch to the Smart Photo Selector mode which uses the camera's pre-cache to start shooting and storing images. All of these images are analyzed within the camera, and the best photo is selected based on a number of factors including exposure, composition, focus and advanced facial recognition
Design and style - Both the camera technology and exterior design were inspired by the pursuit of balance of form factor and performance. The Minimalist interface inspires creativity, while an intuitive GUI makes users want to delve into advanced features
Full HD 1080p movies - Users can capture Full HD 1080p movies, along with simultaneous capture of high quality still and movie. Users can also enjoy slow motion effects, and select from a variety of frame rates.

The Nikon J1 - Designed to become a part of a lifestyle, and color choices with matching kit lenses include White, pink, red, silver, black. The Nikon V1 camera adds features such as a High Res EVF, mic jack, high endurance mechanical shutter, Multi-Accessory Port for accessories like new GPS and flash

Available Lenses include a new Silent Stepping Motor for whisper quiet operation (All prices suggested retail price)
Kit lens – 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (kit lens)
Pancake lens - 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8 lens ($249.95)
Zoom lens - 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens ($249.95)
Nikon's first power zoom (ideal for recording movies) – 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 ($749.95) SB-N5 Speedlight is $149.95
GP-N100 GPS unit is $149.95.
Price and availability (suggested retail price)
Product availability October 20th. Suggested retail price is $649.95 for the J1 lens kit, and $899.95 for the V1 lens kit.

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