J1.2 J2 officially a second-gen product now, and the other member of the Big Two released their own mirrorless model, which landed with a similar thud. So it's time to reflect. After one year, how does the Nikon 1 System look now? Read our staff’s responses below, and sound off in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
TJ Donegan (@tjdonegan): Every mirrorless system has growing pains at first, and the Nikon 1 system hasn't been any different. Their initial lens lineup is pretty good, though they need more. Their initial models were okay, but the sensor quality needs to improve. The one thing they've really got going for them is speed, which I felt was undersold by Nikon. These cameras are incredibly fast. Some improvements to their hybrid AF, a little better IQ, and a better grip and the 1 system will have a real winner. The fact that Nikon's already brought the price down to Earth is step in the right direction, even if the J2 is little more than a token update.
Liam McCabe (@liammmmccabe): The J1, V1, and now J2 are super-boring to me, mostly because I see a sweet new camera every week. But I'm positive that Nikon doesn't care what people like me think about this system. Nikon has a target audience for the 1 system. That target audience buys these cameras. That target audience does not include people who read posts like these. Look at Nikon's lineup over the past few years: They don't really care about enthusiasts, and they don't need to. They make great cameras for pros and casual photographers, and they're doing fine without trying to please the people who bicker about cameras on the internet.
Christopher Snow (@BlameSnow): Nikon really undersold the high speed capabilities of both the J1 and V1. These cameras shoot at, what was it? 60 frames per second? That's craziness, and a unique advantage in the marketplace, mirrorless camera or otherwise. But more to the question, what does the entire system look like one year later? At the risk of seeming jaded, it looks the same right? I mean the J2 literally looks the same, the body is almost a carbon copy of the J1, despite plenty of room for ergonomic improvement. Plus we're told the internal hardware will remain the same or similar. Meanwhile the lens family still isn't particularly exciting. I don't know, this system just isn't very cool yet. I have no doubt that it will become cool later on. But like Canon, it seems as though Nikon entered the mirrorless game because they had to, not because they had something new and exciting to contribute.
Jeremy Stamas (@nematode9): The Nikon 1 system clearly has room to improve, but I think it's a good start for the company. The J1's current retail price, around $500 with a 10-30mm kit lens, is fair for the camera, and the V1's $750 price tag is a good $150 less than its MSRP at launch. There's still a lot of decent competition in that price range, though, so I'm not sure I'd recommend a Nikon 1 camera to anyone at this point. Next year, with a few upgrades and changes to the 1 system, I wouldn't be surprised to see Nikon strongly establish itself as a leader in the mirrorless camera market.
What do you think? Does Nikon need to care about enthusiasts? Does the 1 system deserve more credit than the enthusiast set gives it? Will they be able to turn it into something interesting? Sound off!