Nikon has finally made its long-anticipated entrance into the interchangeable lens compact system camera market with the launch of the Nikon 1 system, and the V1 and J1 cameras pictured below are the first models to grace the range. Nikon gave us some extended hands-on time with both of the new Nikon 1 models along with the full set of dedicated lenses that have been designed specifically for use with the new CX- format mount (Nikon’s first new mount since the F-mount in 1959, no less).
Given that the samples on show were pre-production models without final firmware Nikon was understandably reluctant to let anyone take any images with them, although they did at least load some of the test samples with memory cards so that we could get a better feel for them.
We’re not going to re-list all of the technical specifications in any great detail here, as these details are easy to find elsewhere – either in our original news article or on Nikon’s own microsite. We are, however, happy to share our initial thoughts on what the new cameras and lenses, indeed the new system as a whole, brings to the table and what we’ll be especially keen to look at in more detail as and when we get some review samples in for a full test.
First impressions for both of the new Nikon 1 bodies are, we have to say, very positive; picking them up for the first time, both cameras feel extremely stylish and well made. Both models share the same unfussy, uncluttered approach, allowing the clean lines and simple form factor of each to shine through.
Size-wise, the J1 is especially small, smaller than the Sony NEX-C3 even. The V1 is a bit bigger and chunkier, primarily due to the Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) that juts out of the top. There’s no finger grip at all on the J1 and the V1 gets little more than a raised bar. Neither model gets a thumb rest either. Despite these omissions, both cameras sit quite well in the hand and give easy access to the various controls and buttons.