Questions on the Nikon 1 system

coffeeboycoffeeboy Posts: 4Member
edited July 2015 in General Discussions
I was once a Canon person in my 30's. I had the Canon A2E with Eye control. I never used the eye control however. Lost my way, sold the camera. Now at 63 I want to buy a new system. I am going to go with one of the mirrorless systems. I always wanted to go Nikon, however the Nikon 1 system just does not look as good as Sony (or others for that matter). They have smaller sensor, no in camera IS. Do any of you Nikon users have a good reason to go with the Nikon 1 system? I want a EVF, built in flash, and IS.

Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    Hello Coffeeboy! Welcome to Nikon Rumours.

    In a nutshell, you are making tradeoffs. If you like the size of the Nikon 1 system and the quality is good enough for you, then it is a great system.

    Despite my signature, I actually have a Nikon 1 system. It is my 9 year old’s and he has the 10mm and 18.5mm lens. I work with the files on Lightroom so I know its limitations well.

    I am not sure why you prefer in camera stabilization. There is nothing wrong with it, but it is not going to give you superior results to Canon and Nikon’s lens system.

    I think that the first question that you should really ask is which manufacturer makes the best lenses for your intended photographic subject. People talk about the limitations of the smaller sensors, but the smaller sensors go along with smaller lens formats. The limitation of sensor’s size is really a limitation of the lens format’s size. As long as the sensor captures all of the light that the lens focusses on the sensor, the lens size is not relevant. This is counterintuitive thinking, but when you really think about it, it is true. You may ask, “Why is the relevant?” It is relevant because it reinforces that you should be thinking about lenses first, not cameras.

    The next question is “Why are you interested in a mirrorless system.” I am going to assume that it is something to do with size and price. I am also going to assume that image quality is important to you. Based on these assumptions, the next thing to do is find the largest format that you can be comfortable carrying and can afford.

    Since you are looking at Sony, I will further assume that APS-C (Nikon calls this DX) (16mm by 24mm) is not too big or expensive, but full frame probably is.

    With these assumptions, I would not buy Sony. The lenses are mediocre and overpriced. The cameras certainly have merit, but the world’s best camera cannot compensate for a mediocre lens. Personally, I think that the best option is Fuji. The lenses are fabulous and the cameras are also very good.

    Olympus is good, but the micro 4/3rd lenses are a smaller format (and yes the sensor is smaller too, but it is the lenses that count, not the sensor). This means that the potential image quality is reduced.

    And finally, I want to ask why you are choosing mirrorless. I was speaking to somebody a month or so ago that was holding up a Sony and Olympus that had decided to go mirrorless because of the small size. I then put a D5500 in their hand and asked them why they thought that was too big. They had not really looked that closely before and immediately concluded that the Nikon was not too big. I also pointed out that the lens selection is far superior which is a huge factor when you are buying a system. Focus will also be much better in low light – though in broad daylight they will be about the same. They walked away with a D5300, 18-55mm DX lens and 35mm DX lens for low light. Why the D5300? While the D5500 is sweet with the flippy screen and the focus is likely better, they were on a budget and saving $200 on the camera allowed them to buy the 35mm prime for low light and superior image quality to the 18-55.

    I hope this helps. I made several assumptions. If they are wrong, let me know how and I will revise my response accordingly.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    Good post @westendfoto .

    Welcome to NR @Coffeeboy. Please provide more info regarding your subjects and use case and budget. eg: is Video important to you? are you going hiking ? is weather sealing important?

    Although I have the nikon1 system (I have the old N1V1), for me I got it to investigate the system. I like it, though the sensor in the V1 has truly been superseded. The new J5 looks great(very good sensor) but I like the viewfinder in the V1 so I will probably be waiting for the latest of the V series to get the latest sensor. The latest Nikon1 sensor (in the J5) with BSI is a big jump in the Nikon1 system. I use the Nikon1 system as part of a complementary set of Nikon bodies. CX + DX + FX all using the same lenses. gives me a lot of flexibility with minimal lenses. 3 bodies and 3 lenses gets me about 15-750 mm and it fits in a medium size camera bag..

    If I were to start again and get a fresh system with the most capability, 1 body with 3 lenses.. .. I would consider the Mirrorless systems but go with the Nikon D7200 or Pentax K3 II
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • coffeeboycoffeeboy Posts: 4Member
    I wish to have a very compact system. It has been years since I shot with Canon and Pentax. I guess I always wanted to get into Nikon because of reputation and optics. I will be more of a casual shooter but want excellent results. I am not willing to break the bank so will look for a good deal on ebay. I did win a Nikon D5100, but the seller backed out. That is when I started reading on the smaller mirrorless systems. Right now I would look for a good deal on say the Nikon 1 V2, and hope to step up to newer cameras in the system when, hopefully the sensors get larger. I am not a pro by any means and read where many believe the DSLR is heading to the smaller mirrorless systems. I read that some (like the Sony RX100) are coming out with full size sensors now. But I agree the Lens is what I want to look at first and can't afford the best right now. Thanks so much for the input, very nice.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    The sensor in any system will not get bigger as the camera makers us e the maximum sensor size compatible with the mount diameter. The only "kinda" exception is Nikon's DX (and maybe the Caono equivalent). With DX, the same mount size is used in FX and they are compatible with each other. The upgrade, which is to FX already exists.

    So unless you are buying DX you have to buy a new system to upgrade.
  • coffeeboycoffeeboy Posts: 4Member
    Well, I thought I was a little more knowledgable than I actually am. I didn't realize that the sensor size will not get bigger in any system. That might be a deal breaker then. Why is Nikon limiting themselves to a smaller sensor than the competitors? I see Pentax took that route also. Now I probably will shop a different system. I have actually read many good reviews on Sony's including the Nex 6. That I can afford, and has many good features. Thanks for all the great information!!
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    edited July 2015
    This is likely the rule with few exceptions. Whatever system you buy, you will be limiting yourself in this way. DX is an exception because it was brought out to keep Nikon's F-mount system alive when sensor prices were insane, not for any other reason.

    If the sensor gets bigger, then the diameter of the lens mount will block the light. With intuitive lens design a camera manufacturer could probably get around this BY A SMALL AMOUNT, but the effect would be so small it is not worth considering.

    But what is the point of the sensor getting bigger and better if the lenses are not up to the challenge? That is the problem with Sony. For the any given quality level in a Sony lens, Nikon, Canon or Fuji will produce the same for less money and Sony lenses are mediocre at best so no amount of money will fix that problem with Sony. Unless you have unlimited amounts of cash, you can't afford to be spending more on Sony than you would have spent with the competitors. And if you had unlimited amounts of cash, you would just buy Nikon or Canon and hire a porter to carry it around for you if the weight offended you that much.

    There are other manufacturers like Panasonic and Samsung, but they either have similar problems or who knows if they will be around in 5 or 10 years. Few camera manufactures are profitable. Nikon is. Canon, Fuji and Sony are not, with Sony the worst of the three. Also, it would not be difficult for the board of Sony to dump the camera division to keep the company alive. Unless you are buying a camera and a lens that you will throw away with the camera in 5 years, you need to think about this.

    Pentax might be worth considering, but I don't know much about that system.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    @coffeeboy - at this stage don't get too limited by details is my advice. You would be surprised what great performance you can get out of smaller sensors these days. Look at Olympus using the M4/3 system. They have great IQ yet that sensor is equal to a DX sensor used in crop mode dimensionally speaking. If you don't do one of the few less usual uses of a camera which really require a large sensor, I would advise the average buyer to put other features like handling, cost and portability ahead of sensor size. Not all users that ask questions like yours are ever going to be professionals or even get as far into the hobby as a lot of the members here have. It would be a shame for you to get a lot of really expensive gear then decide photography really on that scale isn't that important to you after all. I guess that is a question you will have to ask and answer yourself though. If you want Nikon, sure, great choice, but do check out the new Coolpix and DX as well as the 1 series. I rather like the new Coolpix P900 superzoom as a holiday camera personally.

    I have gone full circle before so I know the feeling of selling cases of gear - losing money and interest because I allowed things to escalate.
    Always learning.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    My wife has the Nikon 1 AW1, with the 11-27.5mm lens, and it takes great pictures.

    We were just traveling around BC and AB in Canada, and I must say I was envious of the extreme portability of a good little camera! It is versatile, fast, and easy to use, and it takes good pictures. She has the F-mount adapter, and tried to shoot with my 14-24mm, as well as my 24-70mm, and that produced some fantastic pictures.

    It is not comparable to a D810, that is NOT what I am saying, but for a USD700 camera, it is nice. The pictures are sharp, and you can easily crop the heck out of them, as the sensor is good 14MP. There are a few funky deviations from what I am used to on a DSLR, like that not all shots produce a NEF file. But some of the consumer functionalities are cool, like the build-in GPS, the various creative modes, and the fact that the f..... is waterproof:)

    Unless you really want DSLR, the Nikon 1 is a good system. And it is a great supplement to any photog...
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited July 2015
    What is your budget @coffeeboy ? Have a look at all the wonderful gear in all the attached Sigs :-) Photography is not an expensive hobby .. compared to cars ;-) but you could be spending much more than you think, if you do catch the bug. =))

    The nikon1 system was progressing fairly rapidly although its slowing down quite a bit now. The J5 is a very nice jump in sensor IQ. I would consider that a good place to start in the Nikon1 system ..
    Your first choice of the D5100 ie. the Nikon D5xxx series, is also a good place to start if you hope to grow your interest in photography. If you find your interest waning then you still have a nice kit that didn't cost too much. If you find your Interest growing you can still use the lenses on the more advanced bodies.. the latest D5500 and D7200 are really quite awesome cameras.. they take better pictures than just about any cameras out there, except those that cost 3 - 4 times more and only in some specific uses by professional or very experienced photographers.. if you cant get a good picture out of them, the problem is not with the gear :-)

    Tell us your budget and we can provide a better suggestion.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    @coffeeboy - at this stage don't get too limited by details is my advice. You would be surprised what great performance you can get out of smaller sensors these days. Look at Olympus using the M4/3 system. They have great IQ yet that sensor is equal to a DX sensor used in crop mode dimensionally speaking. If you don't do one of the few less usual uses of a camera which really require a large sensor, I would advise the average buyer to put other features like handling, cost and portability ahead of sensor size. Not all users that ask questions like yours are ever going to be professionals or even get as far into the hobby as a lot of the members here have. It would be a shame for you to get a lot of really expensive gear then decide photography really on that scale isn't that important to you after all. I guess that is a question you will have to ask and answer yourself though. If you want Nikon, sure, great choice, but do check out the new Coolpix and DX as well as the 1 series. I rather like the new Coolpix P900 superzoom as a holiday camera personally.

    I have gone full circle before so I know the feeling of selling cases of gear - losing money and interest because I allowed things to escalate.
    My first inclination was to say, "I agree with you accept the part about comparing the micro-two thirds sensor on the Olympus to DX." Then I read closer and you said "DX in crop mode". So I do agree with everything you have said.

    Coffeeboy, I also agree with everything else that is said here. I have focussed my comments solely on image quality and the long run strategy of choosing a system that will give you the best IQ in the long run. However, as others have rightly pointed out, there is more to photography than that and everyone has a preference. For example, I love the ergonomics of my D800 with its MB-D12 battery grip, weight be damned. I feel naked with my Coolpix A (which I like because even though discontinued, it is still the best IQ that fits in a shirt pocket) or my kids Nikon 1 system. However, I also packed around about 20-25 pounds of camera gear when I was in Rome and Florence in March and when I go to Spain and Portugal in October, I intend to do exactly the same thing. So I am not exactly a regular guy.......
  • coffeeboycoffeeboy Posts: 4Member
    It has been great hearing from you all. Very good points and things for me to consider. My aspirations are bring back an old hobby, nothing more. My first camera was the old Pentax K1000, then the Pentax Super Program, finally the Canon A2E. I had to buy new lenses every time! I have made my mind up about a smaller system. I just don't want to lug around heavy stuff. And, yes I have looked at the Coolpix P900 with that crazy zoom. I'm not sure I need a zoom like that however, buy it is a wow factor! I don't expect to ever print over an 8x10. So lot's to think of.
  • tektradertektrader Posts: 58Member
    My wife has a Nikon V1 that I got for cheap on ebay. It really does take very good photos. I am constantly amazed by its output.

    IMO it does not matter what the sensor size is as long as the Picture quality is great. If they could make a small sensor with the quality of the D800. Would we care about the sensor size?

    I will buy my wife a new camera soon. When they put the J5 sensor in a camera with a view finder that will be the tipping point. The new J5 sensor by all reports is as good a Micro 4/3rds camera, Who cares about the frame size.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,221Member
    Few camera manufactures are profitable. Nikon is. Canon, Fuji and Sony are not, with Sony the worst of the three. Also, it would not be difficult for the board of Sony to dump the camera division to keep the company alive.
    Actually the only section of Sony that turned a profit the last year was the imaging division, so if something gets dumped, I doubt it will be cameras.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    Well, we are both not correct. Note the following relating to March 2015 results:

    http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/fr/14q4_sony.pdf

    Financial services, gaming and pictures is doing well. Their phone business is atrocious and home entertainment is poor.

    At first glance their imaging products is doing quite well, but if you further analyze this area, it is due to camera sensors and most of the growth is coming from sensors for camera phones.

    There seems to be some improvement in cameras due to a shift to higher priced models, but this is based on information communicated to analysts. I have not found any information that breaks down the imaging business further.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 393Member
    I'm kind of thinking that Nikon isn't quite there for you coffeeboy. The latest "1-inch" sensor they put in the J5 is excellent, but doesn't give you the EFV. I would wait to see what the next V-series body will have, as the V3 is on the last generation Aptina sensor, but when it does arrive it'll probably $1K. Then I'd want to wait for its first price drop, then look for refurbs - so that's probably a year out.

    I've been shooting with the Sony RX-100 ii, which is roughly the same generation as the J5. I am alternately impressed by the quality, detail, lack of noise (for a compact!), then occasionally disappointed with its blowing highlights. So am really studying exposure and the DRO options. Also, it doesn't fit in hand comfortably. For necessity, it's great, goes everywhere and gives excellent results. For joy, it's not quite there. I'm not sure if any super small body can be.

    So I guess that tells me to suggest the m4/3 series. A lot of great options there. As an enthusiast, I think it makes sense to have two systems. For me, small is 1" and big is DX. But I could also imagine small being m4/3 and big being FX. And if you really want just 1, then m4/3 is probably good enough.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    FX is medium sized KnockKnock.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    Printing to 10" x 8"? The world really is your oyster - look seriously at M4/3rds.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    Coffee boy, unless you have held them in your hands and tell me that they are too big, I would look at either Nikon's DX system or the Fuji mirror less. These two systems have the widest selection of good quality lens and will be a significant upgrade from M4/3rds in both image quality and lens selection.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 393Member
    @WestEndFoto X_X one man's small is another man's big (or woman's)
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    @WestEndFoto X_X one man's small is another man's big (or woman's)
    Funny......
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