Recently I’ve had quite a few readers contact me at the office asking me what I think about the idea of Nikon relaunching the Nikon 1 product line using a larger sensor in a CX-mount body. The big question is whether this is feasible or not.
In the spirit of transparency, what you are reading is the second version of this article. The first one was well intended but failed to address a number of important technical issues. It was the product of a self-confessed ‘non-technical guy’ venturing out of his realm and not properly researching a topic. The result was an initial posting of no real reader value. For that I offer my sincere apologies to readers.
NOTE: click on images to enlarge.
The feasibility of putting a larger sensor in a CX mount body is likely best explained by a comment by Jack Pearson on June 8th at 10:19PM. I would encourage readers to take a few minutes, scroll down to the comments section, and review Jack’s comment.
Suffice to say, that based on the perspectives that Jack outlined in his comment there appears to be little chance that Nikon will put a larger sized sensor in a CX body.
The future of Nikon 1 still appears foggy at best. Speculations abounds. Some Nikon 1 users like me, remain optimistic. Others fatalistic.
It would appear that the future of the Nikon 1 system is much dependant on what Nikon does with the V-series of cameras. A V4 with an integrated grip and EVF is the preferred configuration of most Nikon 1 users, especially if it incorporates the 20.8 MP BSI sensor that is currently being used in the Nikon 1 J5. Or, perhaps a higher performing CX sized BSI sensor with fewer MP but better dynamic range, colour depth and low light performance than is currently offered by the J5.
From what I am hearing from some of my commercial photography contacts the fog may clear in September. While no specific details appear available, at least in Canada, the wide consensus seems to be that Nikon will be very active with a series of major announcements in September.
Perhaps DX and FX mirror-less cameras will be announced by Nikon. The future of Nikon 1 would obviously be tied into the overall Nikon product portfolio. My hope, like many Nikon 1 owners, is that a V4/V5 is launched in the very near future.
I have an extensive photography tour planned for later this year. This has caused me to wrestle with whether I should buy a Nikon 1 J5 to take advantage of the improved image quality of its BSI sensor or not. I very much prefer cameras with an EVF so I struggled for many months.
It has probably been a year or so since I wrote my review Of the Nikon 1 J5 and shot with this model. At about $500 US I decided that it was a small price to pay for the improved image quality so I pulled the trigger and bought one. After a week and a couple of thousand images, I then purchased a second J5.
I found that it didn’t actually take that long to get used to shooting without an EVF. Sure, there are some subjects like birds-in-flight for which I would not use the J5. Funny enough, it’s not because of any visibility issues shooting with a camera without an EVF. Attaching a Zacuto or other type of hood solves that issue. I found that the AF-C was noticeably slower than that of my V2’s, so much so that I missed well over 50% of the BIF images I tried to take with the J5. I also found that the buffer was too small and took far too long to clear, which also contributed to missed image opportunities.
Other than those couple of issues, the Nikon 1 J5 is a terrific little camera. The dynamic range and colour depth are noticeably better than previous models with Aptina sensors, especially when working with RAW files in post. The increased resolution of 20.8 MP also provides a lot more image flexibility.
I’ve now finalized my travel kit for later this year: one J5 mounted with the 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6, a second J5 mounted with the 10-100 mm f/4-5.6, and a V2 mounted with the CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6. I’ll also be taking a set of MOVO extension tubes and my 30-110 mm for macro-type images.
In a way buying a couple of J5’s helps to ‘future proof’ my Nikon 1 system for a number of years to come, regardless of what Nikon ultimately decides to do with the Nikon 1 system.
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