(Some) Pictures, more to come when I have time to upload them

150 mm (405 mm 35mm equivalent) 1/500 s f/2.8 ISO 800, picture chosen from a series made with 60 fps

32 mm (85 mm FF equivalent) 1/40 s f/1.2 ISO 160 (Baritone Henk Neven with pianist Rudolf Jansen at Schubert Stichting concert, more pictures here: )

1/3200 s f/5.6 6.7 mm (18mm FF equivalent) ISO 160 (one exposure, no HDR)

150 mm (405 mm FF equivalent) 1/1600 s f/2.8 ISO 160

I see at least two three use cases for Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras.

The first is the typical use of standard consumer who buys a DSLR. Maybe you shouldn’t say use case but instead speak of intended use case, because many owners of a DSLR often leave their cameras at home and use smartphone instead. Nevertheless: if you buy a standard DSLR you do so to make pictures of small, fast and unpredictably moving animals called children.  DSLRs became popular because they were able, unlike compact camera’s to focus fast enough to produce sharp pictures. The fact that more and more people prefer smart phones for the same use case has also to do with DOF: because of their small sensors, smart phones have a large DOF so they don’t suffer from focus errors as much as compact camera’s. Nikon 1 cameras combine those two advantages and focus faster than simple DSLR’s, yet produce pictures with a quality almost as good as those from entry level DSLR’s. For this group of consumers Nikon 1 camera’s with their small lenses should be a logical choice. For some idiotic reasons those consumers – with the exception of Asian women - don’t follow this logic and keep buying DSLRs instead. After having bought them they find out that those cameras are large and heavy and leave them at home – but at least they bought what people ‘in the know’ told them to buy.

The second use case is what I call the 35mm use case. Nikon 1 cameras are perfect if you are not looking for medium format quality (which is what full frame offers you) and prefer a fast and versatile camera you can take with you all the time and which allows you to make pictures in an unobtrusive way. It makes – as far as I know as only mirrorless camera - virtually no noise at all, so you can even use it at classical concerts and in other situations where the sound of a camera is disturbing. Quality is almost APS-C quality and if you use faster lenses (32/1.2, 50/1.4) it might even be higher, due to the combination of a very large aperture and relatively slow shutter speeds which become possible since the camera itself doesn’t have a mirror. The effect of the latter is really surprising, when I work with a DSLR alongside I have to be very careful cause I need a 2 - 8 times longer shutter speeds (without VR, but very fast lenses don’t have VR).

The third is travel photograpy. If you want to use several lenses and a tripod with a DSLR, you have a lot of luggage and a lot to carry. With a Nikon 1 you can do with a smal package and a small and light tripod. You won't look like a backpacker anymore and your travel companion will be a lot happier. Most important: you will have a lot more energy to enjoy your holliday.






On Nikon 1 cameras,
Nikon1 lenses and more
By Dré de Man, photographer, journalist, and author of 26 books on digital photography and Nikon cameras