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Nikon 1 J1 pre-production vs. Sony NEX-5N: hands-on

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Frank Skomial , Sep 23, 2011; 03:58 p.m.

"but it doesn't really match this other recent post" - and this could continue, until many cameras are in hands of users.

Use of AF-S Nikkor lenses on this camera is clear advantage for those who already have Nikkors.

However, the upcomming Sony24 MP NEX-7 is 1.5 crop sensor, much larger sensor physically and in pixel count than the 10 MP Nikon 1 with 2.7 crop. Since 3rd party vendors already provide adapters for Nikkor lenses on Sony's NEX-7, (for now they are for the NEX-5 to be exact). Sony NEX-7 seems clear winned with Nikon 1 competition, at least when comparing on paper.

Real camera tests and how they both work with Nikkor lenses, will show what is better for Nikkors owners, for the pocket size cameras category. Not so pocket size with Nikkors attached.

Walt Flanagan , Sep 23, 2011; 05:28 p.m.

For me putting an F mount lens w/ adapter on a Nikon 1 defeats the point of having a small camera but if you like it by all means go ahead.

I have 8 Nikon film and digital SLRs. I've been waiting to see what Nikon did in this area. I don't mind the 2.7X crop but the slow consumer zooms and high price are a big let down. I understand that I'm not the target market which is why I won't say it's crap but it is not the camera for me.

Today I bought a Sony NEX 3 (on closeout sale) and Leica adapter. I have no interest in putting a Nikkor on this thing (too big) but my Leica glass will finally be getting used again. Sony has actually added substantial features in their firmware updates. More customization for the buttons and the focus peaking looks great.

ralph oshiro , Sep 23, 2011; 07:14 p.m.

Walt said:

I appreciate your post but it doesn't really match this other recent post regarding the image quality and overall quickness of the camera.

Yes, I read Alex' post, and he apparently came away with a different impression of its overall speed. He was also apparently demo-ing a V1, whereas I was demo-ing a J1 pre-production model. When compared with the Sony NEX-5N, my immediate impression was that the J1 definitely felt "snappier": access to playback, switching modes, AF, etc. I did also shoot in fairly low light, albeit with the f/2.8 lens, and my experience with the J1's auto-focus speed was that it was extremely fast, and appeared accurate. Overall the J1 felt very light on its feet--enough so, that it convinced me to seriously consider the J1 as a near-term personal purchase.

Perhaps, Alex' pre-production V1 firmware wasn't quite up to "speed?"

Alex Iwonttell , Sep 23, 2011; 08:58 p.m.

I tried both the J1 and V1, several copies actually. All of them felt slow to me. The V1's slow switching between LCD and EVF is particularly annoying. Maybe it was the firmware, I dunno. But I also have high standards for speed, so someone else might not be as disappointed. And well, NEX5 is quite slow too IIRC, so if 5N is the same, then perhaps J1 can feel faster in direct comparison...

But overall, I agree it's really easy to like the J1. It feels right in the hand, even though it's so small and doesn't look very ergonomic on photos. Did anyone else notice that the shape of the J1 body quite matches that of Leica M or CL bodies?

Yeah, I think Nikon hit the right spot with a 'low end mirrorless camera'. If I'd have 550 € lying around here, I'd have the J1 on order already, despite its bugs. NEX on the other hand clearly targets the 'high end mirrorless', but, it doesn't match the expectations IMHO, especially considering the controls (NEX 7 might be better in this regard).

I'm just glad to have the new options when I'll be shopping for cameras some day.

ralph oshiro , Sep 24, 2011; 05:12 a.m.

Alex said:

I tried both the J1 and V1, several copies actually. All of them felt slow to me. The V1's slow switching between LCD and EVF is particularly annoying. Maybe it was the firmware, I dunno.

Yeah, I don't know either. I only was able to demo the J1, so I wasn't able to switch from LCD to EVF. But I was impressed by J1's overall responsiveness.

But I also have high standards for speed, so someone else might not be as disappointed.

I also have little tolerance for slow consumer point-and-shoots. Although I was using the Sony NEX-5N as a baseline for comparison, I also own a D3s.

CC Chang , Sep 24, 2011; 06:00 p.m.

I tried both the J1 and V1, several copies actually. All of them felt slow to me. The V1's slow switching between LCD and EVF is particularly annoying. Maybe it was the firmware, I dunno. But I also have high standards for speed, so someone else might not be as disappointed. And well, NEX5 is quite slow too IIRC, so if 5N is the same, then perhaps J1 can feel faster in direct comparison...

From all the demo videos I saw on YouTube, the AF and overall operation of the J/V 1 seems very snappy, and in one video, I even caught a glimpse of the the switching between rear LCD and the EVF, which seems pretty fast to me. I have a D90 and I shoot frequently with the Nikon 17-55/1.8. I also have a GH1 with the 14-140 and many pancake lenses. From what i saw, the 1 seems faster than the GH1, which is among the fastest of the m4/3 system.

Alex Iwonttell , Sep 25, 2011; 10:23 a.m.

It's strange indeed. Nobody else reports the same stuff I saw.

I can only conclude those cameras I demo'd must have been some early samples or something... It's a bummer but at least it means I can only be pleasantly surprised when I check it out again. And since I find the J1 very attractive already, even better.

Ilkka Nissila , Sep 25, 2011; 02:17 p.m.

It could simply be a question of earlier firmware which has not been optimized.

Benjamin Schaefer , Sep 25, 2011; 10:07 p.m.

I am still tempted to purchase one when they come out....
As a side, iamasoccermon.com is still available....


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