Nikon Announces New DL Line of 1″ Premium Compacts With a Trio of Cameras

Nikon DL 18-50 f/1.8-2.8
Nikon DL 18-50 f/1.8-2.8

Nikon announced a new line of 1″ premium compact cameras dubbed the DL (which stands for “Digital Lens”) targeted towards serious photographers. It uses the CX-format 1″ BSI CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.8MP and a maximum ISO Of 12,800. Powered by a EXPEED 6A Image Processor, the DL series of cameras are capable of 60fps continuous shooting with fixed AF, and 20fps with continuous AF.

Nikon DL 24-85 f/1.8-2.8
Nikon DL 24-85 f/1.8-2.8

The three cameras covers a wide range of focal lengths—DL 18-50mm f/1.8-2.8, DL 24-85mm f/1.8-2.8 and DL 24-500mm f/2.8-5.6. The first two models looks more or less alike, and somewhat reminiscent of the Coolpix A released in 2013. The DL 24-500 on the other hand, looks more like the P900 and the recently announced B700.

Nikon DL 24-500 f/2.8-5.6
Nikon DL 24-500 f/2.8-5.6

The DL 18-50 and DL 24-85 both features a 3″ tilting LCD with a resolution of 1.037 million dots, while the DL 24-500, like the B700, has a fully-articulated screen. All three cameras are capable of 4K video recording at 30fps, 1200 fps slow motion, HDMI output to an external recorder, still photos from video, RAW file recording, and a standard hot shoe. Wireless connectivity is provided by Bluetooth/NFC as well as WiFi. The DL 24-500 features a high-resolution OLED EVF with 2.359 million dots, while the other two has optional EVFs which can be purchased separately.

All three cameras will be available from early summer at US$850, US$650 and US$1000 respectively.

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Nikon Announces the Nikon 1 J5

Nikon 1 J5 Front

After weeks of speculation Nikon has announced the Nikon 1 J5. The new camera has a number of upgrades, the biggest of which is the 20 megapixel back-side illuminated sensor. Could it be a Sony? I’ve always thought that Nikon using the Aptina sensors was due to the sensor readout speed, needed for both the crazy fast phase detect autofocus of the 1 cameras, as well as the impressive continuous shooting rates on them. Has Nikon managed to marry both speed and quality this time?

Other improvements include a flip LCD that goes both up for selfies and down for overhead shots, an additional command dial in the traditional Nikon thumb position (which I very much welcome) and a mode dial that has dedicated manual exposure modes. Oh, there is now a custom function button next to the lens mount too. At the very least ISO should be pegged to it.

The camera retains the speed of the J4 before it, with the 170 PDAF points and 20 FPS continuous shooting speed with continuous AF, and 60 FPS with AF lock on the first frame, which is still impressive in 2015.

Now, the other upgrade is a bit embarrassing: Nikon has given the J5 4K video capability, but at 15 FPS. Um, I am not sure who is actually going to use it at 15 FPS. Coincidentally 4K at 15 FPS has the same data rate as 1080p at 60 FPS, so it does sound like the engineers were pressured into delivering a 4K solution with whatever they had on hand for a marketing headline.

As much as I like the Nikon 1 cameras for what they are, such moves really do not help the line. Already I see the less than kind comments about it, and the last thing the Nikon 1 cameras need are more jokes to be made about them. It seems a shame too, as the cameras are slowly improving, and I really did quite like the Nikon 1 J4 despite the somewhat noisy sensor. Nikon really should have tried to address the criticisms head on, which they appear to have with the upgrades on hand, as the J5 has the better user interface, possibly better sensor, and better pricing, with the 10-30 PD kit coming in at a reasonable US$499 (US$100 less than the J4).

The Nikon 1 J5 will arrive in late April in black, silver-black, and white, with the above-mentioned 10-30 PD kit at US$500, the 10-30 and 30-110 dual lens kit at US$750, and the 10-100 kit at US$1050. I wonder if the trend in Singapore will continue, with the Singapore prices at 1:1 rates compared to the US prices. S$500 for the J5 will certainly be interesting, especially if the image quality will be up to snuff. More pictures of the J5 after the break. Continue reading Nikon Announces the Nikon 1 J5

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Nikon Launches Nikon 1 AW1 and Waterproofed 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 and 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 Lenses

Nikon 1 AW
Personally, after a rather quiet August and September I was still waiting for Nikon to launch the Nikon 1 V3. It would, if nothing, at least mean a price drop for the Nikon 1 V2. Instead we get the Nikon 1 AW1, which is a waterproofed, rugged version of the J3. Other media sources have made the comparison to the Nikonos, but the thing is, the Nikonos went tens of metres underwater as a dive camera should. This goes to… 15 metres. It is also drop proof to 2 metres, and a sensor suite comprising of GPS/GLONASS, compass, altimeter, and so on have been added to it. Continue reading Nikon Launches Nikon 1 AW1 and Waterproofed 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 and 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 Lenses

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It Begins (Again): Nikon 1 J2 Discounts On Amazon

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Well, here we go again. If you follow this link (not an affiliate link), you can find that the Nikon 1 J2 with the 10-30mm lens going off as low as US$287.99 with the memory card and bag (discounts all applied at checkout). Once again, Nikon should just start selling these cameras at a lower price to begin with. These massive clearouts are only teaching the rest of us that the Nikon 1s are best bought older at a massive discount. Who’s going to buy them new at the rather high price?

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Nikon Announces the Nikon V2, Speedlight SB-N7 and Three 1-series Lenses

Nikon 1 V2 with 10-30mm kit lens

Ah, now I know why there’s a sudden price drop of the Nikon 1 V1 cameras. It’s because Nikon now has the Nikon 1 V2, announced today. The camera is an upgrade to the V1, sporting a 14 megapixel CX-sized sensor, built-in flash, a mode dial (finally), a customisable function button (finally) and a built-in hand grip.

YS: Ye gods, is that hump on top ugly or what? In fact, I can see the flash panel exposed in the image – This reminds me of Transformers toys with inelegant kibble bits stuck behind the robot, except this time it is hanging off on the front.

CK: Indeed it is ugly, no where as ugly as the Hasselblad-made NEX 7 recently announced but still ugly. A dpreview user was right to say that it shouts, “Don’t buy me!!!”

YS: To clarify on another point, there has always been a mode dial for the 1 cameras, just that this time the traditional PASM modes are there as well. However, there is still no button dedicated to the ISO setting, which means the customisable function button is not going to be so customisable after all, since most photographers will set it to ISO. Still, having a proper command dial is a good thing. Oh, and get ready for a new battery – the V2 uses the new EN-EL21.

CK: Nikon has also added a a Live View Control – giving a preview of exposure effects on the LCD and EVF prior to shooting.There’s also a “Slow View” mode which buffers 40 frames over 1.33s when you half-press the shutter button, then replays them at 1/5th speed, letting you choose your own decisive moment. A little gimmicky, in my opinion.

The camera will retail at the V1’s original list price of US$899 with the 10-30mm kit zoom in late November.

YS: This camera really needs to be S$899, not US$899. Plus, I am sure many early adopters are going to remember the V1’s incredible price drop (more than 50% over one year), and will tell their friends about it. Customers will remember when they’ve been burnt. Not Nikon’s best moment, really.

Continue reading Nikon Announces the Nikon V2, Speedlight SB-N7 and Three 1-series Lenses

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