Nikon: Possibility of 'pro' Nikon 1 not ruled out

Nikon V1
Nikon's Simon Iddon says that the company is listening to feedback on its new mirrorless system

Update: read our Nikon 1 review (J1) or

Nikon 1 review


Nikon's new 1 series of cameras, introduced on Wednesday, are the company's first foray into the world of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Keen to avoid being seen as jumping on the bandwagon, Nikon calls the V1 and the J1 an "advanced interchangeable lens camera" or "ACIL".

Unlike other compact system cameras (CSCs) on the market, the V1 and J1 both use small a small sensor as compared to the APS-C sized DSLR like sensors of Sony's NEX and Samsung's NX range, or Olympus and Panasonic's micro four thirds size.

While there was a lot of excitement surrounding the launch of the new cameras, some DSLR users have expressed disappointment at the size of the sensor, which offers a 2.7x crop.

In an exclusive interview with TechRadar, Simon Iddon, Product Manager at Nikon UK, explained how the company has been listening to feedback since Wednesday. "We understand there are people, DSLR enthusiasts, that have an opinion and we're completely aware of it," he said. "Wherever we can we'll listen to every piece of feedback and it will get fed back in terms of future developments."

Overall however, Simon seems to be pleased with the reception the V1 and J1 have received, "The feedback's been very positive, and the target audience for this has given us really strong feedback in terms of what it'll deliver for them, we're very excited about the launch," he explained.

Target user

Nikon v1

If DSLR users feel a little short changed by the new 1 system, Nikon is keen to point out that they are not the main audience for the cameras. "Nikon 1 is a different area, it's for someone who wants better image quality, for someone who wants to invest in a system that will grow," Iddon said.

"We've spent a long time understanding what the customer wants, at the development stage there were a huge huge amount of customer surveys carried out across many m any countries, because we wanted to know exactly what the customer was looking for."

F-mount adapter

Although existing Nikon DSLR system users have the option to attach any lenses they might own to the V1 or J1 via an optional F-mount adapter, Iddon says that second shooters are not the primary focus. "Although there's no way we'd want to alienate our loyal customers, these cameras are primarily designed for a new market that's not fulfilled."

"This is very much a customer that wouldn't necessarily buy into a DSLR because of the size and the fact that it's an intimidating system on some levels. This [the Nikon 1] is very user friendly, very portable, but still keeps great image quality."

Lens roadmap

At the moment, only four specifically designed Nikon 1 mount lenses are available, but more are to come. Notable by its absence is a wide-aperture portrait lens, the fastest lens currently available is the 10mm f/2.8 wide angle lens.

Several mocked up lenses were shown on display at the Nikon 1 launch, including a telephoto lens, macro and portrait lens. "We're going to be launching those lenses all within the next three years, and you can be assured that will take customer feedback on board with all future lenses," Iddon explained.

"We're keen to develop the system with a much wider range and breadth of all different types of lenses for different situations. Customers can have confidence that the range of lenses will increase over the next few years."

Pro Nikon 1

Many observers have made comments on the fact that advanced exposure options, such as aperture priority, are not directly accessible from the mode dial on the rear of the Nikon 1 cameras. Iddon says that this has been designed to reduce the amount of intimidating features, buttons and mode dials, but he is not ruling out the possibility of a "pro" version of the Nikon 1.

"If that's something that people would like, then Nikon will always that on board and consider what the next option is," he said, "but, if it was going to be the same as a DSLR then we couldn't have launched a product because we already have great DSLRs and are investing heavily in these."

Read our Nikon V1 hands on review and our Nikon 1 J1 review to get our first impressions of the new system, and look out for a full review of both cameras soon.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.