One year after being discontinued, my Nikon 1 kit is still going strong. This article features some of my favourite images captured with Nikon 1 gear and provides a summary of my kit’s current status.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Many Nikon 1 owners felt that their world was turned upside down when the system was officially discontinued a year ago. Nothing can change that decision. Realistically there is no hope that Nikon 1 will be resurrected in the future.
All Nikon 1 owners can do is take good care of their equipment and future proof their systems as best they can by buying additional bodies and lenses. Hopefully our Nikon 1 gear will carry on for many years to come.
Too bad many people only discovered the unique characteristics of the Nikon 1 system after the decision to discontinue it was already made. It really is a beautiful balance of size and performance.
Naysayers were in abundance from almost the first day when the system was introduced. They focused on sensor size and slagged the Nikon 1 system mercilessly. I suspect many people who criticized the system never even held a Nikon 1 camera in their hands.
I stumbled into the Nikon 1 system and originally bought some gear as a second camera for my client video work. It didn’t take long before I fell in love with it.
The Nikon 1 system was a great example of out-of-the-box thinking by Nikon and some very clever innovation and engineering. It also showed some courage to bring out such a small, compact system.
From a size/performance perspective nothing really compares to Nikon 1. Even today very few cameras, regardless of price, can match the frame rates of the system. I’ve long referred to my Nikon 1 cameras as ‘pocket rockets’. The auto-focusing of Nikon 1 cameras was so good that my brief experiment owning a Panasonic GH4 ended up as a big disappointment.
My wife loves to travel with a Nikon 1 V3. She likes the levelling graphic, and having both an EVF and a flip screen. I always found some of the design decisions with the V3 with its detachable EVF and grip to be a bit odd. It wasn’t performance that led to the demise of Nikon 1… but rather some marketing and design decisions made by Nikon.
The Nikon 1 J5 remains one of my favourite cameras. The performance of the 20.8 MP BSI sensor is terrific. I often wonder what would have happened if Nikon would have brought out a V4 with that sensor in it, and designed the camera with an integrated grip and EVF. We’ll never know…
Despite its advancing age my Nikon 1 kit continues to perform well. I did have an issue recently with the aperture control malfunctioning with my newest copy of the 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6. The service department at Nikon Canada… as always… provided excellent support.
The macro lens that was on the Nikon 1 lens plan was never introduced. It could have added to the appeal of the system. Many Nikon 1 owners found that using extension tubes with the 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 was a solid solution for close up photography.
Our Nikon 1 gear soldiers on. We own a total of eight bodies: three Nikon 1 V2s, three Nikon 1 J5s, and a pair of Nikon 1 V3s. To help future proof our system we have a collection of 24 batteries… 8 for each camera model. I anticipate that our Nikon 1 cameras will remain serviceable for many years to come.
Like most Nikon 1 owners we likely have more 1 Nikkor 10-30 mm f/3.5-5.6 zooms than we will need (a total of 7). But… they help with future proofing our system.
I have used the three 1 Nikkor primes we own (10 mm, 18.5 mm, 32 mm), as well as the 10-100 mm f/4.5-5.6 PD zoom as the workhorses for our client video business. Should we decide to use Olympus gear for our client video productions in the future, I’m not sure what I’ll do with these specific 1 Nikkor lenses. I never use them for still photography.
The key lenses in our Nikon 1 kit have always been four zoom lenses: 30-100 mm f/3.8-5.6, 10-100 mm f/4-5.6, 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 and 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6. All are wonderfully competent lenses. We own two copies of each.
The 1 Nikkor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 has always been one of the lenses that helped to define the Nikon 1 system. When coupled with a V2 or V3 body it is still one of the most effective, and lightweight birding options out there.
As a travel camera system, Nikon 1 is still tough to beat. We travel with 4 cameras. My wife uses a Nikon 1 V3 with a 10-100 mm f/4-5.6. I pack three Nikon 1 bodies for my use. A V3 with a CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6, a J5 with a 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6, and a J5 with a 10-100 mm f/4-5.6. It is still one of the best, lightest, and most capable selections of camera gear for travel.
I checked our shutter count on our Nikon 1 cameras in preparation for this article. My Nikon 1 bodies should have a lot of life left in them.
Nikon 1 V3: 147,278
Nikon 1 V3: 10,785
Nikon 1 V2: 14,506
Nikon 1 V2: 57,486
Nikon 1 V2: 93,331
Nikon 1 J5: 18,821
Nikon 1 J5: 29,078
Nikon 1 J5: 17,O89
Since October 2018 we’ve added a total of 66,731 images/video clips to our shutter count.
One year after being discontinued… I still get lots of questions from readers about the system. One year after being discontinued… I’m getting more enquiries about the system from people who have only recently discovered it, and invested in it. One year after being discontinued… Nikon 1 owners are still passionate about their gear.
Time marches on. Things change. One year after being discontinued… Nikon 1 owners can still enjoy their cameras and the images their gear helps them capture. That’s a good thing.
All photographs in this article were captured using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All of the photographs displayed in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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