One Year After Being Discontinued

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360, captured at 20 frames per second

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-900

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.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 60 mm, efov 162 mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-1600

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-1600

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-500

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.

Tairua, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 26 mm, efov 70.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-160

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.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 29 mm, efov 78.3 mm, f/5.3, 1/1600, ISO-800

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 270 mm, efov 729 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-2200

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.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 34 mm, efov 91.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-3200

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…

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360

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.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83 mm, efov 224 mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-3200, 10 mm extension tube used

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-450

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.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 80 mm, efov 216 mm, f/11, 1/100, ISO-160

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 20.3 mm, efov 54.8 mm, f/8, 1/10, ISO-160

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.

Kaikoura, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 22 mm, efov 59.4 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-160

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.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/5000, ISO-1600

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.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1250

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.

Hooker’s Sea Lions at Waipapa Point, New Zealand, Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm, efov 189 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-800

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
Total: 388,374

Since October 2018 we’ve added a total of 66,731 images/video clips to our shutter count.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27.2 mm, efov 73.4 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

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.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 18 mm, efov 48.6 mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-400

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.

Technical Note:
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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14 thoughts on “One Year After Being Discontinued”

  1. Thanks, Thomas for providing inspiration to keep going with the Nikon 1 system. I have always used point and shoot + mobile phones to photograph. This year I wanted something more and I ended up buying a J1 in January of this year with a 10 mm and 10-30 mm without a lot of research. I loved the portability of it. I knew it was discontinued but that did not stop me from buying a V1 with a 30-110 mm for $90 (its shutter count was less than 8K). I have since bought an 18.5 mm for $75 and a GPS module for the V1.

    1. Hi Wes,

      Nikon 1 is a unique camera system. Those of us that use it love the portability and performance… I’m glad to learn that you have been enjoying your acquisitions! It sounds like you got some good equipment at attractive prices.

      Tom

  2. Tom,
    I came late to the 1 series. My DSLR was almost permanently in the cubboard as I no longer had the inclination to carry a large bag of gear around and for a couple of years had been using various compacts for travel. However in 2016 with a tour of South Africa planned I decided a better solution was needed and, after searching the market with some trepidation settled on a J5 with 10-30 and 30-110 lenses. A few short weeks trying it out and I was converted adding a 6.7-13 before my trip. Couldn’t have been happier with the camera for ease of use, portability and results.
    Beginning of this year I had decided to add a 10-100 lens as I found myself changing frequently between the 10-30 and 30-110 and this was when I discovered the 1 series had been discontinued. Much soul searching and reviewing alternative systems followed before I stumbled across your web site. It’s fairly obvious from your work that any deficiencies in my photographs would be down to me and not the equipment so it didn’t take me long to decide to stick with the Nikon 1.
    I was able to find a new stock 10-100 still available at a dealer and have since added secondhand V2 and 70-300 to my collection. If more comes available at a reasonable price, I will nost likely add back ups of my favourites – the 6.7-13 and 10-100 and perhaps even another body. I’m now hoping that by futureproofing, the 1 series will see me through retirement.
    I have been using Nikon for over 40 years since spending my first university grant cheque on a Nikkormat Ft2 and this is the first camera that comes anywhere close to the simple joy of using that my first Nikkormat had.
    So Tom, thanks for this and your many other useful and interesting articles on the Nikon 1 system and for anyone who hasn’t yet got a copy of “The Little Camera That Could” I recommend you do.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Nikon 1 system. I found it interesting that my first camera was also a Nikkormat… that was way back in 1974! Thanks as well for your supportive comment on,The Little Camera That Could… very much appreciated!

      Even though we may decide to add some Olympus gear to our kit for very specific reasons… we have no intention of parting company with our beloved Nikon 1 equipment!

      Tom

  3. I have a Nikon 1 V2, and a J5. I still very much enjoy using them, and I also regret that Nikon discontinued the model. I have recently been using the Z6, which I think is a great camera. Interestingly, I found the transition to the Z6 relatively easy, because it feels a lot like the J5, especially when using the touch screen. Even the “locking” lens felt familiar. I would still like to get a V3, but we’ll see. So, the Nikon 1 DNA lives on….

    1. Hi George,

      Even though the Nikon 1 system ended up not being a success for Nikon, I think the company learned a lot from the experience. It had a chance to test out its mirrorless technology… as you say… “Nikon 1 DNA lives on”.

      Tom

  4. I found your article very complimentary to my own experience.
    I have a similar list of Nikon one cameras and lenses, and I go out with complete assemblies and do not change lenses!
    My back up camera is a D850 and appropriate big lenses!!

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