From a marketing perspective the only question will be about new sales of the Nikon 1 system. Can it attract users who may otherwise go elsewhere for this kind of camera design, or will it simply take away from Nikon’s existing D SLR and Coolpix lines.
My feeling is that the latter will probably shrink into lower end models, otherwise there is too me competition. As for D SLR’s, well one day of course, all new cameras may follow this concept of having no optical finder. But in the short term, I think most Nikon D SLR shooters will find no need to ditch their investment, but instead wait for some of the concepts of the newest technology to filter across into new D SLR’s.
But as you can probably tell from a couple of my posts over the last few months, even people like myself, who work with pro cameras of various formats can not ignore the increasing sophistication of technology in smaller cameras. For some end needs, they have the reach.
Time will tell of course as there is a lot of competition developing just where the Nikon 1 cameras sit. But the company needed to be there otherwise they would find it difficult without this new breed of design seemingly increasingly popular. But for those working in such areas as press, street and surveillance photography, there may already be an appeal over some of the alternative Nikon options because of the size and feature combination.
The fact there is some compatibility with F mount lenses though with the FT-1 adapter, should ensure for Nikon, that the majority of existing followers, at least look seriously at the new concept if they are looking for this type of smaller camera, even just for travel, and other uses that make a bigger camera less practical. In theory that would create a larger adaptable system.
However, when you look at the price of the adapter and the new cameras, the maths quickly put them up against cameras like the impressive D7000. That may be a nice problem for people to wrestle with.
The bottom line though, with any product is for all the hype generated, ultimately about the quality. I don’t think at this stage many people will be disappointed. When you look at how most people actually use the images, many fall short of extracting all the quality from say a D SLR even in pro use, simply because the end use does not require it. The ‘clever’ technology sounds impressive and will of course excite people as the success rate should increase in a technical sense. However, with any new technology in any system, I do wonder if photography in other ways is dying as a result?
I hope the new system does well in placing Nikon into the valuable in sales terms market of the passionate enthusiast, who may prefer the new mirror-less designs over the traditional. I think it will.
What did go through my mind though, was that a few manufacturers seemed to put a lot of time, energy and money into developing APS system cameras (such as Nikon’s Pronea) a few years ago, but they ended in a cull de sac. So there is always a risk with any new concept.
I hope and expect the N1 system does well, and of course, this may well answer my curiosity for that smaller interchangeable camera I mentioned previously to sit alongside the bigger models.
Time will tell, but I will report back.