Nikon 1 News: S2, J4, Updates

(news & commentary)

Nikon announced a new Nikon 1 model, new availability, and lots of firmware updates for the previous Nikon 1 models. Let’s start with the new model, the S2.

The S2 continues Nikon slow sensor march. The S1 had the original 10mp sensor, now it gets the second generation 14mp sensor (there’s a third generation 18mp sensor; guess what the eventual S3 is likely to have?). This also gives it some higher ISO reach than the predecessor, and a faster continuous shooting speed with focus (20 fps). There’s been a teeny bit of trimming of weight and size from the predecessor. One interesting point: Nikon has finally gotten around to putting their corporate color on a consumer camera: yellow is the new pink.  

Meanwhile, Nikon has decided to bring the J4 into the US after all. This makes Nikon’s compact-style Nikon 1 range look like this:

  • US$350 — S1
  • US$400 — J3
  • US$450 — S2
  • US$500 — J1
  • US$550 — J2
  • US$600 — J4

Yeah, that makes absolutely no sense. Moreover, I’m seeing discounts from some sellers that make things even more confusing. I have two possible theories on why we’re suddenly seeing the J4 in the US:

  • Orders stalled in the rest of the world, and Nikon corporate decided to ship newly built models where they weren’t already.
  • NikonUSA balked on taking the J4 due to the level of previous J inventory still around, but corporate has forced them to take it. 

Neither of those say much about how Nikon has managed the Nikon 1 line, does it? It’s as if one side of the company just keeps doing what it learned to do (iterate) while the other side can’t deal with it (sell them).  I love this chart on the NikonUSA site:

nikon1line.jpg

One of the three “selling points” in the text just above that chart is: “Instantly share your great photos.” Well, not with two of the cameras, and three others require an option to do so. Simply put, Nikon doesn’t know how to sell these cameras. Try “DSLR focus speed, frame rate, and lens choice in something no larger than your compact camera. With near DSLR-like image quality, video, and effects that Instagram can’t do.” Those are the reasons you’d buy an S or a J (the V gets some additional points). 

Meanwhile, introduced firmware updates for the J1, J2, J3, AW1, S1, V1, and V2 models:

  • Added support for the Full/Limit switch on the upcoming 70-300mm lens (requires FT1 firmware 1.2)(all)
  • Fixed PictBridge printing (J1, J2, V2)
  • Fixed FT1 underexposure at 15 fps (V2)
  • Fixed card access error (V2)
  • Fixed wireless support when using Digiscoping Adapter DSA-N1 (J3, S1, V2)
  • Fixed exposure compensation display when using FT1 (V2)
  • Fixed movie recording when folders got numbered at 256 or higher (!) (AW1, J3, S1, V2)
  • Fixed an issue with Lexar USH-1 cards (J3, S1)
  • Fixed an issue with magnifying focus display (J3, S1)
  • Fixed an underexposure issue when using non-CPU lens (AW1)
  • Added Underwater Flash option when using SB-N10 (AW1)

The updates should be on all the Nikon subsidiary sites. Follow directions closely (first update your FT1 firmware to 1.2, for instance), as there have already been some reports of issues getting the updates to install correctly.


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