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Thans for your detailed thoughts, it seems like it exceeded your expectations. I'm also in the 'dubious' camp.
I'd be interested more in your review if you didn't look at the 1 system in a vacuum. Have you compared it to a NEX-5N or a M4/3rds cam? If the 1 system were the only thing on the market it might be interesting but with so many other better options I can't see the appeal. Those other systems beat it on all counts that matter to me, lens choice, image quality, ergonomics and cost. The 1 system doesn't have an edge in...Show more →
Why the System 1? This question is hard to answer.
First, it depends how you personally justify your investment. Each one of us have a different reference point here. Second point: Holding off the investment means - no photos for the period until you intend to join the band wagon. Hmmm . If you feel uncomfortable with the current price point, or your view is that other systems fit better to your purpose - hold off.
/Crystal ball = on
It would have been foolish for Nikon to introduce a new System (I really mean system in the sense of a 10+ years perspective) with the cheapest possible bodies at the beginning. It is hard to walk the market up from the bottom end and subsequently introduce only more expensive bodies. If I would be in Nikon, the J1/V1 marks somehow the midpoint of the mid term range of cams. By choosing the 2.7x crop sensor, Nikon has a price leadership in production against the larger sensor ML manufacturers, which we can use twofold. First option: Introduce a camera at a price range which gives Nikon margin but not the competitors. Nikon might eventually do this step, but I would not expect it soon - it is not their style. Second option is to keep prices high and use the higher margin vs. competitors to either earn more, or enjoy a higher R&D budget for out-innovating competitors with for instance more lenses, or better cameras or better sensor designs. Nikon is normally in for the long run.
My personal decision to shell out more than 2000 USD for all 7 pieces was that I have the feeling that Nikon did the basics of the System 1 right and the System 1 platform has great potential in many directions. Similar to the introduction of the Nikon F body back in 1960. The value and network effect comes over time - and they come big. Same here - which is the biggest differentiator to the other ML manufacturers. Nikon has more network effects to benefit from. Bigger established customer base, it has TOTAL control on the new N1 mount (people tend to underestimate this super important aspect of corporate strategy) and if my initial 4000 photos are an indication, AF performance with DX and FX lenses will be a lot of fun. (and I hope very fast).
I will get the FT-1 adapter as soon as it comes out. I tried really hard to get one for this trip to Kenya. I learned that most of the shown FT-1 adapters by Nikon were only mock-ups so far. So we need to be a bit patient. If I counted correctly, 60 different AFS/AFI lenses will work with the FT-1 with AF and where available also with VR. Nikon would be foolish to not use this as unique selling proposition. According to Roland Vink's list, Nikon sold more than 25 mio lenses in this category. A decent size market to leverage for a new system.
Another option in my crystall ball is the introduction of a second sensor size - similar to the DX/FX co-existence in the DSLR space. The mount seems to be big enough to cope with a larger sensor. Will it be a DX size or a yet to be announced EX? I don't know. This would give Nikon a nice market segmentation strategy to move the CX line more to the value end of the market (Hurting many of the ML competitors who have choosen to use a bigger, more expensive sensor) and grabbing a higher share of the higher priced market with the "EX" sensor system, but same mount.
That Nikon is serious about the mass market dimension of this new system can be seen, that more than 8.000 people are manufacturing basically System 1 bodies and lenses. No company would do this just for a single product introduction - there is a long term component in it as well.
/Crystallball = off
To cut a long story short.
The System 1 has a lot of future potential, the initial products are super cute, my investment protection seems to be better here than with other ML systems, and many of my existing AFS lenses will be of added utility (this is the benefit of the network effect for a customer). The utility of already purchased products grow with each new additional product you acquire. Nikon has probably the longest track record in the photo industry with the f-mount system.
I joined now, but it was very much based on this longer view (10+ years) to justify the step.
Edited on Nov 26, 2011 at 11:51 AM · View previous versions