There’s a great article on DPReview right now about how the quality of lenses differs and can produce unwanted results when paired with different cameras (who also show variations). It’s a fascinating article – a lot of the data is on page 2.
Small sensors aren’t good. They require a higher pixel density for the same picture quality, or offer a lower picture quality compared to larger sensors. Here is now Nikon’s “System 1″ sensors stack up to the competition:
SLR sensor sizes:
full frame: 36 x 24mm
canon DSLR 1.6x crop: 22.3 x 14.9 mm
nikon DSLR 1.5x crop: 23.6 x 15.7 mm
mirrorless sensor sizes:
sony mirrorless 1.5 crop: 23.5 x 15.6 mm
four thirds 2x crop: 17.3 x 13 mm
nikon 1 2.7x crop (CX): 13.2mm x 8.8mm
point and shoot sensor sizes:
canon s100: 7.49 x 5.52 mm
panny lx5: 7.89 x 5.81 mm
canon hs100: 6.17 x 4.55 mm
While larger than point-and-shoot sensors, it is the smallest, by far, of the mirrorless sensor sizes. Disappointing.
It’s important to note that Sony’s mirrorless system uses sensors as large as the common DSLR sensors (1.5x crop factor). That’s great – however Sony’s prices are high enough that it competes directly to full DSLRs.
The sweet spot is Olympus’ upcoming E-PM1 (aka the PEN mini). At $500 which includes a lens and an external flash, it’s a great deal. It also is the smallest and cheapest mirrorless camera.
Update: I found the new CX sensor size documented on wikipedia:
Nikon introduced their mirrorless camera system today at midnight. The J1 and V1 are 10MP, 2.7x crop factor cameras using a new interchangable lens system. Honestly, even as a Nikon shooter, the specs leave me very disappointed. First, the price, is far higher than most mirrorless systems from Sony, Panasonic and Olympus – especially given Olympus’ new E-PM1 that is $500 incl. lens. Moreover, the sensor is very disappointing – the very high crop factor (meaning a very small sensor) won’t impress anyone, especially Sony who uses a full APS-C sized sensor in their flagship mirrorless camera. The sensor also has a max ISO of 3200, well below every single mirrorless offering out there. I do not expect strong sales of these cameras – it is a baby step intended to protect their DSLR investment, nothing more.
The D7000 is taking a while to hit the stores, as all Nikon’s do. DPReview has one of the first in-depth reviews of Nikon’s new midrange camera.
Nikon introduced a new SLR today. The Nikon D7000 slots between the existing D90 and D300s DSLR bodies. The following features are on the new camera:
- 16MP DX-format sensor with high ISO capabilities
- 100% coverage viewfinder
- Weather sealed, magnesium alloyed body
- Full 1080p video capability
- Twin SD card slots
It should arrive in stores at the end of October. A full hands-on preview is at dpreview.
Gizmodo just published a buying guide for DSLR’s. They recommended four different cameras in four different price points. They were brand-agnostic, picking the best camera regardless of whether you were in the Nikon Camp or Canon Camp (sorry Olympus and Sony).
I agree with all their picks, the Nikon D3000, Canon T1i, Nikon D90 and Canon 7D do beat out their peers in their respective price points.
New digital cameras are complicated, and my D90 is no different. With so many new, additional features from my D50, it’s pretty hard to go through the large user manual to learn all the features. Nikon has produced a great online tutorial for the d90 – and it’s free. There’s additional tutorials for their other cameras going as far back as the D50 and D70.