Angry, Angry, Angry

During the four or five fistfuls of hours since Nikon’s announcement heralding the release of the Nikon 1, the Web photo community has been in a uproar. There are thousands of angry photography enthusiasts, many of them “Nikon loyalists” making themselves heard in the blogs, review sites, and forums. Let me put it mildly by saying that a massive amount of criticism has been leveled at Nikon.

What happened?

Nikon released two cameras with different feature sets, a completely new class of lens mount, and a sensor that is half the size of Micro Four Thirds (M4/3). The problem with this, and why photo enthusiasts are angry, is that Nikon did not take the enthusiast collective seriously. The enthusiasts, myself among them, wanted a compact, interchangeable lens camera along the lines of the Panasonic and Olympus M 4/3 camera. That is, a sensor at least M4/3 size, if not APS-C, reduced size and weight, advanced ergonomics, and excellent imaging capabilities.

What Nikon delivered was an advanced compact camera with a small sensor that has some interesting video capabilities, but little lens support (since it is a completely new camera system).

The Nikon 1 is aimed squarely at the soccer mom demographic, not the enthusiasts. It was obvious to anyone who occasionally read the photography user reviews, articles, blog posts, and stories of the past three years that a Nikon M 4/3 was desired by thousands of enthusiasts. It would have been nice, of course, if someone at Nikon had done some real research, then introduced more competition to the M 4/3 market.

Some people were downright angry. I was merely disappointed, since we still have a rather large class of M 4/3 cameras and lenses to choose from, and thousands of lenses that can be used with adapters. I didn’t dwell on it too long, because it is hard for me to miss something that didn’t exist in the first place. Instead, I put the M 4/3 camera in the saddlebag at 5:30 am, then rode to the place where I captured the photo shown here.