Written for google +1
Compact system cameras seem to have as their prime object the design idea of DSLR like quality in a compact camera like body. In the main this has been successful, though there are still many advantages in terms of handling, features etc, with many DSLR's.
No mirrorless manufacturer seems to have entirely solved the dilemma of making the camera user-friendly with a wide range of options and the possibility of appealing to the widest range of possible customers from upgrading point and shooters to downsizing DSLR owners.
Nikon seem to be offering another option. That of a Compact System Camera type body, including a quasi rangefinder type appearance, and the performance of a high quality compact camera. They have somewhat strangely decided to deny themselves the opportunity to market it by size of sensor, number of megapixels, size or price. They are unable to say to their competitors, its bigger than yours, its better than yours, its smaller than yours or its cheaper than yours.
This strikes me as leaving them in a "new place" to market a camera. They have the Nikon name, less than it was, but still significant, new AF system and high speed image recording. Is this enough?
I am still unsure as to its mass market appeal. It seems to have been met with a resounding no from the majority of the vociferous members of the internet photographing community. So is there a "silent majority" out there who are going "Hmm, that looks nice" or will it be met with total indifference, be moderately / reasonably successful or a huge hit? It will depend, I guess, on how appealling its innovative features are to the mass market. I can see their appeal in certain situations, but how many will think that will be a reason to part with, what is after all, a substantial amount of money?
At least Nikon now have this out of the way. After years of speculation they have come to their decision and they are stuck with it. If the Nikon 1 is a relative failure, they are hardly in a position to say "OK that didn't work, lets go with an APS-C system"
I'm sure there will be a quite enthusiastic initial burst of sales, there always is with something new, but whether it "beds in" as a long term system as m4/3 and NEX has, remains to be seen.
I must admit I'm quite skeptical, since I'm still trying to work out who would actually want it or buy into it. I'm not even close to what I presume is their target market, which seems to be those who want to take decent photographs with decent equipment but are not interested in seeing themselves as photographers. But then I'm not sure thats right either.
Its a puzzling release. I was somewhat mystified when I saw the rumours and I'm equally bewildered now its been released. I trust Nikon don't feel the same.