New mirrorless camera suggests Nikon 1 series may be retired

Nikon 1 V3 with accessories
Daven Mathies/Digital Trends
Nikon recently confirmed rumors that it is working on a new mirrorless camera system. No details have been released, but it sounds potentially more upmarket than the existing Nikon 1 series, which is based on the 1-inch-type sensor format typically used in high-end point-and-shoots rather than interchangeable lens cameras. While it is conceivable that Nikon could develop two mirrorless systems side-by-side, some new evidence suggests that the company may reduce its focus on the 1-series, if not kill it altogether.

German camera buying guide found that some current 1-series cameras were no longer available to order, including the flagship Nikon 1 V3 model, according to Digital Photography Review. The 1 V3 was announced back in 2014 and has yet to see a replacement. Retailer B&H lists the camera as special order only, with a curiously long expected availability of four to six weeks. Availability through Amazon is via third-party resellers only. The idea that the 1 V3, now three years old, is approaching its end of life comes as no surprise, but camera companies generally announce replacement models before current versions stop shipping, and Nikon has not done this.

The newer Nikon 1 J5 — which we were rather fond of in our review — is faring better. Released in 2015, the 1 J5 is the most recent camera in the series, and appears to be available for order by retailers “while supplies last,” according to

For its part, Nikon has responded that it “continues to produce and sell the Nikon 1 line” and that it “cannot comment on future product or speculation,” according to a statement given to Digital Photography Review (we reached out to Nikon, and received the same response). With apparently limited availability of its current products and no new cameras released since 2015, however, it seems fair to speculate that Nikon is moving away from the 1-series.

The good news here is that Nikon may be working on a mirrorless solution that can truly compete with the likes of Sony. Rival Canon has also made significant inroads into the mirrorless arena, with cameras like the EOS M5 proving to be capable machines for enthusiasts. To truly compete, Nikon would have to release a mirrorless camera with at least an APS-C sensor, although we’d certainly prefer to see a full-frame option, as well. It would also need to make significant improvements to its live-view autofocus tech, which remains a sore point in the company’s DSLRs, although the 1-series was much better here.

From a business perspective, a move toward high-end mirrorless and away from low-end cameras, in general, is also wise. Since the rise of mirrorless cameras (and smartphones), both point-and-shoot and DSLR sales have suffered rather dramatically. Point-and-shoots peaked at a high of around 110 million units shipped in 2008, while just 12.5 million shipped in 2016, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA). DSLRs fell from a high of just over 16 million units in 2012 to about 8.4 million units in 2016. For their part, mirrorless camera shipments have also decreased, but much less dramatically, from about 3.9 million units to 3.2 million.

Units shipped only tells part of the story, however. Interestingly, actual revenue generated has increased steadily year-over-year for mirrorless cameras, while DSLR and point-and-shoot revenue continues to decline. This represents a shift toward higher-end, higher-margin cameras, something that Nikon is certainly aware of. Last year, the company restructured its imaging business around high-end products, and earlier this year it cancelled its planned advanced compact DL series, which was also built around the 1-inch-type sensor format. Discontinuing the 1-series would fit the pattern, but after years of development and with an established global user base, it is easy to see why Nikon would avoid admitting to the series’ demise, if indeed it is true. Nikon could surprise us and announce a 1 V4 or J6 tomorrow, but we won’t be holding our breath.

Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.

Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains

Nvidia's pricey Jetson AGX Xavier might help drive the next generation of smart robots. Nvidia hopes that developers will use its new Xavier module to power AI-driven machines like delivery drones and robots used in manufacturing.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.