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.


Adobe Premiere Pro uses A.I. to streamline audio cleanup and other tedious tasks

Adobe Premiere Pro will soon be able to remove background noise and reverb in a few clicks. The upcoming feature was announced along with a slew of new features for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Character Animator.

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.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.

Drooling over the newest full-frame cameras? You might not need one after all

Now even Nikon and Canon have full frame mirrorless cameras alongside Sony's options -- but what is a full frame camera anyways and do you really need one? We break down the pros and cons of the larger sensor format.
Product Review

Sigma’s 105mm is the best portrait lens money can buy

The Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens may be unwieldy to use, but for the effort, you’ll get what are possibly the best portrait images.

Sick of black? Ethnotek’s Raja camera bag lets you customize designs on a whim

Like to change your bag as often as you change your socks? The Ethnotek Raja is a camera backpack that has interchangeable "Threads" or front panels to change up the look while still stashing two DSLR bodies and multiple lenses.

Aurora HDR 2019 applies A.I. to achieve more natural high dynamic range images

HDR is easy to overdo and difficult to get just right -- but Skylum says the new artificial intelligence inside Aurora HDR 2019 helps create more natural HDR images. The update also brings the LUT mapping popular in video editing.
Social Media

Facebook expands fact-checking net to try to catch doctored photos and videos

Facebook is now fact-checking images and video along with articles, using third-party organizations. New A.I. helps flag potential fakes for human review, but user flags and comments still help recognize what content might not be accurate.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Photo FOMO: Recharge and stash lenses with this smartphone photo bag

Between lenses and extra batteries, smartphone photographers have lots of accessories too -- and could soon have a bag designed specifically for them. The bag isn't the only new accessory with wireless charging announced this week either.

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.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Too close to call: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus vs LG G7 ThinQ camera shootout

We take the LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to Rome for a camera shootout, photographing everything from the amazing local sights to an impressive showjumping event. How do these two excellent phones compare?