A month ago I followed my instinct and bought Nikon’s new Nikon 1, the company’s first foray into small-sensor interchangeable-lens photography. It wasn’t overwhelmingly received by the technorati, primarily because the sensor is smaller than that the established Micro Four Thirds (MFT) standard. Yet subsequent reviews sugest the criticism could have been unfair; my experience, though limited, is that the results are exceptional for the sensor size.
The philosophy is the same as MFT, though. Nikon’s new range is accompanied by a trio of minute and light lenses, plus a more bulky, and very expensive, motorised zoom aimed squarely at the video market. For me, though, the fascinating aspect is the ability to use many of the existing dSLR lenses in the Nikkor range. This is made possible by the advent of the FT1 lens adaptor, due to arrive in January.
The fascination lies in the crop factor which is 2.7 times that of a standard 35mm full-frame sensor. MFT has a crop factor of 2.0 while a Nikon DX standard SLR has a 1.5 ratio. Attaching a 50mm DX lens to the Nikon 1 turns it into a short telephoto of 135mm. It’s when you start using Nikon zooms, such as the popular 18-200mm AF-S DX, you get a staggering range of 48.6 to 540mm. Since 48.6 represents a typical standard 35mm lens for general photography, this enhanced zoom should be a revelation.
This article in Pop Photo gives you more detail