Aptina: compact cameras with 1″ sensor to be announced in early 2014


Dpreview published an interview with Sandor Barna (Vice President and General Manager at Aptina) where he discussed the future of compact cameras and big sensors. He mentioned that Aptina is working with "their current customers" (Nikon?) and new compact cameras with 1" sensor are expected to be announced at the beginning of next year:

"For Aptina this trend represents an opportunity to expand - not just with 1" sensors but right up to APS-C. We've had a lot of interest. In terms of 1", we've been working closely with our current customer base and have been having interest beyond the customer currently using them - we expect to see cameras announced at the beginning of next year."

Nikon is currently using Aptina sensors in (all?) Nikon 1 cameras.

In the past few months Aptina announced a new 14MP 4k 1" sensor and a full frame CMOS sensor for DSLR cameras.

Coincidentally, just few days ago Nikon officially raised their concern about the shrinking compact digital camera market (see also this article). Maybe their solution for the future is similar to Barna's vision - compact cameras with larger sensors.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that Nikon will announce new compact cameras with 1" sensor in the near future (something similar to the very popular Sony RX100).

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  • Eric Calabos

    They better improve the sensitivity. 14mp is enough

  • Otaki 68

    When comes the Nikon V3 with new Aptina Sensor & clarity+ technology?

    • Eric Calabos

      You really wait for magenta-cast muted-green soft images?

      • Spy Black

        Nah, Instagram takes care of all that…

      • v1ian

        noticeably soft? muted green? magenta-cast?
        The raw files from my V1 have none of those traits. What have you been using?

        • Eric Calabos

          I was talking about that clarity+ thing

          • v1ian

            In that case, you may disregard my previous post 🙂

  • fred

    D400 announcement only 1 month away, THE big September news?

    • Says who?

      • Spy Black

        Says fred…

      • jk

        by the way, when can you expect we’ll see a real D700 replacement(the D600 with better aF and movie mode )?

    • Sahaja

      If tNikon don’t announce a D400 before Christmas – people may be asking Santa for a Canon.

  • Photo-Jack

    1″? Who cares? If Nikon sees the compact market breaking away, a sensor in at least the size of the Leica S2 in a DSLR would be a game changer

    • Neopulse

      The 3:2 sensor isn’t a bad idea. But the costs in producing it would be immense especially finding a maker that makes those kinds of sensors. And even if this was placed into a DSLR body like a D4X, it wouldn’t help sales in that market that is on the rise. Hell I’m even considering buying an Olympus EP-5 and I’ve always owned D-SLRs. The compact body makes it comfortable to carry around on most occasions other than serious shoots. And I’m not the only one who’s thought and done this.

      • Prevedovich

        I bought Panasonic GH3 for video and I can say that it is an awesome camera. Fully metal body, 12-35/2.8 (24-70 in full frame, but f/1.8 due to VR) lens is mind blowing, I can make tilt/shift from ANY nikon lens for $40 and focusing in the dark is not pain anymore. My macro now has higher quality with less defraction.
        Bigger DOF gives me ability to keep more things in focus at f/2.8 on weddings. But to have the same DOF I will buy metabones adapter which also makes full frame lens one stop brighter (from f/1.4 to f/0.90). New LX7 camera also has focus peaking and on sensor VR.
        m4/3 system is a great creativity tool

        • Neopulse

          Thanks for that info. I have read into the GH3. I do like the fact you can play Frankenstein with it and add different branded lenses on it. The tilt-shift thing I did not know about and will look into later. The reason why I leaned towards Olympus because of the few pancake lenses they have (lightweight and almost pocketable) the sensor/noise performance, FAST AF and the nice M.Zuiko lenses. And if I ever want to use a zoom with it (although doubt it) I can. Yeah I know they share the same MFT mount, but personally feels odd using them on a different body like the GH3 that to me feels like it caters more to video enthusiasts. I even looked at the GF6 not too long ago also.

          • Prevedovich

            Yep, I agree. I’ve bought GH3 for video. Otherwise I would buy Olympus, it has revolutionary image stabilisation. But with LX7 specs it is not so obvious anymore. G6 is the best camera for the price. Anyway, MFT is amazing. I do not understand this big-sensor-mania going on.

            • Neopulse

              Eh…. I kinda understand the big sensor drama. Somewhat part of it, although I look for certain other things for situations I know I am going to experience in my life. Small sensor technology has advanced a lot like a plague and glad it has. But some things like lenses and bodies for certain extreme jobs (coatings, durability and weathersealing) will dominate more in the DSLR market for the time being.

  • onlyme

    In recent years the Coolpix P series has been updated on the 22nd of August. It will be interesting to see if Nikon announce a replacement to the P7700 later this month.

    • tmay

      I want to replace my V1, Coolpix P7000, add a D400, and photograph money falling from the sky into a large, ballistic nylon bag.

      I’m thinking that my D3200 with a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 would give a nice effect to the images.

      Might be better off defending my loot for the hoards, I suppose.

  • Libby Stack

    They really need to come up with a different way of stating sizes such as in straight mm. One Inch totally misleading to most people, even some techies.

    • Scott M

      As long as they are consistent, who cares? As long as a “1 inch” sensor has 1.7^2 the area of a 1/1.7″ sensor, the comparison is straightforward enough.

      • fred

        A 1 inch diagonal is what height and width in mm?
        Very obvious.

        • Guest

          Diagonal on a 1″ sensor is 2/3″, or in mm it is not 25.4mm but 17mm, so how obvious is that?

        • MB

          On 1″ sensor diagonal is 2/3″.
          That is around 17mm.
          So sensor is around 9.4*14.1mm.
          It is obvious enough 😉

  • Jon Ingram

    meh, it’s alright. But what I’m looking for is a full frame sensor on a compact camera and a lens that is nearly as good as the 14-24 to pair with it so I can go ultra-light for backpacking and still take epic landscapes. It may never happen, but hey, I can have dreams. For now I’ll have to lug my heavy stuff into the mountains.

    • Eric Calabos

      Get a Panasonic GX7 and Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4.0 ASPH
      You’ll be fine

      • lorenzaccio1976

        Sure, you have actually tested yourself the equipment you are recommending, right?
        Strange, though, I was under the impression that the GX7 will not hit the markets for months…

        • Eric Calabos

          Pre order right now and delivery at Sep 30
          I think he doesnt have problem to wait another 56 days

          • lorenzaccio1976

            I guess you missed my point. Point being: you cannot seriously recommend gear not yet existing. The poster you answered asked for something not yet existing, and the only way to show him that there are existing alternatives to his dream is, well, pointing at things that actually exist and can be bought tomorrow. Also because the GX7 will NOT be on the market soon (Pana always fails in delivering enough products for international markets), AND we don’t actually know how the GX7 will be (on paper excellent, in fact God knows… banding? battery problems? Firmware problems? I can name a few issues that affected new cameras in the past, and suggest NOT to buy the latest and greatest until it is an established and well-known product. Sure, your comment with an ep5 or a gx1 instead of the gx7 would hold its own…

            • samul

              Recommending gear not yet existing seems like a step towards reality from expecting gear that cannot exist.

            • lorenzaccio1976

              I don’t really think so. OP here clearly stated that the camera he mentions is probably just a dream. And I personally think that it is much better to have dreams, though knowing that probably they will never get real, than seriously trusting things that do not exit yet. The first attitude is an utopia, the second one an illusion. I vote for the first one…

      • Neopulse

        Out of curiousity, the GX-7 is a category above the GF6 and competes with the Olympus Pen 5 right?

        • jk

          right and it has both tilt-able LCD and EVF.
          also it shoots 60P but the video codec is the lousy AVCHD.
          so for me it is not a good camera due to the bad video compression but for still it is an almost well done product.

          • Neopulse

            Why is the video compression lousy and how does it differ from Olympus’? I’m not a video buff, that’s why I’m asking. Although I think Panasonic always had their own lingo when it came to selecting different video settings. Anyways as I recall, you can use Olympus lenses on either or. So if the Pen isn’t to my liking then I will see on the Panasonic side. I just wanna point out that chances are in the EP-6, it will be weathersealed with lenses. Saying it first before next year’s release.

            • David Peterson

              I (as a GX1 and GH1 owner, but I’ve got Nikon too which is why I read this site) fully expect the GX7 to beat the pants off any Olympus camera when it comes to video. But of course, the GX7 won’t quite match the GH3 or G6 when it comes to video.

              AVCHD is fantastic btw for its purpose, but it isn’t intended for clueless consumers. AVCHD isn’t really hard at all to use, and has benefits over MPEG. (though Panasonic cameras have the option to record in MPEG too, not that I’d use it when there is AVCHD instead!)

            • Neopulse

              Why wouldn’t it match them video? Albeit from the same company and newer :-/

            • David Peterson

              For the same reason the GX1 doesn’t come even close to matching the GH2. Even though the GX1 is newer.

              But anyway, to answer your question, the GX7 is certainly better than the GF6 or the E-PL5.

              However if this is your first m4/3 camera (as it seems it is?) I don’t think you’ll find much benefit over splitting hairs as to which is the “best” camera.

              In fact the best idea for you I reckon is to get a GX1 as they’re going for a steal (I got mine for just US$199 brand new! Although those super deals are probably over for now, but likely you can still find it for say US$250ish?), or maybe even a G5 if you don’t mind the small amount of extra bulk, and then spend the money saved on some nice lenses. Such as Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, you’d get much better value for your dollar in the short term (and *especially* in the long term, as lenses you keep on using even as you upgrade bodies in future years to come).

            • Neopulse

              Will bear that in mind. And that is a steal that price.

            • David Peterson

              Camera bodies should be viewed as somewhat temporary anyway, as it is the lenses that you should invest in instead. So spend less on camera bodies, and more on lenses.

              Also if you’re new, getting a nicer body won’t really make that much of a difference for the extra it would cost because you’d still be learning the basics in how to operate it. Thus is again better to spend less on the body, and leave the money to be put forward to your next upgrade whenever that is in the future.

    • Tomsky

      Sorry, but the optical laws of physics won’t be rewritten for the sake of your dream. A 14-24/2.8 for FF will always remain a humungous 2lbs+ monster similar to the current FX Nikkor.

      If you really wanna go small and lightweight you better start looking at smaller sensors and lenses soon. Panny’s 7-14 and a contemporary top-of-the-line MFT body would actually be a good starting point. Small (MFT) sensors have already reached an amazing maturity and quality; especially at base ISO. And they’re very likely to improve further.

      For FF it will always be “the heavy stuff” as it’s just all the big pieces of glass collecting all these pesky little photons to throw them at this awfully large FF sensor.

  • Sahaja

    To Aptina it seems a 1″ sensor is a “big” sensor

    • rkas

      Its big when fitted inside a compact camera..

  • jk

    the one system is already a dead system , they should opt for at least as big as DX or APS-C or super 35mm in their next mirrorless system.

  • Nikonnut

    The SONY RX100 is a huge success for sony. A pocketable large sensor >1″ camera with a fast lens and wifi would get my money for sure. I was gonna buy it when the price lowers a little.

    This is where the compact camera market needs to be heading. If not just watch as the NOKIA 1020 (and following smartphones) kill them all with its almost 1″ 41 Mpx (when not zooming) sensor that dwarfs the Nikon P330 / Canon S110 sensor.

  • v1ian

    I hope that for the V3 Nikon stays with 14mp and back-illuminates the sensor. That and a larger buffer. I would do cartwheels for even 10 seconds of 30fps for the 4k raw video possibility.

  • KnightPhoto

    “For Aptina this trend represents an opportunity to expand – not just with 1” sensors but right up to APS-C

    So this is going to be the APS-C mirrorless Nikon 2 then 😉

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