Are those the new Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras?

Nikon 1 mirrorless camera desing patent
Nikon 1 camera design patent 2
USD0683779-20130604-D00000     USD0683779-20130604-D00002
I guess this week will be dominated by patents and guests posts... First, few patents (USD682338USD684203 and USD683779) that show different Nikon 1 camera designs. Could those be the new set of Nikon 1 cameras that will be announced in the next few months? All three patents were filed on March 6th, 2012. Maybe the small bump on the top of the first camera design is for built-in Wi-Fi/GPS?

Nikon 1 LED video light patent
Nikon 1 LED video light patent 2
Patent USD686272 is for a new Nikon 1 video light, similar to the prototype shown here:

Nikon 1 camera concept accessories for the future
Next are the latest Nikon 1 lens patents (1" sensor):

Nikon 1 11-28mm f:3.5-5.4 VR lens patent

Nikon 1 11-28mm f/3.5-5.4 lens patent

Nikon filed a patent for a Nikon 1 11-28mm f/3.5-5.4 lens with VR (the current model doesn't have VR and the aperture goes only up to 5.6).

Nikon 1 10-47mm f:2.8-7 lens patent

Nikon 10-47mm f/2.8-7 lens patent for 1" sensor

Next Nikon 1 patent is for a 10-47mm f/2.8-7 lens (Nikon currently has a 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II lens).

Nikon 40mm f:3.5 VR Micro lens patent

Nikon 40mm f/3.5 VR Micro DX lens patent

The last patent application is for a 40mm f/3.5 VR Micro lens for APS-C based cameras (Nikon currently has a 40mm f/2.8G DX Micro lens)

This entry was posted in Nikon 1, Nikon Lenses, Nikon Patents. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • CGL

    Come on X1, a pro version Nikon 1! I would buy two right now.

  • lorenzo

    If that bump on top is a GPS, just hope it is not DOA like the one on the Coolpix P330… it almost never gets the signal, even after 5 minutes in completely open sky, but support said it works properly grrrr!

  • phototrack

    New 11-28 and 10-47 zooms would be such cool DX lenses, at least a half stop faster though.

    I still don’t get why every little sketch needs a patent? I thought patents were to protect new innovation. I don’t see much innovating here.

    • Thom Hogan

      In Japan there’s a simple form of patent that some Westerners call “back of the envelope” patent that’s easy to file. As I’ve written before, I don’t understand why you’d even be spending money filing these patents. One could argue that many of them are just descriptions of what automated software programs crank out. About the only thing that most of these patents are doing is giving competitors a better insight into what you’re working on.

      • competitors and rumors sites 🙂

        • Kevin Purcell

          The problem is Nikon Rumors admin is missing the real story here. 🙂

          The 10-47mm zoom is for a type 1 inch sensor but not for the Nikon 1 system.

          Read the patent summary: “BF 7.16mm” i.e. back focus distance (from back of lens to sensor) is 7.16mm. This is less than the BF/flange distance in the Nikon 1 system (18mm or so).

          This lens for for a Nikon “RX100-like” fixed lens compact camera with a type 1 inch sensor and collapasable lens. It has very few groups and elements make it easy to collapse. It also explain why it “goes up to f/7″. It’s a (almost) 5x zoom. They”’ be competing on numbers with the RX100 and 4x zoom (silly but true).

          Imagine a P330 box with a 1 inch sensor …

          You can credit me for this!

          • That is a possibility, Aptina did mention something about a compact camera with a large sensor coming in early 2014.

  • robert

    Yea, I see the way Nikon is going, more lost shares for the next quarter.

  • pegdrgr

    I actually hope they make another revision to the Nikon 1. I am so close to pulling the trigger as a back up body to my D800, but just haven’t done it yet. I really regret not jumping on one of the V1 bodies when they dumped them right before the V2 came out, but a V3 could completely reverse that remorse. When I read they were focusing more on higher margin products I secretly hoped Nikon was actually moving more into high end products, as they technically are higher margin.

    If they come out with a Nikon 1 V3, I am certain I will not be able to refrain, especially if it is more pro oriented.

    • groucher

      Amazon UK still have the V1 in stock but the price has increased by 50% since I bought mine. Even at the new price the V1 is a bargain and is a perfect complement to the D800. For any kind of action photography, the 1 system is unsurpassed. The price of the brilliant 30-110 vr lens has recently fallen to around 145GBP – an absolute steal.

      • pegdrgr

        I have been watching Craigs List lately and seen a few complete setups pass through. Most of them sit there long enough for the initial price to drop significantly. If there is no further information about a possible V3 soon I will likely just pick up one of the CL deals.

  • jk

    they need to wake up and should ditch this One crap.
    we need DX mirrorless (similar to the Sony NEX6) not the One.
    Nikon also need to go all mirrorless very quick.
    read Thom’s latest article , it says it all right.

    • This article?

      Seems like Thom actually likes the 1 Series, while pointing out some flaws that could be improved.

      If you want a Sony, then go out and buy one. You can even stick Zeiss lenses on it.

      • longzoom

        True, but looks like Thom’s voice to emptiness – Nikon is too proud of itself, to listen to anybody else. I may put my hand under every word of Thom – so what?

        • Thom did not get chosen as a Nikon Ambassador, though I wonder how much influence those individuals have on future cameras. NPS users get surveys every once in a while, but that is a small segment of Nikon buyers.

          • longzoom

            Chosen him or not, there are not a lot so advanced people in Nikon world, like him. It will be much better for Nikon to listen to such the people. Nikon must learn from top pros what they need. Nikon does not, so look at the financial side of Nikon.

            • Keep in mind that many top pros are not very technical. I think a few were chosen for their notoriety. However, tough to discount the input and knowledge of Joe MacNally for Nikon. The other individual for whom I would look for really great feedback is Sandro. This may apply much more to lighting, than to provide feedback on more consumer oriented products.


              That’s the reality of declining revenues. Smartphones are killing all camera sales. Until it is possible to Instagram and Facebook directly from a compact camera, then some people will have no reason to buy a camera.

            • longzoom

              Yeah, market is overloaded. To break that wrong chain of things and events, every manufacturer needs, time-to-time, ask people like Thom, what is their vision on the problem. Nobody says Nikon or Canon must follow, just for orientation. But manufacturers do not, so “Houston, we have a problem” is too late, sometimes.

      • Thom Hogan

        Those aren’t the only flaws that could be improved ;~). I was specifically writing to one photographic purpose there: wildlife aka safari.

        • longzoom

          Hope Nikon is reading you, Thom! They should change their attitude, for sure!

        • Neopulse

          Yeah, that sounds like a good idea for that. Although wouldn’t it have to be a bit more…. durable and weather sealed for expeditions like that?

    • bw

      I would like to see a Nikon 1 with a dx sensor. I have the 10-30mm and 30-110mm vr lens which are excellent lens so they should try to make these lens compatible. I think if you can have a price point of say 699.99 and still use these lens it could do quite good because people who have the v1,v2 or j1-3 would buy it as a primary body!!!

      • bw

        I shoot with a Nikon D7000 and D90 but I like my Nikon 1 j1 but would like a dx sensor Nikon 1 and keep lens.

        • Col

          You may ‘want’ a larger sensor but do you ‘need’ it? It used to be that people ‘needed’ something because their existing gear was incapable of doing something they needed. In what way does the V1 fail to meet your needs? Do you need to print larger than 16×12? Do you need to shoot at ISO 25,600 because your photographic commissions regularly require you to photograph black cats in coal cellars at midnight? I bet most people who demand higher resolution never make a single real print or shoot in really low light. This ludicrous demand for upgrades to camera models every 3 months is just getting unsustainable.

      • MJr

        Why do you think those lenses are so small … ? Because it doesn’t have a DX sensor. Physics still apply, people !

    • stesk

      Thom don’t ask for a DX mirrorless. He wants an improved CX – and I agree. With a DX you still have to carry heavy lenses.
      Learn what the Nikon 1 can do and you will like it.

      • For me the main problem with the Nikon 1 is the price. As we have seen in the past, once they dropped the price, they sold out pretty fast.

        • stesk

          I agree. I wouldn’t buy a V2 or J3.
          If a new V3 comes out at the same price level I will not buy it too unless they have added bracketing and flash commander ,
          I’m satisfied with the V1 and what it can do with the Nikkor lenses.
          In fact it doesn’t matter what camera you have, it’s the person behind it.
          I have used it for butterfly photography and other nature macro photography and it’s great. Now it’s even better after the firmware update with the AF-C.

        • Thom Hogan

          I’d go a bit further. Price is definitely a problem, but it’s also partly a problem because of the camera designs themselves. Had Nikon gone “all the way” with the V2 to make it a mini-DSLR, it would have better justified the price.

          It’s really the balance between feature set, performance, and price that’s off with the cameras.

          • When I said price, I mean that there are better solutions out there for that price range. The Nikon 1 has to be the better solution at a given price range in order for people to buy. They have to either add/improve features and functionality or drop the price in order to achieve that.

          • Harv.!

            “it’s also partly a problem because of the camera designs”
            If Fuji and Panasonic can design desirable cameras that also perform well, like the X100, X Pro 1 and the new GX7, then so can Nikon…the V2 is painfully ugly. I don’t understand why they continue to produce ugly cameras when the market wants beauty…I wonder how many X100s they would have sold if it was exactly the same but it said “Nikon” instead of “Fuji” ?

            • Neopulse

              Ehhh wouldn’t say the X100 and X-Pro 1 are original designs.

            • Harv.!

              No not original…but at least they’re desirable and sell. I’m sure they could find some design inspiration from the Nikon SP, but for some unknown reason they’d rather make plasticky coolpix designs ?

            • Neopulse

              Yeah, very true what you say.

          • Col

            Not everybody wants a ‘mini DSLR’. That’s what Olympus have given us with the new EM-whatever they just launched. A camera so festooned with buttons and customisable what-nots that you need a bazillion page manual and a subject that doesn’t move while you worry about which settings to change and whether you should be using custom setup 2, 5 or 9. Ok, I’m exaggerating but my point is that Nikon were really onto something with the V1 in particular, namely a camera that just gets out of the way and lets you shoot. I REALLY hope they don’t get caught up in the feature creep that makes camera makers feel they have to throw in every last damn option for customising and fiddling. The 1 series is different and unique – some don’t like it but some of us really do. If I want a mini DSLR, I take my D7000 and a prime lens. It’s plenty small enough. Since when did we all become so feeble as a species that we’re incapable of carrying something that size if we really want to go out and shoot?

            • Thom Hogan

              I agree that not everyone wants a 36-button/dial DSLR. Where I disagree with you is the contention that the Nikon 1 “gets out of the way.” That exactly describes many folks’ problem with it: it doesn’t get out of the way. Beyond that, there were a lot of things that were re-invented that didn’t need re-inventing (new flashes, for instance). I believe that they could have achieved what you’re asking for with the Nikon 1 designs. They didn’t, however.

            • Col

              We’ll have to agree to disagree on the ‘getting out of the way’ thing. Initially I was put off the V1 by the lack of ‘essential’ external controls. I was brainwashed by the Internet mantra that ‘real’ photographers need immediate access to all major controls. Then I realised that I had all that on my DSLR, so if I was going to buy a mirrorless as a second camera, maybe I should be more open minded. And I then discovered how liberating it is to just have the basic controls immediately available (and by basic I mean shutter speed and aperture control, not ISO, white balance, focus area, blah blah) as that allows me to concentrate on composition and timing alone. The v1 comes closest to being an Apple style camera – minimalist design with just the essentials for doing the job. Sadly, the V2 shows signs of Nikon bowing to the Internet group-think and adding all the buttons and dials to make it like all the other DSLR wannabe mirrorless systems already on the market. The V1 was Nikon’s attempt to do an Apple and “Think different” but unfortunately they appear to have lost their nerve and caved in to the crowd. Just my humble opinion.

            • Thom Hogan

              What I meant by get in the way are things like not being able to cancel the display of the image immediately following taking it. There are at least a half dozen small things like that mean that the Nikon V1 can’t be counted on to be a “spontaneous” camera. You will miss potential shots with the camera as it is designed.

              Nor would I agree that Nikon fixed all these things with the V2. They fixed a few, they botched up some new ones.

              You use Apple as an example. But Apple designs don’t tend to get in the way of the user. They are very direct and responsive. Nikon misses some things on both those points.

              More to my point, Nikon could have retained all the things that you value in the V1 but not added in all the things that I claim get in the way of being able to take any photo at any moment in time. Sure, users will tend to adapt to what they’re given and find ways around problems (like taping over that darned Mode dial), but a well designed product doesn’t have those problems in the first place.

            • Col

              I don’t disagree at all that there are some very annoying quirks about the V1 that get in the way (slow wake up time, automatic image display after taking the shot etc., slipping mode dial) though I am finding them less troublesome as I use the camera (adapting, as you said).

              The Apple analogy was really about how, with the V1, they resisted the temptation to cover the body with dials and buttons, keeping it sleek with just the essentials (aperture and shutter speed) readily available.That’s really what I mean about getting out of the photographer’s way and allowing him/her to think about the real essentials of composition and timing.

              I suspect that what we both hoped for in the V2 was the same form factor with the ‘faults’ of the V1 corrected. Unfortunately Nikon lost their nerve, ditched the originality of the V1 and went down the ‘me-too’ route by making the V2 look like another mini-DSLR and covering it with all the crap that people claim is essential these days for ‘professionals’. Such a shame. Would you hold out any hope that the V3 could be that ‘improved’ V1? Personally, I’m not holding my breath,,,,

        • John C

          They are overpriced for the feature set compared to other product offerings. I picked up a new NIkon 1 V1 on ebay with a 10-30 for $213. At that price point I was pretty happy with the feature set I got. I was a bit less happy with paying the same price for the FT-1 in order to use the Nikon 1 in good light with FX lenses! Was pleasantly surprised about the last update that improved AF with the FT-1. Did not expect that. I only wish they would offer an update that gives you a choice as to eliminate review, then I might get a 30-110 and use it on occasion.

    • groucher

      “we need DX mirrorless” – speak for your self – I don’t. I’m quite happy with the V1’s 60fps for action photography and with the Nikon 1’s excellent compact lightweight VR lenses. Sony NEX is OK for general purpose photography isn’t anywhere near as good as the 1 series for action.

      • Pat Mann

        We need either DX mirrorless, with a full range of lenses, or a full range of lenses for DX DSLRs. For example, a fast 35mm-equivalent is basic to any DSLR system, yet there isn’t one from Nikon for DX. All we have is an FX 24mm f/1.4 that’s way overbuilt for image circle as a DX 35mm. Same for 28mm or 24mm.

    • Not that Nikon guy

      The only thing DX mirrorless has over the 1 is shallower depth of field.

      I have a D800, D300 and a V1. Recently I got a NEX-5 just to compare it with the V1 and guess what? The V1 is better in many, many ways.

      For starters, the NEX-5 is almost unusable with Nikon legacy lenses because even with Focus Peaking, manual focusing is really difficult. And it’s not that accurate when you look at it at 100%!

      Those of us who have say the V1 know what’s going on. Those that don’t should just shut up because they have no idea what they are talking about.

      • Spy Black

        “The only thing DX mirrorless has over the 1 is shallower depth of field.”

        So you shoot only at ISO 100, and your DSLRs are set to the green “AUTO” setting?

        • Not that Nikon guy

          Shows how much you know. There is no green “AUTO” setting on the D800.

          Obviously you neither have a D800 nor a V1.

          Like I said, people who don’t have a 1 system should keep quiet.

          Oh, which setting would you use to get the shot below:

          • Spy Black

            You’re right, I have neither, but the sarcasm remains the same.

            • groucher

              Surely Spy Black you can do better than that. Come on try harder, give us a laugh.

            • Spy Black

              “ can do better than that. ”

              Two Nikon 1s walk into a bar…

          • MJr

            Gaydust Plus ?

          • Johnny Dough

            Night portrait?

    • 1j2

      Rubbish! The 1″ sensor is the best idea they ever had. It is what makes the Nikon 1 lenses so small and lightweight. You get a 6.7-13mm wide angle and 11-27.5mm standard zoom for the weight of Sony’s E-Mount 18-55. Issues the Nikon 1 cameras may have can be fixed in future releases but the advantage in terms of size and weight will remain.

  • The longer zoom is nearly diffraction limited wide open at the long end. Hey Nikon, how about a firmware update to let me pick what setting I want on the F (function) button? After that, a way to use a PocketWizard would be nice.

  • Spy Black

    I wonder if these guys could be that delusional.

    • groucher

      Thanks for your insight – a really useful and thoughtful piece of analysis. Anything else you’d care to comment on that you know absolutely nothing about?

      • Spy Black

        Your mother certainly gave you a proper name.

        • Neopulse

          Oh… he set himself up for that burn.

  • I don’t hate the Nikon 1 but I want them to get it out of their heads that mirrorless is just for women and to treat it like a serious piece of Nikon professional gear.

    The V2 was damn close but still missed the mark. Give me P7X00 features + V2 body stuffed with the best damn Nikon 1 innards and I will gladly pay $1000 for it.

    • Thom Hogan

      Well, I’d go further than that. Every time one of the camera makers tells me that they’re “targeting” women with a camera my very first question is this: what photographic problem that women have does this camera solve? This baffles them, which is one reason why they aren’t exactly setting the world on fire by selling cameras to women, either. Basically, the answer boils down to “size and bling.” Great, so make your DX DSLRs smaller and blingier, problem solved ;~).

      The problem that the camera makers have made for themselves is this: they thought that digital cameras would be an infinitely growing market and thus to get new users you had to target them specifically with some aspect that had nothing to do with photographic quality (size, weight, color, shape, wearable, etc.). They’ve pretty much ignored the changes to output (now 16:9 is the most likely aspect ratio you need) and anything else they should have been paying attention to.

      How about if we target “great cameras” and “great photography” instead of “new sub set of users”?

      • Deep_Lurker

        Are they targeting women? I figured the Nikon 1 was targeting point-and-shoot camera customers who might want something that takes better photos than their smartphone, but who find the D3100 to be too complicated, too confusing, and too much camera.

        And a big part of the Nikon 1 failure is that they dissed us enthusiasts, and we dissed them right back. If, instead, Nikon had thrown us a bone in the form of something like the “Z1” model you proposed way back when, Nikon might have gotten some positive word-of-mouth about the 1 system, and higher sales as a result.

        (Of course, it would also have helped if Nikon hadn’t grossly overpriced the things.)

        More generally, the problem facing Nikon (and the other camera makers) is how they can appeal to the compact consumers without alienating the enthusiast market, and vice versa.

      • Fred Flintstone

        They did target women, that’s why the ‘mode’ button is so fickle, changes at the drop of a hat 🙂

  • Marco Bella

    Try holding that contraption in hand.

    What happened to the “camera is part of the whole enjoyable shooting experience” thing?

    • Pablo Ricasso returned

      It’s gone down the gurgle with the whole “mirrorless is a replacement for all your other cameras” thing.

      Simply, a tool that tries to be and do too many things.

    • tertius_decimus

      As Colin Chapman stated many years ago, marketing researches are shit. We’re living in the world of marketing idiocy, my friend, this baffles me too.

  • Chuck

    “I want to mention again that there is no Nikon D400 coming any time soon.”

    But on July 9 you posted:
    “New wave of Nikon announcements coming in August/September, D400 a possibility”

    Kinda makes these rumor sites a complete waste of time, doesn’t it?

    Seriously, why bother.

    • tertius_decimus

      It’s not the certainity site, it’s rumors site. Kinda makes everyone obliged to take given information with huge pile of salt. At the top of all YOU is one who have to weigh all pros and cons and then decide what to do.

      • Don’t pay attention – he is one of the regular trolls that posts the same BS under a different name over and over again.


      C’mon get real. The man has to keep posting stuff here, even if it’s contradictory nonsense, to keep us coming back and to keep the advertsisers stumping up.
      It’s obvious NR is out of the loop right now as far as hints (sorry, leaks) from Nikon are concerned

  • Danonino

    I got the J1. Quite pleased except for 2 major FLAWS: 1. You cant changenthe properties of the F-button. 2. No exposure bracketing?! I could do handheld HDR with 60fps, that would be revolutionary! I got an Oly E-pm2 last week and am amazed at how much you getbfor the money. Freaking large sensor and all buttons customizable and bracketing.. OMG Nikon, what are you doing!?

  • stesk

    As Tom wrote too many knows too little about the Nikon 1 specially the Nikon staff.
    The Nikon 1 can’t to everything however can do things the DSLR can’t.
    Having both – is great tools.

    • AM

      Is that you Ray Lewis before a game?
      I can’t make sense out of what you wrote. Why don’t you proofread what you write before you post it?

      • stesk

        No I’m not.
        Sorry – yes I should have proofread 🙁

  • Narretz

    First one looks like Pana’s GF3 / GF5, the ugliest of the GFs, the second looks like a standard Coolpix / Compact, and the third looks like a camera that will never be produced, unless there’s a compelling reason to build the top like that, which I doubt.
    BTW, I would have loved for Nikon to adopt a sensor sized more like m43, so 3rd party companies would have had an incentive to build for two mounts instead of one. Now noone builds for Nikon 1, and noone builds native m43 AF lenses. A shame.

    • preston

      Sigma and Zeiss build native m43 AF lenses.

      • Narretz

        True. I meant they are not built specifically for the m43 image circle, which results in bigger lenses than necessary. They also rarely fill the gaps in m43 lineup, since they are not only built for APS-C image circle, but with the lineup of these systems in mind.

  • joe

    oh god, please don’t!

  • David K

    Those are US design patents. not utility patents, so they are for the look and feel of the product, not a new and useful new art. and are likely pretty close to an actual product that Nikon is planning to possibly release. Maybe the “bump” is to distinguish an EVF model from the regular model, like the V1 from the J1?

    • I did not see an opening for the EVF, unless they did not include it in the drawings.

      • Thom Hogan

        The top drawing looks a lot like the V1 except the hump is lower and no EVF in it. The video light patent uses the same basic design drawing for the camera.

      • Guest

        Well, I’m rusty on my design patent knowledge, it has been too many years … but perhaps Nikon did not want to commit to a particular embodyment of an EVF design. This is all conjecture on my part.

  • NikonNBG

    wenn so die Weiterentwicklung des Nikon 1-Systems aussieht, muss sich Nikon nicht über schlechte Verkaufszahlen wundern. Es ist so, dass die beiden großen Kamerahersteller (Nikon und Canon) die Entwicklung auf dem Markt der spiegellosen Systemkameras verschlafen haben und was auf dem Markt gekommen ist funktioniert zwar – aber mehr auch nicht. Für mich ist mein Ausbau des 1er-Systems abgeschlossen, wenn nicht was brauchbares neues auf den Markt kommet. Zum Beispiel eine Verbesserung der Energieversorgung (Batteriegriff für die V3 ?) und lichtstärkere Zoomobjektive. Für mich wird die X-Serie von Fuji immer mehr zur Alternative.
    Wo bleibt die D400 mit DX-Sensor und Hybridsucher / Hybridsystem ? Das wäre meine Wunschkamera, eine DSLR die auch spiegellos betrieben werden kann.

  • Wally in Austin

    Where is the EVF and the SB 300,400,700,800,900 flash adapter? Bueller.. Bueller….. Bueller? At least Bueller knew what he was doing. Nikon is loosing it. D7000, D5200, V1 in house for the moment that is

  • Anonymous

    Please Nikon, Make a Nikon 1 13/1.2 lens!

  • Kynikos

    Be still, my beating heart!

  • Neopulse

    Hopefully a hotshoe on that 1 series.

  • stesk

    Hands up!!
    When the Nikon 1 came out I bought it primarily for my Swarovski scope. I can connect the camera to the scope in 30 seconds and it can give me a range of 5000mm. Later with the FT1 adaptor it turned out to be even more useful with my other Nikkor lenses.
    Nikon has given us a tool – take or leave it – I grabbed it at the high price and it gave me some videos and photos I could not have made ​​otherwise.

  • wobel

    give us a p7800-like camera with the CX instead

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