New design patent reveals Nikon 1 mirrorless camera with a red swoosh and a Df aperture dial

There have been many Nikon 1 design patents published in the past few years (this one just came out last week), but the camera drawing above is slightly different because it incorporates the famous red swoosh and the aperture dial from the Nikon Df. New Nikon 1 lenses and an improved V3 model should be announced any day now, but the above camera design looks more like a J model. Here are few additional drawings:

Via Digifotopro

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  • Ken_Crockwell

    Looks like a slightly bigger sensor?

    Anybody know if the image circle of the Nikon 1 line can support a bigger one?

    • malez

      if it does, nikon would have to release new set of lens to support the larger image circle, and that’s highly unlikely.

      the brain is an amazing thing, the less you use it, it becomes stupid and ask silly questions.

      • Ducktape

        He meant to ask, if the the image circle can accomodate a bigger sensor, not if the nikon 1 can accomodate a bigger immage circle.

        The brain indeed is an amazing thing. And when you don’t use it quite enough, you can ask silly questions, but you may also give dumb and arrogant answers to a question you didn’t understand.

        • Michiel953

          Assuming I have a 1″ brain, what is my image circle?

      • Knob Gobbler

        In your rush to sound intelligent you’ve actually done the opposite. Try reading again slowley.

        • Steven Solidarios


      • DistrictGopher

        Nothing like releasing pent up real life anger upon internet strangers, is there?

      • Dee Melbihess

        He’s a Keyboard Warrrrrior!

      • zesty

        Why don’t you take that brain of yours, remove it from your buttocks and use it to realize this is camera gear we are discussing….there are no cures for cancer being discussed here. Please go to the web site titled, Angry, bitter, jaded, unhappy to post things like that.

      • jom

        Haha I love how you failed. Stupid idiot.

    • Thom Hogan

      The image circle is slightly bigger than it needs to be, but it won’t cover the DX sensor. I seriously doubt Nikon would use a 4/3 sensor.

      • istreetshooter

        So what are the odds Nikon comes out with a killer 1″ sensor this time?

        • stoooopid

          I hope that happens – it is the only thing about the 1 system that sucks (that and lack of external controls).

          • Jim

            I don’t mind the 1″ sensor at all, I mind the body around it is as big as other EVILs that hold DX sized sensors.

            • stoooopid

              So if the sensor was a DX sensor and the body was the same size, then you would not mind right? It is six of one, a half dozen of the other. In the end I could care less what size the sensor is. What I care about are the things I can see and experience and the output quality of the camera. 1″, 10″, DX, FF – whatever I don’t care – I care about body size, lens size and image quality. I am aware that there is a relationship there, but it isn’t something that I care about directly – that is something for the engineers to worry about.

        • phil

          even if the “killer” sensor would somehow manage to beat the best 4/3 sensors, it would get obsolete 3 months later with the release of yet another 4/3 camera.
          You can’t cheat physics.

          • istreetshooter

            Considering the quality of sensors 10, 5, 3 years ago, it is not implausible to think Nikon can improve it. The 1″ in the Sony RX100s is praised, so why can’t Nikon up its game? I’m not talking about FF quality, but something that can surpass what Sony is offering would be killer to many of us.

        • Possibly much improved with the sharing of patents between Aptina and Sony.

    • El Aura

      Has there ever been a new lens mount (and series of lenses) been released which got a bigger sensor behind it later? Or has there ever been a line of lenses designed with a bigger image circle than necessary? And we can certainly quibble about whether good corner performance means having a slightly larger image circle than ‘necessary’.

      I can think of only one example, the Pentax Q, but then I don’t understand quite the logic behind this camera.

      • OttoVonChriek

        Sony E.mount had FX retrofitted

  • That aperture dial is the worst thing about owning a Df.

    • Oh that sucks. I haven’t used one yet, and figured it looked awkward, but to see it potentially propagate through more cameras is not fun. Maybe they are trying to channel Canon with the big wheel on the back? Small wheel on the front, just to make converting easier 😀

    • steven8217

      Vertical dial is very practical and more importantly, it will save space for overall internal body design.

    • Thom Hogan

      Actually, that aperture dial first appeared on a Coolpix P, not the Df.

      • Espen4u

        Didnt nikon s3 and the like had it also, kind of?

        • YS

          And they all suck in actual use.

          • phil

            ..which should be absolutely obvious to anyone who calls himself a product “designer”…

    • Spy Black

      Not if you use a D or Ai lens. I know most people today don’t.

  • whisky

    it would be much more interesting if the hidden lines were disguising a pop-up EVF.

    • istreetshooter

      It would be more interesting, but I’m not betting on it.

  • Mike

    $10 it does 4k video. This actually looks nice. It looks like a Nikon built Nikon. Not a Lego built Nikon.

  • Lol Catwell

    Isn’t that aperture dial from the Coolpix P7000 series?

    • jec6613


  • franko zeise

    A patent for what? The red swoosh on a mirrorless body???

    • design patent = for the the design of the camera

      • Andrew

        This is what the Nikon 1 should have looked like all along.

    • Jack S

      Everything gets a patent nowadays don’t’cha’know? You can’t do anything without coughing up enough to buy a patent for it or else the bigwigs will have at your neck.

    • Espen4u

      A boxy design with rounded corners and a screen, this must surely infringe on some of appels patents.

      • waterengineer

        Or Leica’s.

  • Neopulse

    Looks interesting to me

  • broxibear

    I think this patent is part of it…

  • stoooopid

    Looks interesting. I like the dual control wheels (I think that is what I am seeing – one on front, one on top). Looks cool.

  • Thom Hogan

    Yes, that design has been floating around for many months now. It’s always struck me as odd and disturbing. Why would you make a J4 with what looks like better controls than the V2, but no flash? And then you notice the V1-style accessory slot on the side. Can you say optional EVF, external flash? So one might guess that the V series is either going away or going considerably upscale. But then we get the P8000 design and rumor. Yikes. I sure hope some of the rumors I’ve seen are wrong in their specifics, as it seems that we’re going to get 1″ mayhem (don’t forget we just got the AW1) as Nikon tries to figure out what to do to get those top Coolpix P and the Nikon 1 volume up.

    • Captain Megaton

      I guess we wait a little and see what the V3 brings to the table.

      Remember Nikon’s stated aim is to increase its profit margin, not sales volume. Higher-end products with lots of bells and whistles (but only so-so build quality) seems to be the name of the game for 2014.

    • Matt

      So is this Nikon’s A Team designers, or have they left the building at this point? The ship seems rudderless. But I’m sure the camo color scheme makes for better volume.

    • whisky

      nikon knows exactly how many FT-1’s they sell. since the FT-1 screams to be placed on a V body, it’s reasonable to infer the V series will stay. JMO.

      • Thom Hogan

        Maybe. But they come out with an F-mount EVF DSLR at the bottom end, wouldn’t it by definition be better than a Nikon 1 with FT-1?

        As I’ve noted, Nikon is in a tricky transition space. They sort of have three possible strategies:

        1. Sony spaghetti. Just do everything and put it out and see what sticks.
        2. DSLR fortress. Keep the DSLR empire intact at all costs.
        3. Migration. Find a way to move the DSLR empire somewhere else.

        #3 requires insight. #1 is foolish, in my opinion. #2 isn’t viable for much longer.

        • phil

          Nikon doesn’t have to do *everything* – they do not create new markets, so they might as well just copy whichever product from Sony that sticks.

          Unfortunately it seems they opted for #2.

          • Thom Hogan

            I suspect it is #2 until they have to do #3.

            I was just having a conversation with an analyst about Nikon. The problem we see is that Nikon has managed to leverage into being a consumer electronics maker just about the time that the thing they make is losing the market. Kind of like coming in on the last legs of the CD or the DVD. The thing about consumer electronics companies is that they have to pivot. Constantly. The markets just don’t last that long before some new technology, fad, or disruption to the business model comes along. This has been Sony’s problem in their electronics business. They rode all their early CES businesses long into the tail and missed pivots. It’s going to be Samsung’s problem soon. And eventually it will be Apple’s problem, as well, though they, more than anyone else in the past decade+ seem to be quick to pivot without breaking their existing businesses.

            My worry about Nikon for quite some time has been that they don’t know how to get from where they are to where they’ll be next. As an “optics” firm they seem to be missing some key plays that came along, like security.

    • blackTIE

      I haven’t read the patent, but it seems to me that the accessory slot is in the middle (behind a cover, just like the V1 and V2), and the outline on the left is for the pop-up flash, just like it is with the S1 en J3…

      • Thom Hogan

        Middle looks hot-shoe sized only. Note the way the covers come down into the back. That left (from the back) cover sure looks just like the V1 accessory slot cover.

        • blackTIE

          Sorry for asking, but isn’t the accessory slot on the V1 the same as the hot shoe?

          • Thom Hogan

            Yes, sort of (it’s not a regular hot shoe). One of the big demands has been that Nikon make Speedlights compatible with the Nikon 1 line. They’d need a real hot shoe for that. Moreover, there’s always been the problem of not being able to use the GPS and flash simultaneously, which would be further compounded with a plug-in EVF.

            • blackTIE

              With builtin gps and/or wifi there shouldn’t be any problem with simultaneous flash/gps/wifi use…Don’t know if Nikon willing to integrate these items in a Nikon 1-camera or if they keep pushing those pesky add-ons. Two hot shoes next to each other? It would be better imho to integrate the standard hot shoe and the Nikon 1-shoe into one construction (maybe a recessed Nikon 1-shoe in the standard hot shoe, with an adapter to guide the signals through the two accessory ports). Like Sony has done with their combined hot shoe. But I like the Photoshop of with the red ‘swoosh’. Makes it clearly distinguisable as an Nikon for the masses.

              Now only the dslr-ui and quick menu like the Coolpix A for the V-version (but without the necessity for the Ok-press to change settings please…), more direct controles, and better high iso and dr for the V3… And maybe combine the looks of the V1 and V2 by loosing the flash in front of the EVF and make it a popup version like the S1 and J3…

            • Thom Hogan

              Frankly, I don’t disagree. Clearly you want to get GPS info from the smartphone integration if you can. Two accessory shoes up top is a bit much. But then again, we still have the battery issues. Running an App all day on your smartphone reduces its battery life, running WiFi on the camera reduces its battery life. There are a lot of design compromises that you have to trade off to find “the right solution.”

            • blackTIE

              Wifi doesn’t have to be running al the time. Only when you want to sync some pictures. You can send pictures in batches when you need to. A smartphone needs to have a lot of apps running all the time to be useable. because of batterylife I use a 3DS XL for games. And because of the games off course.

            • Thom Hogan

              I meant: camera takes a shot, gets GPS location from smartphone. WiFi would need to be running, regardless of whether you batch the photos. As I noted, there are some rough trade-offs you have to consider to get the connectivity right, or else you end up duplicating hardware parts unnecessarily.

            • blackTIE

              With a gps-logging app on the smartphone you can attach the right geo-location afterwards in, for instance Lightroom, while relaxing in your hotelroom after a day shooting (-> Then you wouldn’t need to have wifi active all the time. You just have to have set the time and date right in your phone and camera.

            • Alb

              “make Speedlights compatible with the Nikon 1 line”
              This would give me, a Nikon DSLR owner, a reason to go for the 1 series rather than the dozens of other options out there.
              AW1 is interesting, but if absolutely nothing can be shared with my DSLR, then I’m likely to go elsewhere. (Nikkor lenses can be adapted to other brands, not that I’m interested in that)

  • DragonTesticle


  • Ken Dorkwell

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Frugalus Caesar

    Having a hard time being excited about this. The world is awash with cameras only slightly different from each other. Manufactured uniqueness.

  • Rafa R

    They want to sell those Nikon 1 cameras, what ever it takes..

    • AM

      Why would Nikon release a new model every year?
      There are still plenty of the first generation on the shelves.

      • zoetmb

        Because that’s what the market expects and because the models they’ve made so far haven’t found many buyers, so they have to try something else. The problem is that Nikon hasn’t managed inventory well. If you don’t over-produce, you can release new models every year. If you under-produce, you might leave some money on the table if your products aren’t available, but on the other hand, it also serves to build-up demand.

  • Damien

    If only Nikon made a full frame version of their mirrorless system…

    • RMFearless


    • El Aura

      You cannot transition an ILC system to a different sensor size, you can only add an additional ILC system with a different sensor size .

  • bgbs

    This looks like a J4

    • Guest

      Actually I suppose the J4 is the design NR linked in this post, the design shown here will be most likely the V3.

  • rt-photography

    Im sure nikon leaks these things on purpose to gauge peoples responses. looks good though. nice red with dark grey. very complimentary. black with red…? regular got used to it colors we all know.

    • Naval Gunfire

      A filed patent isn’t really a leak…

      • rt-photography


      • El Aura

        But you could file a patent with the sole purpose of leaking something (though one would think that unlikely, if they think it is patentable and they want to use it, they would patent it for the purpose of patenting it regardless of whether they want to leak it or not).

  • Nathan Richards

    If this is an F mount dx mirrorless camera, I’ll buy one in a heartbeat as a lighter DSLR alternative…

    • RMFearless


    • Anónimo

      It doesn’t look like the F mount in terms of inner parts and contacts, it looks more like the V1 mount but not an exact match (probably just a design trick at the development stage).

    • nwcs

      Flange distance is wrong, so it isn’t F mount. CX mount almost certainly.

      • Seems to be a way to have a slightly thinner body design, while keeping the 1 system flange to focal distance the same.

    • Captain Megaton

      If you want to see your dream camera (mirrorless APSC F-mount) look no further than the Pentax K-01 for an accurate preview.

  • stoooopid

    Just noticed the 4 buttons on the back, left hand side of the body. THANK JEBUS! Finally a control layout a little more similar to my D7000, and maybe less menu diving to change settings.

  • fjfjjj

    Sony 50Mp 44×33 sensor pretty please. “Nikon 1 Pro” where are you?

  • Add-on EVF for how much?

    • stoooopid

      I have the EVF on my V1 – I almost never use the EVF. In fact, I want to find a way to deactivate the sensor that turns off the rear monitor when anything gets close to the EVF. For me, it is more of a pain in the arse than useful.

      • Wonder why you bought the V1. Guess you are living up to your user name. 😉

        • stoooopid

          Wow! Saucy! I hope you don’t speak to you mother that way when she asks you for your $50 in rent for living in the basement.
          The V1 is a fine camera, especially when I got it and 2 lenses for not much more than your monthly basement rent. Yeah, the sensor is not as good as modern aps-c sensors, but the whole package is very portable and the images are very decent.
          I wasn’t trying to offend you, just giving my opinion on the EVF – not your IQ. But, you are definitely a man to be feared from behind that keyboard.

          • Thou doth protest too much. 😉

            I’ve owned and used a V1 almost since they came out. Favorite lens is the 18.5mm f1,8

            It’s my real name. Feel free to look me up. I’m not hiding anything. Oh, and no offense taken. Sarcasm is so difficult on the internet. 😉

            • stoooopid

              Wow, now I feel like the aggressive one. Yes sarcasm does not come across very well on the internet (especially in forums like this where everyone is looking for an excuse to pull the trigger – and I guess now I fall into that category :(. Sorry I misunderstood.
              Yes, I also use my 18.5 a lot. I am not totally satisfied with the IQ or the external controls on the V1 – but I take to places that I would normally only take my cell phone – so it is much better than that.

            • I just got that Russian chip from Gfoto recently. I’ll be getting that glued and tested soon. Seems to be a very well made little chip accessory.

              I think the V1 is ideal in resolution. I would hope for better night performance, though that is the downside of very small pixel dimensions. Doubt I will ever sell my V1. Wish Nikon made a fast 8mm lens for it.

            • stoooopid

              Why oh why doesn’t Nikon implement focus peaking. I have used it on a friends Sony camera. I would LOVE to use some of my old manual focus lenses on the V1, but with no focus peaking – it would be so very difficult.

            • Some of the manual focus lenses are tougher to reach accurate focus on the V1. I’m hoping that Gfoto chip accessory changes that. If I find the time, I may write a short review.

            • Quick update. Glued and did initial test on the Gfoto chip, mounted onto a Kipon Nikon 1 to Nikon F adapter. First lens tested an old manual focus 50mm f2.0 AI long barrel. This would be a crop like using a 135mm f2.0 on FX. My initial impression is that the Gfoto chip does exactly what was claimed, and quite easily. Much better value than an FT1 adapter.

  • Spy Black

    If the new I camera doesn’t have an EVF Nikon is suicidal.

  • Michael Laing

    Whilst a similar system, is used in the DF, my immediate thought is more towards the P7100. My guess is the camera, will be of a similar size and it also had a similar looking front dial, which worked very well (just a pity that camera was so slow). Hopefully the new camera gets away from the horrible hotshoe, which completely put me off the system to begin with.

  • Eno

    They don’t get it, the Nikon 1 system must be extremely small and slim if they want it to have any success!

    • stoooopid

      I have the V1. It is small. I like the size. But I would be willing to endure a little size bump to get more external controls (in fact, a control layout like the one suggested by these patent drawings would be perfect).

  • Iwantanon

    You realize that this “breaking news” is an update to an old page on with a Photoshopped version of old news, right? This patent is from October 2013 and Digifoto states it “got busy with Photoshop” to create an “impression”

    • The drawings are original, they just colored one of them.

      • Iwantanon

        They did more than color them. They alsio changed the details on the mount to add missing elments fromt eh N1 (CX) mount.
        Note: this is old news — the design patent was filed and registered (issued) last October. The only thing from last and this week is that Digifoto dug it up and Photoshopped it.

  • PapaZerg

    stupid designers, should have just made the red swoosh into a red strip or bar reminiscent of the F3 and F4 cameras

    • AM

      …because that will improve the ISO performance by 2 stops.

      • PapaZerg


  • PD

    Good. Hope they make it right this time. I really like the 1″ sensor.

  • Mike

    Has there ever been a patent from Nikon for a mirrorless DX or even FX camera?

  • It looks similar to the Panasonic GX-7 (sans EVF). I don’t see how it’s similar to a J-model given the dual control dials.

  • pap

    PSAM modes od dial – it must be pro. 😀

  • d7k2v2

    The controls make me thing this is a V3, not a J model. Which is unfortunate in that they lost the grip of the V2. The V2 grip is one of the better things about it (I own one) when you hang a 70-200 on it (which I do with great frequency).

    If the sensor has improved high iso I’ll upgrade anyway.

    • stoooopid

      I skipped the V2 when I realized there was no real improvement in high ISO. Hopefully the V3 will change this. I love my V1, but high ISO really sucks. I hope they leave (or go back) to 10MP and give us a really high performer in ISO.

      • Captain Megaton

        You need to align your expectations to the size of the sensor. The V1 performance is pretty decent all things considered.

        • stoooopid

          Captain – well yes and no. Yes, I understand it is a 1″ sensor. But on the other hand, it was not my design decision to make it 1 inch. And since it is approx same body size and price range as some m4/3 cameras – it has to present a value proposition in that range. I think m4/3 currently has a better sensor. But I went with 1 series for fast AF – and it is fast. But m4/3 is catching up quickly.

  • Captain Megaton

    I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a V3 that looks _something_ like this, it has the expected merging of Coolpix A / Nikon 1 controls. The placement of the accessory port over the lens axis suggests a clip-on EVF (or no EVF at all) however, neither option seems likely.

    • purenupe1

      You were spot on with prediction as this ended up being the V3

      • Captain Megaton

        Hey I was! … unfortunately. The V3’s clip on EVF is the main reason I’m still using my V1.

  • jk

    why do they love to waste money on this crappy One system ? no one actually needs it , the sensor is too small and the crop factor is not good 2.7X is too odd.
    they need a serious FX mirrorless system, not this so-called One system.

    • To go from 35mm (full frame) to 645 (medium format) is a 2.7 multiplier. A Nikon 1 to a 35mm (full frame) change is a 2.7 multiplier.

      Sony makes a full frame mirrorless system. If they sell really well, then I would expect Canon and Nikon to introduce something like that. I have some doubts that the Sony will sell that well, partially because of the need for more lenses, but also because of the price point.

      Completely agree that no one needs the Nikon 1 system, but in reality no one now needs a camera. A smartphone would suffice for most people.

  • zoetmb

    Exchangeable lens? Is that a lens that automatically returns itself back to the store when it doesn’t perform well?

  • Rob Jackson

    This camera looks great. It shows Nikon’s commitment to the new format. A new 1″ sensor with improved sensitivity would be nice. Ergonomics look much better than the soap-bar J series.

  • NiagaraTim

    Red swoosh? Is that what they’re calling them now? Lol didnt they used to be the fabled red triangle badges long ago before they shrunk them? I loved the old badges.. They were the mark of superior workmanship and pride.. Now its reduced a little smear that means nothing at all… :-/

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