Nikon Corp. announced Sept. 21 it will introduce two models of mirrorless single-lens reflex cameras next month for sale in Japan and overseas.
Mirrorless cameras are small and lightweight. A key feature is that the lens can be replaced.
They were developed to fill the gap between conventional single-lens reflex cameras and compact-size cameras.
The camera is characterized by the absence of an internal mirror, which defines the single-lens reflex process for viewing the subject.
As a result, the camera is half the weight and thickness of normal single-lens models.
The mirrorless technology has quickly caught on with camera buffs.
The new Nikon 1 J1 weighs just 234 grams and is 6.1 centimeters long, 10.6 cm wide and 2.98 cm thick.
Nikon said it expects the 1 J1 to outsell its other mirrorless model, the Nikon 1 V1. The 1 J1 features an original image sensor and boasts the world's fastest speed of automatic focusing, the company said.
The 1 J1 also enables users to record full high-definition video footage. An estimated retail price for the Nikon 1 J1 with a zoom lens is about 70,000 yen ($917).
To blend Nikon's traditional brand image with stylishness, the model will also come in pink and red to attract female buyers.
The first mirrorless camera was released in 2008 by Panasonic. Olympus, Sony and Hoya quickly followed suit.
Nikon was initially hesitant to make inroads into the new camera field because it feared the new technology could eat into the market share of its mainstay lines of single-lens reflex cameras. However, Nikon determined that it could not ignore growing demand for mirrorless models.
Industry analysts are closely watching what Canon Inc., the only remaining major Japanese camera maker, will do in response to the latest market trend.
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