by Patrick Avenell

Nikon today unveiled the Nikon 1 compact system camera. Although similar in technology and form factor to Panasonic and Olympus' Micro Four-Thirds ranges, and Sony's Alpha Nex ranges, Nikon claims the release of this camera starts an entirely new category in the digital imaging category.

Here is a look at the two new models, the V1 and the J1, with more information in the captions.

The V1 model. At launch, there will be four lenses available: 10-30mm, 30-110mm, 10mm and 10-100mm. This last lens is specifically designed for Full HD video capture. Nikon said more lenses are being developed and will available soon after launch. Existing Nikkor DSLR lenses are compatible with the Nikon 1, via an adaptor.

The VI with the 10mm wide angle lens attached, and the 10-30mm 3x zoom lens. The Nikon 1 will be available in Australia from October 2011, with all prices currently unknown. It will be available in body-only, single lens and twin lens kits.

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The Nikon 1 J1, which is described by Nikon as "the world's smallest camera among competing interchangable lens digital cameras equipped with image sensors larger than one inch". All Nikon 1s are 10.1MP cameras, with 60 frames per second shooting without losing megapixel integrity. In the above image, the J1's flash is shown at-the-ready. This is one of the features that makes the J1 the more premium model.

A side-on view of the J1, showing MicroUSB and HDMI connectivty. We'll have more information, such as pricing and on-sales as they become available.