Nikon 1 V1 Mirrorless Advanced Camera Review by CameraLabs With Rating 84/1002011-12-23 15:25 | Source
Average Camera Review Rating [8 reviews]
Cameras with Price Range $350 - $650
On September 21 2011, Nikon announced the iconic Nikon 1 system, which represents a new category of camera that challenges conventional thinking, emphasizing a pocketable form factor with unbelievable speed, combined with the high image quality. The Nikon 1 J1 is an advanced camera with interchangeable lenses with the new 1 NIKKOR lens system that comes with a fast new hybrid Autofocus (AF), and fast speed with continuous AF. Users can capture a high quality image while simultaneously recording Full HD 1080p movies, together with the new Motion Snapshot mode that combines moving and still images. The J1 camera features the new Nikon developed CX-format, 10.1 Megapixels High-Speed AF CMOS sensor, supports ISO range of 100-3200 (6400 Hi-1), 73-point AF system, continuous shooting at 10 fps (or 60 fps with AF locked) at full resolution, and can capture Full HD movies at 1080p 30 fps, or 1080i 60 fps, with additional 30/60/400 and 1200 fps modes for super slow motion effects.
The Nikon V1 adds features such as a 1.4 million dot high resolution EVF, a high-speed electronic shutter, the magnesium alloy body, stereo microphone input, and a Multi-Accessory Port for attaching options such as the new SB-N5 compact speedlight, or the GP-N100 GPS module. The Nikon J1 and V1 will be available beginning October 20th. The Nikon J1 camera with 10-30mm lens kit is listed for retail at $649.95, while the V1 camera with 10-30mm lens kit is listed for retail at $899.95. It is currently selling at around $846. Here's the summary of review of the Nikon 1 V1 by CameraLabs, giving the camera a rating of 84 out of 100:
"The Nikon V1 is one of the fastest cameras I've tested at any price point and in any category. Quick AF, confident tracking, fast burst shooting and the ability to capture both stills and HD video simultaneously add up to a camera that can simply capture moments that are hard or even impossible to grab with another camera. Yes the sensor is smaller than APS-C and Micro Four Thirds, so it's no surprise to find the V1's image quality coming in below these formats, although conversely it is superior to the tiny sensors in a typical point-and-shoot model. So as I said earlier, if you're after the best image quality in the smallest possible body then it's hard to beat Sony's NEX range. But again the V1 isn't about ultimate image quality - it's about being able to capture a moment which eludes most cameras, and this it does with a degree of confidence and consistency which quickly becomes addictive. Parents of young-uns and Soccer Moms, listen-up. It's triumphant at sporting events, kids parties or simply maximising your chance of a great portrait with a tricky subject which can't keep still (although you may need to select a faster shutter speed than the fully auto mode suggests to avoid motion blur). Action junkies will also love having the speed and focusing of something approaching a pro sports DSLR in a considerably more affordable and portable package. And if you've ever been torn whether to shoot stills or video at a one-off event, the V1 gives you both at the same time.
Nikon's J1 is the unsung hero of the new system, the model which many overlooked due to its 'lower' specification, but for me it's the real winner here. It delivers all the best parts of the Nikon 1 system - the fast AF, confident tracking, quick burst shooting and simultaneous stills with HD video - but packages them into a smaller, lighter and crucially cheaper camera. Of all the V1's benefits, the only ones I really envied over time were its deeper buffer and mic input, although again the latter is hobbled on the V1 by not having a standard hotshoe mount. Then there's the built-in flash of the J1, which for casual snaps and fill-ins is much more useful than being forced to buy an optional accessory. Had the V1 featured a built-in flash, standard hotshoe, customisable function key, bracketing and some means to set the screen or viewfinder to be the default display, then it could have been a different story. But as it stands I found the V1's 'benefits' over the J1 to become less compelling over time until I ended up preferring the smaller form factor of the cheaper model. And once you've added things like the optional Speedlight or F-mount lens adapter to the V1, it's really becoming quite an expensive proposition. To truly satisfy enthusiasts and justify its price tag, the V1 simply needs further refinement; but to be fair it is quite literally Version 1.
Of course much of this is personal and those who really want a viewfinder or tough build will end up preferring the V1. But I urge any potential Nikon 1 buyers to think very carefully about how they'll use the cameras long-term. Like most reviewers and enthusiasts, I started off preferring the V1, but thanks to an extended testing period where I shot thousands of frames with both models over six weeks, it was the J1 which ended up being my preferred choice. Overall if you only take one thing away from this review it's that the Nikon 1 system really is something special even with these first models. Don't get bogged-down by the sensor size and instead revel in the speed. It's the fastest mirror-less ILC to date and if this suits your subject you'll love it. In fact it's hard not to become evangelical and I commend Nikon for doing something different and truly compelling. Of the two models, you may find the V1 despite its foibles and price tag the preferred option, but again the J1 gets my choice, especially in the twin lens kit with the tiny 30-110mm telephoto zoom. Grab those rebates now before the world realises how good it is."
Nikon V1 Mirrorless Sample Photos on Flickr
Nikon V1 Mirrorless Camera Reviews Roundup
|Fstoppers: "The V1 produces sharp, stunning images, as do most of these high-quality mirrorless cameras today. However, it is built on a platform that leaves room for only a small sensor -- the CX mount. It's an entirely new format that's bigger than the 1/1.7" sensor, but also quite a bit smaller than the four-thirds sensor, let alone the much larger ASP-C format. That means less quality in the low light arena and more no..." - Oct 29 2012 More »|
|Digital Camera Info: "When Nikon announced their new "1 System" of compact interchangeable lens cameras, they debuted with two models, the J1 and the V1. The cameras are the first digital Nikon cameras to utilize an entirely new lens mount system, and an image sensor that is smaller than those used in competing cameras from Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and Samsung. The question begs, why would Nikon choose to use this smaller sens..." - Jun 29 2012 More »|
|LuminousLandscape: "No lab tests, but several hundred frames of real-world shooting tells the tale. In a word, image quality is fine, especially for images that will be used in smaller print sizes and online. But due to the limitations of a 10MP sensor quality larger prints and strong cropping are not as easily achieved. If there weren't competing cameras with great 16MP sensors then the V1 would rank up a notch, but the reality is tha..." - Jun 07 2012 More »|
|Imaging Resource: "In the decades I've been writing camera reviews, this one has to be the one that has been the most involved. I took over 700 shots with the Nikon V1, roughly 80 with the 10mm prime, 460 with the 10-30mm, and another 160 with the 30-110mm. That entailed 58 focal lengths, 19 apertures, and 31 shutter speeds. ISO varied over the whole range as well, with over 140 at ISO 3,200 or above and over 200 at the base ISO 100...." - Apr 03 2012 More »|