logo
RSS Twitter YouTube

Nikon 1 V1 Review

10 Megapixels10 MegapixelsElectronic View FinderElectronic View FinderContinuous DriveContinuous DriveFull 1080p HD Video: 1920 x 1080 resolution or more.Full 1080p HD Video: 1920 x 1080 resolution or more.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Introduction

The Nikon 1 V1 is the flagship model in the new Nikon 1 system of Mirrorless ILCs. The system comprises of a new electric lens-mount paired with a 3:2 aspect ratio sensor having a 2.7X crop factor. This makes it possible to shrink Nikon 1 cameras and lenses compared to all but one system of SLDs.

Nikon developed a unique 10 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor that is shared between the V1 and J1, the two cameras introduced at the launch. The 73-Point Phase-Detection autofocus system built straight onto the sensor is a first among mirrorless ILC. A full-resolution 60 FPS continuous drive and high-speed electronic-shutter is also unique among all ILCs.

The Nikon 1 V1 is a compact SLD with an ultra-sharp 1.4 megapixels EVF built-in. It offers complete manual-controls, including electronically-controlled manual-focus, custom white-balance and external lighting via a proprietary accessory port.

This detailed digital camera review takes a close look at the Nikon 1 V1's features, ergonomics, usability, image quality, performance and video recording features.

Nikon 1 V1 Major Features

  • 10 Megapixels CMOS sensor
  • 2.7X Crop factor, 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Nikon 1 lens mount
  • ISO range from 100 to 3200, Expandable to 6400
  • Auto ISO with 400, 800 or 3200 maximum
  • 1/16000One sixteenth thousandth of a second. Electronic shutter only. - 30s Shutter-Speed, Plus Bulb mode
  • Multi-Segment, Center-Weighed and Spot metering
  • PASM exposure modes, with Program-Shift
  • Automatic Scene Selection mode
  • Smart Photo Selector mode
  • Exposure-Compensation: ±3 EV in 1/3 EV steps
  • Automatic, 6 presetIncandescent, Fluorescent, Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade and custom white-balance, all fine-tunable along 2 axis in 13 steps
  • Customizable sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue
  • Single-Shot, Continuous, Manual and Auto focus-drives
  • 73-Point Phase-Detect autofocus system
  • 135-Point Contrast-Detect autofocus
  • Autofocus assist lamp
  • 60 FPS Continuous drive
  • 10 FPS Drive with continuous autofocus
  • 4 FPS Drive with mechanical shutter
  • Self-Timer: 2, 5 and 10s
  • Instant and 2s Delay remote
  • Interval-Shooting, 1-999 Shots, 5s to 24h interval
  • 100% Coverage 0.47" EVF 1.44 Megapixels with Eye-Start sensor
  • 3” LCD with 920K Pixels
  • 1920x1080 @ 30 FPS 1080p HD video
  • 1280x720 @ 60 FPS HD video
  • 640x240 @ 400 FPS High-Speed video
  • 320x120 @ 1200 FPS High-Speed video
  • 1920x1080 @ 60 FPS Motion-Snapshot
  • 1072x720 @ 60 FPS 3:2 Video
  • Internal stereo microphone
  • Stereo sound input mini-jack
  • JPEG and RAW modes
  • Optional High-ISO noise reduction
  • Optional Long-Exposure noise-reduction
  • Optional Adaptive D-Lighting
  • Hardware dust-reduction
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • SDXC Memory support
  • Proprietary accessory port
Nikon 1 V1 with 10-100mm Lens

Suitability - What is it good for?

The Nikon 1 V1 features photographic controls similar to advanced compact digital cameras. Those include full manual controls, including manual focus, custom white-balance and detailed image parameters. This camera can record JPEG images, RAW files or both. This gives precise control over the creative aspect of photography.

Nikon 1 V1

The major difference between this model and advanced compacts is that the Nikon 1 V1 is an Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILC). This provides tremendous versatility at the expense of cost in the form of lenses.

Since the Nikon 1 system is new, current native offerings are limited to a handful of basic lenses. An adaptor was announced which would allow the use of Nikkor lenses. Lenses with a built-in focus motor (AF-S) should be able to focus using that adaptor.

One obviously must consider that the size and weight advantages of a digital camera like the V1 disappear while using non-native lenses. By contrast, compact cameras have completely retractable lenses with over 10X optical zoom and protruding ones up to 36X
Canon Powershot SX40 HS
.

The V1 uses a proprietary accessory port for external lighting instead of a standard hot-shoe. Eventually this will allow more sophisticated devices but for now, Nikon only makes one compatible flash. Even non-flash devices like a bubble-level cannot be attached to the accessory port.

The Nikon 1 V1 has both an standard mechanical shutter and an electronic shutter. The latter lets the V1 reach shutter-speeds of up to 1/16000s which is faster than any other ILC. It also enabled continuous shooting up to 60 FPS at full resolution with focus locked on the first frame or 10 FPS with continuous autofocus. This makes this camera well-suited for action photography. The electronic shutter also makes the V1 ultra-quiet, which is a tremendous advantage under certain circumstances.

Capability - What can it do?

The Nikon 1 V1 itself is a rather capable camera. Its feature-set includes a good part of what entry-level DSLRs can do, plus it has plenty of unique features of its own. The Nikon 1 system uses the same 3:2 aspect-ratio as most modern DSLRs, providing an exact match for the classic 4"x6" print. The V1 has a 10 megapixels CMOS sensor, good enough for sharp 10"x15" prints at low sensitivities.

Nikon 1 V1 Family

There are presently 4 native lenses for the V1, spanning focal-lengths of 10 to 110mm. Considering the crop-factor of 2.7X, this covers a wide-angle 27mm to a telephoto 297mm. This covers a wide range of subjects from landscape to street shooting. While an F-mount lens can easily provide a longer reach, wider angle options are extremely limited.

The Nikon 1 mount is controls lenses electronically. Traditional mechanical zoom lenses plus power-zoom lenses are available. Autofocus is obviously supported as is manual focus which is performed by the control dial rather than a focus ring. Image stabilization is built into lenses but controlled and activated by the camera.

The standard PASM exposure modes are available for both images and videos. The right mode is chosen via the menu system rather than traditional mode-dial. EC is available ±3 steps in 1/3 EV increments. Actually, all exposure parameters other than ISO are always controlled in thirds.

Nikon 1 V1

With a shutter-speed range of 1/16000s-30s, plus Bulb mode, the Nikon 1 V1 is suitable for photography in extremely bright to rather dim lighting. The standard ISO sensitivity range goes from 100 to 3200, with ISO 6400 as an expansion option. This is enough for general photography and is comparable to entry-level DSLRs.

Continuous shooting speeds are unmatched among ILCs, with up to 60 FPS at full-resolution. A large buffer lets it shoot up to 60 JPEG images or 30 RAW files. The V1 achieves this stellar speed in High-Speed Electronic-Shutter mode which forces automatic exposure including Auto ISO with a limit of 3200. Autofocus is locked on the first frame at drives speeds above 10 FPS. At 10 FPS though, continuous autofocus including subject-tracking is possible. When the mechanical shutter is enabled, the continuous drive drops to a respectable 4 FPS.

Nikon took a genuinely useful and unique approach to integrating images and video with this digital camera. In all image modes, the V1 can record video with a 3:2 aspect ratio at the unusual resolution of 1072x720. In the dedicated video mode which captures 16:9 aspect ratio HD video, the V1 can capture images of the same aspect ratio. The great thing about this is that correct framing is always previewed with 100% coverage. Kudos to Nikon for getting this right!

The high-speed CMOS sensor is used in both Smart Photo Selector and Motion Capture modes. Both these modes buffer from the moment the shutter is pressed halfway. The difference is that the former mode selects the 5 best images based on sharpness and composition, while the latter creates a slow-motion video from the second preceding the shutter-release. Motion Capture mode adds one of four fixed sound-tracks to the video.

The Nikon 1V1 provides flexible image parameters in the form of 6 predefined Picture Controls, one of which is B&W. Each style can be refined using 10 steps of sharpening, 7 of contrast, 3 of brightness, 7 of saturation and 7 of hue. White-Balance is quite flexible with an Auto mode, 6 presets and a custom setting. All WB settings are fine-tunable in 13-steps along 2 axis.

Drive modes include self-timers of 2s, 5s and 10s, plus both instant or 2s delayed remote trigger. There is no need for MLU on the V1. The is an Interval Shooting option which takes up to 999 images at intervals between 5s and 24h, assuming the batter holds that long.

Nikon 1 V1
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com
By on 2011/11/21
2

Nikon V1 Facts

Mirrorless digital camera
10 Megapixels MirrorlessISO 100-6400
Nikon 1 Mount
2.7X FLM

Sensor-Size: 13 x 9mm

1" Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

Shutter 1/16000-30s
0.47" Built-in EVF 1.4 MegapixelsFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
Automatic Eye-Start sensorCustom white-balance
Built-in Dust ReductionSpot-Metering
60 FPS Drive, 60 ImagesHot-Shoe
1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video RecordingStereo audio input
3" LCD 920K PixelsLithium-Ion Battery
Secure Digital Extended Capacity
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Updates

    2016.08.25

  • 2016.08.25

    Nikon D5 XQD Review

    Nikon D5 XQD Review

    Nikon flagship professional DSLR with 20 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor. All-new 153-point Phase-Detect AF sensitive to -4 EV. ISO 50 to unprecedented 3,276,800! 12 FPS Drive for 200 JPEGs or 180 RAW. First Nikon DSLR with 4K Ultra HD video.

  • 2016.07.19

  • 2016.07.19

    Olympus Professional Lens Roundup

    Olympus Professional Lens Roundup

    Roundup of Olympus Professional and Premium lenses: M.Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12mm F/2, M.Zuiko 60mm F/2.8 Macro.

  • 2016.07.07

  • 2016.07.07

    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review

    Olympus second generation base OM-D with an anti-alias-filter-free 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor mounted on a 5-axis in-body stabilization system. Speedy 8.5 FPS drive, full HD @ 60 FPS and a wealth of features in a compact and lightweight body. Offers a 2.4 MP 0.45" EVF with 0.62X magnification and 100% coverage, plus dual control-dials and a highly customizable interface.

  • 2016.05.11

  • 2016.05.11

    Fuji X-Pro2 Review

    Fuji X-Pro2 Review

    Fuji flagship XF-mount mirrorless with 24 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor. 273-Point AF with 169 Phase-Detect points. 8 FPS Drive, 1080p video. Dual control-dials, direct dials and a hybrid viewfinder in a weather-sealed freezeproof body.

  • 2016.04.21

  • 2016.04.21

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 Review

    The only premium travel-zoom! 20 megapixels 1" high-speed CMOS sensor paired with a stabilized 25-250mm F/2.8-5.9 optical zoom. 50 FPS Drive, 4K Ultra-HD video, 1/16000-60s Hybrid Shutter, Post-Shot Focus, 4K Live-Cropping, Time-Lapse Video and more. Dual control-dials plus a built-in EVF with Eye-Start sensor.

  • 2016.02.04

  • 2016.02.04

    Canon EOS Rebel T6s Review

    Canon EOS Rebel T6s Review

    Newly designed Rebel with dual control-dials and top status LCD. 24 MP APS-C sensor, Hybrid AF III with 19 all-cross points and on-sensor Phase-Detect AF. 5 FPS Drive and full 1080p HD video capture.

  • 2016.01.05

  • 2016.01.05

    Canon Powershot G3 X Review

    Canon Powershot G3 X Review

    Ultra-zoom with a 25X optical zoom lens and large 20 MP 1" CMOS sensor in a weather-sealed body with dual control-dials, a lens ring and efficient controls. Captures full 1080p HD video at 60 FPS with internal or external stereo sound.

  • 2015.12.19

  • 2015.12.19

    Best Digital Cameras of 2015

    Best Digital Cameras of 2015

    The best new digital cameras of 2015. Plus, find out which ones of 2014 still lead their category. Compact, Premium Cameras, Ultra-Zooms, Mirrorless and DSLR are all covered.

  • 2015.11.30

  • 2015.11.30

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Review

    16 megapixels Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless. 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF with Eye-Start sensor plus dual control-dials. 4K Ultra-HD video, 8 FPS continuous-drive, hybrid shutter with 1/16000-60s shutter-speeds, ISO 100-25600 and Contrast-Detect DFD autofocus system sensitive to -4 EV.

  • 2015.11.03

  • 2015.11.03

    Nikkor AF-S 200-500mm F/5.6E ED VR Review

    Nikkor AF-S 200-500mm F/5.6E ED VR Review

    Nikon constant-aperture super-telephoto zoom with 200-500mm range and the latest Vibration-Reduction effective to 4.5 stops. Built-in super-sonic AF in a sturdy weatherproof body.