Nov 142011
 

The Nikon V1 Camera Review – The camera I expected to hate!

By Steve Huff

UPDATE: See my new Nikon V2 review and the new Nikon 32 1.2 Lens Review

Yes, this is a review of the new Nikon 1 series camerathe Nikon V1  – and yes it was a camera I expected to hate (due to the sensor)! But before I get into this V1 camera, let me talk a little about my Nikon history because I have always been a fan of Nikon, just as I am a fan of cameras and photography in general. To those who know me, they know it is my passion and how this website came about 3 years ago. Enjoy!

The Earlier Nikon Digital SLR’s

I’ve almost had them all – D100, D200, D300 but I will talk a little about the D2h and D700, my two favorite Nikon DSLR’s ever. I have not shot a Nikon camera in a couple of years (update: I gave the D800 a quick spin and loved the quality, WOW.) but I used to be a huge Nikon fan. The Nikon D700, IMO, was a game changer in the world of DSLR’s and when I owned one with some Ziess glass I was in heaven for quite a while with nice files and high ISO capabilities that were the same as the D3. Nikons claim to fame for me was always the rich Nikon “look”, or colors which I have always enjoyed for the most part. Each camera manufacturer seems to have created a “look” for themselves and their cameras. Nikon has the rich deep color that is reminiscent of film in many ways, Canon goes for a more subdued pastel like color and even Leica has their own signature color style which is also very rich with great reds and blues.

As for the D700, I loved that camera but in reality I realized that I was leaving it at home most of the time and never wanted to take it places. Why? Because I was the opposite of those people who are  “wanting to look like a pro”. Me, I would rather be invisible when shooting, not have a huge monster camera and lens blazing in my subjects face. For pro work it is fine of course but for personal shooting, which is mainly what I was doing back then, it was just too big for my tastes.

Before the D700 I was a HUGE fan of the D2h and D2hs for their small file sizes, and great quality FAT pixels. I shot some amazing images with my D2hs but again, that camera with a 70-200 f/2.8 attached was a BEAST and it killed my arm and back on many days. When I switched to the D700, the D2hs was sold and I enjoyed the lighter camera for a while but even the D700, for me, was too large for a take anywhere and shoot camera…for ME. So eventually I went on a search for small and light.

The next two shots were taken with a Nikon D2h in 2003/2005

I printed this shot at 20X30 and it looked amazing, even with only 4MP. I think it is due to the FAT pixels..putting only 4 MP on an APS-C sensor. Less is sometimes more.

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So due to only size and weight, the D700 was sold and there were times that I missed it for it’s full frame qualities and great high ISO performance even though I eventually replaced it for a Leica M9, which IMO, still provides amazing quality files and has the best available lenses in the world. The problem with the M9 for me these days is it is such a damn expensive piece of gear and frustrations build up at times. My focus has went out a couple of times on me in the last year, meaning my lenses do not focus correctly and when that happens it is a pain. Add to that some random issues that popped up for many people like the cracked sensor glass and the SD card issue and I started to get nervous about shooting with my M9! Let’s face it, $7000-$8000 is a huge chunk of change for a camera BODY. I love the M9, and still feel it is an amazing camera that provides the best IQ of any digital to date, but it is a bit finicky at times and with me not having the luxury of a huge bank account (no, I do not get rich from this site)  I tend to leave it at home these days as I search for a small mirrorless solution as my take everywhere personal camera.

In the world of smaller mirror-less cams there are PLENTY of choices. I mean, A TON of choices. It makes it hard even for ME to choose and I get to play with them all! Plus in 2012 there are many more coming – for example, look for new things from Leica, Canon, Fuji and others. But for those looking for a camera such as the Nikon V1 NOW, read on and I will tell you of my experience with this new camera system.

ENTER THE NIKON 1 SYSTEM

Nikon V1 – 10mm pancake  - click image for larger view

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Nikon has been working on this “1″ system for about 4 years now and the 1st question I asked myself when it was announced is “Really? Four years and they come up with THIS? A Small sensor toy?”. The early photos of the 1 system did indeed make the cameras look toy like so I told myself I would most likely not even review it which was silly really..I admit. For this new system launch Nikon released two cameras. The more consumer oriented “J1″ and the so called enthusiasts “V1″. This review will focus on the V1 because most of you who read this site fall into the enthusiast camp.

So…all the buzz is about the smaller sensor in the 1 series cameras. If I can back up a bit… when I reviewed the Pentax Q a while ago I realized that even with the teeny sensor in it, I was getting some damn good image quality for the kind of sensor that was in that camera, so I knew technology was getting better because it was about as good as I have seen in a camera of that type. I enjoyed the Q and thought it was unique and fun but I think it may be a super niche product and one that will not sell very well or in any kind of huge numbers. It’s too expensive for what it is, and the Q’s lenses ARE Toy like. So much so that they even call them “Toy Lenses”. Still, the Q is cool but not something I would buy for myself due to the price tag. I do give Pentax a thumbs up for creating something different and unique though. The one thing it showed me is that small sensors today can be good.

The V1 with the 10-30 – right out of the camera

When the Nikon 1 came out I knew that if I looked at or reviewed anything it would be the V1, which is the model Nikon themselves say are for the “enthusiast”. I found that odd because in one interview I saw with a Nikon rep he said the 1 system is for those who want a step up from a point and shoot but do not want or need a DSLR. Then another interview said the V1 is for the enthusiast. The J1 and V1 share the same sensor and same quality but the V1 has a better build, EVF and no built in flash. So is Nikon telling us that the IQ from these cameras would make even a die hard enthusiast happy? Hmmm, thats what I was curious about so I agreed to review the V1. Why not right?

The Nikon V1 with 10-100 Zoom at ISO 400 – images from the V1 are typically sharp but a bit grainy when viewed at full size – Click image for larger

UPDATE June 2012: I have been photographing these Orangutans for about 12 years and on June 24th 2012 the one pictured here “Dutchess” was put down due to her having a rare form of cancer. Was a sad day for me as I have visited her well over 200 times. This is the last shot of her that I took and you can tell that even at the time of this shot that she was not feeling well.

The Features of the Nikon V1

Here is what Nikon says about the V1 and what it can do…sounds impressive right?

Witness the Revolutionary New Nikon 1 System: A Breakthrough in Technology and Design - Capture every moment of an incredible life with an evolution in imaging technology. At the heart of Nikon 1 is EXPEED 3, a culmination of years of dedication to advancing digital imaging technologies. Witness outstanding system performance, high-speed dual image processors, state-of-the-art focal-plane phase detection auto focus and the fastest data transfer rates. Superior image quality, tone reproduction, advanced noise reduction, and an ability to create a whole new type of image are all delivered with the new Nikon 1

Focus Without Hesitation: Advanced Hybrid AF Puts the Focus in Your Control

Your camera goes with you everywhere since moments worth sharing can happen at any instant. Nikon 1 V1 delivers an amazing 10fps speed in autofocus and 60fps in manual mode, courtesy of a unique combination of contrast and focal plane phase detect autofocus. Don’t let your creativity be hindered by slow focus speed. Even fast moving action is rendered with amazing clarity – thanks to an incredible 73 point AF array continuously working to ensure everything is sharp and clear

Professional Touches Extend Versatility: Features to Bring Photography into the Incredible

Work like a pro with an advanced set of features that extend creativity. Flexibility comes to your workflow allowing composition with either the electronic viewfinder or Live View LCD panel during both still and movie work. Extend your lighting range by tapping the multi-accessory port and connect the small, yet powerful Speedlight unit. Capture perfect audio for all movie needs by plugging a high quality microphone (support for Nikon’s ME-1 Microphone with the AS-N1000 adapter) into that same port. There’s even an optional GPS unit that records longitude, latitude and altitude

For Moments that Deserve More: Motion Snapshot Brings the Memory to Life (I have to say, I wish they did left this out. Pure gimmick)

Certain glances at life just cannot be retold with merely a single photograph. Bring to life those incredible times by injecting personal interpretation through Motion Snapshot. In a single click, your vision takes flight – bringing moment, motion and sound to light. Reveal the essence that can’t be captured in a single photo

Extend Your Creativity: Simultaneously Capture Full HD (1080p) Movies and Photos

Work with both high resolution photos and Full HD (1080p) movies to bring even more creative expression to life. Start recording at the touch of a button. See a moment you’d like as a still? Hit the shutter. Autofocus keeps everything in focus, even when working double duty to record movies and photograph stills. Elevate production with the addition of varied frame rates in 30/60/400/1200fps. Don’t be hindered by working in just one mode – Nikon 1 flexibility gives you more

Only the Best Photo Returned: Let the Camera Do the Work with Smart Photo Selector

Always producing, always looking to frame a shot to perfection? What if there was a camera that could do the thinking for you – working to return a photo with optimal exposure, subjects in frame, clarity and focus, even eyes open? For times when you prefer to just be in the moment and let the camera do the work, move the dial to Smart Photo Selector. You find the best moment. Nikon 1 V1 will capture it

1 NIKKOR Lenses: Compact, Light, High Performance Optics

Express quality with the revolutionary new 1 NIKKOR lens system. Don’t be limited by a single fixed focal length (attack on the Fuji X100?) -select from a growing selection of lenses that incorporate Nikon’s vibration reduction (VR II) technology for blur-free images. Aspherical elements keep lenses compact while maintaining high quality. A silent stepping motor (STM) keeps autofocusing quiet – especially during movie recording. Compactness brings portability, whether using the optional single focal length 10mm or the 30-110mm telephoto. 1 NIKKOR extends a heritage of precision symbolized by durability, superior image quality and optical excellence

Low Light

An advanced innovative Nikon super high-speed AF CMOS imaging sensor, wide ISO range and option to select the best lens for the job gives you even more control over the light. Produce amazing photos in all those moody environments. Tap only ambient light and open the most artistic doors to photographing on the dance floor, nabbing dramatic sunsets and candlelit moments. For extended range, attach the 1 Nikon Speedlight for fill flash and more

Electronic Viewfinder

Accustomed to framing your images with a viewfinder? The Nikon 1 gives photographers the option to work with flexibility – using either the 1,440,000 dot (SVGA) electronic viewfinder (EVF) or the large high resolution, 921,000 dot (VGA) LCD panel with 100 percent view. See every one of your creations rendered clearly on the high contrast viewfinder. The camera’s eye sensor allows you to toggle between EVF and LCD views by placing your eye to the EVF. A Diopter adjustment is available, as well

EXPEED 3 Processor

EXPEED 3 marks the culmination of years of dedication to advancing digital imaging technologies. At the heart of Nikon 1 is EXPEED 3, with dual image processors, to deliver outstanding system performance, high-speed processing, state-of-the-art phase detection autofocus and the fastest data transfer rates. Witness outstanding image quality, tone reproduction and advanced autofocus at unprecedented speeds

Intuitive Simplicity

Easy access to advanced features are hallmarks of the Nikon 1 system. From the ultra intuitive command and features buttons, easy-to-understand menu and fast lens mount, you’ll be expressing thoughts and visions as never before. Even advanced features for photos and movies can be created with one-click ease

LCD Monitor

Check your creativity: frame and share your creations on the large and sharp 3.0 inch LCD color display. An ultra-high resolution VGA screen featuring 921,000 dots shows every detail to precision. An anti-glare coating renders easy viewing of photos and HD movies, even outdoors

Speedlight

For instances where available light is not enough to properly illuminate subjects, or when special lighting effects are desired, use the optional Nikon 1 SB-N5 Speedlight. Plug this compact device into the i-TTL hot shoe. Angle the device up, down, left or right and bounce light to your creative advantage. No batteries are required to power this device

Skin tones? Nikon V1 and 10 2.8

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NIkon 10-100

My interest was growing…and then it arrived

When I started to read more about the V1 I looked at the specs and features and saw that Nikon was boasting the “Fastest Auto Focus in the World” and one NIkon rep said it put the D3s to shame in the AF department. BOLD CLAIMS!  Olympus was also boasting the fastest AF a few months ago in regards to the E-P3. The more I read about the Nikon V1 the more I was intrigued. I started to get really curious about it when I saw some reviewers who never even shot with it calling it a “turd” or saying that this new CX format is “A dead format”. Interesting…it seemed like 80% of the enthusiast world was judging it just due to the sensor size. With other cameras that come in for less money having larger sensors, many failed to see the point of the 1 series. What could it possibly offer that wasn’t already being provided by a NEX-5n or Panasonic G3?

When the camera arrived to me from B&H Photo along with the lenses I was impressed as soon as my hands hit the camera body. It was solid. It was sleek. It was black and it felt like a fully finished product (unlike some cameras that are rushed out). After charging the battery, which is the same chunky battery used by the Nikon D7000 I went out to shoot with camera and I had the 10 2.8, 10-30 zoom, and the 10-100 zoom. After just a few shots and hearing the quiet mechanical shutter and how solid the camera felt…I was PRAYING the image quality would be good because the camera was performing amazingly well in every other area. The auto focus blazed and it was 100% accurate. The LCD was nice and crisp and colorful. The EVF was really good and the AF tracking was even pretty damn incredible. If the IQ held up and was good enough for my personal daily shooting and it could beat my Olympus E-P3, I knew right then I would buy one because I never experienced AF performance and accuracy like this nor have I enjoyed metering this good!

The fact is that the V1 is a JOY to shoot! Worry free. Never failing. Even the NEX-7 misses the AF occasionally. This Nikon V1 NEVER MISSED ONE SHOT as far as AF goes. So it all came down to the IQ (image quality). If  that fell apart and the resulting images looked like a cheap P&S (point and shoot) then forget it.

Here are a few shots with a variety of lenses. All shot RAW and processed using Adobe Camera Raw. The Nikon V1…

The V1 with the 10mm at f/2.8

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The $750 10-100 lens that is optimized for video fully zoomed to 100 and at f/5.6

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The 10-100 again at f/5.6 and 100mm (270mm equivalent)

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My video overview of the camera and menus system

My 1st thoughts on the image quality of the Nikon V1 – Excellent but not perfect, and I will tell you why.

My first thoughts of the image quality were very good. I found  that the V1 gave me great quality images in good light and when the light fell a bit I would get a little noise added to my pic, but it wasn’t  bad noise, nor was it excessive. The one thing I found that I could not escape from is that it is not easy to get shallow depth of field with this camera/sensor/lens combo, in fact it is not really possible with the current lens lineup to get anywhere near what you would get on a NEX or even Micro 4/3 camera with a fast lens. The lenses for the “1″ are all pretty wide in focal length due  to the 2.7 crop factor. The sensor is small so the lenses have to be wider to give us the equivalent and more normal focal lengths. The lenses are also “slow” with apertures starting at 4.5 for the 100-300 zoom. Nikon did not release any kind of fast primes like a 20 1.4 or 1.7. So the Nikon 1 system is not a camera you can pick up, shoot a portrait with and totally throw out the background focus. You can get some shallow depth of field if you get close with the 10 at 2.8, or if you zoom out to 110 with the 30-100 and open it up to 5.6 but this Nikon system is NOT for those who like shallow depth of field or creamy soft looks.If you thought micro 4/3 was at fault for this reason, you will think this even more so with the Nikon 1 system.

The V1 and J1 is more for  those who like their images sharp, in focus, and with nice deep color. The camera puts out some great quality NO QUESTION but you will not get super smooth noise free images. Even at ISO 100, looking at the full size files you will see some noise, but nothing bad or overbearing. The IQ of the V1 is good. It’s really good. It is excellent, especially for what it is, and after using both side by side extensively I much prefer the IQ from the V1 than the Fuji X10, which has an even smaller sensor and no EVF.

No real complaints from me at all on the V1 until you get to low light because that is where the weakness comes in of this system. The SLOW lenses. In low light, shooting at f/3.5 with the ISO cranked to 1600 you will not get image quality like  you see in the images here so I am really hoping for a nice fast prime to come along for the 1. With faster lenses you can shoot in low light at a lower ISO. So no, the V1 is not perfect but it was not designed to be. Nikon wouldn’t want to have  their DSLR sales drop now would they? I just hope their “fast portrait prime” arrives sooner than later.

The 10-100 at 100

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The 30-110

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10-100

For those that are wondering…How about sharpness and detail? 

The V1 and it’s lenses put out a sharp file, that is for sure. With a resolution of 10 MP you will not have a crazy high res file but you will get images that are a breeze to work on due to the small sizes of the files. Also, the NEF (RAW) files of t he V1 are SUPERB and recommended over JPEG. Here is an image with a 100% crop embedded. Make sure you click on the image to see it larger and to see the full 100% crop.

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with the 10-100 at 100 and  f/5.6

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and the 10mm at 3.5 stopped down a bit and at ISO 400 indoors with some window light – why I insist on making this face in photos I will never understand :)

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High ISO – How is it?

I compared the higher ISO of the Nikon V1 to the Fuji X10, Olympus E-P3 and Ricoh GRD IV. The little V1 did VERY good IMO and better than expected.

and the 100% crops

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ISO 800 – low light. If  you click the image below you can download the full size out of camera shot. NO noise reduction at all and look how sharp the image is. This was taken in my kitchen at night, so just the lights above. Focus was on the edge of the cardboard box.

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The V1 at ISO 3200, NO NOISE REDUCTION – From RAW – SHARO AS A TAC, NO SMEARING

CLICK THE IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE OUT OF CAM FILE – THIS WAS TAKEN AT NIGHT IN MY KITCHEN. AMAZING ISO PERFORMANCE HERE.

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ISO 6400, No Noise Reduction – Click image for full size

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A shot from the V1 at ISO 6400 – In cam JPEG with NR, AT NIGHT

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How about a real world high ISO image? ISO 3200 at night with the 10mm 

The Nikon V1 is more than just about taking pictures…it also shoots nice HD video

The V1 also shoots great video. Not the best I have seen (NEX-5n and 7 are better here) but VERY good with NO Jello effect that I have found. The video is solid and detailed but the in camera mic does pick up wind noises very easily. When using the optimized for video 10-100 lens, it is silky smooth and fun to shoot. Here is a quick video sample using that lens. It was overcast on this day so the video does not look super colorful or contrasty but it works for me. The VR on the Nikon lenses work well to stabilize the handheld video as you can see while I tracked the horses at full zoom.

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The gimmicks…Motion Snapshot and Smart Photo Selector

OK, I have to say that there are TWO modes on the back dial that should not have made it to the V1. Instead of these, on the V1 at least, since Nikon says this model is for the “Enthusiast”, they should have nixed the Motion Snapshot mode. Basically if you switch to MOTION SNAPSHOT the camera records a couple seconds of slo mo video and then adds a still shot at the end. Kind of cheesy and you can even choose the music type. You can see a sample of this in my video overview farther up this page. I will never use this and not sure who will really.

There is also the “Smart Photo Selector” which is not for enthusiasts, lol. Basically you aim the camera, press the shutter and even before you press down the shutter release all the way the camera starts taking photos and it takes 20 of them. After that it picks the best 5, as chosen by the camera, and puts them on your memory card. Supposedly it will capture the smile, the moment, the best focus and framing. I tried it but all I saw was 5 photos that looked about the same. I would have rather Nikon took these off of the V1 and instead put the traditional modes on the dial like A, P, etc.

The J1 and V1 do not have a pano mode or low light mode or anything else which I am fine with as I never ever used those modes anyway on the other cameras.

One of the best 5 from my test of the Smart Photo Selector. 

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Small sensor vs Larger sensor, APS-C vs CX…is it r

eally that big of a difference?

So I was out shooting the Nikon V1 for the past few days to evaluate it for this review and I also brought along the Sony NEX-7 and 50 1.8 lens to see which camera I enjoyed shooting more. It’s a no brainer which one will give you the better image quality right? We would all assume the Sony would win without question. Well, it is true BUT is the difference really THAT huge between the smaller CX sensor in the V1 compared to the APS-C in the NEX-7?

Lately there has been a ton of buzz online about smaller sensors vs larger sensors and some people get downright angry just talking about a camera like the Nikon V1 due to the small sensor. It’s a fact! Cameras with teeny small sensors like the cheap-ish Point and Shoot cameras at the local shop will never give you the quality you see from a larger sensor camera. They have limited dynamic range, not so accurate colors, a hard look to the files, and bad high ISO performance. They are usually cheap in price though and serve their purpose as vacation cameras or family cameras. Most people do not know any better and buy a point and shoot at Best Buy because it looks cool or has the name Canon or Nikon on it and they assume it will be high quality. Sadly that is not always the case. To those in the know (me, you, us) we are well aware of what cameras will give better photo quality and the fact of the matter is that sensor size, megapixel count and lenses all contribute to the final quality of a cameras file. Have a large sensor and lower MP count? Expect GREAT quality..borderline amazing. Large sensor with high MP count? Then we will see a drop in quality. The same rules apply for a small sensor. Keep the MP light and you can do great things with a smaller sensor. Pack on too many pixels and it starts to go downhill with decreased light gathering, dynamic range, color, etc.

For example, the Sony NEX-7 has a large APS-C size sensor but Sony crammed 24 million pixels on to the sensor which in turn decreased its high ISO performance a bit when compared to the 16 megapixel NEX-5n. It also makes for some huge files that seem to choke my aging iMac. While it has an APS-C sized sensor, I think that the NEX-7 loses some ground because there are so many MP crammed on the sensor. The 16MP NEX-5n seems  to do a bit better because there are not so many on the same sized sensor. This enables better performance. Even so, the NEX-7 performs GREAT, especially with RAW files, but how would it compare to something like the Nikon V1 with its smaller “CX” 2.7 crop sensor that has only 10 megapixels? Is Sensor size REALLY THAT IMPORTANT to the every day hobbyist or enthusiast? I wanted to know for myself which his why I shot the NEX-7 with its large sensor and high MP count next to the V1 with its small sensor and low MP count.

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BIGGER SENSOR: The NEX-7 – 24 MP – 1.5 crop sensor (APS-C) – $1349 with kit zoom

 

The NEX-7 seems to have it all for us gear heads. It has manual control, a gorgeous EVF, tillable LCD, a large APS-C sized sensor with a whopping 24 megapixels crammed in and it’s pretty sexy as well with the new Zeiss 24 1.8 and the Sony 50 1.8 lenses. A bit large with the lenses attached but still, a sexy camera thats body is much smaller and sleeker than a DSLR. On the downside, the NEX-7 metering and out of camera colors leave a little to be desired in my opinion. When I open a file from a NEX-7 and look on my screen I am not finding myself  saying “WOW”.  Not once has my jaw dropped when opening a NEX-7 file (really the same for any NEX camera because as good as they are, the colors and the way it exposes never does it for me out of camera) but after some work and tweaks, they can be absolutely gorgeous and they have the capability to WOW.

The NEX-7 is a great camera, and the price is right as well for what you get. It may seem expensive but look at the NIkon V1 which is $899 for the V1 body and kit zoom, and the V1 does not have the manual control or larger sensor. $1349 for a NEX-7 and kit zoom. $449 more for the APS-C sensor, manual controls, tillable LCD, and more video features like 24P, 60P, etc. The NEX-7 was made for the enthusiast and Sony finally has some fast glass coming for the NEX system so is the price worth it? Id say it is because there really isn’t much the NEX-7 can not do. Is it a Leica M9 or Nikon D3s? No, but it also not $7,000. Even with that said…we can not just push aside something like the V1 when it comes to the decision making…which I will talk more about below.

The NEX-7 with the 50 1.8 – click the images for larger view

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One thing that I notice from the Sony files of the fish (converted from RAW) are that they are rich, have deep blacks, nice color, and a smooth noise free look. Click on them for a larger view. Out of the camera the images were not looking good but processing the RAW files brought out the beauty and color. To me, it is evident these are from a camera with a larger sensor.

SMALLER SENSOR: The Nikon V1 – 10MP – 2.7 crop sensor – ISO 100-6400 – $899 with kit zoom

 

The Nikon V1 has arrived and there seems to be so many haters, mostly those who have not even held the camera. Yes, it is pricey for the specs and having a small sensor but Nikon has packed some serious tech in to the V1 (I did not try the J1) with a very solid build, a very nice EVF, a minimal approach and decent lenses that are insanely sharp but sadly, they are all SLOW in the aperture department. The Nikon V1 is FAST, responsive, and never missed focus for me with thousands of shots taken. IN fact I will go on record now and say the V1 has the fastest and most accurate AF that I have ever seen in a camera (that I have used). It’s as fast or faster than my old D700, or 5DII. Faster than the quick Olympus E-P3 and the tracking works like a charm as well. You can shoot at 5, 10 or 60 frames per second in full resolution, with RAW. It is an advanced camera with a smaller than average sensor. So why did Nikon choose this sensor? My guess is so they could make it fast, responsive and a JOY to shoot with.

I already talked about this above but my only wish is that they had a fast prime at launch because using these lenses at night, like indoors at a party just doesn’t cut it unless you use the flash. But in daylight, the camera pumps out photos effortlessly. The metering is AMAZING on the V1, and beats any mirrorless camera I have shot with to date. The Nikon 1 is actually almost the perfect camera! If Nikon would have made it M9 size, with a large sensor and created sweet Leica like lenses then it would have been game over. This kind of speed, metering, and AF performance in a larger version would KILL the competition. But I am guessing Nikon did not want to kill the sales of  their DSLR’s (just yet) so they had to cripple the V1 in one way…the sensor.

Well, I can not say “cripple”. The sensor in this camera is probably the best small sensor I have seen to date but it still has limitations which are no shallow depth of field, and more noise than usual even at low ISO. Other than that though, I am finding the V1 to be pretty damn good. IN fact, I am most likely keeping this one and yes, I have to pay full price! I just find it such a joy to use that I can kind of look over any issues with the IQ. Would this mean I would sell all of my other cameras? No, but I can see this camera being my goto daily camera just for the fact that it is so reliable in everything it does.

The fish with the V1 and 10-100 at 40mm (108mm equiv)

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ISO 1600…

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10-100 at ISO 800

So why all the hoopla over Sensor size if the V1 seems to take great quality images? Well one thing I have learned after using the V1 is that the hoopla is really over nothing. But do not mistake that for me saying the V1 is perfect. It is not. I would not use this camera to shoot a concert or for pro work that required high res files simply because the quality drops off some when the lights get low. Besides, Nikon makes pro DSLR’s for pro work and Leica makes an M9 that works amazingly well for concerts and pro work as well. So in reality, people bitching and moaning over the V1′s sensor size is silly. It does exactly as advertised for its intended target audience, and that audience is someone who wants and upgrade from a point and shoot but doesn’t want a DSLR.

This camera is an in between. A camera that gets a lot right and little wrong. No, it is not an IQ dream machine and yes  the sensor is small but did we expect D3 performance here? Even if Nikon put in an APS-C I have a feeling the AF would be slower and the camera as a whole would be as well. The lenses would be bigger and then we would hear complaints about it being too big. I really like the V1. It’s a very finished product and you can tell this when you shoot it. It feels right and in use it is such a pleasure to use and know that you nailed the AF, the metering and color.

UPDATE June 2012: How about the V1 vs the new Leica X2?

Well this one is a crazy comparison begging to be done but take a look below at an image I shot (just for this test). 1st, the image. Yes, just a boring test shot of an old AC unit. Since the Leica X2 is a 16mp camera with an APS-C sized sensor I crippled the Nikon V1 shot by UPSIZING it to 16MP, the same size as the X2 file. Now this will degrade the V1 file but let us see how it went:

The image I snapped with both cameras. Both were set at f/4, ISO 100 and the V1 had the cheap 10-30 zoom. The Leica has their top quality 24 Elmarit.

Now the 100% crops. You must click them to see them larger sized and the full 100% crop view

REMEMBER! I upsized the V1 file to 16MP so this degrades the file quality quite a bit! Interesting to see how much sharper the V1 is over the Leica, which is always applauded for the sharpness! Crazy.

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and now the V1 crop at 10MP, native resolution

Of course  the X2 will give you lower noise, better and richer IQ overall and the warmer colors that the X2 is known for…but the little V1 is holding it’s own! At $749, the V1 is approx $1850 less expensive than the Leica X2 and EVF setup and the V1 is MUCH faster, much more responsive, more solid feeling and takes amazing video. Hmmm. You will lose out on shallow depth of field though, but then again, the X2′s 24 2.8 lens doesn’t give you much of that anyway.

Is the cost really that high on the V1?

Many forums are up in a roar talking about how the V1 is way too expensive and that it should be priced at $599. I DISAGREE 100%! Sure, Id love for it to be $599 but when you compare the V1 to other cameras that are $599, the V1 wins every time. For example, everyone is going nuts over the Fuji X10, which I also enjoyed quite a bit but I wouldn’t take one of those over a V1. The V1 has a larger sensor, a great 100% coverage EVF, a better more solid build, faster AF, better metering, much better video, better battery life, is the same size AND you can change lenses! The V1 gives you all of this over the X10 for $$150 more. Not bad at all, and certainly not overpriced.

Look at how it stood toe to toe with the $2600 Leica X2 setup above.

Others will say you can get a NIkon D5100 for $100 less. TRUE! But the D5100 is a TOTALLY different type of camera! It is a bulky DSLR that feels plastic and fat. The lenses are huge and the V1 has faster AF, is smaller, is built better, has a GREAT 100% EVF, etc etc etc. The V1 is for  those who want a small camera that also has HIGH performance. The V1 gives us that. If it had an APS-C no one would be buying the D5100 or D7000, etc. Nikon HAD to cripple the V1 with the sensor size when you think about it so their DSLR sales would not die.

BUT the V1 is NOT overpriced in the slightest FOR WHAT IT OFFERS.

There is not a mirrorless on the market right now in its price range that beats it in AF speed or accuracy, in metering, in video, EVF, battery life or out of camera color. $749 with a kit lens is just about perfect. If it was $599 it would be the steal of the century. The V1 really is high tech, loaded with not the bells and whistles and gimmicks but rather technology that will improve future Nikon models as well.

$899 – Priced right in my opinion for what is on the market right now.  UPDATE – The V1 is now $749 with kit lens..so the price did come down! Now is a great time to buy. 

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The PROS and CONS of the Nikon V1

PROS

  1. Build is top notch for this class of camera
  2. Speed speed and more speed!
  3. EVF is very good – colorful, bright, and sharp
  4. AF is accurate – didn’t miss one shot while reviewing – 1st time ever
  5. 5, 10, or 60 frames per second
  6. Mechanical and Electronic Shutters
  7. Phase detect and Contrast Detect AF – best in class AF performance
  8. Metering is the best Ive seen in any mirrorless camera to date
  9. Lenses are all sharp and give great color
  10. HD video has NO Jello effect
  11. Feels like a polished and finished product, not rushed or buggy
  12. Nikon has more lenses planned for 2012
  13. RAW files are easy to work with due to smaller files sizes
  14. Menu system is fast and easy to browse and setup
  15. Minimalist design and functions
  16. Battery life rocks with the beefy D7000 battery
  17. Files are very robust when shooting RAW
CONS
  1. Smaller sensor does have limitations
  2. No real shallow depth of field possible
  3. Can be noisy when viewing 100% images
  4. When the lights go down, so does the color
  5. No tilt-able LCD
  6. To some, the cost may seem to high
  7. Stiff competition from Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji
  8. Gimmicky modes should not have been on the V1, should have stayed only on the J1
  9. Must go to menu to change shooting modes
  10. Auto ISO seems to choose LOW shutter speeds that can blur your image
  11. No live preview of exposure changes on the LCD/EVF
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My conclusion on the Nikon V1
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Well, I think I kind of already wrote my conclusion above so instead of repeating myself again and again I will say this. The Nikon V1 is a new camera system from Nikon. Nikon knows how to build a camera and even though many of us laughed at this camera before it was released, and in fact it was the camera I expected to hate, I have been proven wrong. I have enjoyed this camera IMMENSELY and the main reason? The Auto Focus, the Metering, the color and the easy to work with RAW files. The sharp images and better than expected low light results. The responsiveness, the easy to use menu system and the simple minimal design. The battery life is amazing as well as it uses a big and beefy D7000 battery. It’s a damn good camera and one that grew on me more and more each day.
It is not perfect though! I wish there were faster lenses, I wish I could get shallow depth of field and I wish that there were some way to customize the Auto ISO settings as the camera chooses shutter speeds that are too low at times. I also found that when using the VR mode “Active”, which is the default, you can get unsharp images. I was seeing quite a few images  that should have been sharp and they were not. After changing the VR mode to “Normal” the problem went away so not sure what was going on there. Nikon should have it set to “Normal” as  the default, not “Active”. Also, when making changes to exposure you do not see a real time preview on the LCD like you do with the NEX, Olympus, and other cameras.Maybe a firmware update could change this?
UPDATE: Nikon issued a firmware update on 11/21/11 that fixed the issue of unsharp images with VR.
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This baby Orangutan was swinging, howling and having a blast. My shutter speed was too slow to freeze  the action because I was in lower light, and using the 10-100. Even so, I liked the image as it seems to have “feeling”.

In any case, the V1 is a sweet little machine. At $899, the same cost as an Olympus E-P3, it not only focus faster, is more accurate, has better metering, it also beats the E-P3 in high ISO. It doesn’t win out on lenses though and this is where Micro 4/3 wins.
The question here is “Who will buy this camera”? I really don’t know but let me break it down by listing what I think is the competition for Nikon that I have shot with.
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SONY NEX – The NEx-5n is $699 with a kit zoom. $200 less than the V1 and you get a larger APS-C sensor, better high ISO performance, better video options and an even smaller body. BUT at the same time the NEX has larger lenses and the kit zoom with the Sony is much softer in comparison with the Nikon. Also, the AF of the Sony is not always accurate. I always use center point because I want to know for sure what the camera is focusing on. I focus and recompose. Many times the Sony NEX will mis focus. The Nikon V1 did not mis focus ONCE. The Nikon is also quieter than the NEX and has better AF tracking. With the V1 you can shoot sports, running kids, etc. So you have to decide what you prefer…better IQ or faster AF and usability. Oh, and the V1 meters better than the Sony. All depends on what you want in a camera. The 5n has fantastic IQ, V1 has the better body and speed.
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MICRO 4/3  - The Olympus E-P3 is one of my faves but I have to give credit where it is due. The V1 smokes it with AF speed and accuracy, and even beats the E-P3 at high ISO. The 12mp sensor used by Oly IS INDEED showing its age when a smaller 2.7 crop sensor can beat it for high ISO. BUT the Oly has the vast selection of amazing lenses. Lenses like the 12mm f/2, the 45 1.8 and the Panasonic 25.14 are excellent and FAST. The V1 has NO fast lenses. This one is a toss up. Personal preference really. The V1 images have a certain look just like the E-P3 does, and stays true to the “Nikon Look”. Which look you prefer is up to you. Also, the E-P3 has no built in EVF and that will add almost $200 to the cost. Panasonic also has the newer GX1 which promises  to be the best M 4/3 to date but again, no built in EVF (which I use all the time on the V1). OM-D is out now and it is a better camera but bigger, bulkier and has that M4/3 look. It IS the superior camera but all depends on your wants and needs. I still love my V1 and I also own the OM-D.
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FUJI X – The Fuji X100 and X10 are out and the Nikon V1 is priced in between them at $899 (Now $749). The Fuji X10 is a great camera but more along the lines of a Point and Shoot. I compared the two cameras and preferred the Nikon V1. In other words, if I were to buy one of the two it would be the Nikon V1. The X100 on the other hand has much better IQ than the V1 in my opinion, and has the faster lens, superior high ISO performance and cool retro look. BUT the X100 is slow to AF, misses focus at times and is still clunky in operation when compared to the Nikon. It also has no chance of any other focal length. No zoom, no wide, just 35. So again, it all depends on your needs.
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So there you go. Hopefully you can read these reviews and decide what camera will work for you. Any camera mentioned above will give you fantastic results but what you enjoy shooting with is what will matter the most. It is always good when you can bond with a camera and KNOW what to expect from it. Me? If choosing TODAY (at the time of this writing) between an E-P3, NEX-5n or Fuji X10 for an every day snapshot camera or family camera I would take the NIkon V1. The strengths seem to outweigh the weaknesses for me right now and the V1 is a camera that can even be handed to your wife, your kids or anyone and they could get great result with it as well. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s the V1, and it does more right than it does wrong which is a good thing. To those who have been bad mouthing it without even shooting with one, give it a try. You may be surprised. Oh and I will probably be adding a few more photos and words to this review over the next day or two, so check back for updates!
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The 10-100 at around the 70mm mark – f/5.6. Makes for a great portrait lens if you have good light.
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You can buy the Nikon V1 at B&H Photo below:
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UPDATED – More on the V1…

The Negativity Of the Nikon 1 System  - Why the bitterness?

It’s funny that since posting the review for the V1 I have been getting attacked by the haters of the “1″ system on forums, through e-mail and even on reddit, again, by people who never even shot with one! Do the haters really have nothing better to do than to freak out when a positive review is written on this camera? Should I have stayed “safe” and said it is not worth the money just to be politically correct? I would never do that, and never willIf it was a piece of junk I would have said so. It is quite the opposite. It kills cameras like the Canon G12, S95, etc. It beats out all Micro 4/3′s I have tried in regards to speed, accuracy and metering. It has amazing battery life, great image quality for the sensor size and yet there are still people out there bashing this camera and telling me I am wrong…AGAIN, when they never shot with one!

All of this ridiculous banter doesn’t change the facts one bit! This is a good camera system and excels in SPEED, AF, EASE OF USE, SHARP IMAGES, GREAT COLOR, SUPERB METERING and it does it all with a solidly made body and EVF that works well. I pointed out that the weak link IS the sensor and those looking for DSLR shallow depth of field or even DSLR smooth and clean files will not be happy with the V1. It is not meant to be a DSLR replacement!

I find it borderline funny that when I say something like “I did not care for the Panasonic G3″ I get attacked and when I say that I liked this V1, I get attacked as well. Even a threat via e-mail telling me I better retract my review! Really?

I say it like it is, and write about MY experience with each camera I use. I provide pics to back up what I say as well. Good and Bad. I really like the Nikon V1 (did not care so much for the J1 personally, but I love built in VF’s and a solid feel) and if you can deal with slow zooms and one slow-ish pancake then it’s a great camera to look into. Oh, and to the guy who e-mailed me and said I lied about this being a camera you can hand to your wife or kids and they would be able to get great shots with, my son took some great shots today with the V1 and he never saw it until the moment I handed it to him. :) Nothing wrong with the V1 if you need a camera for family, vacation, candids, and even portraits. It is not perfect but none of the mirror-less cameras are. Period.

UPDATED – Trying out the J1

Since writing this review I have also tried out the little brother to the V1, the J1. The J1 is $599 (UPDATE, NOW $499) compared to the now $749 price of the V1. $250 less. So why would you buy a V1 when you can save over $200 on a J1? Well, the J1 has a lower res LCD, no EVF, slower buffer, smaller battery and life, no mechanical shutter and is built slighter cheaper. It does have a pop up flash that the V1 does not have but after shooting both Id still take a V1 though the J1 is a great little camera that gives the same pic quality as the V1 (same sensor). I love the EVF and the slightly larger build of the V1. I also love the battery life of the V1. The EVF alone makes it worth the extra $250 to me. Here are a few snaps from the J1 I took during the week that had it and for its current $499 price with a kit lens, it is the one to beat in this class, no question.

 

and more from the Nikon V1 below…


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  324 Responses to “The Nikon V1 Camera Review – The camera I expected to hate!”

  1. Thanx for the review steve!

    I would really like to hear your comparison to Panasonic G3, because its small&has EVF its the most direct competitor of the V1, much more so then “e-p3,nex-7,X10″
    you also mentioned Panasonic GX1 which is basically a G3 with evf&swivel lcd removed.

    The G3 has a newer generation sensor (then e-p3) built in flash and swivel LCD, and i guarantee it will not miss any focus just as the Nikon.

    i have taken 27,000 shots with my “old” GH1 (which has slower focus system) and i dont remeber a single shot where it missed focus (most shot with 14-140, 20, 7-14)

    Anyway, keep us reading!

    • Well, I never had a G3 here for any amount of time but have shot with one briefly. I can say that I prefer shooting the V1 but as for quality, can not say. I will be getting a GX-1 in soon so will compare the two if possible. Thanks for reading.

      • I have to say that you are wrong in brushing off the G3. This seems to be an over-looked body that really does have it all…great image quality, good handling, fast AF, a great EVF, a tilting screen, etc…

        Before you test the GX-1 you would be wise to spend a little more time with the G3. You’re missing possibly the best m4/3s body available at the moment.

        • While I like the features the the G3 has, the image quality, and the size (especially with a pancake prime); I have to say the build quality is so poor I lost interest in it. As soon as I touched the cheap plastic control dial I knew it was a camera I couldn’t live with day in and day out. Panasonic really needs to create a NEX-7 level of body ASAP (preferably a weather sealed). The GH2 is too bulbous, and the GX1 seems like nothing more than a warmed over GF1. I’m sure the GF1 is a fine camera of course, but Sony has raised the bar with the NEX-7.

          • The build quality of the G3 seems excellent to me. It does have some plastic parts (what camera doesn’t?), but it feels solid in my hands.

          • I’m also very interested in comparing the g3 and v1! I’ll buy soon a camera between j1/v1, g3/gx1 or epl3… So your opinions (not only steve’s) would help me.
            By the way thank you Steve! Fantastic site!

      • Steve,
        You switch camera favorites faster than Roy Rogers switched horses. After touting everything “Leica” for the past two years, why should anyone even think about buying Nikon V1 gear? It makes no sense. I recently spent $5K for the new Leica 35mm Summilux (to add to the many Leica lenses that I already own) and have no intention of buying any Nikon lenses or cameras. Leica lenses are the best lenses ever made. I am amazed at some the images I get with the Leica equipment. So why would I start buying Nikon’s plastic? What camera and lenses will be your favorite next week? I’m sticking with Leica all the way. I’m fully invested in Leica and that’s where I’m staying. I don’t need any other cameras or lenses! None of my Leica lenses are for sale.

        • Mayby you would not start buying Nikon’s plastic, but others do. Maybe you have more $$$ to spend, or maybe you like buying expensive stuff and like tellingus in this forum? And another question for you, are you one of those guys saying I’m driving a porsche and my other car is a porsche too and even my wife is driving a porsche, cause I spent $$$k in porsches (to add to the other porsches I own). I’m writing this with a big smile on my face – U got it, mmm?!

        • Who cares? Then either read Steve’s reviews as a mere entertainment or just do not read it and surf websites that suit your interest better. How about some photography classes then?

        • “…I am amazed at some the images I get with the Leica equipment. So why would I start buying Nikon’s plastic?…”
          Funny… well, I’m amazed by almost each single picture I make with my Nikon D7000 and it amazes me every single day and time I’m shooting with it.
          If you can only get a few good shots with your Leica gear – it’s not about the gear, you know… Beating the drums that you own the best gear, doesn’t make you a better photographer.
          May be I’ll join the guy before me and advice you to take some classes first…

        • To be fair, I don’t think Nikon had Leica in it’s sights when it launched the 1 series.

          Nikon’s own press release touted it as something akin to the photo equivalent of a smartphone – aimed at the casual user who wants something in their purse or pocket, producing Facebook quality images for the internet …. in fact, it’s only real omission is Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity for instant upload.

          I don’t really like the Nikon 1 series either. I’ve certainly no intention of buying one – but I’m damned if I can sit there whilst someone derides it for not being a Leica!

          If you don’t like it – don’t buy it …. save yourself $900 and spend it on a Leica item …. oh no, Leica probably don’t sell anything that low priced!

        • Rick, Rick, Rick…you have been e-mailing me for two years and always tell me about your Leica glass and send me photos that are lovely, so thank you. BUT, who is telling YOU to buy a Nikon V1? You are not the target audience, and Leica M shooters in general are not either. This camera is geared towards those who want a family camera, a vacation camera…the camera that sits on the shelf waiting for an event. A camera that someone can use for their kids sports games, or take video of their child’s birthday. It is NOT a replacement for a Leica with a 35 Lux! Never said it was. I have SEVERAL cameras at my house because it is what I do. I write about cameras. I always have something here to shoot with and sometimes there is a camera that pushes more of my “like” buttons than “dislikes”. I have yet to find a perfect camera but one other reason I enjoy the 1 is I can now have a camera around with a TINY 70-300 equivilant-ish zoom for those days that I may want a telephoto (which for me is rare but there is the occasion).

          I will use this for fun stuff and use it for video as well. I won’t be using it to shoot the next Seal show :) Again, I am not telling ANYONE to go buy the V1, just posting MY THOUGHTS on it for those who may be looking for a camera such as this. Relax buddy!

          • Very well said, Steve!

          • You’re right… It’s geared at a different market altogether.

          • Steve
            Your reviews are fine and I found them very helpful in my selections of photography equipment. I found that some poster here and particuliarly in sites like DP Review have not learned the art of constructive criticism. Some folks live to bash the hard work and creativity of others. Some, quite frankly, are just plain jealous of the talent of others.
            Regards,

          • Thank you Steve. I am that parent that wants a good camera to capture special events, concerts, ceremonies, and vacations of her children especially graduation pictures or stage pictures when a little camera will not work. My big question is about the battery. Do you think it will last over time or become one of those batteries that fail to charge over time (like my first VHS movie camera)?

            • This battery has been used for years in their other DSLR’s. I wouldn’t worry about the battery, unless you are expecting to use it for 20 years :) ALL batteries have a lifespan, then you just buy a new one when it no longer holds a charge, but they usually have thousands of charge cycles.

              • Steve is totally right. In fact is the battery of two of the best and popular cameras from Nikon: The FX D800 and the DX D7000.

        • I’m honestly surprised to read that you had to buy a Summilux 35. I thought they come with the M9 Titanium. Or are you saying you don’t have the ultimate Leica M9? Really? Anyway, recently a guy posted a buyer’s review on Amazon about the M9 and I thought it might have been you. Here it comes:

          “5.0 out of 5 stars Image Quality Impeccable, Life Quality Drastically Declined, July 13, 2011
          By Dr. Duke Fantastic – See all my reviews
          In my circle of friends, we’re always trying to out do each other in every aspect of our lives whether it be who can get the hottest women or who bought the most hotels in Monopoly. When my buddies took up photography, naturally, I must also take it up. It started out innocent, a group of friends hanging out shooting pictures, show boating their Canons and Nikons. If one of us had a nice midrange, the other had to have a highend and another would get the flagship models even though none of us were good at it. Finally, someone in the group had the audacity to max out their credit cards on a Hasselblad H4D. Being that your junk is only as big as your pride (by junk, I mean penis), I sold my mobile home, my car, one of my daughters, and a whole lot of garage sales later, I got my hands on this baby, the Leica M9 Titan. Let me tell you something something, I really do suck at photography, but with this range finder, I was shooting pictures comparable to Peter Lik and the likes. No need to know anything about aparature (sp?), shutter speed or IOS or any of that fancy smanchie stuff, just point and shoot and marvel at the crisp quality and creamy bokeh!
          Unfortunately, my wife took what’s left of our children and is staying at her mom’s (my mother in-law) after the bank took the rest of our stuff. No matter, as long as I have this pair of pants I’ve been wearing for the last couple months, my trusty camera and my bottles of Xanax and Cialis, I’m content poppin’ pills and snappin’ pics. I may not have anything to live for anymore but “my camera is still nicer than yours.””

          • Retow, this is a great review with a good sense of humor.
            I think Rick M gets the point…or maybe not.
            Steve’s response was adequate and politically correct no need to bash the guy more then that.
            I’m not wealthy and will probably never own a Leica in my life but I find that usually whom buys a high end camera doesn’t waist time reading reviews (especially of other cameras) but actually going out there and use it. Not talk about it.
            I got my V1 after years of using an old Pentax Me-super and occasionally a compact digital camera and was looking for tips how to get the most of my new gear. I think Steve’s review gives a nice perspective of how HE uses the equipment rather then focusing on the technical aspect… So I thank you Steve.

        • Well congrats to you and your investment, i hope you made lots of $$$ shooting your magnificent manual focus glass…or you just like to own them so you can bragg on forums like these, I doubt you have made any return on any of you photographic equipments you invested. I have no doubt leica made the best glass, wake up dude…they are manual focus. If I win a lotto tomorow, no doubt i would buy and M9 and a couple of summilux glasses. As far image quality is concern no matter how good your leica glasses are, they get trumped by the d700 and the d3s in low light, sorry but that is the truth.

        • What the hell do your Leicas have to do with this review? The Nikon is a great camera for what it does. My S2 makes your M9 a toy.

        • Slightly off-topic: Roy Rogers was in fact pretty darn loyal to Trigger – - to the point of having him stuffed and mounted. Just sayin’….

    • The Camera Store in Calgary did a video “shoot out” comparison between the V1 and G3.
      They are obviously interested in selling both camera so I wouldn’t call it hard hitting but it seems to me that they do a decent job of presenting the relative strengths of each camera.

      https://www.thecamerastore.com/blog/2011/11/12/nikon-v1-vs-panasonic-g3-shootout

    • What’s to compare?

      Steve’s review seems to concluse that this is probably the best performing ‘compact with interchangeable lenses … or non APS sensor mirrorless system camera’ currently out there.

      Surely the only issue is: which feels right for you? Pixel peeping won’t reveal which camera works best for an individual – nor if it’s AF etc. matches up to a rival’s!

    • Hello Steve

      I have going around reviews to decide on a camera. I was looking at the NEX, EP, the G3 and the 1 series. As I don’t want to carry the big SLR cameras.

      I have to say you nailed this search for me as it has help me a lot. I am not a professional fotographer I just want to have better pictures and videos of my girls (I don’t want to carry a camcorder either). So thanks again for the review. One other thing the V1 has is that you can take stills while taking video (I really like this).

      I friend spoke to me about the v-lux 30, then I saw the Olympus SZ-30MR I know these are fixed lenses and I might not be on the right forum (as these are more point and shoot) but I will really like you opinion on these and on the G3 it seems a god competitor for the 1 series.

      Once Again I am a father of two girls that wants to capture great moments with good quality (picture and video) and I don’t want to spend more that $1000.00.

  2. Steve, you’ve pretty much nailed my feelings about the Nikon 1 V1 exactly. While it does leave something to be desired in terms of IQ in low light—which I think can be addressed with faster lenses—it is indeed a joy to shoot with. I’ve owned m4/3s cameras and I think the Nikon does have them beat for IQ presently. I’m interested to see how the new Panasonic GX-1 fairs in that area.

    Thanks for another great review!

  3. Superb review, thanks Steve. Really love the last colour orang-utan shot, lovely work!

    The Nikon V1 sounds like the perfect way to get into wildlife photography without spending huge amounts of money on massive lenses.

  4. You have given your thoughts re the Sony NEX5n vs the V1, but how does it stack up with the Sony NEX7. That would be something that a lot of us would like to know. Which one would you choose if those were your only options and it was to be your only alternative to a full size DSLR?
    REK

    • Well, the NEX-7 has it all except it does focus slower than the V1, and the metering is not as good, and of course the lenses are larger (but there are now fast lenses available). BUT it does have better and richer IQ. $400 more. I still have my NEX-7 on order BTW.

  5. Wow, gutsy review. Started as a doubter, then buys the camera and (sounds like) prefers it to the E-P3. It sounds like the main problem is not the camera, it is the lack of a good 15/1.4 lens (40mm equivalent). It is not too hard to make a fast lens with a small sensor — a lot of point-and-shoots now have F/2.0 zooms! — so Nikon should hurry and deliver this one.

    Nikon is always slow on tech, but when they finally arrive they have carefully crafted products.

    Camera companies need to figure out that a lot of family/friends/baby pics are indoors in low light. And, everyone knows that getting indoor flash to look good is difficult. Yes, the 10-100 zoom is great but get us an f/1.4 normal lens.

  6. An excellent review, showing strengths as well areas for improvement for the N1 cameras. I think what makes the V1 unique in comaprison to all other compact high end systems is how it stays out of the shooters way, no workarounds required, frame, shoot, the V1 does the rest, instantly, accurately, reliably, thanks to the best AF and metering. With the 10mm pancake, simply the best pocketable AF street shooter I have used so far. For MF or ZF it’s the wrong tool. The IQ is definitely good enough, be it in good or dim light. I enjoy my V1 an decided to sell the EP3 for it. The Olympus mft primes I’ll keep as they promise significant potential for mft, once an Olympus pro body will be available with better sensor and integrated EVF.

  7. The reason I bought the V1 were the speed and the EVF. I’m a happy camper to use it every day.

    • I am loving it too. Its a great camera and produces really good images. The best camera after all is the one you carry with you all the time and not at home because of the weight.

  8. Great review, thanks Steve. Same here, I really didn’t like it when it was announced – I guess I was expecting an digital FM-style, APSC or FF sensor Nikon, that would have been great. But, after trying it, like you, it grew on me. Not enough to exchange my X100 for it (as it was being repaired for sticky blades), but I thought hard about it.

    One aspect you might want to cover in the near future re: the V1, and that’s the use of normal Nikon lenses via the upcoming adaptor. Again, a bit disappointed as the adaptor has a “foot” that makes it look odd, but now the Nikkor 40mm f2.8 macro lens, or the 50mm f1.8G lens make more sense. I think the 50mm f1.8G might be an interesting one to try out with the V1. I agree with you that AF and metering and, to a certain extent, the EVF, might be star attractions on the V1, but so is the ability to use normal Nikkor lenses, I think.

    Let’s speculate about the V2… :)

  9. Thanks for the awesome review Steve. Fair and balanced for sure. I wholeheartedly agree with just about everything you wrote about the V1. I too was a skeptic and was ridiculing the J1/V1 when they were first announced. The thought of “small sensor” was unappealing. Plus, I’ve always liked supporting the “little guy.”

    After actually using the J1 and V1 at the local camera shop (and even Best Buy), taking photos, going home and looking at them, and then going back to the store again to take a few more sample photos … I gotta admit that I’m impressed with the Nikon 1 system. The AF speed and particularly tracking/continuous accuracy was pretty pretty pretty good. Definitely better than any mirrorless I’ve ever used. And the V1 has a top shutter speed of 1/16000.

    Although the 60 FPS is awesome, I thought the buffer on the cameras wasn’t large enough. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty awesome as I was unable to use any of my m4/3 and NEX mirrorless cameras to track a moving subject very effectively. The V1 is also better than my K5 in continuous AF.

    Thanks again for the review Steve. Keep up the good work!

  10. Great review, Steve.

    My take on the V1 is that it is a great little “fun” camera. One you want to pick up and use just for the joy of going out and taking photos. Something small and light to take on hikes and bike rides and, well, to have with you at all times. Will it replace my D3X or D700? Of course not. But I think it’s a camera I’d have much more “fun” with than the bigger beasts. And that “fun” factor is something I’m looking for more and more these days in my shooting.

    Is it perfect in this role as great little “fun” camera? No. Mainly because of the lack of fast primes. I’ll take Nikon at their word that fast primes are coming. But for now, all we have are these slow zooms, and one rather slow prime. Fine for now, tho. As for higher ISO noise, if it beats the E-P3, and many reviewers have now noted it does, that’s good enough for me. Heck, with 10 MP, I can print a 10″ wide shot at 360 pixels/inch, without any uprezzing, and in fact with some excess pixels left over for minor cropping. And I guarantee nobody will be able to see noise, even at high ISO, when printed at that high a resolution. And really, for a “fun” camera, web images and the occasional 8×10 is all I’m looking for, so noise just isn’t a factor in those scenarios. So, except for the lack of fast primes, I’d say it is almost the perfect “fun” camera. OK, maybe an extra control dial would be nice.

    What I’m intrigued about is the possibility of using a V1 on my next Yellowstone trip mated to my 70-200/2.8 lens. Wow. 540 mm effective field of view with 200mm/2.8 DOF in a relatively small size. I think that would be a great wildlife combo. Much smaller and lighter than my D700 with 200-400/4. Or perhaps a V1 mated to my 300/2.8. Now we’re talking 810mm equivalent FOV, with 300/2.8 DOF. Who wouldn’t kill for that in shooting wildlife?

    Still, Nikon really needs to put out some fast primes. And a future V2, with a more enthusiast set of controls, would be most welcome.

    • Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Nikon, please, in future firmware updates, give us the following:

      auto-bracketing (I want to be able to rip off a 3, 5, or 7 shot sequence with up to 1 stop difference between successive shots). It is unbelievable to me that the initial firmware doesn’t support auto-bracketing!!!

      Jeez, please reflect the selected exposure in the viewfinder. If I expose for a darker shot, let me see that darker shot in real time in the viewfinder.

      Give us a little more flexibility in configuring how the rocker switch is used. For example, in aperture priority mode, I’d like a menu option to put the aperture on the rotary dial, and exposure compensation on the rocker (right now aperture is on the rocker). How hard could that be.

      Give us the option to only have the back LCD come on if we want to review an image. As I understand it, we can either have it on, to be blanked if we put our eye to the viewfinder, or fully off. Options, we want options.

      And give us a menu option to keep the viewfinder on as long as we’re powered up. Rob Galbraith uses a tiny bit of gaffer tape on the eye detect sensor, and that works, but geez, that’s a kludge.

      The good news is that all of these things should be doable in a firmware update. Come on Nikon, please make a good little camera an even better little camera.

    • “What I’m intrigued about is the possibility of using a V1 on my next Yellowstone trip mated to my 70-200/2.8 lens. Wow. 540 mm effective field of view with 200mm/2.8 DOF in a relatively small size. I think that would be a great wildlife combo. Much smaller and lighter than my D700 with 200-400/4. Or perhaps a V1 mated to my 300/2.8. Now we’re talking 810mm equivalent FOV, with 300/2.8 DOF. Who wouldn’t kill for that in shooting wildlife?”

      Hi …are you saying these lenses ae able to be fitted on the V1

  11. Hi Steve..
    Compare with v1 and nex 7, in terms of image quality of shooting sky, and still objects, which one does u prefer

  12. Just FYI for anyone considering a V1 right now, but Amazon.com appears to be offering FREE 1 day shipping on the camera as a special promotion today. Mind you that if you were to return the camera they would then deduct that shipping cost I believe.

    I’ve never given this camera any real thought either, but have to admit the IQ does look pretty good for what it is, and what really strikes me is that all the reviews from people like Steve, Kirk Tuck, Rob Galbraith etc really rave about the handling and overall performance. Real photographers and not just internet pixel peepers in other words who realize that how a camera focuses, meters and just overall feels in hand is often more important than how it looks at high ISO shooting nothing but test photos.

    I’ve often found that I can have a camera that has just amazing IQ, but who’s overall ergonomics and shooting experience don’t work for me, under the typical conditions and style I may have purchased the camera to perform under.

    Original NEX was an example of this, great IQ possible, especially using some of the M mount lenses I had around, however, that type of shooting (yes even after focus peaking FW update) just didn’t work for a casual type of shooting, such as a family outing. Maybe some people can manually focus on running around children with a 35 Cron on the NEX, and if/when they do nail a shot it will indeed look amazing, but, when it means holding up an outing to change lenses, spend time focusing etc, it just doesn’t work for some people. Sometimes you just want to pull a camera up to your eye, have the AF nail the shot, or even sequence of action, meter well etc. Just quick and fluid and rather effortless is sometimes the most important factor of a camera, far outweighing IQ alone.

    Looks like if Nikon could introduce a wide zoom, perhaps a fast 35mm f1.8 or similar compact prime and also a fast portrait length prime, perhaps 85mm equiv f2.0 or so, they could have a real winner on their hands. Even an adapter to allow the use of some DX G glass, like the rather good, and affordable 35mm f1.8 DX lens, which is only $200 could turn out rather interesting if it can keep the same AF performance. 35mm on a 2.7x crop would be about a 95mm equiv….hmmm…..

  13. Forgot to mention as well, that if/when Nikon does offer some faster primes the 1/16000th max shutter speed on the V1 will certainly be quite welcome for anyone who wants to shoot wide open without having to bother with ND filters.

  14. Great and very balanced review and some very good images. Thanks a lot.

  15. I do enjoy your reviews! I wish I could just have about 4 more cameras around so I wouldn’t have to pick just 1. However, I can’t justify that expense for my family’s overall use of the camera. For me it came down to the Q, V1 and NEX 5N. Q was too pricey in comparison, and the wife could care less about the EVF :/ so I was left with the SONY. B&H just shipped it, and took my order on the 50mm prime! Thanks for the links and info on all these cameras Steve, I was confident that my dilema was which great camera will I own… not which one would be a mistake! Please keep up the great work on your site.

  16. Sorry but I’m just not digging it. I predict a flop here. Yes it is excellent at some things but I just don’t think it will be a big hit. And yes it may be the perfect fit for a very few people.

  17. Little by little, the world is going m4/3′rds… Panasonic and Olympus were way ahead of the curve- sensor-wise.

    • Little by little, the world is going to smaller lighter cameras and lenses. M4/3 was definitely one of the trailblazers, but not the only one. The Leica X1 being just one example. But it’s good to see Sony and Nikon jump into the fray with their own unique and different solutions. Hopefully in the not too distant future we’ll also see the rumored Leica mirrorless, and probably, eventually, we’ll see a Canon mirrorless.

    • Bobby, really ? That 4 year old EP3 sensor is sure cutting edge right ?

      M4/3 is still a major player, but there is more choice now than ever with the Sony NEX line being a major factor, not to mention Samsungs NX line, Ricoh’s offering, The Nikon 1 system and lets not forgot what Fuji may have up their sleeve with a 2012 release of an interchangeable lens X camera. Who knows what all is on the horizon for that matter.

      Glad you enjoy your m4/3 system, and its certainly the most mature to date, but the world is hardly going m4/3. If anything its branching out.

      Though given you surely posted such a silly message just to make yourself feel better about your own choice of m4/3, and I’d hate for you to lay awake at night having buyers remorse, I shall say I agree with you, and that yes, m4/3 is the best system period and soon shall have 99% of market share. Naturally those photographers who bought into such a system are very wise and talented.

      Feel better and reassured now ?

  18. This is a toy camera….period.

    • Fine, then don’t play with it. More toys for the rest of us :-)

      Jonny, you are a one trick pony. This line of yours has been repeated in post after post after post. And I bet you haven’t even touched the camera.

    • Are not a good majority of consumers cameras nothing more than “toys” regardless of what they may cost or their features ?

      In the larger sense very few cameras are actually purchased as actual photographic tools to earn a living or produce serious works of art.

      For the masses, a camera, be an iPhone, a point and shoot, or even a full frame DSLR is merely a fun plaything

    • due to your childish comments, you should re-consider then?

    • Sometimes I like reading the banter back and forth more than the actual article Steve, which is another great review by the way.

      As for the toy comment, hmmm. It’s not the object that makes it a toy or not, it’s what you do with it. I know plenty of people carrying around D700′s, 5D’s and M9′s using them as toys. An AK-47 is just a toy if you use it to have fun at the shooting range. A rock is a childs toy until he/she grows up and throws it at someone’s head.

      So if it’s just a toy, and thats it, maybe you just don’t know how to use it, or are only looking at it as a toy in your hands. Interesting response Jonny, and very narrow thinking.

      So I just sold a few more photos from my Canon G2 …yes, Canon. Just a toy, yet I’m still making money on photos I took years ago with it. 4 megapixels, compact, just a toy. What do you consider not a toy?

  19. Great review! Now I’m confused on whether to get this of the NEX-7. Luckily I have the time to think things over with the NEX-7 delay. What would be your go to camera for everyday photography since you’ve tried both?

  20. Until someone works out how to either get that lovely narrow DOF effect from a tiny sensor or make small fast lenses for the APS-c sensor the world is still not perfect for me! Like everyone keeps saying, you can’t change the laws of physics – but you know I reckon that manufacturers need to stop making cameras really small (they fall out of even my small hands!!) and start concentrating on lens technology it is way, way behind!

    • Tim, far more consumers are concerned with size than that “lovely narrow DoF” effect overall.

      I’m not saying there is anything wrong with your liking it, lots of people do of course, but for the masses, which are what drives corporate profits, size/weight/cost is a bigger factor in a purchase decision.

      After all, if we want larger cameras that feel great in hand, have amazing IQ and can super shallow DoF, we are well covered with the likes of Nikon, Canon etc.

  21. Great review Steve and thx for your efforts (again)!

    The most important point – you prooved in your review that so much of us have been wrong about the V1-system as we all saw just the specs the first time.

    Good to see that NIKON developed a very good product and hopefully they do have the sucess to go on.

    ;-)

  22. I too remember the D2h fondly and for my kind of shooting (the web and prints rarely larger than 17″ x 23″) the 4M limit was not a problem. I’m a “street photographer” who will generally carry a D3 or 3s at all times or carry one with a 24-70mm and a second with a 70-200mm, a normal setup I suspect for someone who’s covering events. The weight has not been a factor, the large Nikon with the 70-200mm is more than manageable, although I’ve drawn the line at anything heavier.

    Still, that said, I have ordered a V1 kit that’s on the way from B&H, three lenses and the strobe to see for myself, remembering the D2h (that sits gathering dust, I’m afraid, although I do take it out occasionally for old times sake), the fact it’s the photograph I’m after, the equipment is secondary (we say it a lot, but then we get into the this versus that arguments) and the fact the technology is improving so rapidly. Who’s to say what this form factor will produce in another five years?

    So maybe the V1 will allow me to climb out of my high end gear blinders for a while, maybe create a photograph or two I’m quite happy with, allow these old eyes to see a little more clearly for a price (here we get back to the this versus that equipment again) that’s less then many a lens I and others have acquired over the years.

  23. Since Nikon has learned how to get this kind of performance out of such a tiny sensor hopefully Olympus and Panasonic will also be able to improve their technology. Then those of us with m43 systems can get the incrementally better ISO and AF without totally giving up DOF and having to buy an expensive camera and all new lenses for a totally new format (that might or might not still be around in a couple of years after Fuji, Leica, Canon, etc jump in to the game).

  24. Well, I’ll start with the opposite “I wanted to love this camera!” But I didn’t.
    I was so/so looking just the specs and while waiting for NEX-7 I saw Steve’s first impressions from V1. “Impressive” he says! The ISO tests were “WOW” So I decided to buy it.
    There is no other camera I’ve returned that fast. In fact I returned a camera just once so far (some kind of long zoom Panasonic).
    I’m a huge Nikon fan, I also have a D7000, so both cameras using the same battery was surely a big bonus (plus the battery life is GREAT). Saving words here is what I:
    LIKE:
    Battery life, no jello effect in videos, metering and AF, phase and contrast detection AF, fast fps, accurate color rendition
    NEUTRAL:
    Built quality and design, menu, “gimmicky” modes
    DON’T LIKE:
    EVF (bright, but very rough – large fonts, etc. Looking like drawing in MS Paint), Lens rotation smoothness (the lens was “jumping” between 14&18mm), small sensor, NO live exposure preview, change the shooting mode from the menu (very annoying for me), no-tilt LCD, expensive, Auto ISO chooses slow SS, when preview at 100% images looks somehow mushy (similar to PEN cameras), it has a bit “fat” body and the lack of grip makes it not very comfortable to hold, when recording video the lens was making two sounds – one – clicking all the time – I believe when it was focusing and second was the “hshhsshh” sound of rotating the lens, which YES was recorded in the video as well. So what’s the point, if I get 2 different and very annoying sounds in my videos. Shooting outdoor you may not hear the rotating noise, but the licking noise is very loud. I have some videos and I may put those on YouTube if someone is interested to hear.

    So looking above – I decided that for $900 the CONS are way more than PROS and returned it today. But that’s just me. You may feel it different way.

    • Wow, sorry you didn’t like the camera. It is not for everyone but your “don’t like” list I do not agree with at all! EVF is great IMO (drawing in MS paint??), Len rotation on the 4 lenses I have here is smooth and they do not jump at all, I keep mine in A mode and never change so I didn’t have a problem with the two button press to change modes, we already knew there was no tilt LCD, I have no clicking in the video I shot…yet. But everyone has different needs. It took me about 3 days until I really liked the camera and I shot with it quite a bit to find it’s weaknesses and strengths. It’s not a pro cam but it is a great camera for its intended purpose.

      • I used the kit lens 10-30mm. Didn’t want to buy all lenses until I’m not sure I’ll loke the camera. I wanted to use it primary with the video lens. May be I had the first “bad” copy of the kit lens, but it was making strong “click” noises all the time. And when you zoom let say from 10mm and up it was moving smoothly up to 14, then suddenly you feel it stiff and it slightly jumps to about 18mm, where it was continuing to move smoothly. Could be a bad copy idk…
        I agree that it’s not a pro camera and that we knew there is no rotating screen, but kind of those things I was suppose to “skip” in my decision in exchange of all the rest. But for me the rest wasn’t there either.
        I shoot primary on M (but sometimes on A and S) so I like to be able to change those with some knob. May be I’m a “knob freak” (just kidding of course) since I liked a lot P7000 and P7100 (speaking experience of having knobs in hand for everything).
        May be NEX7 will be better choice for me. Although I really like Nikon, and I’ll miss the long battery life for sure.

  25. Hey, Steve! Just curious about the pooch in the photo above your self portrait — is that a mixed breed of what ever, or what? It is a real cool looking dog and the coat looks like the non-shedding kind. Is that the case? Good looking dog. Thanks for your time and hard work!

  26. After handling the V1 at Best Buy, I was about to go for it, over the Nex, the Oly. m4/3, then I discovered that there is no auto-exposure bracketing capability. I just don’t see how that feature could be omitted.

  27. Steve – great review. I think your real world shooting experience with other, similar cameras adds credibility. What I got from your review is that Nikon, while late to the party (hello, Canon?), got more right than wrong. Olympus was long suffering in its DSLR business and so came to market quickly with the EP1, etc. Olympus had to follow quickly with the “2″ and now “3″ models. This is great if one can afford to regularly update, but for the average user, taking one step back, what seems obvious is that we are still at the beginning with these types of offerings. Nikon will be back with a V2 and it will improve what is offered now (listening Panasonic?). Where I see them besting Olympus is the inclusion of the EVF. Keeps the compact, compact. Thanks.

  28. Steve says: Keep the MP light and you can do great things with a smaller sensor. I use a Lumix FZ-28 bridge camera with 2,3″ sensor on trekking and fishingtrips for convenience. Would my pictures benefit if I turn the pixel-count down from 10 to 6? Anyone have any ideas?

    • I’m not familiar with the sensor construction of the Lumix FZ-28, but the best advice is to try it and analyse the results you get. I do know that certain Lumix models crop the size of sensor utilised to produce differing format ratios, so see note re. cropped sensor.

      Sensor construction is almost a black art. Although we often talk of individual photo-sites (receptors) on a sensor as being roughly equivalent to pixels, manufacturers use differing mechanical and optical constructions, married with software processing, to create a total effective mega-pixel count. Mandatory ‘filling in’ of microscopic physical gaps between the individual photo-sites is termed interpolation, which is processed along with signal amplification, color information, etc. into something we recognise as an image.

      Photo-sites cannot be physically removed. Nor can you really improve the physical effectiveness of each photo-site, no matter how many you ‘discard’. Downgrading is variously done by electronic switching and/or further software processing manipulation.

      Having said that …. if in the process of ‘binning’ pixels, these software processes can devote more time to increasing sharpness, better noise reduction, tonality, etc. then you may get ‘improved’ images of some description.

      On the other hand, dropping pixels by large-scale ‘cropping’ of the sensor will likely use the same processing algorithms, only on a smaller subset of photo-sites. Nothing therefore would change in image quality manipulation – merely lowering of file sizes for storage convenience.

      That’s my two cents worth – suggest ‘suck it and see’ – what have you got to lose?

      • Thanks Photozopia, for a detailed and interesting reply! It probably just crops it from the centre as you said. Of course the best thing is to try and compare. I will do so.The camera gives satisfying results on copys 8″-1O” on lowish iso. Another way to use the camera in low light is to crank up the iso and use b/w with pretty cool results. (or bring the Pen instead :-) but it is liberating and a lot of fun to use this camera in the nature!

  29. What I don’t like about this 1 series actually is: I own a Nex-5 and I almost never even use Sony lenses. In fact, I’ve sold my 18-55, which is a damn good kit lens. 16mm still stays with me and I carry it around time to time, because it’s so small, light and it’s a 16mm lens. It doesn’t give you a good IQ, but does work most of the time. I use SLR Magic 35mm and lots of Canon FD lenses. I’ll add some more legacy glass to my arsenal in some time, hopefully some Zeiss or Leica Cron.

    Almost all the Nex users I know use legacy glasses too, they’re cheap and they have excellent quality. Some goes for some m4/3 users too, and you get even more options than us Sony users since there are many companies who actually put out really exciting new products for m4/3 system.

    This is where Nikon suffers, at least for now. Of course you can put some legacy glass on it, but who would really want it? For all the enthusiasts, this is where the system becomes really unattractive.

    Of course, soccer moms will love it, as it does what it says, and your review points out that it does it quite excellently. It can also be had as an expensive and well performing point and shoot with slow lenses, would make a quite decent back up and take around camera. But personally, I wouldn’t want this 1 System, as a System.

    • “Soccer moms will like it” – that is a really an empty statement. It can of course be used by soccer moms, but it can be used for a lot more than that.

      This camera is a wonderful little gem. I own a D700, x100 and D2H which are all fantastic cameras, but this little camera (J1) also provides amazing output and is a lot of fun to use.

      I can’t state clearly enough – output is amazingly good once you learn to tweak settings a little.

  30. Good write up Steve thanks for all of your hard work. I purchased a V1 and find it very capable and a pleasure to use.

  31. Great review, I am intrigued by this camera, it’s the opposite of my X1. Fast with interchangeable lenses but small sensor! I love Nikon but still waiting for an digital FM2n

  32. Thanks Steve, but everyone on this thread think this…. There’s two type of people thats loves photography. One, like ‘us’, a real entusiasts and professionals. And the other trillions, who loves his-her new hi-tech smartphones, with 8mp f2 camera embedded. The second one, is in the aim of corporate camera builders, and in the near future, we will see a phone, with, sensor like the v1 in size, taken photos like a d7000, or nex-7. That is the reason right now, to invest in smaller hi performance sensors, and that is the all new cameras that we are viewing today with m4/3, Nex, NX system, and so on..

  33. [...] and its lowlight capability is better than the E-P3, if you believe Steve Huff did a fair test: The Nikon V1 Camera Review – The camera I expected to hate! | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS __________________ Panasonic G2 – The "mini-SLR" for me. No lenses yet, but my [...]

  34. [...] Here is the camera Steve Huff and many expected to hate, but it appears that the Nikon V1 has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. The odds have always been against Nikon since the V1′s announcement so it’s interesting to see that Steve has given the camera his approval. “The fact is that the V1 is a JOY to shoot! Worry free. Never failing. Even the NEX-7 misses the AF occasionally. This Nikon V1 NEVER MISSED ONE SHOT as far as AF goes. So it all came down to the IQ (image quality). If  that fell apart and the resulting images looked like a cheap P&S (point and shoot) then forget it”. Read the full article [...]

  35. Personally, I only tried the J1, but I liked it. Unfortunately, I need fast lenses as quick AF doesn’t mean anything to me if I don’t have fast lenses. I’m waiting to see how much the fast lenses cost before I invest in this system.

  36. Hi Micke,

    interesting question, wiil try it and report back to you as I love my FZ 28.

    BTW, if the light is right and the subject does not move the IQ of the FZ is amazing, better than the FZ 40/45 and even my Nikon 5100 with kit lens which I own as well.

    Also the FZ 28 is the “Queen of B&W” (or King if you want).

    Problem is that my 5 100 is always good, but the FZ 28 is only sometimes excellent and can be terrible in the night.

    Did you ever check the new genaration FZ 48 and 150?

    You can buy 3-5 FZs for a set of V1!

    Actually the images shown her by Steve are pretty amazing. Didn’t like the green of the trees but there many cameras fail. The monkeys are very good as well as the “Ped Xing”.

    Could it be that the V 1 smokes the competition totally in the ISO section of do I need to clean my contact lenses?

    BR
    Heiner

    BR
    Heiner

  37. Steve,

    Thank you so much for another great review. I was among the 1 haters, but now I can’t wait to get my hands on one at the local Nikon event on Friday. :)

    Best from Slovenia,

    Miha

  38. Thanks for the very informative review. I was curious about this new camera, and it certainly adds to the growing choice for the enthusiast. I’m a micro 4/3 fan now … not because it’s definitely the best system, but because I’ve invested in a range of lenses so now the cost of switching systems is too high to even contemplate!

    I value small and light over ultimate IQ, so if this camera had been around a year ago it would have been on my short list, but there’s one thing you say that would have been a deal breaker. I love bokeh, and the narrow DOF I can get with my 45mm f1.8 and 20mm f1.7 does exactly what I want in a portrait shot. If the Nikon struggles with narrow DOF because of the smaller sensor, then it can’t satisfy all my needs. But I do keep looking at the Samsung NX11 and Sony Nex and wonder if I made the right choice. Keep up the good work ….. but say something nice about MFT to help me sleep!

  39. @jonny
    The only time this should be considered a TOY CAMERA is when a Child plays with it.PERIOD.

  40. Hi Steve,

    tremendous review, really surprised me and got my eyes on the V1 to be honest…
    I have been eyeing the N1 system and the Fuji X10 for quite some time now…

    Basically i am looking for a smaller package replacing my DSLR catching pictures of my 2 year old and while travelling.
    Speed seems to be the major pro going for the N1 – how about natural light (mainly indoor) performance?
    As you tested both cameras, which one would you rate higher here?
    Thanks a ton, Christian

  41. Steve, I’m just curious about your RAW conversion, did you use Adobe or CNX2? I processed some N1 NEF files with CNX2, great IQ for a little sensor! A bit noisy sometimes. I mainly used some noise reduction and WB corrections et voila! Any thoughts about IQ comparing D-lux5 vs N1?

  42. Hello Steve !
    I am Finnish person and i reading you blog meny years. This is first time i have very disappoint you review to Nikon 1. I use meny camera, now i have Sony A900, A77, A55, NEX-5n, Oly E-P3, Pana GH2. I test to Nikon 1 a few days and i can say it my all m43 camera is every bit better than Nikon 1.
    Only AF tracking is better than m43 cameras. It’s natural at focus is more accurate because small sensor have better DOF. 10-30mm ¨Toy¨ kit lens is very bad vs. Pana super kit lens 14-45mm etc….
    If i buy camera my 9 years old girl i think this camera is more potential.
    I think you look this camera through to Nikon Glass. Sorry my bad English.

    • You are disappointed that I reviewed a Nikon? Why? I tested it side by side with my E-P3 and due to its qualities like faster AF, more accurate AF, better metering, equal if not a bit better ISO, EVF and build/feel I enjoyed it even more. I love the E-P3, the 5n is FANTASTIC but for just getting out and taking fun pics it is tough to beat the V1 – nu fuss, no issues, no problems, no misses, VR in the lenses, small. Just needs some faster primes, which are supposedly coming in 2012. NOt really sure what you meant by the 9 year old girl and NIkon glass comment but the V1 is perfect for its TARGET AUDIENCE, not for those who want a DSLR or Leica replacement.

      • Could the V1 be on the path to a digital FM3a. No fuss , no issues, just shooting? Hmmm…

      • And it is perfect for those of us who have a DSLR and a Leica replacement, but want something small an pocketable! :-)

        Just got the J1 with the 10mm and are eager to try it out:-). It “replaces” an old S90. I almost got an X10 instead, but knew I would have more trouble finding use for an X10 over my X100.

    • I don’t know about the E-P3, but I have owned the E-P1 and E-P2 and I’m sorry to say that even at ISO 200 those cameras have a riduculus amount of noise in the dark areas of high contrast pictures taken at ISO 200!. The J1/V1 hardly has any noise under the same conditions.

      Other than that colors etc. can be discussed, but I like the Nikon output a lot more – even the grain is nicer on the Nikon :-). The output may not be as sharp and detailed as some of the 4/3, but I think it is more film-like somehow and I like that a lot.

      • at last.. a photographer’s opinion! I had quite a few digital cameras, but among them only the D700 can make real photos (film like, i mean, and void of strange coloured dots… that say DIGITAL loudly!).
        it seems that nikon was guided in the development by photographers and not marketing people or engineers…
        do you agree with my point? the D700 + 70-200 is not exactly a walk around kit…

        • I feel the M9 is just as film like as the D700 but the V1 also has something about its look. A little grungy, sharp and film-ish colors – one of the reasons I like it so much.

  43. Example skin tone for E-P3 is much better. E-P3 have very good wireless Flash system. Pana GH-2 have best image quolity for m43 systems, only one stop under Sony NEX5n and one of the best video in to bisnes……….

  44. Hey,

    This has probably been touched on in some forum, but what would happen if you use a lower megapixel setting on the NEX-7 in regards to the low light performance and image quality?

  45. Why would a reader be upset that a camera review site has, god forbid, reviewed a camera which the reader does not intend to buy! How dare Steve review the 1 without consulting with each and every one of you first.

    I also probably won’t be buying this camera due to the lack of command dials, but it would be stupid for me to berate Mr. Huff about this positive review. Keep ‘em coming, Steve.

    • Because quite a few people can apparently only exist in a world where their camera of choice is the one and only choice. Anytime something else comes along that could in some ways, and for some people, be a better choice, its a direct threat to the validity of not just what they spent their money on, but for many, their whole identity it seems.

      Its all and all very strange, but many people read a review not because they care about buying a camera, but because they instead hope to hear about how they still have the best thing out there.

      They’d love Steve to say the Nikon has horrible ISO performance and he hates it compared to m4/3, because for some m4/3 users, thats what they need to hear, to have reinforced time and time again.

      Had Steve said that, they’d be slapping him on the back, telling him how great he is, quoting him as “proof” their m4/3 camera is the best, and therefore they are the best.

      If he says the opposite, then they are up in arms, because it means the very camera that they base their online identity around isn’t quite so perfect, and therefore, if Steve says that, to them he’s in effect saying they aren’t so perfect. Remember, many people put their own self worth and such into their possessions, be it a car, or in this case a camera.

      Its all and all a bit strange to a rational person who sees these things as just tools, and let face it, tools that in a few years will be next to worthless as we move on to better things, but for some people how their camera is regarded on the internet forums is very much tied into their well being.

  46. I am currently using the Panasonic DMC-LX3 for daily shooting. I will eventually go with a m4/3 (waiting on the GX-1 review to decide). How do you think the V1 compares to the LX-3 or LX-5?

  47. So much about this camera is just right. The feel, the weight, the ergonomics, the quality of the materials used – just to mention the glass-proteced LCD screen without an air gap.

    Sony? You scratch those screens in a minute. And Nikon 1 doesn’t make you want a swivel screen, because of the quality of the screen all’s visible from angles.

    A great camera, I also laughed it off at the beginning. Not so anymore after using it.

    And not being able to shoot with shallow DOF enhances other photography skills, doesn’t it.

  48. Hi Steve, my gut tells me something is not right. Let me explain: I have read a lot of posts on many web sites over the years but I have never seen such consistent blatant bashing of a product. The negativity is unnatural, meaning there is no reason for so many to be so passionately upset about something that does not directly affect them.

    I think this is a result of TROLLS HIRED BY PANASONIC OR OLYMPUS stirring the pot. I’m serious! They feel threatened. If this Nikon thing gets off the ground they certainly will suffer greatly. After all the Nikon 1 can outperform or equate the 4/3 in so many ways …Af, noise, metering, size, ease of use..and Nikon did it with a sensor thats half the size. Thanks Steve for your honest and candid reviews.

  49. Steve, more and more I get the feeling that in the end you’ll like any camera that you can get your hands on. That’s fair if it is what it is, but I think you can be more realistic in your reviews or maybe it is just me.

    In the end, I like Nikon, shoot Sony myself, but I think Nikon missed the ball here. The 1-series I guess is introduced to late with too little niche to differentiate itself from m43 and other systems. Given that Nikon stated they have been working on this camera for 4 years, we could all expected a little more, no?

    Only time will tell if the market is up for the 1-series. In the end we all shoot photos, and given any equipment I’ll shoot my photo regardless, even with an A900 or the “noise machine” A77 everybody makes it out to be.

    Cheers! Lets see what Leica, Fuji and (who knows) Canon will be releasing in the “new” mirrorless market.

    • Hey Robert, not true at all! There are PLENTY of cameras I do not like! When I do not like a camera I just do not write about it. Ive stated this MANY times. I only write about the cameras I like. One reason you didn’t see a review of the Panasonic GF3, the Canon S95, Canon G12, Panasonic GF2, etc etc. The V1 is a great camera, period. WHat more did you expect from a camera that Nikon basically says is an upgraded P&S? For what it is, there really is no better. The V1 beats the G12, S95, P7000, P7100, and some M4/3 cameras as well. It even beats the APS-C cameras in AF, Metering, Color, accuracy, etc. IQ is good but not the best. Grain at even ISO 100, no shallow DOF. I like the camera as i see nothing NOT to like for a camera such as this.

    • Robert, perhaps instead darn near any brand of camera is a pretty good photographic tool these days and there isn’t really that much not to like about most cameras ?

      I’ve owned NEX, m4/3, X100, Nikon, Canon, Leica etc, and while I do have my own taste and preferences in regards to handling etc based on what I shoot, I have been able to take good images with all of them.

      Do you really think its black and white to a point where if a Canon DSLR is good, that therefore a Nikon DSLR has to suck ?

      If someone likes the V1 it means that they can’t also think the m4/3 and NEX cameras are also good ?

      What would be “realistic” about trying to find issues with a perfectly good camera ???

  50. Nice review and sample shots, funny I never really gave this camera a second though and I guess that was due to all the negativity I’d read about it when it was first released.

    I’ve never bought or used a Nikon compact only their SLR’s and DSLR’s but its not suprising that the V1 was four years in the making as Nikon’s gear is always so well built

  51. Steve,
    Thank you for the excellent review. I can’t say I really understand why people become so moved to write vehement criticism when they disagree with you. You say you really like a camera and why, discuss its shortcomings, and post sample images–and do so in a light, fun to read manner. I am simply dumbfounded at all the b!tching. These people must really lead unhappy, insulated lives if they think this is appropriate.
    BTW, I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of your reviews and wanted to let you know that they keep getting better and better. Thank you for the quick turnarounds on reviews and keeping it fun.

    One question, how would the files compare to a D200 (a Nikon 10mp sensor)? In terms of ISO, usable dynamic range, recoverable shadows/highlights, etc. I’ve owned the D300, 700, and now 7000 and don’t expect it to hold up, but if it is even with the D200, it would definitely warrant some consideration. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Jack, I have owned a D80 with the 18-135mm. The D80 is the amateur equivalent of the D200, but with the same sensor as the D200.

      The output from the D80 is cleaner and sharper than the output from the J1/V1, there is no doubt about that.

      Regarding high ISO and noise I would say that they are very close.

      • Actually I don’t think the D80 output is sharper than J1/V1 after looking at some more pictures (at least not very much), but they are generally cleaner which gives a more calm impression. However, I’m not in doubt that the J1 metering is much better than the D80 metering.

        • The D80 is NOT sharper than the V1. The V1 is razor sharp, even at high ISO (when you turn OFF NR in the camera). The D80 is smoother as Anders said though, which gives you that smooth DSLR look we all expect. The V1 does NOT give you a smooth look. Instead it is sharp, great color, and a bit of noise even at base ISO (IF you pixel peep).

          • Andres and Steve,

            Thank you for the information.

            The noise doesn’t look like it would be a problem in print up to 11×14 though (<ISO 800), correct?

          • Hi Jack, I rarly print, but I don’t think it would any problem at all with images at ISO 800.

            After looking at some more of my old photos it looks like the D80 is cleaner with less grain at ISO 800 than the J1.

            Still I think the J1 can produce usable images up to ISO 3200 and in my opinion the J1 noise/grain is nicer than the D80 noise/grain at ISO 3200.

            Just another thing – I think the J1 is a lot of fun to shoot with and the IQ is great for such a small package, butI should probably have bought the V1, because I’m missing the view finder sometimes.

            On the other hand the J1 has a built-in flash which is actually very good, so if you get a V1 you would have to get the external flash as well which means that the whole package will be more expensive.

  52. Any idea if some company is working on a C-mount adapter for the V1? I have some great fast primes for that camera.

  53. Steve, thanks for a very balanced well written review. You both mention the important strengths as well as the weaknesses of the Nikon 1 system. I’ve seldom seen such vitriolic comments about a new camera, not only here but everywhere. And I’ve seldom seen so many were so wrong about a camera they haven’t even seen, touched or used.

    I’ve both the D300, D200 and the V1, and the V1 has IMHO better IQ than the D200 specially at higher ISOs and much easier to get pin sharp pictures due to a weaker AA filter, no mirror-slap, and tack sharp lenses with highly effective VR. And the V1 IQ is closer to the D300 than the D200. When such cheap kit lenses are so good, I can’t wait to see the coming Nikon 1 fast primes.

    I’m sorry to hear about your troubles with a few ignorants. Just ignore them if you can.

    • Ole,
      Thank you for the information. Great reviews by Steve and helpful forum members are why I keep coming back to this site. Poor DPreview is overrun by irascible posters.

  54. Hello, Steve. Thanks for the review. I already ordered one of these before I read this, but it seems you emphasize the strengths I want in a small camera. I tried the E-P3 briefly, and I just was not satisfied with the focus accuracy, even for still subjects. I tried the NEX-5n, and I still have it. However, I find it is only good for still subjects, and my grand-daughter is never still. The 5N is a marvel in low light, if you can get it to focus. But again, it is only good for still life stuff, IMO. I want to try this V1. I have quit using the 5N altogether and am back to lugging my D7000 everywhere I go. The things you say this camera does well are exactly the things I’m looking for. I don’t want to process 20mb RAW files with this camera, and above all else, I want the camera to focus accurately. High ISO performance is high on my list, but I do have the D7000 available for most of that stuff. I’m looking forward to trying out this camera. It has always seemed true to me that above all else, focus accuracy is king when it comes to photos you want to keep.

    • If it is very dark the J1 (and probably the V1 as well) is not excellent at getting focus even with the AF-assist light on. In normal daylight I haven’t experienced AF problems at all with moving objects.

      • Yeah, I expect it to come up short in several areas for low light, including focus. Like Steve, the D700 is the best camera I have ever used. Nothing else I’ve used comes close for AF and low light performance. But the smaller D7000 is pretty good at those things, and I have resigned myself to using that for low light. After trying the E-P3 and the NEX 5N I have given up on small cameras in low light. But I cannot live with a camera that won’t focus properly at least most of the time in decent light. So this review is encouraging.

  55. Steve your take on the pancake?

    Samples I’ve seen so far look bland and flat – yours are an exception.

    You see some character in the 10mm lens? Or is it more of a clean, sterile, just-working lens?

    Thank you.

    • The pancake is small so is a good match for the camera. I do not find it any flatter than the 10-30 really. Maybe a little softer at the edges at 2.8. I shoot RAW and adjust in conversion so I may add a bit of contrast or other minor tweaks so if it is a bit flat my adjustments would take care of it. But no complaints from me on the lenses available. The 30-110 is a great lens, prob the best of the lot.

  56. If only the V1 were considerably cheaper, I would get one. The lenses are pretty reasonably priced, not so with the body.

  57. Yeah, the V1 really is expensive. A D5100 is cheaper. But there is a lot of new tech in there, and good EVFs for all systems are expensive. The Sony NEX EVF is, I believe, about $350. The good Olympus EVF is about $250 I think. I believe that is a lot of what we are paying for.

  58. Hi Steve, Thanks for the fantastic hands-on. I totally agree with your opinion on the Nikon V1 . What really makes this review so great is the fact that you are so honest that you ate your words from your first impression before you ever had the camera in hand. You said you would prefer the Pentax Q over the nikon 1′s . Well, your honesty is obvious and apparently offends people that don’t agree or want to hear the truth.

    I have owned the Nikon V1 for 3 days now. I can say that it is without a doubt my favorite mirrorless camera I have ever owned . It does everything Nikon promised and then some.

    In the last month I have purchased and returned or sold 3 other cameras. They were a Sony Nex-5n, An Olympus e-pl2 and a Fuji X10.

    The Nex-5n had the rattling issue and also I did not like the feel of it in my hand or the OOC jpegs. The Olympus e-pl2 had fantastic OOC jpegs but I found the User interface awkward sold it.

    The Fuji X10 was a Fantastic little camera but I just could not get used to the almost useless Optical finder and also the auto focus seemed to be very touchy.I sold the Fuji X10 on ebay for $200 more than I paid for it.

    The Nikon V1 has been perfect for me from the first minute I unboxed it. The eve is amazing and work for me with or without my glasses. The V1 does not feel big like people would lead others to believe.

    I owned a Panasonic lumix G2 that I purchased based on Steve’s review over a year ago. I loved the g2 But wanted to get a more compact camera with a built-in evf . The only choice at the time was the newly announced Sony new-7.
    There is no way i was going to pay
    $1350.00 for it. Now after having the negative experience with the Sony Nex-5n , I am glad I didn’t get the new-7.

    Then the new Nikons were announced. Seemed to be just what I was looking for. But then because of all the negative previews and opinions I decided against the Nikon. Then I went through the purchase of the 3 cameras I mentioned above. I told myself I should have bought the Ikon V1 to start with regardless of what everyone was saying. In the mean time I read a review by Rob Galbraith and then ordered the Nikon V1 and am very happy I did.

    While I was waiting for My order to arrive I noticed Steve’s review on the Nikon V1 and proceeded to read it and New right away I had made the right choice.

    So Thank You Steve for confirming what I already knew and for another one of your First rate Honest reviews .[img]http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb100/richcwood/Nikon1_V1_Magnesium-body.jpg[/img][img]http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb100/richcwood/Sensor-sizes.jpg[/img]

  59. Steve,

    You’re absolutely right! It’s a sweet camera system. I’ve had my V1 for couple of weeks now and have no regrets. I also have a Nex 5n, which in my mind is a totally different camera with it’s own strengths (which you pointed out). It’s E Mount lenses are quite nice in their own way. It’s big advantage, IMHO, is the ability to use superb Sony A Mount lenses, such as the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4, with full function and Phase Contast AF. It’s also, as you know, an exceptional performer with MF Leica lenses. I bought some MF Nikon glass to use with the 5N to get that ‘Nikon’ look. After I got the V1, I sold the Nikon lenses. The V1′s fit and feel is superior to the 5N (still waiting for my Nex 7). I plan on keeping, all for different reasons, the V1, the two Nex’s, , my two Leica’s and my Sony SLT A77. I, too, am hoping for faster lenses, but, not at the expense of size. The V1 with the 10mm is in my coat pocket right now, My 5N wouldn’t fit!

    • Just curious, are you running a camera store, or are you just collecting cameras? :).
      BTW do you also take pictures…..?

  60. I personally try to shy away from cameras ‘made in China’ which this one is. Anybody remember Tibet? This camera is also very plasticky feel. Would rather support the Japanese economy or Thailand’s. China already makes too much $$$$$, just off the Iphone alone…..

  61. Dear Steve,

    First of all thanks for really informative reviews

    I’m simple user and need well build powerful cam to get every shoot with 100% succes without need to carry a bag of equipment…

    Right now im trying to pick right cam for travel and business presentations or quick shoots…

    SONY NEX 7 looks like well build cam except few things:

    Could have a better autofocus

    You cannot just pick this camera and do a great photos it is for advanced user…..

    To get something from 24 MP sensor you need to buy Carl Zeiss optics or even carry few lenses with yourself…. That means additional costs and a BAG !

    And it means another thing : 500-1000 $ more and you can get an new professional DSLR when they will come out from Nikon or Canon…

    Nikon V1 seems really nice and simple to use it is an really POINT AND SHOOT except few things:

    Price is to high ! ( but it’s getting down as we speak )
    No build in flashlight ( you need to buy and carry flash separately) ahh sorry it is a “system” camera…

    Im really thinking about Nikon V1 but why they did not put simple flash in this cam ?

    Or the flash its not necessarily ?

    If the photos are not “photoshoped” than it really needs a flash

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/acil/accessories/speedlight_sb-n5/

    I need your advice people….

  62. From all this messed up market I have picked :

    NIKON 1 J1 Body (it has built in flash and is smaller than V 1 )

    1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm Lens ( I will buy only one lens and this one is most useful )

    Extra battery ( this will compensate lack of big battery which V1 has)

    Sandisk Extreme 16GB SDHC Card ( with fast card wont be no lags and 16 GB its enough)

    All this will costs about 500-550 pounds (800 USD ) at the moment, but after few weeks it will be even cheaper..

  63. Steve, you mention the Pentax Q lenses are all toy lenses, but that’s a bit off. The 01 Prime and 02 telephoto are not toy lenses. The Fish Eye is not considered a toy lens in the system nomenclature, only the wide and telephoto are.

  64. Great review Steve as always. I went to the store to see what the camera was like and it was solid as you stated. The J1 feels cheap compared to the V1. I did have a question for you. Most of the great pics you have posted in this review were taken with the 10-100 lens. At $750 that drives up the cost significantly. How did you like the lenses in the camera kit?

    • Hey! Thanks for the comment and kind words. I actually used ALL of the lenses for the images here and found the 30-110 just as good as the 10-100 in the IQ dept. The 10-100 is a beautiful feeling lens but it is HUGE for the body and really only has an advantage with video due to the zoom. If you are not into video, Id just go with the 10mm and the 30-110. Those are my two fave lenses so far for this system.

  65. Hi Steve, I am from Singapore and have been following your site for quite sometimes. This is easily my favorite photography site as I really like your practical review style. I am currently using the X100 and I really like it. The colours of the jpegs it produces is really a wonder.

    I am looking to get a camera for my wife as a surprise gift as she is interested to get into photography.

    I am currently looking at the Fujifilm X10, Nikon J1 or V1 after reading your reviews. Which one will you recommend for a beginner? She is currently using the S95 and she wants something which is responsive, easy to use and better than her S95 in low-light.

    • Well, the X10 is a P&S basically. Easy to use but still a little quirky at times for a beginner. The V1 is easy to use for anyone. In auto mode it will provide consistent results with AF, metering, etc. EIther will be better in low light than the S95. I have not really used the J1 but it is an even simpler version of the V1. For your wife, coming from a S95, Id say a J1 may be the best bet with the 10-30.

      • Thanks for your reply Steve! You have sort of help me make up my mind with regards to which camera to get for her. I am planning to get her a white J1 and for myself a white V1. The V1 will complement my X100 which is my only camera now.

  66. Had done little research about such cameras:

    When 1rst Generation of POINT & SHOOT cameras was born, and everybody could be a photographer! Press the button and you will get quite decent photo…
    1 Gen analog POINT & SHOOT has been changed with digital revolution, but simplicity stayed the same
    2 Gen POINT & SHOOT is at end of its days, because Smartphone came along with photo and video capabilities that’s good for YouTube and facebook and phone is always with you as everyday carry device…

    So what people want from 3 Gen POINT & SHOOT ?

    In these days, when camcorders are taking pictures and photo cameras are taking video, of course it needs to do it both and it should be followed by quality , simplicity and speed – Just turn on the device, select mode ( video or photo) POINT AND SHOOT !

    Ok than what we have at the moment :
    Manufacturer’s calls it “advanced compact system cameras…”

    How system can be compact ?
    What’s the difference between 1 KG bag with Body and lenses VERSUS 1.7 KG bag with Body and lenses ?

    People want DSLR + CAMCORDER “ squeezed” in to tiny well build cam body, not a BAG !

    I think, Manufacturers cannot deal with their market loss and are trying to create new category of cameras…. And do not want to confess that Simple Point and Shoot cam is dead and people want more , that means 3 GEN camera, but not an “TOY DSLR BAG” – this one is not created by evolution ! – its created to “create” and then fill the gap.

  67. Handled the V1 today. I must say while I liked the build and I think Nikon got it right for a consumer oriented camera, I honestly can’t get too excited as a photographer.

    Seriously the plastic wheel, plastic leveler (used to change Aperture if you dig in the menus and set the camera to aperture priority), the camera size. The only lens I see that keeps the system pretty small was the F2.8 prime.

    I found that a bit of a shame because the rest of the camera seems pretty well built to me and you get a battery that will allow you to use the camera for a while. But honestly, I wonder how long those plastic buttons will last. They did not feel like quality plastics at all, but more what you would get on cheaper plastic things. And then of course there’s that price.

    I still think Nikon got it right as far as average Joe goes though. Maybe what’s in order is the Nikon 1 “nex-7″ equivalent. And some fast primes please. F2.0 would be a good start.

    Since the camera doesn’t seem much smaller at all than say a Panasonic G3/GF3, I just don’t see the point in it vs them, except the better interface for average Joe. If Nikon could make a model with the PASM dial, better buttons, smaller size while keeping the pro aspects I may be interested.

  68. I also went today at store to click those cameras

    Well built but not for the price mark at the moment… Buttons and wheel could be from better plastic,
    J1 could have a better battery cover and V1 could have better flash socket cover (it’s easy to loose).

    10 mm (Pancake) lens is the best from all system but one 10mm won’t be enough , so if you want only one lens (AND YES YOU WANT!) than compromise is 10mm – 30mm.

    As for the price – its going down ( the same was with D 3100 model).
    http://nikonrumors.com/2011/11/21/nikon-1-gets-new-lens-firmware-updates-and-a-discount.aspx/

    J 1 will kill all POINT & SHOOT cameras , when the price will reach reasonable mark. It will be good for me waiting for new DSLR to come and perfect for BLONDE and she can get it in pink ! and for Moms and Dad’s trying to cache their kids on cam. This cam will bring money for Nikon.

    As for V 1 , I think we will see “ V 1 S “ soon , so no need to buy this one. Better buy J 1 + extra battery , it will be more useful as it has built in flash…

  69. A nice review and the V1 looks like a great camera. But what amazes me when reading the comments is that so many people seems to be so disappointed with their cameras. Looks like there is tons of people with, I assume steady bank accounts, who in just 2-3 years time already has been going through all possible mirror-less models and sold them in the hunt for the holy grail. ;-). I guess the days when somebody bought a camera and never looked back are gone. Like my onkel, a brilliant old-school photographer who still uses his first digital, a D-40 and will probably do so until it breaks. My EP-1 I bought last year feels like a new camera to me but after reading Steves and others sites, I get the feeling it belongs in Jurassic Park. Maybe I should just shut up,
    shoot and quit reading about photography and cameras, but its too much fun :-) All the best to you all!

  70. Well, Steve, you had me sold…. been contemplating this purchase as a walk around/”in pocket” camera to complement my bulkier gear. Now the 10-30/10 combo is out of stock at my favorite candy store B&H (maybe thanks to you linking to it?)/ I guess my wallet will feel full anther day. Thanks for the review.

  71. The thing really that crippled this camera are the embarrassing choices Nikon made when populating the control dials , there are decision makers at nikon who are powerful enuf to dictate decisions like this, yet clueless and or arrogant enuf to disregard or or dismiss the need for a proper control set on a camera for whom this camera was seemingly intended. they are truly clueless about what makes an enthusiast camera…
    Nikon execs apparently belong to that sad set of leaders and policymakers everywhere in our culture that feels it is prudent to appeal to the lowest common denominator and dumb everything down for consumers.., i cannot imagine the battles that went within nikon over this matter..
    menu diving for psam control is simply unacceptable and no amount of novel build and quality will
    make up for the lunacy of putting gimmicks instead of controls on the only control dial .It has made me lose all interest in an otherwise interesting camera…. and whats up with the slow lenses ? with a 2.7 crop, a kit zoom could have started at 2.8 and gone to perhaps 4 .. and not be cost prohibited , that would have gone along was toward justifying this new format, me thinks….an opportunity missed it seems , that and a launch without a fast “normal” 18mm or “portrait’ 28mm…. prime nails it for me that someone at Nikon is asleep at the switch.

    i am curious about sensor density in the sensor in a 2.7 crop sensor vs the apsc of the nex7
    isnt the nikon sensor more densely packed and therefore using smaller pixel sites wouldnt the nikon sensor , if scaled up to apsc dimensions have 27 mp? is that correct?

    i do love reading your opinions on new cameras , so thanks and cheers

  72. Hello Steve

    I have going around reviews to decide on a camera. I was looking at the NEX, EP, the G3 and the 1 series. As I don’t want to carry the big SLR cameras.

    I have to say you nailed this search for me as it has help me a lot. I am not a professional fotographer I just want to have better pictures and videos of my girls (I don’t want to carry a camcorder either). So thanks again for the review. One other thing the V1 has is that you can take stills while taking video (I really like this).

    I friend spoke to me about the v-lux 30, then I saw the Olympus SZ-30MR I know these are fixed lenses and I might not be on the right forum (as these are more point and shoot) but I will really like you opinion on these and on the G3 it seems a god competitor for the 1 series.

    Once Again I am a father of two girls that wants to capture great moments with good quality (picture and video) and I don’t want to spend more that $1000.00.

  73. Just when I was fully geared up with an EPL-2 and the three primes and 40-150, you had to do this ;->
    Reading the V1 manual and your reviews, this may push me toward the V1 as a backup to my backup for a March trip to Australia/Thailand. One for stills, one for stills and video, leave the D700 and Zeiss heavy stuff at home. Unfortunately Nikon USA store is sold out of the one-lens kit ($150 off, unlike the other places at $50)

  74. [...] and shoot camera…for ME. So eventually I went on a search for small and light. Read more… http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/11/14/the-nikon-v1-camera-review-the-camera-i-expected-to-hate/ Share this:E-MailFacebookTwitterGefällt mir:LikeSei der Erste, dem dieser post [...]

  75. [...] particular attention to those who actually shot the cameras under real conditions for a while, like Steve Huff. All three are great cameras, but after playing with them at the camera store, I came home with the [...]

  76. Enjoying this camera but shooting RAW and while in your fine review you said you processed with Adobe Camera Raw, I must be missing something…… Not working for me, not compatible. Can you give me the “how to” on this ?

    Thanks

  77. Steve,

    Have you used the external flash?
    How is the flash metering?

    I shoot regularly with my D300 and use a small SB-400 for bounce effect indoor with slower glass and was always amazed how accurate the flash metering was.

    Recently I purchased the NEX-5n and I would complete agree with your previous review…great IQ, video and build quality, but metering & AF was not always accurate. With tit I also purchased the HVL-F20s flash. Highly recommended if you use kit lens indoor and need some bounce flash. However, the flash metering is off, possibly a bug and need a firmware update.

    If you have any samples using the external flash with bounce, please post them.

    many thanks

    Jack

  78. I noticed that on Nikon home page that the
    V1 : Flash sync speed = Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/60s or slower

    1/60 sync speed sounds very slow !?

    J1 : Flash sync speed =
    Mechanical shutter: Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/250s or slower
    Electronic shutter: Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/60s or slower

    Jack

  79. V1 sync with mechanical shutter = 1/250, electronic 1/60.

    J1 only does 1/60

  80. Please don’t get offended right away, but I find it very hard to read your “review” as it is a cluttered hotchpotch of sentences in UPPERCASE, bold and lots of words that are thrown in.

    I still don’t get the result but it seems to me like YOU are saying:
    I hate the camera but its excellent!
    I wouldn’t buy it buy I can recommend it, if you are not looking for great bokeh shots!
    Don’t buy it for lowlight shooting, because – look at the comparisons, I’ve done – its better than the Rest!

    Know what I’m saying? It seems to me, that you had a hard time showing love or hate to the camera.

    As I said, don’t take it to personally, but when you run a website like this, you should concentrate on how to build up a kind of “review”.

    • I never get offended by anything anyone says here, ever. With that said, my site is 3 years old, has about 55,000 visitors a day and I have written many many reviews. The review is clear if you read it from top to bottom. I never say I hate the camera. I say the opposite, that I love it. I also say that I bought one. I tell it like it is. I give the strengths and the weaknesses. If YOU are looking for great Bokeh, this is not the camera for you. Other than that, it’s fantastic in every area. It’s great in low light when ISO noise is concerned when compared to other similar cameras but it is not a low light monster by any stretch. I loved the camera, still do. For what it is it is fantastic. :) THANKS for YOUR comments!

  81. Hey Steve, nice site and great review keep up the wild and crazy faces their the best. In fact you should have a contest for the best crazy face with a prize for the winner. A Leica M9, a non working model that’s used by store’s for display purposes.

    Andrea, how could you not understand the review, the Orangoutang understood the review. Sorry, but who are you to tell a reviewer how to write and structure his style. If anything it was refreshing to read, go back and read it again without your “Writing 101″ rolling around in your head. Their are so many tin skinned folks here. They can’t accept the fact that a reviewer likes the dam thing. Some of you guys want a public flogging because Steve had the nerve to mention a 5k camera in the same breath as the V1. The truth is you want to take away any good feelings about the V1 from someone who bought the thing or is going to buy it. More and more gear reviewers are having second thoughts about the “1″ system. Take for instance the 10-100mm lens, have any of you detractors ever held the lens, used it? No, all you do is squawk about the price, that it starts out at f/4.5, it’s not weather sealed and my favorite it’s like a P&S camera. If you put some brain matter you would instead say how smooth the zoom in/out was and if your shooting video your not jerking the zoom because you don’t have to turn the zoom ring. The fact that a lens of its calibre is made for a compact system is mind blowing. Thanks Nikon. My apologizes Steve sometimes I get peeved. I found you by checking out Nikon Links.

    Jack

  82. Oh no….. There I was set on convincing Santa to get me a Nex5N and this review pops up… I wrote this camera off as soon as I heard of its sensor size… serves me right for not paying more attention. I thought this camera was some kind of Nikon joke! Well… it looks like Santa may get a revised list from me!! I just need to decide on V1 versus J1 versus Nex5N. What a headache.

    For you Steve my sincere thanks for such an open and honest review.

    Pete :-)

  83. [...] called it a “turd” (c’mon, really, Kai?) actually had some nice things to say. Steve Huff should probably be mentioned here as someone who does real world reviews and pushed me further [...]

  84. The Nikon V1 is very much an amateur camera and I’m not knocking amateur cameras. I’m first in line to pick up the new Fuji X10. This camera is for old women or that Nikon enthusiasts who can look past it’s short comings. I’ve personally tried out this camera a few times and that retro design is really plasticy and just plain horrible. Fuji has a retro design with their X series. I mean they use a metal body! You can’t get more retro then that.

    Also what the fuck is going on with the dial on the back of this camera. They really really did keep it simple by leaving out some of the most important features that even the most basic DSLR has quick access to.

    I really enjoy your work and you have great reviews but, you are blinded by your love for Nikon

    • What Matt says here is so far from the truth I had to reply. The V1 is superior to the X10 in almost EVERY way. IQ, ISO Noise, Build, Metering, AF speed, EVF, etc. The X10 is great, I loved it as well but the V1 is better. Better build, feel and quality all the way around. Larger sensor as well. Blinded by my love for Nikon? Im a Leica shooter not a Nikon shooter. You seem to be blinded by something, not sure what but you obviously did not own and shoot the V1. The J1 is plasticky but the V1 is far far from it. It is a very solid, capable camera that to me, easily beat the X10 in every area, oh and video included.

      Steve

  85. Great review, thanks for telling it as you see it.

  86. Hi Steve,
    Great reviews and site. I’d be interested if you or others have any thoughts about printing and size of prints from this little beauty.

  87. I was swayed to buy the V1 after reading this review. Steve is spot on with his comments regarding the camera. I can’t wait for some prime lenses to be released so the weaknesses can be addressed.

    Regarding the dial, I find that as long as you hold the camera with the thumb pressed firmly on the synthetic leather portion, you can get a comfortable one handed grip, with lesser chances of accidentally turning the dial.

    I am amateur, and just today, with NR off, taking a subject back facing a window, an iPhone 4s actually presented a better shot at iso 800. With NR on, the contrast was better, but noisier. Any suggestions or comments?

  88. Hey, Steve, I wanted to follow up on my previous post. I have used the V1 now for several weeks, and with only a few gripes I find it to be my favorite among the mirror-less cameras. The gripes I have can be fixed with firmware updates, and I believe that will happen. The auto review has got to go, and I’m sure that will happen. Also, shooting manual with Auto ISO the ISO value needs be be displayed, and this should be pretty simple, but without that change Nikon needs to give us the ability to change ISO quickly, perhaps by making one of the buttons programmable. But I can live with what I have now because the camera really is a joy to use, whether in PASM or Auto. It gets the shot, and it focuses correctly. That is a huge point in favor of this camera. I hung on to my NEX 5N initially, but I’ve decided to sell it because it cannot compete, except at high ISO values, and I have a DSLR for that if I absolutely need it.
    I know that the V1 wasn’t aimed at DSLR owners, but Nikon nailed the focus system, and that should be “JOB 1″ for all camera makers. Great little camera. I just ordered the 30-110mm to make it a complete system, and I am looking forward to that.

  89. [...] - Steve Huff (very nice findings about the practical use of these cameras) [...]

  90. Steve,

    I thank you for this review. I was about to buy the V1, I tested it under professional lighting and was favourably impressed by its IQ. Still in compact territory, but very good.
    But its downsides made me change my mind:
    1) poor interface.
    2) operational quirks (no bracketing, image review always on, 1 second lcd / evf switch time, horrendous AE lock implementation – should I go on ?).
    3) lenses slowness – deal breaker: with an ISO 100 – 400 (effective) range, shooting with an F4 35mm equivalent is a recipe for failure. Unless I accept tons of noise and blurred subjects too.
    If the camera becomes the major obstacle between vision and photo, who cares ?
    But I understand that there is a flock of potential customers drooling out there after the Nikon badge. And, at the end of the day, as a full-auto camera the V1 really delivers.
    Full auto photographer I am not.

    (still waiting for the perfect backup for my M9… now its nex7 vs grdIV vs GX1)

    • Hey Mauro…

      When you say you tested it, are you saying you shot it in a store only, and not for real images? Just curious. As for the interface, I feel it is one of the best and most simple/easy to use interfaces yet for a digital camera (I am referring to the menus here). As for shooting and camera use, that is even simpler and a no brainer. There is no bracketing and the EVF does not take 1 second to switch, more like 1/4 of that. I never had one issue with the LCD switching at all. Always came on quickly. Was it instant? No, but it was not one second. AE lock worked for me as well. Again, this is after weeks and weeks of daily use. No issues at all in these areas you speak of. As for slow lenses, I mentioned this as a weakness in the review and it is a weakness. Shooting the 10 2.8 indoors though worked out well and the low noise at higher ISO worked for me, but you do not get shallow DOF of course. Finally, if you are an all manual guy, why even look at the V1 in the 1st place? It’s not that kind of camera. What it is though is one of the slickest, most accurate focusing, metering and solid digitals to come along in a while. It gets an A from me in so many areas and took the place of a few cameras in my household. Thanks for you thoughts.

      • Hi Steve,
        I tested the V1 in a photo studio, with prof lighting and a model. It happened that a guy had it and I shot some hundred raw + jpegs. Very good image quality up to 800 iso, but I was not favourably impressed by its operational limits. I would like a E1 to be released going forward, since the V1 is the camera I would like to love.
        My intended use for the V1 is backup camera for reportage and PJ work: a light camera to hook on my wrist when I do not feel like carrying or showing the M9 (or an slr). In such situations my camera is always on and I just need to quickly raise it to my eye and shoot as soon as, and only when, something interesting happens. Even at 1/4 sec, EVF switching time was simply too long. Probably I was asking too much to the V1, but given its really impressive autofocus speed, it looked like the best suited camera.
        To be honest, since I use Nikon slr’s for anything outside the M9 “easy” lens range (i.e. 28-35-50 mm), the V1 would perfectly fit into my workflow.
        Since my mother in law is buying a V1 or J1, I will have two weeks in NY to get deeper on it.
        For the time being, my “backup pool” shrunk to Grd IV and Gx1, nex-7 having too few “good” lenses available (actually, just 1).
        Thanks for taking time to reply. I appreciate your enthusiastic work, which actually helped me a lot when I embarken into the “Leica buildup”.
        Best regards, Mauro

        • If you want EVF to activate quickly, you can use the other hand to cover the sensor as you move the camera closer to your face.

          Else, if you constantly need it, you can just simply cover the sensor temporarily with a blue tack or similar, but you lose the LCD with it covered.

  91. [...] Nikon 1 V1 Rob Galbraith DPI: Review: Nikon's J1 and V1 cameras and 1 Nikkor lenses The Nikon V1 Camera Review – The camera I expected to hate! | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS as well as Kirk Tuck I get it, you like the NEX-7, great! good for you – i am not sure why you [...]

  92. Great review! Honest and straightforward. I just bought the V1 today after returning the new Sony Nex5.
    Can’t stand to live without a camera viewfinder and not willing to pay Sony $349 for one. It was touch and go between choosing the Nex system and the Nikon 1 system. I think I will love the Nikon 1 V1.
    Thanks for your review. It just confirmed what I assumed about the sensor and all the prejudiced negative comments about the camera.

    Fred

  93. I got a V1. I have to say that this V1 is a FANTASTIC gear, even I got a D700 for 2 years. Thanks Steve Hufs for your excellent review. GBY

  94. Great review as all found here at Steve’s…
    I’ve found myself in a little dilemma here. Looking for a new (will be my only one) camera with some pocketability factor with the best possible quality within kind of small body w/ lens. Like built in flash because I normally do not use external flash.
    V1 is nice, but having no flash seems to be a cons for me. Think the J1 is better (for me) despite some faults and misses that the V1 has.
    Now I’m even comparing the E-P3, despite its larger body, combining it with the Panny lenses (20mm f/1.7 and the new GX pancake 14-42). GF3 was a content but many say its m3/4 sensor is getting old, the touchscreen is not so great (it was my choice at first).
    And now I’ve heard that I should go for the E-PL3, same quality as E-P3, smaller, cheaper… but again, no built in flash.
    I think I am between the J1 and the E-P3… though the EP-3 was SO MUCH better, but after seeing the shots taken here and the comparison, it seems that the V1 (suppose the J1′d too) smoked the E-P3 in higher ISO and fast focusing…
    What do you guys think/ would suggest??

    • Get an E-PL2 – it has a grip, it has flash – it’s very comfortable and fun to use camera. and it is cheaper now. You won’t be sorry.

      • Tks for the reply and tip St.
        Problem is that I’m getting even more confused trying to find the “perfect” camera for me… (I know there ain’t such a thing) The right camera is the one you have it and period…
        Took a look at the E-PL2, nice with the desired flash too… BUT (let me go again with my undecision…) Isn’t the J1 a much better and modern camera than the EPL-2, with a “state-of-the-art” (some called….) sensor, although smaller, really fast focus and decent images at low light/higher ISO, from what we can see here at Steve’s pics and comparison (take a look above at the “SLR magic” detail pic at ISO 3200)… the V1 smoked even the Oly big brother E-P3…
        I know I’ll be happy with any of these…
        One other question, because I am used to take pictures with the built in flash at people and lower light “inside” pictures, when I need to light up the closer scene (person whatsoever) and still get a glimpse of the background (leaving the aperture for a little longer after the flash…) sorry ’bout my amateurism, but:
        Can I live without a flash if a choose a camera like the H1 or the EPL2??
        If I choose any camera besides the Nikon 1 series, I’ll probably purchase the Panny 20mm f/1.8 for second lens and a choice of 14-42mm Oly or Panny too…
        For the 1 series, if so, I’d get the 10mm and the 10-30mm.
        Any news thoughts on that and suggestions to clear my head (somehow)?
        Need to order it right away…
        Tks again!
        and merry xmas and a great 2012 to all here and anywhere else!

        • sorry (my mistake)
          I meant “…the V1 or the EPL2…” (after “..my amateurism”)
          wrote H1 instead of V1… (sorry)

  95. I think your review is entirely fair, Steve. I’m lucky enough to use two M9s and some great lenses but I adore my V1. The metering, AF and blazing shutter rates are multiple breaths of fresh air and the IQ is way better than my E-P1, so what’s all the fuss about sensor-size? Of course full-frame and F1.2 lenses would have been nice, but let’s wait a few years.

    I actually find it refreshing and relaxing NOT to be worrying about DOF and as a sports camera it is fantastic. The slow wake-up is annoying me most of all and I certainly look forward to an F2 or lower prime one day, but if the flash performance is up to Nikon’s usual standard I might get that for the meantime. For me, the AF performance alone is worth the money, but in addition it’s a fabulously solid piece of work. This camera gets to go out to play in so many situations where my 9s sit at home sulking. I do understand some feel Nikon should have brought out something very different but I do implore people to try it. If it’s not for you, don’t buy it!

  96. Thanks for the review. I am going to buy this camera since it’s the only one that performs quite good in low light and it’s TOTALLY SILENT.
    I will also buy a Leica-M adapter, so I will be finally able to shoot in theatre without be hated from people or actors. A 135/2,8 M will deliver us a solid ultrafast telephoto lens, and even more a 200/4 Telyt ;-)

  97. Really like the colour orangutang photos. Lush.
    10MP on a 2.7x crop sensor is plenty. Heck id been happy with 8MP.
    If Nikon bring out a 18-180mm or 20-200mm
    would be for me almost an automatic choice over any current bridge camera & entry-mid level apsc dslr for travel, wildlife, zoo, kids, sports.

  98. The inability to shoot with a shallow DOF is the deal-breaker for me…because Nikon is so stubborn in choosing a small sensor (2.7x). Yes, it IS expensive for what it is. The sensor is the most expensive component of the camera…and if the m4/3rds cameras are able to sell camera bodies for much less, why can’t Nikon with this dinky sensor? heck, even their entry-level DSLRs are cheaper!

  99. The main reason I have not got the V1 for travel, wildlife, zoo, kids, sports, action is its price.
    The body & functions given what they are, at launch tops $699.
    $599 soon after or with rebates.
    $499 in a years time.

    These prices would be more accurate.

  100. Ignorance is bliss – I think that’s what you English native speaker would say about some of the comments here. I have shot the J1 for about 2 months now and surprise: I tend to like it. A lot. I fully agree with your review. It’s funny: I had to adopt my shooting style (coming from an FX Nikon) but it’s definitely worth it. :-)

  101. I found a way to get ultra shallow DOF on the V1, a plate coupling it through F.mt to V1 adapter to a Kardan and a Symmar 210mm. Of course this is also a very long tele for the system but it can move around in the image.
    With it’s amazing quality and speed the V1 is perfect for long range wildlife photography. All we need is the V1 adapter to lenses like the Nikon 600mm f/4.0.
    Alone, it’s more like the old Pen, Stylus or XA, a little thing to have with you always.

    WW.

  102. I have been using a NIKON D300 since it first came out. I am not a professional, but an avid lover of photography since the early 1970s. I hurt my back and noticed over the last decade that it was harder and harder to get excited over photographic opportunities because of all the equipment I needed to take with me. I first purchased a J1 and returned it within 4 days for the V1. Since I switched to the V1, the two of us have been together almost daily. The number of candid photos I have taken has increased dramatically since I started with the V1. I agree that a faster prime lens would be a great addition. My external NIKON flash has not yet arrived.

    The reason for this post is as follows:

    I was on end of year vacation in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I was having vertigo (feeling dizzy) and fell down the outside flight of stairs while I had the V1 around my neck. I hit the cement at the bottom of 13 steps and remarkably only suffered minor physical damage to myself. However, the camera hit the cement first and bounced. I checked the camera before checking myself (I am a 53 year old). I noted that the kit zoom lens had some minor scratches to its side. The skylight 1a filter protected the front lens element. The zoom mechanism continued to work perfectly. The camera body showed a slight gash next to the battery door. The battery launched out of the camera and was located about four feet away. The orange camera battery retaining clip snapped off when the camera hit the cement. I replaced the battery, closed and locked the camera battery door and everything turned on and worked perfectly. Since the fall, I have tested all the other functions of the camera and they continue to work perfectly. I will contact NIKON and see what the cost would be to repair the battery clip (if I cannot do it myself) or I may just get the optional leather case and leave it on the V1 in case of another camera drop. (This is the first time in my life that I have ever dropped any camera). I believe that a more flimsy camera would have been destroyed during this drop/fall. My family is more concerned by the vertigo and cannot understand why I am so relieved that the V1 is still fully operational (yes, after the fall I accompanied my family out to dinner and the V1 went with me and was used to take candids during our outing). Any advice on what to do to replace the battery retaining clip would be appreciated.

  103. Steve,

    Question here. I currently own a D7000. Love the camera but I definitely don’t want to always carry it with me. I shoot semi-pro, I’ve got a few strobes, shoot some portrait work, a wedding here and there…. Do you think that either the Sony 5n, 7 NEX or Nikon V1 could replace my current DSLR and lenses?

    Thanks!
    Vincenzo

  104. [...] two of my most respected photographers and bloggers Steve Huff and Kirk Tuck gave a pretty decent review of the [...]

  105. I love my S95 for travel. My d7000h has been great as bigger camera. Big downside of v1 seems to be lens but I didn’t see anything written about putting fast sm lens on it. Also, is it a significantly better camera than s95 for quality of colors and sharpness? Thanks.

  106. Hey, great review as always!

    The general opinion about the V1 is that’s a camera for people moving up from P&S. But for me who is thinking of getting less and lighter equipment (have a D7000 + 3 lenses), is the V1 a good choice? I have the V1, GX1 och PEN E-P3 in mind.
    I´m just a family photographer who as many other bought too much equipment. I do love to take pictures, and I try to have the camera with me all the time. I shoot mainly jpeg, but for “once in a lifetime” shoots I choose RAW.
    Any advice?

  107. Instead the V1, I bought 1 month ago the Lumix G3, and I am impressed: the focus is very fast, you can’t miss 1 shot, image quality in my opinion is better than pictures taken with my old DSLR Canon Eos 500d, it has a very nice viewfinder, simple menu with many customization, and all I could ask to a mirrorless camera. So if you think to buy the V1, give a chance to the G3, for me the best choice.

    Thanks.

  108. [...] and his V1 review demonstrated what a versatile camera this could be. I followed this up by reading Steve Huff’s review where he openly admitted that, like myself, he expected to hate it but ended up wanting to buy one. [...]

  109. So can I get a clarification – just got a new V1 – when I shot using the EVF there is not automatic picture review on the screen (need to press the playback button) however if I shoot the picture using the monitor then there is an automatic (albeit short) review period. Any way to get an automatic review when using the EVF? ANyway to extend how long the auto review is on screen?

  110. So can I get a clarification – just got a new V1 – when I shot using the EVF there is not automatic picture review on the screen (need to press the playback button) however if I shoot the picture using the monitor then there is an automatic (albeit short) review period. Any way to get an automatic review when using the EVF? ANyway to extend how long the auto review is on screen?

  111. It says the V1 has a hot shoe, but I don’t see on in the two pictures of it. Does the J1 have a hot shoe? Could you use a Nikon sb 22s with either of these cameras. The high iso pictures at 1600 and 3200 were very impressive from both the V1 and the X10.

    D Olsen

  112. I usually like to just read your review but this time I decided to write something back, in return. I bought Nikon 1 J1 (Lens 10-30, 30-110) instead of the V1 because I wanted try the N1 format first before investing greatly on it. I did the same for m43 ones, I bought an Oly EPL1 first and later upgraded to EP3. I like the Oly more than Pana. I like Olys colour. Colour is important for me. About the N1 J1, for me it fills the gaps the Olys have… quick shots, video. I use both the cameras but I select the appropriate lens for Oly e.g. Pana 14mm and Oly 45mm where else I use the ultra zooms with the J1. I love this combo. I’m happy with the J1 and I may go for Vn in future, similar approach taken with the Oly upgrade. The J1 is really much more compact than EP3, I’m spending more time with it for unplanned photo shorts. I use the EP3 on specific photos… I use the 45mm. I like panorama shots with portrait orientation via the 45mm.
    I hear lots of opinions about Lens/glass quality, in my opinion especially with digital stuff… you can have the best glass but if the processing is inadequate you’ll end with an undesirable result. Companies that put too many focus on glass than electronics will lose out or they’ll need to work with electronics experts or giants to survive. This is what’s happening to Leica and CZ.

  113. A girly camera, the ideal camera especially in pink.

  114. The Nikon V1 is surely under-rated, people dis-like it without actually playing with it . The world should realize specs isn’t everything . Nikon knows what they are doing, this is an awesome camera .

    Solid , high quality construction , very powerful sensor , I owned E-P3 , I didn’t like the pixels at all , the NR off EP3 is horrible . NEX-5N is very nice , but the lenses are huge, I mainly use it for my manual lenses for the incredible peaking feature .

    other than that I would pocket my Nikon 1 + 10mm Prime with me , this camera gave me the same good feeling when I had my Canon s95 . Camera isn’t all about spec. spec is mainly for marketing.

  115. New to photography and I chose the Nikon D5100 and have had it for less than a year. I’m going to Paris and don’t want to take this camera with my zoom lens and was considering a point and shoot. Have looked at your reviews on the leica D-Lux 5, X1 and now the Nikon V1. Not sure which one to choose?? Like the D-Lux 5 and V1 but only because of the price and as I said I just got the D5100 and am still learning this camera. Any thoughts?

    Melinda

  116. Thanks for the review. I’ve owned almost every mirrorless camera ever made and the one I liked the most was the V1. It produces MUCH better color than the MFT’s and it is MUCH MUCH faster than any NEX camera, perfect for shooting kids and pets.

  117. Hello, my first comment here.

    Thanks for all the interesting reviews and photos. I have been looking for a small camera and narrowed it down to the Ricoh GRIV, the Fujifilm X10 and the Nikon D1 V1.
    I ordered the V1 today with the 10mm prime.
    Can’t wait !!!

  118. Well people, I purchase the V1 10mm/10-30mm kit and the FT1 adapter. Previous to this came and went the Panasonic G3, GX1, and the Fuji X100. The all had something that bothered me. The X100, in my opinion, is a dog on autofocus, challenging to reach and turn the aperture ring, forget about manual focus, and the menu drove me crazy! Love the look of the pictures! The Panasonic cameras are fine. But the control wheel that changes shutter/aperture/exposure compensation….I hated it. Each time I tried to rotate the wheel, I pressed it and change exposure comp. or vice versa. The control is small and doesn’t work well with a big callused thumb.

    So when the V1 arrived, man I was excited. After two weeks of shooting I have a love hate relationship with it. The toggle switch to change aperture/shutter always seems to be under my thumb which inadvertently changes it to f16/22 or some other undesirable small f-stop. The one and only dial…never seems to be on ‘Still’ picture mode. It is so easy to turn. The other day while walking, the dial moved to movie mode and recorded about 5 minutes of dizzying nonsense! Oh, and the accessory shoe cover ran away from home. Gone within the first hour of ownership. The pictures…well Nikon software engineers did a fantastic job with noise/sharpening on jpegs. I compared pictures taken with the GX1 and G3 to the V1, and was quite impressed with the control of noise and retention of detail in jpegs. As you can see from Steve’s pictures, there’s nothing missing from the pleasing category! Raw files look nice too.
    The FT-1 is real cool. Talk about blurred backgrounds – easy with just about any lens attached. I used my 50 1.8 and a Sigma 105 macro. Cool stuff. BUT, you must manual focus, and that’s a challenge with the silly magnified view offered on the LCD.

    I really want to like this camera, but the niggles sighted above, and others noted on the internet (slow shutter vs ISO change, etc.) drive me bonkers. The iPhone with various camera apps and D700 are a more pleasing combination to me! The jury is not out yet on the V1. But I’m feeling like it won’t be part of my collections.

  119. Hi Steve! Just wanna say THANKS! THANKS for your super reviews as always!!

    At first I was trying to read some of your review on Leica 90mm lens but ran into your review on V1 unexpectedly this Sunday afternoon. Then I ended up running to the store this evening to buy the kit set for myself. Having tried a real V1 on hands, I like it so many. It responded very fast (not like any Nikon DC) and the images were super. I am now charging the battery and hope to do more shoots tomorrow. I would like to say thanks for your very informative review. Not only on this V1 but also on Leica camera and lens. When I was new to Lecia M9, I found your review was very informative and helpful. These days I am building up a personal website to share photos and useful links for learning photography. May I add your website as a link so my friends can see your good stuff?

    Have a good one!
    Joey

    PS Just a bit sidetrack. I saw a demo Fuji Pro X1 for testing in a shop when I went out to get my V1 set. I somehow not like the plastic feeling of the lens and the camera itself. can’t wait to see your review on this one soon. ^v^

  120. Say it like it is, I wouldn’t buy this camera either. It just falls short of that ultimate goal which is IQ, and that is what I buy a camera for. I could care less about the fastest AF or any “signature” colors. Sounds artificial to me. Since when is natural color associated with Canon pastel, Nikon rich or Leica?

    Your images from the design “fail” Pentax K-01 are far more compelling than these for the same price. And they do speak louder than your words…

  121. Hi steve,
    Thank you for your test and your opinion. I already have a Leica x1 and I m really satisfied from the IQ. But to take picture from my children playing inside I have sometimes problems with the AF speed or precision. As I know that you used the x1, do you think the fineness and the details of the pictures will be similar ? (note that I m just taking jpeg pictures)
    Thank you

  122. hi Steve: thanks for sharing your insightful camera reviews, they’re interesting to read! :D i’ve only just discovered your site when i was shopping for a camera to replace my good old trusty Canon A75 [the screen's busted :( but i'm still keeping it ]. Anyway, i’ve recently plonked my $$ on the Nikon V1, it feels good and comfortable in my small hands and I like that it doesn’t need too many tinkering with the settings and so forth. The EVF (for someone who wears glasses) is really clear and useful, love it! I’m neither a pro nor an enthusiast, just a regular consumer who takes some pics for work and pics with friends and family or travel. It’ll take a while to get to know the V1, but i look forward to it and hope to take great pics with it in time to come. Thank you again for your insightful reviews. :D

  123. Steve,
    Many thanks for another very well balanced review.I don’t have any great brand loyalty and still shoot a lot of film with my Nikon 35Ti, Minilux and Yashica Electro GSN but I’m looking for another digital camera to supplement my X10 and the V1 might be just the ticket. Can’t understand all the hate out there for this camera – I say shoot with whatever you enjoy using and damn the haters:)
    Thanks
    Paul

  124. HI, thanks for the review. I am just starting to get into photography so for someone who is learning which of the two models would you recommend? The only thing that worries me with the V1 is the lack of flash. But is that really a problem?

    Thanks

  125. Hi, thanks forthe wonderful review. I’m interested in a compact camera with the best shallow depth of field. What do you recommend? I do own a DSLR but I want to travel with something smaller. Thanks much I advance.

  126. Dear Steve,

    I want to thank you for your masterful and in-depth review of the Nikon V1. Your integrity, expertise and real world experience with the V1 come through loud and clear and make for a review that is balanced and can be trusted. I appreciate the fact that you weren’t stuck with your original expectation but had the integrity to look for yourself by actually USING the camera and coming to your own conclusions without being ham-strung by even your own pre-judgment or the opinion of others. Your review is of the highest quality and the accolades you’ve received from the majority of your readers are well deserved. (I’m writing this to offset the brickbats and mud-slinging you’ve apparently received — all of which was misguided and misconceived in my opinion.)

  127. Hi Steve,

    Since the new D800E have 36M great pixels without alias filter, wouldn’t it be nice for Nikon to have D800E sensor cropped to CX format and put it in V2. And then some really fast lens. This will make the perfect system in both operation speed and image quality world.

    baja

  128. I recently picked up a V-1 and I’m very impressed… It has more dynamic range and cleaner output at ISO 3200 than my Pentax K-7. Between the NEX-5n and the V-1, I’m dumping my DSLRs which feel like bricks and boat anchors. High performance small cameras rock!

  129. Hi! Steve,
    I remember you used to only recommend 10mm 2.8 and 30-110 here and “My Gear! What I own and use everyday” section. Now I see you recommend all 3 lens including 10-30 which you used to say it’s weakest one.
    Since I own this camera plus 10, 30-110, I’d really like to know changed your mind? Did Nikon improve anything through firmware update?

  130. Hi. It seems to me that the Nikon V1 is pitched directly to compete with the Ricoh gr digital iv. The price is similar in Uk. The Nikon V1 with the 10mm lens (27mm equivalent) is about £558. The Ricoh gr iv is £430 to £450 but the viewfinder is an extra £105 making it about £550 also. So the V1 has the viewfinder built-in and interchangeable lenses and a slightly bigger sensor plus fast autofocus. Seems like Nikon are looking at the competition (a ‘serious’ compact) and giving the little bit extra to compete. As so many photographers love the gr digital with it’s 28mm lens and viewfinder option, why not cash in on that market? The gr iv has built in flash but no interchangeable lenses – the V1 has no built in flash but interchangeable lenses and also a pancake 27mm. Competing in different areas with their pros and cons. The gr iv is f1.9 though!

    So to me, the V1 seems better than the gr digital iv I had been thinking about. However, I have read that there is no dial for selecting exposure modes on the V1 and this has to be done through the menu system, which I don’t like the sound of at all (hate buttons and menu systems) – and it has no auto exposure bracketing. However, as I would probably leave it in Aperture Priority most of the time, not a great issue – and even then if shallow depth of field is virtually impossible, why even bother with Aperture priority!?? So it seems like the gr digital iv is perhaps a little more photographer friendly in terms of usage and settings. I haven’t actually handled a gr iv, but imagine I will like it a lot. I have handled the Nikon V1 and loved it – especially the viewfinder – really really good.

    So yes – it’s expensive for a compact at £558 but it is equivalent to the gr iv with viewfinder – both well made solid cameras that will probably last – you get what you pay for there. The lens on the Fuji X10 seemed very plasticky and flimsy to me. Cheaper camera – cheaper built lens and no option to take it off and clean it.

    Am a bit torn now. The one thing that is swaying me towards the Nikon V1 is the idea of a lens adapter – I wonder if there will be other lens adapters to fit other lenses (zeiss lenses eg?). Having said that, with its good but limited IQ would you want to invest in a ‘system’ for the V1 – or accept the good but limited IQ of the gr iv and no further lenses – a 28mm small good quality camera.

    Even on my Contax G1 with its 3 lenses, I only ever really used the 28mm. Great lens for almost everything.

    I suppose for me the Nikon V1 with the 10mm lens you can take off, is still preferable to the gr iv – yes there is no flash -an added expense, but can live without the flash for a long time I reckon. But if the useability of the controls on the gr iv is better I would go with that.

    • PS A further thought on this ‘snap’ mode. I think I can kind of see what they’re doing there. Instead of manually selecting apertures and doing auto exposure bracketing (when shallow depth of field isn’t there to worry too much about the aperture in that respect), you instead leave the camera in auto with this snap thing of five shots (at different exposures presumably) like a kind of auto exposure bracketing. That kind of takes some of the creative fun out of it though.

  131. Hi Steve,

    I am buying camera tomorrow and have 2 options to choose from… Nikon V1 and Sony NEX 7. Which one must i buy?

    • Well…NEX-7 will give you better IQ and has a better sensor. V1 will give you better speed, more accurate metering – Id say NEX-7 as it is the better camera.

  132. Hi Steve, really great review. It has helped me make the decision on my first venture into this compact world and I look forward to getting my hands on one of these.

    A question if I may. Would you recommend getting the 10-30 lense or the 10 pancake lens as part of the basic kit. I can get either with the camera but I want the most functional option for the time being and I shall suppliment the lenses further as time goes by.

    Cheers in advance

  133. So, just to clarify. I can use my Nikkon 1.8 50mm lens with an adaptor? Would that get me some nice shallow depth of field with this system?

  134. Everyone seems to talk about N1 as a P&S step up.., for me I wanted something I could carry instead of the D2x – I actually spent more in the V1 than the D2x! And I’m very happy with it.

    If I may, I’ll drop the URL to my blog about how I came to buy the v1 here – it may interest others:
    http://antsmithphoto.blogspot.gr/2012/05/on-buying-nikon-1-v1.html?m=1

    Having already shelled out the money for my V1, this article made me feel good! Thanks for writing it.

    When looking for a step-down camera, ta really important to understand the limitations and to have a good intro to the new kit – to learn how to love it – this article gives a real sense of the JOY you can have with the diminutive V1, which I certainly am having.

    Great camera. Great review. Thanks.

  135. Hi Steve, thanks for your review. How would you compare the V1 and Oly E-M5 (I haven’t read your review of it as yet)?

    I need a travel camera, leaving very soon, and didn’t want to take my big DSLR or my Canon G10 (as I want to step up from it). I was hoping to purchase the Olympus E-M5 for my purpose, but it will not be available here for a while (due to it being back ordered EVERYWHERE)… so I am taking a leap into the Nikon V1 instead. Hopefully I will be happy with it. I may still sell it and get the Olympus when I return, we’ll see.

    Lucas

    • OM-D is different as it has a larger sensor so you can get shallow depth of field. The focus is fast, exposure is great, and honestly…this is the camera that matches the V1 in all areas but beats it in IQ especially with the right glass. The OM-D is a better camera. Period. But I still love the V1 as it gives a different feel and look. Great color as well.

  136. Also… have you tried the 10mm f2.8 lens that was released for this? I thnk I will be wanting to use this for street photos.

  137. Steve, Thank you for your website. I’d like to seek your opinion as to which camera is the best choice for me: Nikon D5100 or Nikon V1.
    I understand that they are totally different cameras. But they happen to be in the same price range. I recently purchased a Canon T3i that I am about to return. It did not have the continuous AF in its video mode, so my kids’ sporting event turned out badly. The photos were excellent. I would like both superb pictures and videos. If anyone else has a suggestion, please help. Thank you.

    • The 5100 will give you better IQ but it will be 3X larger with lens attached. The question is, what kind of IQ do you want? The V1 is great IMO but you will lose out on shallow Depth of Field. I would take a V1 over a 5200 but many would call me crazy for that. :)

      • Thank you very much! Now I started looking into V1 and J1. The current price difference is huge! Do you think that pictures/videos are that much different to justify the cost difference?

  138. Hi Steve, thanks for your updates on the nikon 1 system.
    I am going to japan for its summer festivals, which includes parades and dancing at night on the street, with big lanterns. I probably need a zoom as it’s not always possible to get close to the dancers (especially when they are performing).

    I’m think which camera set is best for these events
    Nikon’s 1 system has a relatively small zoom (30-100) and is fast but as you said the quality and colour go down at night.
    Do you think Olympus OMD with 14-150 zoom is better at night? I am not sure how fast/accurate the AF is as the zoom is not a fast lens. How about the 18-200 zoom of the Sony Nex?

    Thanks!!

  139. absolutely brilliant machine. after using two X100′s inside Syria for almost 3 months, a week with the V1 was like a revelation!

    small, fast as hell and so far, tough as nails. big media outlets seem fine with IQ so not much to say there.

    bring on the fine tuned upgrade Nikon!

  140. Hi Steve,
    I’ve been reading your blog daily and at the same time I’m trying to make a decision on what kind of digital camera to buy. After intense reading and researching on the latest digital cameras I’m undecided between the Olympus OMD EM5 and Nikon 1 V1, they both have excellent reviews by you and others and that is why I can’t make up my mind. I know the Nikon V1 is cheaper to buy but if the EM5 for some reason is much better I don’t mind to spend the extra money but I certainly need an advise to make that final decision, I hope you can give me one.
    Thanks
    Ernesto

  141. Just want to thank you for a GREAT site!
    Really helpfull in a way you dont find anywere else, and i read a lot

    So thanks

    Anders

  142. Hi steve…
    Short question… Rx100? Or nikOn v1?

    • One is a pocket camera and one feels like a camera camera. RX100 may have the nod in IQ and it does for sure in high ISO but the V1 will do better when they release a nice prime or two. I love both but both are different…

  143. Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your review. I purchased the V1 three weeks ago specifically to take on a bike trip instead of my D700, for obvious reasons.So far I agree totally with everything you have concluded re the V1. Here’s my question. Why haven’t you, or anyone else for that matter, mentioned the adapter available so you can use your other faster lenses on the V1? The adapter is solid and works great. I have used my 70-200mm 2.8 with good results and plan on trying out the 50 mm 1.8 soon.

    Thanks for your reviews,
    Linda

  144. Hi Steve, I am professional photographer and use a D3X with pro lenses. I bought the V1 due to the crop factor and use with long lenses.The Video is exceptional good, I use a Panasonic AF101 and found the Nikon V1 to be virtual the same in quality, but a lot easier to handle with the 10-100 lens
    . When I go on vacation I take the the V1 not the D3X simply due to weight and ease of use.
    Only down side is if you intend to crop images and make large prints 10 megapixels just does not cut it. Still there are certain softwares which get over that problem. I for one enjoyed your review,

    Regards Paul Richards UK

  145. Well – I so nearly got the Nikon V1 – and still want one – after getting side-tracked looking at the OM-D and X-Pro 1 and ruled them out because of cost. But – I have finally bought my first digital camera, since selling my Contax G1 (well second actually – the first was a Leica DL4 – it just wasn’t good enough and sold it again). Have bought a second-hand Leica X1 with grip and finder for £800. It was what I wanted three years ago – have saved £1,000 on new kit. I’m happy. I just had to have knobs for shutter and aperture and that IQ. I can’t see me being able to afford a Nikon V1 for a very long time now, so I guess I’ll wait for the V2! (As I did with the Leica X – now the X2 is out there are good used deals on the X1).

    Hope I enjoy using it! I can’t quite believe I’ve actually bought something. If money had been no object I’d probably have got the Fuji X-Pro1 despite all the negative reviews. For the knobs and IQ – with a Nikon V1 for fun.

  146. Well, I am bought Steve.

    I buy one for everyday use, my d800 is a bit too heavy.

    My decision to buy V1 is attacked by many who think u4/3, NEX and Leica M are better. Did they try V1? None of them, just prejudice from the Internet reviews.

  147. I wanna get one for my girlfriend. The question is: The new, revised J2 or the V1? Prices are roughly the same for both. What do you guys think?

    • I like the V1…I like a viewfinder…if she is not used to using a viewfinder there is still the back screen…I think it is a little easier to handle…but getting the V1 with the 10-30 and the 30 -110 for 549 dollars at B and H…I think that is a nice deal

  148. This sounds like a really nice, small, fast and usable camera. The only thing I’m missing completely in this review are statements about how well does it work in very close up/macro terms? – I’d like to recommend this camera (I don’t have one of them, but I own some other Nikon DSLR) to a good friend and almost everything seems to fit, but one of the most important things he’ll do, is taking photographs from smaller things, like switches, meters, dials, etc. about the size of a wrist watch. Do you need much light for them? What about the DOF (a big one is preferred) in that case?

    Perhaps you could just take a picture of a wrist watch and add it to the review?

  149. Hi Steve,

    again an awesome review for this camera. I have been looking at this camera on amazon and the price tag is less than 500 USD, and also it’s at the same price tag than the Sony NEX 5n.
    Do you think it’s worth to invest on the V1 rather than the NEX 5n or Olympus E-P2?

    Thanks!!

  150. Well I picked up the V1 bundle and the sony NEX6 body and the 50mm1.8…what I found out is that the sony phase detection does not work with prime fixed lenses…so in low light I found the sony hunting for focus sometimes as long as 2-3 seconds…guess I got to get the zoom to see how fast their phase detection works…but in everyday light…shooting street scenes the V1 can’t be beat…the Nikon focuses so quickly and accurately …also I like to watch local rugby teams and the Nikon’s speed is just a better tool for this…and when I am in lower light I’ll put on the 10mm 2.8 and still nail the street scenes…sometimes they are a little grainy but I convert them to black and white and they look wonderful. and my print company says the quality is still good that a 20 x 30 print can be made..I don’t print that large though…I am happy with 16 x 20.I know of people who even print larger with less of a sensor and good results…I guess I am thinking will the V2 be much better it will have better resolution…but will that come with more noise at higher ISO…I think the Nikon 1 V1 bundled with either the 30-110 or the 10mm 2.8 with the camera and 10-30 zoom is a steal at 549 dollars

  151. any deals to be had on the 10 mm 2.8? wasn’t available from my local shop when I got the V1 kit.

  152. Hi Steve, excellent review.
    What do thing about nikon v1 to shot gymnastics indoors?

    Will be for my wife. She likes viewfinder camera. I own a sony nex-5, but don’t have a viewfinder.

    She needs an “easy camera”, but needs low light perfomance and speed. Will be V1 usable in this conditions?

    Do you recommend other cameras with viewfinder?

    thank you!!

    I’m looking for this nikon because the price is now affordable (450€) with 10-30mm.

    • Well, the V1 would not be the best choice for indoor sports as the lenses available are too slow (Aperture). Id go OM-D for this, or NEX-6.

      • Thanks Steve for your answer!

        I was looking for V1 due “low” price right now, and for the quick AF and its high frame rate.
        OM-D and Nex-6 are better in low light and IQ. Do you know their AF perfomace? but their price is more than double of V1! So I ca’nt spend this money.

        My priority is an “easy”/pocketable” camera with viewfinder. Will be for my wife, shoot kid’s sports (gymnastics, soccer), family, travel, etc..

        I wonder nikon V1, for FPS and AF perfomance. I like too, because I have a nikon d800, and I own several Nikon lenses that can will use.

        My way will be sell my Nex-5, and then purchase a nikon v1 with 10-30mm and 30-110mm. Waht do you thing? is a good deal?

        Thank you very much!
        Àngel.

      • I know people who shoot indoor basketball and volleyball with this and have pretty fair results…I just shot some indoor ice hockey this weekend…some images were real good and others not so…I shot using ISO 1600…when the players were in a well lit area of the rink the images had lots of detail…a little noise inside their face masks…but the detail was still excellent.plus you have to take into consideration that the ice reflects a lot of light to help luminate the image..If I was shooting under the same conditions with my Nikon d300…everything would be muddy needing heavy noise control…as far as Steve’s suggestion for the Nex 6…Image quality is great…I have shot it at ISO 3200 and if the area is well lit…it yields very low noise but if there are shadowy areas…at least in my experience I had lots of color noise…plus how close can you get…I am not relly familiar with sony’s zooms such as the 55-210…hope whatever you choose it works out well for you

        • Angel…just let her use the d800 : )

          • Maybe you’re right Steve ….
            … but maybe my wife uses the camera bag to sit down, and don’t take pictures. Would not be the best for my equipment ;-)

            I’m looking for something easy for her, when I will not be there. If I am there, I shoot with the D800.

            Kenn, thank you for your experiences! are very interesting!
            The nex-6 looks good, but my budget will not allow it. So I would replace my Nex-5 for an V1.

            Thaks a lot every body!

            • Hi everybody! Finally, I tested v1 in dim light.
              I trid 60FPS, ang 10FPS burst. Nikon v1 automatically push too 1600/3200 iso, and shutter set to 1/60.

              This is too slow for indoor sports. So I’ll not buy a v1.
              Sure it’s a gret camera, but not for my expectations.
              I still my nex-5 for family days, and my d800 for sports/landscapes/artistic/… pictures.

              Thanks!

      • Our high school has been using a J1 with the 30-110 zoom to shoot indoor volleyball matches and it has been perfect. Never misses a shot and with the fast multiple mode there are lots of frames to choose from. The Nikon 1 system is fabulous for volleyball photography.

  153. B&H had a special today for $299 so I ordered one. Guess they had to clear the old ones out.

    Interested in checking it out and perhaps shortening the DOF with some old fast cine lens’s if I can adapt em..

    excited

  154. I ordered one on the B&H $299 deal too, along with the 18.5mm f1.8. Thanks for the review. This and the picture samples I’ve see make me think I’ll be very happy with it, and I was very impressed handling the j1 at Best Buy. It will replacing — or supplementing if I can’t bring myself to part with it – my XZ-1. I know it’s bigger, but it still will fit in the large pocket of the multi-pocket vest I practically live in 9 months of the years.

    My main digital shooter is the E-M5, but sometimes I want something smaller. With the Summilux 25mm f1.4 attached it is a pretty sizeable machine.

    Oh! I already checked to see if there is an OM zuiko to Nikon 1 adapter. There is. I think using the center sweet spot on those lenses with the small sensor will be great. My 50mm turns into a 135mm f1.8 equivalent. Nice. Though I don’t know if the V1 has enlarged viewing for focusing legacy lenses.

  155. Hi Steve, great blog and very honest. Thank you. I bought the V1 for $299 B&H special. Wow, what a deal! But for those of us overseas, please note they won’t ship it due to manufacturer rules blah blah. Well at least they won’t ship it to Australia. And here they are about $600+ Fortunately a friend got it for me and ‘gifted’ it to me. So in return I gave him $300 cash as a Chrissy (aus slang for Christmas) gift. It’s flying over the Pacific as I write. I can’t wait! This will be a nice shooter when I don’t want to lug my D800 or fill my HDD with HUGE happy snaps. 10mp is perfect for that. But I am surprised at how much bad press it has gotten and then there’s this cult following out there. Now I am in the hunt for the 10mm f2.8 and the faster 18mm primes. Maybe we should have a photo comp with the V1? Winner gets a lens or something? $1 submission fee, 200 entrants = a lens!

  156. How does image quality compare to an older DSLR (D200 specifically). Thanks!!!! :-)

  157. Steve, thanks for the review. Your review hit the nail right on the head. I was confused with all of the sensor size and corresponding quality. The Nikon V may have a smaller sensor but also has a smaller mp count. Their sensor is custom designed for the V1 so despite its size, it is an over-achiever. The fact that it beats/holds its own over the larger sensors is remarkable. Although I was put off somewhat by the low light pq and lack of flash, I see that Nikon has some fast prime lens coming. I was sitting on the fence, but after reading your ‘real world’ experience with the V1 and the fast drop in price (bensoutlet) I finally made the plunge. For a few dollars more than my Samsung p/s, I got a bonafide $600 value camera.
    The need to go into the menu system for changes is not a negative for me as I know what I am going to shoot beforehand. The lack of special effects that many other reviewers point out does not concern me…I never use them in the past. And 10 mp is ok for me, do not plan on printing any photos larger than 8×10.
    At saw one at a store and the build qualty and proportionate lens was great; but the price seemed too high for what you got. The close out prices for the Sony Nex5n was tempting, but the V1 closeout pricing is 1/2 of Sony. The V2 is a nice upgrade, but not worth the difference for 14mp. 14mp on a small sensor may in fact degrade pq….lets be real…the V1 sensor is not exactly small but balance for what it is.

    • Thanks and enjoy the V1!

    • It seems to me that Nikon have listened and produced a genuine improvement in the V2. However from around £250 (though the price varies enomously) in the UK for the V1 with 10-30 lens and at least £700 for the V2 it really is no contest. If the V2 is around £250 next year I might get another body – but at the moment the V1 is too good to miss.

  158. Just ordered one for $260 from BensOutlet (NIB not refurbished). Couldn’t pass up a deal like that!

  159. Hi Steve,
    Thats the best review I have read on any camera. Its strange you kept such stupidity from some even to the pint of issuing threats, I guess they are deeply insecure.. Anyway I got a V1 today for £230( I Live in the UK) that’s about $375 I think. I have to buy a separate flash but even so what a bargain.
    The reason I got it was to take pictures not in order to look like a “professional” I think I will have a lot of fun with it. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks and ENJOY IT!

      • I agree on the review. Your review and the fact that the camera is a comparative steal at $399 including both kit zoom lenses did it for me. I just ordered this kit from B&H this afternoon. They say I’ll have it on Wednesday. I may pick up the 18.5mm f/1.8 prime for it at some point soon too.

        The Nikon 1 V1, for me, is replacing (don’t laugh) an old Sony DSC-W1 that I’ve had since 2004 when my wife got it for me as a Christmas present. The V1 at this price with two lenses is no more expensive than the W1 was. My W1 went missing after unpacking from a camping trip. The W1 was not a bad point and shoot in it’s day. My next camera had to have a bulb shutter. I wanted a compact system camera with this feature but everything else was too expensive.

        Now if only someone made a hot shoe adapter for it that would plug into the V1 hot shoe and allow the use of a generic flash that’s be great. I found a guy in the dpreviews forums (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50596130) that says he is working on one who says he’ll first offer it on eBay but there’s been no further word on it. I hope he sells it at a reasonable price otherwise the N7 speedflash may be the way for me to go.

  160. Hi Steve, I couldn’t resist getting the V1 after reading your review and others’ comments. In the UK its around £240 from Amazon – not as cheap as US but still a bargain. I love the V1! The weight is good, the feel of the body is reassuring and I agree with you about the mechanical shutter – it sounds great. I also own an X100 but the autofocus drives me mad even though the IQ is excellent. V1 AF is incredible. I can see the V1 being used much more often as my weekend camera.

  161. Hi Steve. Love the site – so much better to see reviews from a photographer’s perspective rather than a pixel peeper’s! I currently have a Pentax K-30 and want to replace it with something smaller for traveling. The reviews are all great, but obviously at a launch price rather than current. Given that the X10, the Q with 8.5mm and 5-15mm, the V1 with 10-30 and 30-110, the Pen EM-1 with twin lens kit and the Panasonic LX7 are all broadly the same price now, which would you choose if you could only have one? I simply can’t decide!

    • Hmmm. Well, thats a tough one. Id rule out the LX7 1st..then the X10. The V1 is better. The Q is a pretty sweet camera but oh so tiny. if you are OK with the teeny tiny spy size then it is a good buy right now, and delivers really good results on par with the V1. The Olympus has the biggest sensor but out of the box as kits, the V1 will deliver the sharpest and most vivid results via OOC JPEGS. The Olympus with PP will be better but the Oly will shine with better lenses than the kit zoom. Id say it is between the E-M1 and V1. Build and control wise the V1 beats them all but the E-M1 sensor is better. WHat would I choose out of these? Either the V1 or the Q. :)

      • I love my Nikon 1 v1…I use it mostly for street…and my favorite lenses on it are the 10 mm 2.8 and the 18.5 mm 1.8…I am getting pretty good results with both lenses…but I recently picked up an Olympus E-PM2 …I have been trying to shoot indoor amateur ice hockey for years with my Nikon D300…well the E-PM2 is just awesome at shooting hockey…I use the auto focus with the tracking…it can be hit or miss….but when It hits I am getting some of the best …sharpest clearest images I have ever gotten…but I am using the 75 mm 1.8 with it…nice little machine…really Chris it depends on what you like to shoot when you travel…if you like to shoot people …I really like the V1 for that …if for images of scenery …landscapes I like my Olympus….also both of these cameras I mention are quick to focus…and at higher ISO the Olympus has better results for me…whatever you get …you really can’t go wrong…I am not familiar with the Q though and its new lenses

        • Thanks again Steve and Ken

          Prices are all over the place in the UK at the moment – every time I look they have changed. I think I am down to either Nikon 1 V1 or Olympus E-PM1 (but still like the X10, just not as versatile).

          Given that the Olympus is £299 with 14-42 and 40-150 included and Nikon 1 with 10-30 and 30-110 is £400 would you still pick the Nikon or go for the Olympus and use the rest for another lens.

          When I’m travelling I shoot pretty much anything. I prefer people, but with the K-30 it was always a little difficult. You can’t easily take photos discreetly and the shutter was very noisy. I sort of dealt with that by using a SWA 10-20mm lens where you could get the shot without actually pointing it at someone! A smaller and quieter camera would be a bonus.

          My complete kit for the K-30 was the 10-20mm, a 30mm fast prime and a 55-300 for the occasional wildlife shot. That is what I would intend replicating with the new camera. I’d probably not use the 10-30mm, but can’t get the camera without it. I see Nikon have a wide angle in planning. Both cameras have a decent prime, but the Olympus 45mm is longer than I am used to. Olympus already do a wide angle 9-18, but it’s almost £450 in the UK.

          I like the X100 and RX100 too, but they might both be a bit limiting

          Any thoughts appreciated.

          • Chris…I can only speak of what I know…I have never used the X100 or RX100…but again what is important to you mostly…the Nikon 1 can be operated silently…yes you can be standing 3 feet away from someone with the 10mm 2.8 attached and take their picture without them even knowing it…I do it all the time…and in the long run if you get the 30-100 that puts you near where you want to be with the 2.7 crop factor so at the far end you will be shooting 270mm equivalent…does the E-PM1 have a touch screen ? On my E-PM2 it does have a touch screen and it really nails the shot…the camera will focus right on that spot and you get nice crisp images…and the 14-42 is pretty good for a kit lens…and the 45 1.8 will put your images into another category…even though it is meant for portraits…many people use it as their walk around lens…I have used it to shoot indoor ice hockey with great results…yes it is tough in making a decision…I think the Olympus will give you better images in lower light but the Nikon 1 can be operated in stealth mode

          • If you don’t need the EVF for additional 150 BP get the E-PM1. you want regret it….just go out there and shoot, which ever one you buy. On the other hand, have you considered the K-01? you wont need to spend money on lenses and it sells for $299 body in the US. Just a thought.

  162. Hi Steve. That was quick – thanks! I have to say I have come around to the V1 as my choice, especially having seen that there is a fast 50 equivalent available, plus a wide angle and even faster 32mm equivalent in the pipeline, though one of my criteria initially was a fixed lens so I didn’t have to carry stuff! The V1 makes lots of sense. I don’t like to spend loads of time in PP so OOC JPEGS are important. The option to do RAW is nice, but I’ve had a DSLR for 3 years now and haven’t seen the need for it so far. Just like the look and feel of the X10 though. Handled them all today in the shop and the X10 just felt like a proper photographer’s camera. Not too many bells and whistles, just the right controls in the right place. Should have said I’m only interested in stills – my wife has a tiny HD camcorder and does the filming……Thanks again

  163. Hello there Steve,
    Ya know, after a whole week of reading camera reviews, I was beginning to believe most of those reviews were “bought” or influenced by company “incentives” (just my perception).

    Well, that was until I stumbled onto yours. Wow, what an clearly articulated, informative, comprehensive and honest review of the V1 which I think I am in love with but still not sure if it meets my needs. I am a constantly learning amateur currently using a Nikon D40.

    With all the camera choices out there today I have become overwhelmed and not sure which new camera to purchase. Would you please guide me in making a camera choice with the following in mind?

    Budget: under $800 Canadian (cheaper the better)
    Size: no big DSLR camera anymore
    Types of pictures I take (in order of most often): Indoors morning to evening of family, outdoors family gatherings, birds, wildlife and nature landscape, etc.
    Macro: Very occasionally
    Telephoto: Often
    Print enlargements: Occasionally, up to 8×10, rarely 16×20
    IQ: Really Important
    AF: Really Important, Accurate and Fast (I focus like you, center then compose)
    Viewfinder: Yes
    Picture Modes: prefer not in menu but not a game changer for me
    Who am I: Mom taking pictures of life around her

    Steve, can this be accomplished with a V1 if I buy extra lens, flash etc (what would that consist of btw?) or do I look to a different camera?

    Ok, so I’ve just wrote a novel. But you wrote a compelling review that put me in this position!!!

    Look forward to your reply.
    Darlene

    • Hey Darlene, thanks so much for stopping by and reading the review. Glad you enjoyed it. The V1…there is an AMAZING special at B&H right now with huge savings that comes with the camera, a 10-30 lens, the 10-100 lens (that costs $800 by itself) and a flash, bag and Nikon lens adapter for $799. This is an amazing buy. It could fit your needs but indoor in low light you would need to use the flash for sharp results. In good light the IQ is excellent. In the $800 range the other option would be something like a NEX-5R which has a larger sensor but slower AF and sometimes misses in the AF as well. The V1 is a good camera, and the prices right now are incredible.

  164. Hi Steve,

    Love your site, realy inspiring !!

    i bought a J1 last year, loved it, the only downside on it is the lack of an EVF, wanted the V1 but was to expensive at that time, I own to many camera’s and wanted something small, fast, to go with my 5D mark 2 and OM-D, also picked up some lenses, the 10 mm and de 30-110 MM, used it througout my vacation ans simply loved it, it brings back the fum in photography !!

    But now at a price of Euro 265,- I cannot ressist it and bought a V1, keaping the J1 probably at times when i need a flash, but not realy sure, think i will donate it to my wife.

    The only downside is for now that I REALLY REALLY have to many camera’s, Canon DSLR system, M4/3 system (OM-D and E-PL3) and a Nikon 1 system, plus a couple of smaal compactcamera’s.

  165. Hi Steve- I’ve come to the V1 party quite late in the day- but it did allow me to pick one up with the 10-30 lens for £200… and at that price- a veritable steal..!!
    I was looking for something lightweight that had a quick AF and continuous shooting on a budget for outdoor fell running races and such like- and this little gem certainly fits the bill…
    Curiously,I’ve yet to shoot at a race yet ( its first outing on Sat’ Feb’ 23rd, Moel Y Ci fell race ), though it’s getting plenty of use on a daily basis- I just can’t put it down…!!
    Even shooting indoors or in subdued light with the kit lens, the image stabilizer is so effective that I can shoot with shutter speeds of 1/6th sec- thus keeping the iso settings within a reasonable range (800-1600) and with sharp results..!
    I’m looking forward to Saturday now to see how the V1 manages with moving subjects…

    Overall,I’m very happy with the V1- with just one or two little gripes- I wish I could turn the “image review” off,in single area AF it would be nice to have an adjustable AF area size (like my FZ-150) and only PASM on the dial would have done me just fine… cue the V2…lol…
    Oh,one other thing… the DSLR keeps getting left at home…!!

    I wonder if the V2′s prices will plummet like the V1…? :)

    • Just an update on the Fell race shoot…
      The V1 worked a treat… Shutter priority, 1/640th sec,Auto iso for varying light and multi area AF nailed every one… :)

  166. Thanks Steve for the V1 review.

    Small and light is of major importance to me. I bicycle tour in the summer with a full camping kit. I’d been looking for small and light and watching the V1 for a year. When I saw $399 (at B&H) for V1 body with 10-30 & 30-110 zooms I acted. The fact that the 1.8 18.5mm lens is now available and less than $200 was a deciding factor as well. To be able to get a (reasonably priced) small fast normal lens for this system in the future sealed the deal.

  167. I just bought a brand new V1 with 10-30mm lens for 255€, I couldn’t resist and it is mainly because of Steve’s review that I went for it. I have been playing around with it for a few hours and can’t work out how to put the camera in macro mode. I know that with the automatic scene selector on, it switches to macro mode when you get close to a subject, but in the P, S, A, M modes there is no option to put it in macro. Am I missing something or is this the way it works?

  168. Steve, I’ve read your review comparing fuji x10 with Nikon v1. What about fuji x20, will this x20 finally outbids Nikon v1? I want a fast camera to capture the very moment in everyday life. Inmost cases, children and indoor (low light) environment. Which should I get?

    • Have not yet tried the X20 but will soon.

      • What about buying v1 + Nikon 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8
        Will this solve my indoor photo experience?
        The deal is good with v1, whole lot difference with v2.
        Oh, I still want to compare fuji x20 as many review mentioning fast shutter speed, excellent in low light.

  169. Hi Steve,
    I recently purchased a V1 with 10-30mm kit lens for my wife.
    Her previous experiences with “Point and Shoots” were not so successful, mostly due to the lack of a viewfinder.
    I don’t think rear LCD displays were ever designed for use in harsh Australian sunlight.
    I had read your review on the camera previously and this did have an influence on our decision to buy the V1.
    Now, having used the V1 myself as well, I want to commend you on the accuracy of your observations, while reviewing the camera.
    There are a few limitations with this camera, but it is a joy to use and my wife’s photography has improved markedly.
    Regards,
    John Taylor

  170. Yesterday, I bought the V1 with the 10mm pancake lens brand new for just $299 (local Nikon sale) – steal of the century! I agree with everything you have written in this review and am immensely happy with this camera.

  171. [...] The Nikon V1 Camera Review – The camera I expected to hate! [...]

  172. Anybody worrying about the 10 megapixel sensor, should immediately watch this: https://vimeo.com/70748579

  173. [...] was convinced by a series of reviews, particularly from Steve Huff, that the Nikon V1 is something specail. And it is. This is the first, obligatory cat shot, taken [...]

  174. Thanks for the excellent review. I bought a Nikon J1 kit w/ 10-30mm and 30-110mm lens to take on a cruise to Alaska. Having only had point-and-shoot auto-focus cameras in the past, I wanted something better for this experience. I bought the book “Nikon J1/V1 for Dummies” and literally read it on the flight to Vancouver at the beginning of our trip. Right out of the box, it did a fantastic job for me. The photos I took from the ship and while ashore in Alaska are amazing.

    Since returning from our trip, I purchased the 10mm prime lens and have been very happy with it – especially how small it is – it truly makes the camera “pocketable.” My next purchase will be the 18.5mm lens for doing more low-light shooting. I find myself using the 10mm and the 30-110mm lenses the most. You’re correct in that the 30-110mm lens is a fabulous lens – excellent for taking photos of sports and wildlife. Pictures of insects – bees, dragonflies, etc. turn out great – I even won a contest at a local news station here in Salt Lake City with a photo I took of a honeybee covered in pollen.

    My brother-in-law has a photography website and he is a die-hard Canon DSLR user (the model escapes me). He had major bone cancer surgery and can no longer handle and lift the Canon with one arm immobilized. He has since purchased the S1 with the 11-27.5mm lens and he uses it exclusively now. It is portable and easy for him to handle. He was very skeptical of the Nikon 1 at first until he had the chance to use mine.

    Again, thanks for the review and the samples. I didn’t see it until I returned from Alaska, but informative just the same.

  175. All kidding aside; My wish for the V3… ignore the V2 and do the following: a manual shutter speed and a manual aperture dial on the exterior. keep the solid nikon tank-like metal build. Keep it as small as possible but concentrate on ensuring its robust and drop-able. No flash but a standard hot shoe this time, Up the things that make this camera unique. 80-120 fps raw with fast processing, Improve slow motion video. Programable “function button. Quick menue for white balance, ISO and mode etc. Again –stick with the sparse design. Make it shock, splash and dust proof . Maybe even 12 feet waterproof. Think not quite Nikonos and a tiny old F. Make this the camera Nikon “was” famous for — charge whatever you like and save the “J” series for casual users. oh, and keep those fast primes coming –get Zeiss or Schneider or anybody good to help out.

  176. I purchased a refurbished v1 last night based on your review and the notes from your readers. The information you provide is so valuable. As a bicyclist and snowboarder I’ll be more inclined to carry a camera more often. My sis was nice enough to buy my DSLR stuff so that I could buy the flash, 10mm and 18.5 mm primes. 99% of my pics are posted to the web so a mega megapixel camera isn’t really necessary for me..I like the faster performance than a p&s. I’m really anxious to get it and take it on a bicycle trip down PAC 1 in California over Labor Day Week.

  177. Hi Steve
    I bought a second hand V1 with 10-30 and 39-100 lenses after reading your review. I’ve used it a couple of weeks and, simply, I love it.
    I have the Olympus OM-D and Sony RX100m2 as well, and this V1 compliments them.
    I used the V1 for sports shooting and it did not miss focus once in 200 fast moving shots. Amazing!
    It also returned some nice quality landscapes that were great straight out of the camera using LS setting.
    It’s not perfect, but I really rate this camera and will be keeping it!
    I am considering the 6.7mm ultra wide angle zoom and look forward to your thoughts on it. For and extra 3mm over the 10-30 I’m wondering if the expense is worth it. I have the Panasonic 7-14mm on the OM-D so it’d be a luxury purchase to get the 6.7 as well!
    Your thoughts appreciated.

    • I am happy you are enjoying the camera. I reviewed the 6.7-13 Zoom lens, I reviewed the 32 1.2 lens as well so you can read my thoughts on them in the reviews. Be sure to look in “Mirrorless Central” under reviews for all mirror less reviews.

  178. Your website is ridiculously helpful, I would love for you to help people with your reviews and allow you to keep it, I work with people like you and there is plethora of people in my company.

  179. chinfanso says:
    When I use my Sony rx100 to wait for the best moment to capture my son, many times i have missed the best moment even though the shutter lag is only 0.05 seconds. I think the best moment capture function can gives me a lot of those best moment pictures that no other camera can. I am surprise no one found it useful. Am i the only one?

  180. Hey Steve… We are friends on Facebook but I might as well comment here to help build the rapport of your site instead of supporting Facebook. lol! I’m going to get the Nikon V1 based on your love for it! It’s an inspiration and your enthusiasm to expand and try everything is also insightful. I shoot almost entirely Micro Four Thirds, and have got a sizable following and audience on Instagram: 74K and counting and I want to try out this little camera with my fine art and editorial photography. Question to you is, being a college student, I don’t have a hardly any money and I’m buying this camera with no extra money to invest… Is the 10-30mm Zoom lens adequate to get me by that comes with the standard kit and do you think it’s pretty good quality?

    Another thing is this… I like the looks of the 32mm 1.2 lens and this may be an investment later down the road based on my experience of the Nikon 1 system. I’m wondering how it would compare to the Olympus 75mm 1.8 equivalent in Micro Four Thirds? I think this would be a good article for your website…!?

    Anyways, you can see my images on my instagram and will put that in website slot. Any type of feedback is much appreciated! :)

    • Best thing to do is to read my 75 1.8 review, look at the images and then read my 32 1.2. review and look at the images. Different looks, different DOF, different color, speed, sizes, etc. The Olympus 75 will give you a 150mm equiv, the Nikon a 85, so totally different focal length lenses. The Nikon will give you that sharp gritty look with the signature Nikon color and the Olympus will give you the smooth shallow DOF look with the Olympus color. :)

      • I failed to mention they were different focal lengths… in the 35mm equivalent! Thanks for the reminder. I’ve just ordered a refurbished White V1 with 10-30mm lens from Adorama. lol, It was the cheapest kit I could find at $332 doll hairs. Thanks for the inspiration to expand my horizons beyond just one format. It’s the 32mm 1.2 lens that is convincing enough to start thinking about this system more seriously. :) Thanks for the response.

  181. I was wondering if you could review the 18.5mm f1.8 lens…

  182. Hi Steve and others – I have been going through this forum and reviews here for last 3 days and being a newb from Point and shoot camera, as you can imagine, I am getting more and more confused. Larger sensors, Interchangeable lenses, Smaller size and having a lot of potential in the mirror-less cameras are my prime reason to look into this category.

    Around 5 of my friends have bought a D700, D90 and D5200 in last 5 months obviously results are outstanding but it comes with a price called SIZE which I can’t afford to have in my bag when I travel and that’s not a reason I am looking to buy a new camera. I am more keen now to experiment a little with ISO, Aperture and shutter speed etc..in my camera.

    I started my search from Samsung NX300 (No in-built Flash and no VF) in stores moving towards Olympus OM-D, Panasonic, Sony NEX-6 and then finally Nikon 1. (I just tried a few casual shots in store with NX300 and Nikon 1 J3 and I found Nikon much slower than NX300 !! which stopped me from looking further into Nikon 1. there was no V1 to try there and today I got pleasantly surprised by the reviews here about V1 from yourself and people).

    What I need camera for — I like to travel and hence wish my camera to take beautiful vivid shots of monuments, people, portraits, fast moving things with details. Splash proof etc. would be an added advantage as well. The camera must have a VF and possibly flash too (is flash really important, I don’t see anyone cribbing about having an in-built flash apart from me?)

    So before I bore you to death, I have come down to the following cameras now and looking forward to your suggestions. They vary in Price obviously. Cheapest the better but again I don’t want to compromise much due to money, if you think I have chosen something really good in this list :) The prices have been taken from Amazon (USD) for a rough estimate and all are with Kit lense if I remember. Though I am based in the UK. Please feel free to advise any other if you think I should be looking at in the same price window, but please narrow this list down somehow for me :) !

    Nikon V1 – 450

    Panasonic DMC-GM1 – 485

    Olympus PEN E-PL5 – 600

    Sony nex6 – 750

    Olympus OM-D-M5 – 820

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 – 868

    PS – How important would be to have a built-in Flash on a mirror-less ? I started liking V1 but then realized it doesn’t have a built in flash and a unit separately will cost around 150 bucks? Big deal ??

    Many thanks

  183. Hi Steve,

    I started with photography last year and bought an E-PM1 with 17mm 2.8 and 45mm 1.8. Love the pictures it is producing! Recently picked up a Coolpix A for a great price, just to carry anywhere. Now I want to upgrade my E-PM1 and after reading your V1 review again I started doubting.

    Which set would you prefer:

    OM-D EM-5 + panaleica 25mm 1.4 + zuiko 45mm 1.8

    or

    V1 + 18.5mm 1.8 + 32mm 1.2

    Thanks!

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