Cameras Cameras Everywhere! Nikon V1 1st samples & more!

Cameras cameras everywhere! Nikon V1 1st samples and more!

Just lined up on my table all of the cameras I have been writing about for the last 2-3 weeks and a couple that are coming up in the next week or two including the Nikon V1, Ricoh GRD IV and possibly more from the NEX-7. Check out the video below to see them and even a size comparison between the Fuji X10 and Ricoh GRD IV:

Upcoming Review…

Nikon V1 

I received a Nikon V1 a few days ago and have been shooting a little but with it over the last couple of days. The is “The Camera I Wanted To Hate” but in reality it is pretty nice. The build is superb, it feels solid and brick like, the EVF is wonderful, the speed is blazing, and the video looks promising. Problem with the V1 is the same problem all new camera systems are plagued with. LENSES. All that is available is slow zooms and a slowish pancake. With a 2.7 crop, it has a smaller sensor but this is Nikon, and they have figured out a way to squeeze great performance from this small sensor. High ISO seems decent for what it is and I love that they used a beefy battery instead of one of the wafer thin weaklings that is usually used in these types of cameras. I WISH Nikon would have released a fast prime with the camera. Also, I have messed with the J1 but if anyone is wavering between the two, go for the V1. No question, no doubt! Price is a bit steep but I will figure out if it is worth it soon…

Oh, and I will also be reviewing the V1 with the 10-100 lens..the one they enhanced for video with the zoom lever. I have on hand the 10 2.8, 10-30 zoom and the 10-100, which is like a pro lens in build and feel.

Here are a couple of quick snaps I shot yesterday with the V1, EXIF should be intact for anyone wanting details…the last shot is at ISO 6400, out of camera JPEG at NIGHT in my car. All shots were with the 10mm f/2.8.

Way too much detail but shows how good the 10 is up close wide open…

Below: From RAW converted with Capture 2 NX

Below: Out of camera JPEG – Vivid

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BELOW: Alien Skin Provia Filter

Below: Straight from camera MONOCHROME

BELOW: Alien Skin B&W Filter added


BELOW: Added an Alien Skin SX-70 filter…


  1. the only downsides I would see are a) no shallow DOF possible and b) if you like printing big 10MP are less than 16MP.
    On the other side the fast AF of the Nikon could be really an advantage over the Nex.

    I think one really has to find out what priorities one has before making a decision regaring v1 vs m4/3 vs Nex.

    The there is color and I seem to prefer Sony color over Nikon (when comparing D700 to A900) – so I wonder how the V1 handles skin tones?

  2. Just got the J1 combo with 10-30mm and 30-110mm. This is a great camera with really good IQ especially in raw. Build quality is very good for the body, not so great for the lenses, but who cares, when AF is so good and IQ is no less than excellent considering sensor size.

  3. This looks ok, but as Steve says, lenses are an issue. Not really sure why they didn’t just make it a micro 4/3 and then offer up some great Nikon glass via that avenue; we could also then use other glass, Nikon would sell more bodies too. I understand how every manufacturer wants to try to wow us with their own thing, but I don’t see the merits of this camera over something like the Olympus EP or the Pan GF1. They may have managed to get nice performance out of a smaller sensor, but why would you want a smaller sensor in basically the same footprint as a m4/3?

    • So why bothering with mft, if you can have a aps-c sensor in a similar size system, including NEX and Samsung NX to pick up your line of arguing. I predict your answer will be that NEX and NX lenses are bigger than the ones for mft. No go and have a look at the Nikon 30-110mm (80-300 equivalent), which is much smaller than the same focal length optics for mft. And its an excellent performer, by the way, with an unbelievably effective VR beating the EP3 IS by probably up to two stops. And the N1 lenses are not an issue, they are rather on the slow side (though a the long end faster than what Olympus and Panasonic offer), that is what Steve was saying. The 10, 10-30 and 30-110 are actually surprisingly good considering their prices.

      • I agree, the lenses are very good. Slow, but sharp as a tac and great color in a small size. The bigger the sensor, the larger the lenses. Period. The NEX system can not have tiny lenses due to the thickness of the body (too thin) and larger sensor. The Nikon 10-30 and 10 are great. The 10-100 is very nice but huge. 30-110 seems excellent but I have not received one of those but if I ended up buying a V1 Id pick one up. I did some ISO testing last night in my house at midnight (I was bored). The V1 beat the E-P3 and the NEX-7 at ISO 1600 when shooting RAW with all three and turning off NR. Impressive.

      • I can see what you’re trying to say, but I’m not talking about escalation, as in, why bother with MFT because you can buy an M9….What I’m talking about is footprint. Yes, the larger the sensor, the larger the glass, but I don’t see a marked difference between this Nikon and other offerings, and it has a smaller sensor. Sure, other cameras may be a touch bigger, but do we really, really care if something is ‘slightly’ smaller? Also, I’d like to see camera manufacturers move towards some sort of standard, which is why I was psyched about MFT. I’m weary of the consumer electronics betamax vs vhs vs CD..oh wait now there’s blue ray game.

    • The not “self invented syndrome” is lurking around the corner here.
      It’s not in the interest of the public what nikon does here.

  4. Have to admit, saw the initial press release and reviews and I completely dismissed the Nikon1 series. Had a chance to play with one for quite some time at our local camera shop and really enjoyed it.

    Last week there was a local photography show, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon and Olympus all there. NEX-7 was great and I am still looking for a high quality small system (Leica M8.2 currently my top choice, but this is second on my list), but in the poor light of the show I was blown away with the performance of the Nikon 1.

    I bit the bullet and bought the V1 and three lens. I now consider this my carry anywhere travel compact. Now the release candidate of Adobe Lightroom 3.6RC is out I am appreciating what this little camera is capable of, more and more.

    I suppose I am a little odd in that fact, I will sacrifice image quality for a good built in viewfinder. If I want image quality I shoot film on my old but trusty Hasselblad.

  5. I wonder if V1 is good comparison to GX-1. It seems like GX-1 would perform better due to its sensor size and better lens series (Pro X type?) If Panny can ever put that beautiful EVF/OVF hybrid, it would be irresistable.

  6. Do you plan on reviewing the Panasonic DMC-GX1 that I just saw on the B&H site? Will this take the great lens you described in earlier postings? (I think yes.) What about the optional viewfinder? Has it improved?

    Thanks for your very useful comparisons.

  7. Nice mini review and sample photos . Thanks for posting it. It looks like a fun, well made camera. If I wanted to drop $900 on yet another camera (this one with a better than usual but still very small sensor) that pretty much does the same thing as the cameras I already have I would get one.

  8. You don’t have the 30-110mm? From what I’ve read, it’s the sharpest of the bunch. Also one of the key advantages of the system, great reach in a small package. Hope you get a hold of one before you finish your review.

  9. The IQ of the Nikon J1/V1 is fantastic compared to the sensor size. It is amazing what Nikon got out of such a small sensor.

    I predict this is going to be an immense hit for Nikon despite all the haters that burried it even before seeing the IQ or trying the camera.

    It may not be a camera for everyone, but the fast focus and other tricks makes this a very good second camera IMHO.

    I’m looking forward to your review 🙂

    • The pixel size of the V1 is only slightly smaller than the pixel size of the Panasonic G3 M4/3 camera (less than a 10% difference in length or width). Remember, it’s a 10 MP sensor vs the G3s 16 MP.

      • I think you are right. Didn’t think about it that way even though the sensor size of the G3 or other 4/3 sensors are still about twice the size of the J1/V1 sensor.

  10. I’m pretty conflicted, so many compact cameras to choose from! Right now i am leaning towards the X10. Loved the picts you took with it in your review.

    Also, i appreciate you listing if you used alien skin or not, helps me to know what is out of the camera, and if not…what filters you are using to achieve your look. Thanks!

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