USER REPORT: The Nikon V1 goes to Venice by Gary Perlmutter
Hi Steve, I have really been enjoying all the articles on your website of late and it was thanks to your ‘real’ review of the Nikon V1 and that I value your opinion that I recently sold my Fuji X100 and bought the Nikon V1 together with the 10mm, 10-30mm and the 30-110mm lenses. I sold the Fuji reluctantly because although the IQ is incredible, the AF being so slow caused me to lose so many street shot opportunities. I decided that for me at least, fast AF was crucial, so on your recommendation the Nikon V1 it was!
Although my real passion is street photography (see Daily Inspiration 301) I have just come back from Venice in Italy where I was lucky enough to spend a few days during their carnival. This gave me the perfect opportunity to put the V1 through its paces as not only a street camera but also a travel camera system. My first impressions were how perfect this system is for travel. Professionally for my wedding photography I use the Canon 5dMk11 with a number of lenses and this fills a Thinktank travel suitcase alone, never mind the bulk and weight. The Nikon system with all 3 lenses and spare battery fits into my Thinktank Retrospective 5 with room to spare and is so light, that after a whole day walking around Venice, I didn’t even notice the weight!
In use like you I found the AF never missed a shot and the metering was spot on each time. I set the camera up in shutter priority and auto ISO, mainly because this got round the problem that many have reported of the camera selecting too slow a shutter speed in aperture priority mode. With such a wide depth of field due to the small sensor, I didn’t worry about what aperture was being set. However for all you Bokeh lovers out there, the 30-110 zoom can produce some great shallow depth of focus images as can be seen below. Maximum usable ISO I find is 1600 although at a pinch I’ve used 3200. Incidentally I always shoot RAW, as this gives me plenty of scope for adjustment if required.
Apart from that, like Colin Steel in his articles on the V1, I too have taped out the mode dial on the back to stop it accidentally shifting to video mode. (Nikon should have got this right in design). I also fitted Flipbac’s excellent G4 grip and their flip up mirror, which not only acts as a rear screen protector but also allow me to take waist level shots, great for street shooting when you don’t want to be noticed.
So to sum up, so far so good with the little V1. I love the EVF, fast AF, great image quality for such a small sensor and the whole kit so compact it fits in a tiny bag. Can’t wait for Nikon to bring out some fast primes as promised!