My trip to Japan with the Nikon V1 by Brandon Huff


My trip to Japan with the Nikon V1

by Brandon Huff

Hello to all readers of this site! I am Brandon Huff, Steve Huff’s son. Last year in I went to Japan and I used my Nikon V1 for this trip 100%.  I just wanted to share some of my photos with all of you as well as my experiences I had along the way with the little Nikon.

When I was deciding on a camera for my trip I wanted something small, something light, and mainly great quality.  The Nikon V1 seemed to match up to what I was looking for and I am happy with my choice.

In this photo I was experimenting with night photography and long exposures. This is my Step-Brother Kyle in the desert a about a week before I headed off to Japan.


Kyle and I left in the early morning to arrive at San Diego California, It is about a 6 hour drive from Phoenix Arizona, here are a few a photos from when we were in California.





 About a week later, I parted off from my family to join my new family for two weeks, the People to People group. This is a bunch of High school Students, Elementary school students and Teachers where we go off and explore many areas of Japan as well as visit with a home stay family for two days. Here are a few of the pictures from Japan that I snapped:














I have to say that when traveling to another country and having to carry a camera over 8 hours a day the Nikon V1 turned out to be much easier than I first imagined. The battery life is great, easy to just point and shoot quickly when needed and overall a wonderful experience with the camera. Japan was a great and beautiful place and the people of Japan are really kind and are happy to smile for the camera when asked.

Thanks for reading and looking at my pictures. BTW, the lens I used was the 18.5 1.8 which gave me a fast 50mm equivalent.

Brandon Huff


  1. Good set of images, glad to see people taking creative shot with the little V1, I am still having a great time with mine. (Weather in the UK is appalling! So no shots outside.)

  2. Craig – it was your reviews of the V1 that prompted me to buy one (then another!) and I’ve really enjoyed your Anna Maria Old City pier series. I don’t consider myself a particulalry good photographer but I’ve been delighted with the prints I’ve been able to get from the camera. I only wish I could justify buying the entire lens line-up for it!!

    • Thanks Don! Lenses seem to go fairly cheap on eBay when used. There is a 32mm f1.2 on there for about $200 off retail, which is about the price I’d like to pay when I get mine (I want black). Happy shooting, and email me anytime. Glad you like the pier pics and thank you.

  3. Awesome work Brandon, your dad must be very proud. You have developed a very good eye for someone so young. I too love the V1 and own two of them. The Nikon V1 is still the most fun camera I have ever used, and I’ve been shooting since the mid 80s. Also, I personally love the look of the files which are very film-like for a digital. Keep up the great work, and keep shooting!

  4. Brandon, these are lovely images. You seem to be getting some richer, ‘punchier’ colours than I do out of my V1 (at least with jpeg), the picture of the old car and the sea cliff in particular. Can you clarify if you’ve done any post-processing on these or whether they are straight out of camera? Thanks, Don

  5. Great shots Brandon and a wise choice in a camera.

    As you may know the V1 is my favorite digital camera and with the 6.7-13mm lens has become my main Architecture and Landscape tool.

    The raw files of the V1 have a certain classic look to them and they lend themselves wonderfully to post processing allowing a very vintage film look to be created.

    I invite you to view my V1 6.7-13mm set:

  6. Brandon, what a wonderful opportunity for you! You have your own unique style and voice, I like that. Some great images here. Looking forward to seeing more from you.

  7. So enjoyable! I’m delighted to see what the V1 can do, as I’ve been thinking of the new all weather model as a possible winter camera. Your shots are so varied and interesting. Great that you’re an active partner in the Huff enterprise!

  8. Nice article and images, Brandon! Your Dad taught you well. From your comments, can I assume these are OOC jpegs, or was some post processing done? Though these shots with the V1 are nice, just wondering why you didn’t choose an Olympus EM-1 or Sony RX1, but with so many good options nowadays, that question is becoming moot.

  9. i always like the… rich tonality…?… of the images i see posted by nikon1 users. is it the sensor? is it a common processing? i just like it. i wanna run my finger tips across the screen and feel the color grit change

  10. These turned out really nice Brandon. Great overall “look” and style to your photography, which is quite different (not better or worse, just different) than your dads.

    V1 does turn out some nice files for sure and while a basic camera, it just plain works.

    Have you ever tried out the Panasonic GM1 ? Its replaced my Nikon One system, in addition to replacing my Ricoh GR, and Sony RX1. Its ultra small (smaller than V1 in fact) and with lenses like the 20mm f1.7 mounted and a 45mm f1.8 in the other pocket its super portable. Also nice is the better overall affordability of most glass. I had the 32mm for the V1 which was great, but at 1/3rd the cost I was able to buy the 45mm f1.8, which is also a good deal smaller lighter but gives a similar short tele. The $49 fisheye lens cap is another interesting one announced. Optically may not be stellar, but still should be lots of fun to shoot, and at just $49 can’t be too critical.

    IQ is a real step up from m4/3 and the touch screen works so nicely for selecting focus points when shooting. Pretty much just as fast of AF and response as the V1 too. No EVF though, which could be a bummer for some people. I personally don’t mind the LCD though and actually shoot most mirrorless that way. Then again, I also always enjoy shooting with my iPhone.

    • Jeff, what do you think about GM1 20mm 1.7 vs Ricoh GR in terms of IQ?
      and do you use zoom lens (40 -150 mm) on GM1?


      • They are pretty close honestly with the GR having maybe a slight edge in resolution, but pretty minor. The 20mm f1.7 is a pretty sharp (though some might say a bit clinical) lens. Its really a bit of a wash as far as overall IQ goes as well. The GR really isn’t that clean at high ISO, at least compared to Fuji, for APS-C, and is of course limited to f2.8, so the m4/3 sensor is pretty neck and neck.

        Great interface on the GR though, and it does some really nice B&W right out of the camera. The AF system is pretty slow though in lower light/contrast and I’d miss a lot of shots with it. They’d lock focus but then upon review wouldn’t quite be in focus. Was fast and accurate in good light though. GM1, like most any modern m4/3 is tough to beat in terms of speed.

        I’ve got a 40-150 just because it was cheap, for the occasional landscape compressed tele landscape shot or something along those lines, but its more of an issue of holding the lens rather than the camera. Smaller lenses like the 45mm f1.8 handle really nicely though.

        Having a fast 90mm equiv in a near pocket sized package is pretty nice, because my other cameras like my Sony RX100 have the same range, but are f5.6 at that focal lenght, which is something like f11 in 35mm FF terms, so not much isolation of the subject. 45mm f1.8 isn’t a “cream machine” but gets the job done. Really all the more I need for casual shooting. I mean if the purpose of the outing was portraits, then I’d take my D3s and 85mm f1.4, maybe a couple off camera speedlights. For just grabbing some casual shots of friends/family when on a trip or something though the little m4/3 kit really delivers. Results feel like I carried a “big” camera rig, yet the whole kit hardly takes up more room than a P&S

  11. Nice pictures, Brandon! I would find it even more interesting if you captioned the shots. What is that building? What is that lady doing with that implement? and so on…

  12. Hi Brandon – great photos! Love the people shots and the landscapes. Just goes to show it’s the photographer not the camera. And about the camera often less is more.

  13. Great eye indeed! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been eyeing the V1 for far too long. Would like to get my hands on one. Just seems like it would be a fun camera .

  14. Great shots with the V1. I bot a used V1 last year, but haven’t use it extensively yet. Look like you did some post processing with some of the pictures. Did you find that you had to increase Whites, Shadows, etc much to get the results you want?

  15. Totally jealous that you got to visit Japan. I know i’d love to go there and experience the culture and grab some pics as well as shopping. You have a great eye, love the pics!

  16. Nice to see a write-up by Brandon here! I’ve always considered the Nikon 1 series special, since it’s the only interchangeable 1″ sensor format that exists, for a unique size, a low cost, but still optical power compared to so many other cameras of similar size.

    I especially liked the photo with the seagull, with all those shades of blue and in the horizon two layers — one closer to the foreground, and then the skyline further back. It wouldn’t have been the same with just one layer, or with either of them not going completely through the picture.

    I also like the car photo and in that case more because of the optics. It’s really crisp and I could have guessed a camera at 3x the cost for these photos. It even has a decent amount of subject isolation to further mask the small sensor that was behind this photo.

  17. Great Job! Fun Pics and I especially love the old rusty car in the forefront picture. You are so full of youth and enthusiasm and you will have many happy years ahead of you making photographs!

  18. Hey Brandon – great pictures and good to see you follow Steve’s suit.
    The V1 is truly a magnificent travel companion. I guess you used VSCO to process the files. The grain on the BnW looks amazing – almost like Tri X. I especially loved the vintage car and the picture of the bird – the colors and details from the small monster just have something that attracted me

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