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Nikon addresses 1 V1 and 1 J1 flaws with firmware v1.2

By dpreview staff on Aug 8, 2012 at 16:57 GMT

Nikon has released firmware updates for its 1 System cameras, addressing some of the drawbacks highlighted in our review. The v1.2 firmware updates for the Nikon 1 V1 and 1 J1 correct a series of minor operational issues but also change the program line in most shooting modes so that faster shutter speeds will be chosen. It was these cameras' tendency to use extremely slow shutter speeds that made us conclude they could be disappointing for beginners, despite the very promising underlying engineering. The firmware is available immediately for download.


Total comments: 41
By lacreed (Aug 14, 2012)

I like this camera, even with its quirks. But I upgraded to firmware version 1.20 and I reckon the shutter speed it selects is still too slow to avoid blur from subject movement - and there is still plenty of ISO room to move.

Oh well, I'll keep using it as I have been: that is, in manual mode. select my own shutter speed and let the Auto ISO adjust the exposure.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
By peter42y (Jan 26, 2013)

Exactly. I also did the update and also noticed the shutter speed was too slow lol. I wonder what the Nikon fellows were thinking. Besides more and more people are entering the senior age therefore their hands do shake. Being so , faster minimum shutter speeds should be advisable. People should have the option to select a minimum shutter speed . 1/8 seconds. 1/15 seconds . 1/30 seconds . 1/60 seconds. 1/90 seconds. That is not rocket science I guess.

thats no moon
By thats no moon (Aug 10, 2012)

Bracketing, focus peaking and an MF assist for dumb adapters would have convinced me to rejoin the Nikon 1 owners club. Getting rid of that stupid mode dial in a new model would help too.

As it stands, I really enjoyed my time with the J1 but some baffling design decisions mean it is still a disappointing system.

unknown member
By (unknown member) (Aug 9, 2012)

Nice fix. Would have liked to see more, but I will take what I can get. Great little camera (V1), and deep DOF without diffraction setting in.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
By fmian (Aug 9, 2012)

Has it really taken Nikon this long to fix the slow shutter speed issue?
It shouldn't be any more difficult than changing a few digits in a line of code.
From the sounds of it most of the purchasers of this system don't even know they've been suckered into buying a substandard, poorly designed product.

Whatever makes you happy I suppose.

1 upvote
By Tee1up (Aug 9, 2012)

I had a friend complain about this phenomena just last weekend. She will be glad to see this update.

1 upvote
By jnk (Aug 9, 2012)

"It was these cameras' tendency to use extremely slow shutter speeds that made us conclude they could be disappointing for beginners, despite the very promising underlying engineering."

then a updated review would be the right thing to do based on the above since this is now addressed.

By CameraLabTester (Aug 8, 2012)

Can't wait for the next model.

But not yet...

Not yet... (Gladiator® ending scene...) Hans Zimmer music...


By derfla1949 (Aug 8, 2012)

Flawed firmware?

Now how can that be???

I used to think gawd makes no mistakes.

By Davidgilmour (Aug 8, 2012)

Why bother?

Jared Huntr
By Jared Huntr (Aug 8, 2012)

Why Not?

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

By marike6 (Dec 27, 2012)

Why bother to update one of their popular camera systems? Surely you can figure that one out.

By jon404 (Aug 8, 2012)

Interesting that a major corporation, a leader in its field, can't get a new product right after years of development, and then relies on complaints from early adopters to get it straight. This is what I call the 'Microsoft rapid-development model' -- and I guess it is now being adopted by hardware companies, now that their products are so software-configurable.

But please don't go this route for my car!

1 upvote
Dimitris Servis
By Dimitris Servis (Aug 8, 2012)

Niche markets develop that way, response to the desired features by clients is key to success.

And trust me in this, your car's software has bugs and functional failures that will never be fixed/patched/updated...

By Combatmedic870 (Aug 8, 2012)

There a couple of other things that were updated.

The exposure control program used with shooting in Smart Photo Selector mode, or still image shooting mode with Exposure mode set to P Programmed auto or Scene auto selector, has been revised for faster shutter speeds to prevent blurred subjects.

Auto white balance performance has been increased.

Exposure accuracy with ISO sensitivity set to Auto 100–3200, Auto 100–800, or Auto 100–400 has been increased with shooting using the optional Speedlight SB-N5 to photograph subjects at close distances.

The following issues have been resolved.
- An error message was sometimes displayed during interval timer shooting, preventing capture of the specified number of shots.
- When the camera was turned on by releasing the retractable lens barrel lock on applicable lenses, there was sometimes a slight delay before the shutter could be released.

By Marcelobtp (Aug 8, 2012)

Nikon, what are you doing?
Too much pride?
New lenses new cameras with too much problems and only now accepting that have problems.
Soon as Fuji make better auto focus i will give a chance to them.
Why bother put this firmware updates when the j2 is about to sell with almost the same specs? Only new lcd display, better it not be green as my friend d800, that you deny that fact... and my D7000 that suddenly without any reason stops working with a error and i have to wait until it suddenly stars to work again...
back focusing, front focusing...Very upset here. No Nikon didn't gave me a new d7000 neither resolved my problem, they said my camera was perfect...

By AnHund (Aug 8, 2012)

Minor stuff, don't think I'll even bother to do the update. Very happy with the J1 as it is.

By v1fan (Aug 8, 2012)

And they still did not fix the image review delay, which basically means the image review delay is a gimmick to hide the slow shot-to-shot time otherwise there is no reason it cannot be disabled.

Despite all of that I like the V1 a lot and I can live with that but one expects better from Nikon.

By ChrisPee (Aug 8, 2012)

Sorry guys, but I like to use this camera (V1).

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
By rjx (Aug 8, 2012)

With all the great things Nikon has been doing lately I'm surprised they released cameras like these. They could have done something much better IMO. I guess I'll give them credit for trying to do something a little different.

1 upvote
By nekrosoft13 (Aug 8, 2012)

does it make the sensor bigger? if not then the biggest flaw still remains.

Jared Huntr
By Jared Huntr (Aug 8, 2012)

The sensor size is one of the biggest advantage. Unlike APS-C based mirrorless, N1 packages (body+lens) can be even smaller in the future. As we have seen with 4/3 and Sony 1" sensor, IQ will also improve over time to match current standards. Much beyond that, you start getting diminishing returns. Believe it or not, deep depth of field in low light with fast shutter speeds is a desirable trait for many photographers.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
By viking79 (Aug 8, 2012)

You have to understand you never give up ability to do deep depth of field with even a full frame camera. You step down more. On large format camera you might shoot at f/64, and on a full frame maybe f/11 or f/16 to get deep depth of fields. If we are talking digital you just up the ISO on the full frame to keep the same shutter speed and you should get similar noise performance to the smaller sensor making an equivalent picture.

By Somonica (Aug 8, 2012)

yes, of cause you can always step down your lens with the FF or medium format camera...

but then you have to use tripod to get any useable photos...

and as pushing high ISO to get similar noise performance as the smaller sensor... then what the point to get that big and expansive FF and medium format in the first place? ;-)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
By jpr2 (Aug 9, 2012)

indeed, that puny sensor makes it a no-go for me - not only noise characteristics are disappointing, but the major flaw is the inability to shoot with a really shallow DOF if so desired :(

Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (Aug 9, 2012)

The bigger the sensor, the bigger the brick.

By Cheezr (Aug 8, 2012)

Damn! I just dumped mine on eBay!
P.S. the 1 series has not held its value :-(

Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (Aug 9, 2012)

"P.S. the 1 series has not held its value"

Does any camera hold its value? If you want to invest your money wisely, there are much better options than cameras.

By mosswings (Aug 8, 2012)

The J1 is selling rather well, actually; just not as well in the US as in other markets. We like our viewfinders.

By IcyVeins (Aug 8, 2012)

11 months later, great job Nikon. Just in time to clear the old model out so you can rip people off on the new iteration. Better off buying a G5 or GF5 or RX100

By expoboy52 (Aug 8, 2012)

Isn't the biggest flaw with this camera is that it isn't selling?

By nekrosoft13 (Aug 8, 2012)

no one in right mind would buy one of those. maybe some hollywood type ot match their purse.

1 upvote
By iau (Aug 8, 2012)

Hey! I bought one and have never carried a purse. It's a great camera for its use.

On the other hand I don't understand why anyone is satisfied with anything but medium format. Everything else is just a joke, right?

By GeorgeZ (Aug 8, 2012)

Nice to see an update.
Of course one has to ask why it took them 10 months to do some minor tweaks.

Jared Huntr
By Jared Huntr (Aug 8, 2012)

Because they had to prepare for the release of a new (slow) kit lens which doesn't have VR. Slow shutter speeds + no VR would have really made the combination operationally unusable.

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Aug 8, 2012)

Compared to some other companies in this trade it has been lightning fast!

Some manufacturers, some years back, didn't think it was worth the effort to inform us stupid consumers that upgrading was even possible - instead I had to send my Olympus across the continent, to do an upgrade that stopped the camera from freezing solid in certain situations (like mine had the third day of my vacation, on the other side of the world).

Happily it was still under warranty, so I did not have to pay, but I could have done it easily myself, had I, and the retailer, been informed about it!

Back to the V1 upgrade:
Happy with the second V1 upgrade! The first was ages ago, and some of those were totally essential, for most of us ;-)!

richard cohen
By richard cohen (Aug 8, 2012)

this is not the only example of nikon putting out a firmware update on a model that was being updated...the p7000 comes to mind. in that case the update was welcome, and as a new j1 owner i welcome any improvements as i try to figure this camera out.

1 upvote
Paul Pasco
By Paul Pasco (Aug 8, 2012)

If I'm not mistaken this is the 3rd set of firmware updates for the system, or at least I have done a total of 3 since I got my V1 for Christmas. A lot of camera models go their whole production life with no firmware updates while owners moan about the lack of customer service. I for one am quite happy with the latest updates.

By Swaleck (Aug 8, 2012)

Have to say I really enjoy my V1 but I was hoping for a more substantial update. I would have liked to see focus peaking for use with dumb adapters aka as 4/3's does, a bracketing feature to make use of the fast shutter and AFC for use of the FT-1. Oh well, guess something is better than nothing.

By Marti58 (Aug 9, 2012)

Did the update this morning, will check out later when i have time.
i was already happy with my J1, i only can become more happy.

will report back with my findings later.

Nikon Man
By Nikon Man (Aug 9, 2012)

I bet most of those who criticise the v1/J1 here haven't even touch one before. My take is that I am very happy with my v1 even without the firmware update. The firmware update just makes it even better. Sure, we could do with a lot of improvements on the 1 cameras and I'm sure future models will reflect that.

Total comments: 41