First Impressions: Using the Nikon V1
1 Using the Nikon V1
Using the Nikon V1
Since their launch, the Nikon V1 and its little brother the J1 have generated a lot of discussion amongst our readers, not all of it positive. As a photographer as well as camera reviewer, I am intrigued by this new system for many reasons. It took Nikon three weeks to get us a V1 after we got our first glimpse of non-working samples in New York, but as soon as it arrived I grabbed it and started shooting. A full review of the V1 is underway, but considering the amount of interest that the new system generated among our readers, I wanted to share some early impressions with you. This 3-page article is categorized as 'opinion' and ahead of a full review with the associated studio testing and our usual in-depth analysis, it should be read accordingly.
Despite the comparatively small size of its sensor, the V1 is amongst the bulkiest compact interchangeable lens system cameras that I've used. It is no surprise that the V1 is bigger than the genuinely compact Pentax Q, but what is very obvious when the camera is directly compared to its competition is how much chunkier it feels compared to larger-format competitors like the Olympus E-PL3 / E-PM1 and Sony NEX-C3.
Like these cameras, the V1 is designed to be easy to use, whatever your level of photographic experience. However, whereas its competitors have opted for large sensors and lots of features (including, increasingly, touch-sensitive LCD screens) Nikon has made a concerted effort to keep the V1 as simple as possible, both in terms of ergonomics and (in some respects) specification.
The lack of a 'traditional' exposure mode dial and conventional control dials might seem a little strange, but the audience that Nikon is aiming this camera at may not expect to see either, and in general use with the V1 I don't really miss them. One thing I really like about the V1 compared to some of its competitors (like the Olympus PEN-series and the lower-end Sony NEX models) is its excellent built-in EVF. In use, the V1's EVF isn't as nice as the ultra high-resolution unit in the latest Sony NEX-7 and SLT-A65/77 but it isn't too far behind and with a resolution of 1.44 million dots it is pleasantly crisp and detailed.
If you want to take manual control over exposure you’ll have to select one of the PASM modes from within the main shooting menu, at which point exposure settings are changed using the tiny ‘zoom’ jog switch on the camera’s rear. Again, it took a little time for me to get used to it, but after a short while it became second nature. After I'd stopped trying to zoom the lens by pulling on the zoom toggle, that is...
Less effective is the V1’s manual focus mode, which uses the rear control dial to rack focussing back and forth. To make it easier to see what's in focus and what's not - at least in theory - the zoom switch on the V1's rear acts as a focus area magnification toggle. The trouble is that the screen image gets lower and lower in resolution as you zoom in, making it very hard to focus accurately. To be honest, after trying repeatedly to use manual focus, and failing to reliably get sharp results, I think this is more of a token gesture than a serious feature.
The long thin control at the top right of this view is a 'zoom' toggle that acts as a magnification control in playback mode and an exposure value shifter in PASM shooting. The 'F' button to the left of the zoom toggle isn't customizable. In still image shooting it brings up a menu which allows you to switch between mechanical and electronic shutter.
The mode dial beneath is is where you select from Motion Snapshot, Smart Photo Selector, Still Image and Movie modes. Very simple, but easy to rotate by accident.
|The V1 does have a control dial, but during shooting its only purpose is to control shutter speed if you're shooting in manual exposure mode or adjust focus in manual focus mode.|
The V1's design doesn't really encourage much manual control over shooting settings, but that's not a bad thing, per se, and perfectly in keeping with Nikon's intentions for this model. Manual exposure control is there if you want it, and the V1 handles very nicely in aperture and shutter priority modes if you're that way inclined, but there's no danger of a beginner being swamped with confusing control and customization options.
One of the V1's most interesting functions is Smart Photo Selector, which sits above the green 'still image' icon on the exposure mode dial. In this mode, the V1 shoots twenty images at 30fps in electronic shutter mode, then analyses them and saves four or five (max 5) of what it considers to be the 'best'. If your subject is blurred, out of frame or blinking, that frame won't make the cut. The process takes just over two seconds, and works really well. This isn't the sort of mode that I tend to reach for very often, but I'm very impressed by how well it works in the V1, and - crucially - how efficient it is. It only takes a couple of seconds from the time the shutter is released to the selected images being saved to the memory card.
Although there is plenty more shooting and testing to with the V1 before we publish our definitive 'take' on the camera, a couple of things have annoyed me during my initial shooting. Firstly, the exposure mode dial on the V1's rear, which rotates far too freely.
The J1 has this problem as well - in my shooting I've lost count of the number of times I've accidentally rotated the dial when shifting my grip on the camera, and ended up in one of the other exposure modes. This is especially annoying when you end up in movie mode, because it's easy not to realise what has happened. In movie mode you see, pressing the shutter release button captures an image, but at reduced resolution (8MP) and only in the 16:9 aspect ratio. If you slip into this mode by accident and you're not paying attention you could end up going home with quite a few images in the 'letterbox' format.
Secondly, with its kit zoom and 10mm pancake lens options the V1 powers up quickly in roughly 1 second, and only takes a fraction of a second longer to power down. When the camera goes to sleep though, it takes almost two seconds to 'wake up' before you can take a photograph, and a long half press of the shutter button is required to rouse it. Shot to shot time in single frame advance mode isn't great either at around two seconds on average, including AF re-aquisition. This isn't bad performance by the standards of a high-end compact, but it isn't great compared to some of the V1's mirrorless interchangeable lens competitors.
Oct 21, 2014
Feb 5, 2013
Oct 19, 2014
Oct 19, 2014
|Autumn by valenttin|
from Harvest Festivals
|Cardinal, Male by paul katinas|
from A Big Year - birds
|.. by Amar Vignesh|
from Unintentional Blur
|Freeze Time by WhistlerOne|
|Sir Mick Jagger by HetFotoAtelier|
from - Concerts : When The Lights Come On -
If you're set on investing in a seriously capable compact, no doubt these two cameras will be on your list. Here's how they square up.
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.