The Nikon 1 V3 takes another step towards offering a truly enthusiast-friendly 1 Series camera, yet still I find it hard to make sense of the company's Mirrorless strategy.
When it was launched, the 1 System appeared to be aimed at what would, in the US, be called the 'Soccer Mom' crowd. It's a slightly awkward piece of demographic shorthand but it's an evocative image - someone who perhaps doesn't have the time or the interest to learn about cameras and wants to get photos of fast-moving kids (playing Association Football, perhaps). The 1 J1 did a good job of offering something unique to that market: a camera that offered much better image quality than a conventional compact or smartphone, with unmatched autofocus capabilities. Some of the initial implementation was a bit odd but it showed tremendous promise.
|Nikon's latest 1 System model, the V3, is its most convincingly enthusiast targeted. And yet...|
What didn't seem quite so convincing was the more expensive 1 V1 model, whose price suggested it was gunning for a more committed photographic audience. It added a mechanical shutter, electronic viewfinder and, rather oddly, removed the flash. What it didn't do is add any control points over and above the very point-and-shoot-friendly J1 model. The V2 improved in this respect, and the V3 gets a bit closer to finally offering the levels of control you might reasonably expect from an enthusiast compact.
Just how enthusiastic?
However, despite this move further towards the enthusiast market - and presumably this is what the company means by saying it plans to 'reconsider product planning of Nikon 1' - the V3 still doesn't seem particularly focused on enthusiast use. It may have gained two full command dials, but neither controls exposure compensation. Instead that's relegated to the awkward four-way dial on the back of the camera. This dial is better than most - with a good amount of resistance allowing it to be turned with precision - but it's an odd way to do things, especially when there's such an obviously better way of working.
This could be a cultural difference, of course. Mirrorless cameras have been much more successful in Japan and Asia, so it's possible those markets have differing expectations from those I recognize - it just seems odd to me that virtually every twin-dial camera on the market (including Nikon's DSLRs) uses one of its main dials to control exposure comp, yet the V3 doesn't.
|Not only does the V3 offer two control dials, it also has the option of an additional grip, which duplicates the front dial and adds an extra function button.|
In addition to the V3's controls, a lot of the interesting new modes it gains, such as automatically capturing and selecting stills during movie shooting, don't seem like they've been developed with keen photographers in mind: they sound like Nikon's still thinking about Soccer Moms. Sadly, all the market data we've seen says Soccer Moms simply aren't buying 1 Series cameras (or any mirrorless cameras, really).
"Just two enthusiast lenses"
Perhaps I'm inferring a confused message from the company's Nikkor 1 lens line-up: a range of light-sapping consumer grade F3.5-5.6 zooms, a fairly modest 27mm equivalent F2.8, a useful 50mm equiv F1.8 and an 85mm equivalent F1.2. That's just two serious enthusiast-targeted lensed, and one of them costs $900. On the plus side, this doesn't compare too shabbily with the number of dedicated primes Nikon has made for its DX shooters (three, in the nearly 15 years since the launch of the company's first DX format camera, since you ask), but it doesn't give a clear picture of who 'CX' is for.
Yes, you can put a mount adapter on a 1 System camera and shoot full F-mount Nikkor lenses, but it rarely makes sense to do so - the 2.7x crop factor means anything longer than a 16mm lens ends up as a telephoto and, other than a 50mm making a 135mm equivalent longish portrait lens. Rarely is using lenses designed for other formats much of a substitute for having access to the focal lengths you want.
"The technology put into the 1 System cameras is incredible"
I suppose my point is this: the 1"-type sensor format can offer something for enthusiasts. Sony's RX100, despite my personal reservations about it, is an exciting camera for keen photographers, thanks in no small part to its F1.8-4.9, 28-100mm lens and its tiny form-factor. I'd be even more interested if the lens remained a bit brighter, even if it did mean the camera got a little larger and more expensive, but it is clearly possible to make a 1"-type camera attractive.
|The Nikon 1 V3 has a removable electronic viewfinder. But in the US, at least, it's not optional - the only kit being promoted requires that you buy the EVF.|
The technology Nikon and Aptina have put into the 1 System cameras is incredible - impressive tracking AF, huge potential for good quality video, and really solid image quality should result in some really interesting cameras. Yet the V3 still leaves me confused about what Nikon is doing with the 1 System. The camera doesn't feel like a wholeheartedly enthusiast design, and the lenses don't yet exist to let it work to its full potential (and, if the camera costs over $1000, I'm not sure many people will be willing to pay the extra money to buy them, even if they did). Is this just about protecting DSLR sales? I don't think so. But then again, this is a model with an optional viewfinder so that people who don't want a viewfinder don't have to pay for it, that Nikon US plans only to sell in bundles with the viewfinder. At which point, I'm beginning to wonder whether any of this makes sense.
Feb 28, 2016
Dec 30, 2015
Dec 28, 2015
Dec 23, 2015
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.