Last month we got to spend a short time with Nikon's latest 1-System camera: the V3. This camera is arguably the most enthusiast-oriented Nikon mirrorless yet, with an advanced autofocus system, twin control dials, super-fast continuous shooting (with AF), Raw support, and 1080/60p video. The V3 also supports an optional 2.36 million dot EVF as well as a grip that not only gives you something more substantial to hold on to, but also an additional shutter release, custom button, and control dial.
A sleeker look, but goodbye EVF (sort of)
The Nikon 1 V2 was a rather awkward-looking camera, with an angular body and pronounced 'hump' on the top for the built-in EVF. The V3 has a much more traditional rangefinder-style design and is not as tall as the V2 - but it's larger in every other dimension (and heavier, too) The reason it's not as tall is obvious: there's no longer a built-in EVF (but see below for more).
Build quality is solid, and the camera is easy to hold, and for those who want a more substantial grip, you can screw on the optional one shown later in the article.
In a move that will please enthusiasts (for the most part), the V3 now has three control dials (plus one more if you're using the grip). There's one on the front of the camera, another on the top, and a third around the four-way controller on the back of the camera.
|You can just catch the rear dial on the top plate in this photo, as well as the third dial that surrounds the four-way controller.|
Something that enthusiasts may not appreciate is that none of the dials can directly control exposure compensation, even in full manual mode.
The V3 has a pair of customizable buttons (Fn1 and Fn2) - and, if you have the battery grip, you get a third.
As with other Nikon 1-Series cameras, the V3 does not have a standard hot shoe. Instead, it has Nikon's proprietary accessory port, to which you can attach a flash (there are two to choose from) or stereo microphone. The camera does have a built-in flash, with a guide number of 5 meters at ISO 100.
While the V2 had a fixed LCD, the V3 has a tilting, 3" touchscreen with 1.04 million dots. As you'd expect, you can use the touchscreen to focus and take photos, and flip through photos in playback mode. The buttons on the left of the display tilt as well, as does the hidden infrared port for an optional wireless remote.
One other design-related thing to note is that the V3 now uses microSD cards instead of the traditional SD cards used by the V2. It's not really clear why they're using them, as there's plenty of room on the camera for a 'full size' SD card.
New sensor, new AF system
The V3 uses a new 18.4 megapixel CX-format (1"-type) CMOS sensor - up from 14.2MP on the V2. The sensor has no anti-aliasing (low-pass) filter, which promises higher resolution. But there's more to the new sensor than higher resolution. Both sensors have Hybrid Autofocus, which combines contrast and phase detection. The V3 has a large advantage over its predecessor, not only having more contrast detect areas (171 vs. 135), but more phase detect points as well (105 vs. 73).
All of those phase detect areas provide nearly 100% frame coverage, which gives the camera a lot more area in which to work with when it comes to subject tracking. The only camera that comes close to matching the V3's hybrid AF system is Sony's Alpha 6000.
Improvements in image processing now allow the V3 to shoot sequentially at 20 frames per second, with continuous autofocus. That's a number not even professional SLRs can match. (We'll see how accurate the AF system is when we spend more time with the V3.)
The new sensor allows 60p video recording, up from 60i on the V2. Recording time is limited to 10 minutes at the highest quality setting, though. There are a number of high speed modes as well, with the ability to shoot 720p video at 120 fps being the most notable.
Another unique movie function is Jump Cut, which captures video every other second. The V3 always has 20 full resolution stills in its buffer, and automatically throws out the bad ones, so when you press the shutter release, the camera will save what it considers the best shots.
|The DF-N1000 electronic viewfinder is bundled with the camera in the U.S., and optional in other markets|
If you're missing the built-in EVF from the V2, fret not: Nikon will be offering one, which attaches to the camera's accessory shoe. The viewfinder has 2.36 million dots and covers 100% of the frame. An eye sensor will switch between the LCD and EVF automatically.
|The GR-N1010 grip alone||V3 with grip and EVF|
Another accessory is the GR-N1010 grip, which gives you something much more substantial to hold onto, plus another shutter release button, customizable button number three, and another control dial.
Both of these accessories will be included in the U.S., but are optional in other regions. The handgrip will cost around €179, while the DF-N1000 EVF will set you back around €349.
New kit lens
The Nikon 1 V3 comes with a power zoom (PD-Zoom in Nikon-speak) version of the 10-30mm F3.5-5.6 lens that's been around since the beginning of the 1-System. The difference is that the ring around the PD-Zoom version serves as the zoom controller, moving the lens through its 27-81mm (equiv.) focal range.
|A closer look at the new 10-30mm PD-Zoom lens|
If you want to buy the 10-30 PD-Zoom by itself, you can pick one up for $299.95.
The Nikon 1 V1 and V2 are two cameras that are not frequently discussed among camera enthusiasts. Nikon is hoping to change that, and the V3's state-of-the-art autofocus system and incredibly fast continuous shooting modes may catch the eye of those looking for a second camera to sit alongside something higher-end.
We didn't have much time to spend with the V3, but it seems like a pretty solid offering. We like the external controls and customizable buttons, and the performance is top-notch. (Since we haven't been able to shoot with the V3 yet, we can't comment on photo quality.) The V3 also has the requisite 1080/60p movie mode and Wi-Fi features found on other mirrorless cameras.
One concern we have - at least here in the U.S. - is the price. Nikon USA is bundling the camera with the 10-30mm PD-Zoom lens, EVF, and grip, with a price tag of $1200. In Europe, Nikon is selling the body only for €849, a 10-30mm kit for €949, and the full outfit for €1249. UK buyers can choose from the last two options, for £799 and £1049, respectively.
Considering that you can buy a Sony a6000 with a 16-50mm power zoom lens, built-in EVF, and similar Hybrid AF system for $400/£390/€450 less, the V3 doesn't seem like a great value. Despite that, we look forward to putting the V3 through its paces, and seeing if that burst mode lives up to the hype.
Dec 12, 2016
Nov 28, 2016
Nov 27, 2016
Nov 21, 2016
|It's good to be at home by Nightcrawler12|
from Best photo of the week...
|Tiny tree by Kaappo|
The Olympus 17mm F1.2 promises to open up new possibilities for Micro Four Thirds shooters seeking razor-thin depth-of-field and smooth, 'feathered' bokeh. Take a peek at our extensive sample gallery.
Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes 'zoom'? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.
Still yearning for an Aperture replacement? Here's a quick overview of RAW Power, a Raw image editor for iOS that pairs with the Mac application introduced in 2016. Take a look at some of its capabilities.
Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.
Tech lover Albert Lee was one of the first to pre-order the intriguing 16-camera module Light L16. Two months in, here's what he has to say about using this not-so-little computational camera.
The public art installation featured blurred portraits, ostensibly captured by the artist under that same underpass... except they weren't. They were actually portraits of comedians, pulled from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival program.
Edelkrone has upgraded its SliderOne with a SliderOne Pro and introduced a new generation of Wing and Wing Pro models, all while simultaneously improving the app that controls its entirely lineup.
People have waiting a long time for the Canon 85mm F1.4L IS lens, but how does it compare to Canon's 85mm F1.2L and Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art? Phillip Pettit of Lensrentals took all three lenses for a spin to find out.
Affinity Photo for iPad, one of the first full-featured Raw editors designed specifically for tablet use, has been named Apple's Best iPad App of 2017. And what's more, it's currently 50% off!
VSCO Messages allows VSCO X subscribers and free users alike to share text, images, photo editing 'recipes', VSCO journal entries and more.
Flickr has revealed their top 25 photos of 2017, and there are some truly stunning shots in the mix.
Testing of the Canon G1 X Mark III is well underway, inside of the studio and out. We've just added it to our test scene comparison tool, where you can take a look at its performance side-by-side against peers like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V.
Whether it's a trip to the beach for some snorkeling or scrambling up a 10,000 ft volcano, the Olympus Tough TG-5 proved to be a great travel companion for Jeff. That's why it's his 2017 Gear of the Year.
Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $2,000.
Meyer Optik Goerlitz is resurrecting yet another classic lens. This time, the company has set its crowdfunding sights on the Primoplan 75mm F1.9, a lens originally manufactured in a run of just 2,000 back in the 1930s.
The folks at Kolari Vision—an infrared camera conversion company based in New Jersey—recently tore down a brand new Sony a7RIII, giving everybody a peek at the camera's much-improved weather sealing.
Resource Travel's Brandon Cunningham recently joined The Giving Lens for a 10-day adventure in India. A trip he won't soon forget, to a country that left him in "sensory and soul overload."
Meet the new Freefly Movi, a handheld gimbal stabilizer designed by cinema stabilization pros for use with the iPhone. Freefly is calling this little beast "the world's most portable, adaptable, and intuitive cinema robot."
Photography portfolio site PhotoShelter is adding their voice to the growing group of online companies that are speaking out in favor of net neutrality, and against the FCC's upcoming vote to kill it.
The Direct app would replace the current Inbox on the Instagram app, doing for Instagram what the Facebook Messenger app did for Facebook on mobile.
Qualcomm's latest high-end mobile chipset offers higher frame rates and a wider color gamut, among other important camera improvements you can expect to see in next year's flagship smartphones.
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got trapped in a blizzard in the Snowy Mountains of Australia with his Fujifilm GFX 50S and new Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens. Find out how they held up to 110km/h winds and -15°C temperatures.
While film nostalgia reaches an all-time high, Seattle-based pro photographer Sofi Lee is turning back to 'digicams' made between 2008 and 2011.
The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.
With a capacity of 512GB, Samsung's new UFS chips take built-in storage on smartphones to desktop-PC levels. Will this eliminate the need for microSD slots?
Photographer Josh Rossi decided to go big for this year's Christmas card, so he recreated the Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster using himself, his wife, and their two kids.
In response to a NY Times article about how some traffickers were using Instagram as part of the illicit animal trade, Instagram has added a content advisory screen that pops up to warn users any time they search for hashtags "associated with harmful behavior to animals."
Kodak is expanding its instant photography lineup today with the release of the Kodak Mini Shot Instant 10MP camera. A tiny little digital camera that spits out either 2.1 x 3.4-inch or 2.1 x 2.1-inch prints.
Huawei'e next high-end smartphone could be the first to take computational imaging to the next level with a triple-camera that spits out 40MP files.
Landscape photographer Spencer Cox recalls the single most rewarding—and frightening—landscape photography experience of his life: photographing a sandstorm.