Nikon 1 V3 Review
Since the original 1 V1, AF and continuous shooting speed have been a standout feature in Nikon's mirrorless offering for users who want interchangeable lens versatility in a small form factor. The 1 V3 makes a large step toward being a true enthusiast-oriented camera with the addition of features such as twin control dials, two customizable function buttons (a third if using the add-on grip) and a new 18MP 1"-type sensor with no AA filter. Add to that a high-performance hybrid contrast and phase detect AF system, a new Expeed 4A processor, and you have a very capable camera for most shooting situations.
The obvious change from last year's 1 V2 is the loss of the built-in electronic viewfinder, which is now an optional extra. Also available as add-ons are a DSLR-like grip and an adapter ring to attach any F-mount lens. This modular approach allows users to build-up or strip down the V3 to their liking - this should boost its appeal to enthusiasts (although for U.S. buyers, the only option is to buy the kit with EVF and grip). However, at the same time, the V3 still has many 'creative' modes that simulate various art filters and a 'live preview' scene control mode for beginners to blur background or stop action without having to learn aperture or shutter speed numbers.
The V1's cumbersome access to key settings annoyed many enthusiasts. While the V2 addressed some of those issues, it still felt like Nikon could do better with the V-series for serious shooters given the J- and S-series cameras were clearly aimed at people stepping up from smartphones and compacts. The question for the V3 is: Does it now provide enough direct control, customization and image quality to make advanced users give the 1-series a second look?
Nikon 1 V3 key features
- 18.4MP 1"-type CMOS sensor, no AA filter
- Hybrid AF with 171 contrast-detect and 105 phase-detect points
- 20 fps with continuous AF and subject tracking
- Raw file capture
- 3" tilting touchscreen with 1.04M dots
- 1080/60p video capture
- Wi-Fi connectivity with remote control via app
The new sensor and AF system are the headline features of the V3. The V3's 18.4MP CX-format CMOS sensor is a bump up from the 14.2MP found in the V2. It also lacks an anti-aliasing (low-pass) filter that potentially gives the V3 sharper, more detailed images. Along with the sensor, the new Expeed 4A processor enables the V3 to shoot 20 fps in full-time continuous autofocus mode - even when shooting Raw files - and an astounding 60 fps in single focus mode.
Nikon's 1-series from the beginning had one of the fastest AF systems found in mirrorless cameras. The V3 is no different. It uses a hybrid system, combining 171 contrast and 105 phase detection areas. In comparison, the V2 had 135 and 73 respective areas. The phase-detect areas cover almost 100% of the frame, making the Sony a6000 with its hybrid AF system the V3's only serious competitor in this respect. With high fps and quick AF speed, the V3 has the chops for shooting fast action, whether it be sports or a spontaneous moments with kids.
The V3 can now shoot 1080/60p full-HD video with the ability to capture full resolution still images during recording. There's also a high-speed option and slow-motion capture ability at 120 fps at 720p.
And in what is becoming a standard feature on many new cameras, Wi-Fi is now built-in (no NFC). You can transfer images to your smartphone or control the camera remotely using Nikon's Wireless Mobile Utility app.
Key specs compared
Finding a direct rival to the V3 is tough. The Sony a6000 is the nearest competitor in terms of AF performance. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and Samsung NX Mini are some interchangeable lens cameras that are physically smaller than the V3. Meanwhile the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1000 III is the benchmark 1"-type sensor camera for image quality and its built-in lens is brighter than the Nikon's kit zoom.
Nikon 1 V3
Sony RX100 III
|Effective Pixels||• 18MP||• 24 MP||• 16MP||• 21MP|
|ISO Range||• 160-12800||
|• 200-25600||• 125-12800|
• Hybrid contrast and phase detect
• Hybrid contrast and phase detect
|• Contrast detect||• Contrast detect|
• 1,037,000 dots
• 921,600 dots
| • 3"
• 1,036,800 dots
| • 3"
• 1,228,800 dots
|Sensor Size||• 1"-type
• (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
|• Four Thirds
• (17.3 x 13 mm)
• (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
|Built-in flash||• Yes||• Yes||• Yes||• Yes|
|Continuous drive||• 20 fps continuous AF
• 60 fps single AF
|• 11 fps continuous AF||• 5 fps||• 10 fps|
||• SD||• SD||• SD|
|Weight (inc batteries)||• 381 g (0.84 lb)||• 344 g (0.76 lb)||• 204 g (0.45 lb)||• 290 g (0.64 lb)|
|Dimensions||• 111 x 65 x 33 mm
(4.37 x 2.56 x 1.3")
|• 120 x 67 x 45 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 1.77")||
• 99 x 55 x 30 mm (3.88 x 2.16 x 1.2")
• 102 x 58 x 41 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.61")
|Wi-Fi||• Built-in||• Built-in||• Built-in||• Built-in|
|When the grip is attached to the camera it adds a shutter button, another front command dial, and third custom function button.|
|The GR-N1010 grip and DF-N1000 electronic viewfinder are included in the US V3 kit. They are sold separately in the UK and Europe.|
Kit options and pricing
In the US, a V3 kit with the 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm F3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom lens, DF-N1000 electronic viewfinder and the GR-N1010 grip is available for $1,199.95. The 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm F3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom and the 1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 lenses are also available for $299.95 and $999.95 respectively. An FT-1 mount adapter is also available for $239.95.
In the UK and Europe the V3 will sell for £799.99/€949 with the 10-30mm lens only. The kit with 10-30mm lens, EVF and grip will be available for £1049.99/€1249. The FT-1 mount adapter will sell for £229.99/€279.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.
Snapchat's camera-equipped 'Spectacles' aren't so difficult to get anymore. You can now pick up a pair through Amazon for $130.
A group of thieves has made away with tens of thousands in camera gear through a carefully orchestrated scam through Venmo and Facebook Marketplace.
A portrait lens from 1910 might be coming back to life if two photographers from Germany succeed in a new Kickstarter project—the latest development in the craze to remake vintage optics.
The updated version of Google Glass is called the Enterprise Edition and, as the name suggests, it's not meant for personal use.
Charles Ommanney was once a photographer for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, now he's working for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Image compression software JPEGmini Pro was just updated to handle files up to 128MB. They're calling it "The 1 Feature Hasselblad Owners
Apple was just granted a patent for a camera system that prods, coaxes and manipulates users into taking better group and solo selfies.
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a better camera than its predecessor, but how much better? Should you buy one?
The winners of the 2017 Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards have been announced. Here are the six photographers who took home the top prize in their respective categories.
A NASA study has confirmed what your ears have been telling you: people HATE drone noise. In fact, it was ranked more annoying than that of "any ground vehicle."
This floating bird video isn't edited in post-production. It's the result of the birds wing flap matching the camera's 20fps frame rate.
Adobe released a major update to Lightroom Mobile for both iOS and Android users today.
Could the future of photo and video storage be... alive? Scientists at Harvard have managed to encode a GIF of a galloping horse into a live sample of E. coli.
Recently appointed Photokina manager Christoph Menke has provided some background on the decision to try out an annual schedule and other changes in a Q&A session.
Japan's space agency has released an adorable floating drone ball on the International Space Station, and for the first time ever we get to see what's it's been recording.
Outraged about the latest photo theft scandal? Great. PhotoShelter founder Allen Murabayashi suggests you put that frustration to good use and register your damn copyright.
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is an update to the Selphy CP1200 and comes with a larger 3.2" tiltable LCD display, an improved user interface, and some neat new features.