Nikon 1 V1 / J1 Review
* In August 2012, Nikon released firmware version 1.20 for the V1 and J1 which among other small changes, claims to improve the cameras' program lines in some exposure modes, to reduce the risk of blurred images due to slow shutter speeds. We have not been able to test the new firmware yet (as of November 2012) so readers should be aware that some of our comments in this review refer to issues that may be fixed - or at least reduced in severity - in the new firmware.
Nikon's entry into the mirrorless interchangeable lens market late last year was widely anticipated, but the products that were finally announced took a lot of people by surprise. Nikon has created an entirely new system based around a relatively small sensor, that's about 30% of the size of those used in the company's DX-format SLRs. The system is spearheaded by two cameras - the Nikon 1 J1 and 1 V1. The J1 is the entry-level model, and the V1 is aimed at a slightly more advanced user, but both cameras are intended essentially for beginners upgrading from compact cameras or cameraphones, and who find the size and complexity of a DSLR intimidating.
The V1 and J1's standout features are their autofocus and continuous shooting abilities. Both cameras feature a 'hybrid' AF system that combines both Phase and Contrast Detection methods, which in principle allows them to keep track of fast-moving subjects in much the same way as SLRs can (and compacts and other mirrorless cameras conspicuously can't). Both also feature a remarkable maximum shooting speed of 60 frames per second at full resolution, and to support this they use dual image processors that offer Nikon's latest 'EXPEED 3' processing.
In addition to the J1 and its slightly higher specified big brother the V1, the Nikon 1 system debuts with four '1 Nikkor' interchangeable lenses (including a 'pancake' prime and a video-optimized power superzoom), and a range of accessory port add-ons for the V1. Perhaps nothing signals Nikon's long-term commitment to the 1 System, however, more than its decision to build both cameras around a completely new lens mount and a unique 10MP CMOS sensor.
|As you can see from this diagram, the Nikon 1 System's 1" (13.2 x 8.8mm) sensor is considerably smaller than the Four Thirds and APS-C format sensors used in competitive mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its overall dimensions in fact, it occupies almost exactly a mid-point between these sensors and the 1/2.3" sensors in low/mid-range compact cameras (and the Pentax Q).|
Unlike the rest of the market, which is populated by cameras baked to the same basic 'small body, large sensor' recipe, the 1 System's 1-inch sensor that is small in two ways - both physically and in terms of its resolution. At 13.2 x 8.8mm, the 10MP sensor at the heart of these new cameras is considerably smaller in comparison with every other mirrorless competitor except the Pentax Q, and results in a 2.7x effective focal length multiplier. The cameras, on the other hand, aren't that small at all. The dimensions of the V1 place it alongside the Panasonic DMC-G3 and Sony NEX-7 - two of the larger-bodied mirrorless cameras.
The differences between the J1 and V1 are important - the V1 has a built-in 1.4M-dot LCD viewfinder, while the J1 does not. However, despite being the cheaper, simpler model, the J1 has a built-in flash which the V1 lacks. The V1 makes up for this omission with a multi-accessory port that can be used to mount a dedicated external Speedlight SB-N5 flashgun or GPS unit.
The V1 has a higher resolution rear LCD screen and a mechanical shutter (in addition to the electronic shutter found in the J1), which makes it a better choice for high framerate captures of moving subjects. The mechanical shutter also allows it to use flash at shutter speeds of 1/250th of a second, rather than the 1/60th that the electronic shutter limits the cameras to. Ergonomically though, with the exception of the V1's built-in EVF, both cameras handle in much the same way. Both lack a traditional exposure mode dial, and neither camera offers much in the way of customization. Both are - in essence - designed for multi-purpose point and shoot operation.
Nikon 1 J1 and V1 specification highlights
- 10MP 1" CMOS sensor with 2.7x effective focal length multiplier
- Hybrid AF system with both phase and contrast detection
- 60fps at full resolution (with electronic shutter only)
- 1080/60i video
- ISO 100-3200 ('Hi 1' option at approx. ISO 6400)
Nikon 1 J1 and V1 key differences
- V1 has built-in 1.4M dot LCD electronic viewfinder
- V1 has VGA (920k dot) rear LCD, J1 has 460k dot panel
- V1 has mechanical and electronic shutter option, J1 has electronic only
- J1 has built-in flash, V1 requires optional accessory flash
- V1's accessory port allows attachment of external Speedlight or GPS unit (J1 has no port)
- V1 has a larger, higher capacity battery (the same as found on the D7000)
Hands-on Preview Video*
*Note that this video was prepared as part of our original preview content on the Nikon 1 System.
|10-30mm lens, Red, Standard Packaging|
|Nikon 1 J1 10.1 MP HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm...|
|The Engineer by EXX|
from Steam Trains
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
Rotolight has released the Anova Pro 2 circular LED for stills and video, boasting a 70% increase in brightness and what the company describes as "unrivaled battery performance."
Designer Vinicius Araújo has imagined what he believes the perfect Adobe software keyboard might look like. From customizable touch pads, to a scroll wheel, to a little display that shows the tool in use, his design is pretty compelling.
Peak Design has teamed up with Leica to release a limited-edition backpack made special for fans of the Red Dot.
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.