Nikon 1 V1 / J1 Review
As it is the standard these days the Nikon V1 and J1 come with the ability to record HD video. You can choose between 1080/60i or 1080/30p modes to either record footage that is compatible with Blu-Ray standards or shoot video material that is more easily editable. There is also a 720/60p mode for smoother motion, albeit at a lower resolution. In the HD modes you can take full control over shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity. By default the AF is set to continuous but you can switch to single AF if you want to avoid the operational sounds of the AF motor recorded on your sound track. Alternatively an external microphone (ME-1) is available.
In addition to the HD modes the camera offers a 'hybrid' still/video mode called 'Motion snapshot' and two slow-motion modes which record video at 400 fps (640 x 240 pixels) and 1200 fps (320 x 120 pixels) respectively. You can view examples of these modes on the features page of this review.
You can trim the beginning and the end of movies in-camera but are allowed only a single edit per movie file. Presumably in the interests of protecting you from inadvertently deleting anything, any single trim you make automatically generates a copy of the selected movie. Should you want to trim from both the beginning and the end of a clip, you end up with two edited copies alongside the original video recording.
The V1 and J1 can record in either 60i or 30p, and while both are compressed into .MOV format, it is easy to distinguish the 60i video clips in video of fast moving objects, with the faster capture rate of the interlaced frames giving the appearance of more fluid motion.
1920 x 1080 60i Avg. 24 Mbps
1920 x 1080 30p Avg. 24 Mbps
1280 x 720 60p Avg. 16Mbps
1072 x 720 60p (movies recorded in still image mode)
• Slow motion
640 x 240, 400 fps, Av. 1.8Mbps
320 x 120, 1200 fps, 0.6Mbps
|Audio||• AAC Audio|
|Format||H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding compression|
|Max file size per clip||4.0 GB|
|Recordable time||20 minutes, 5 seconds in Slow motion mode|
Handling in video mode
The 1 System cameras offer impressive video specifications but the user experience in video mode isn't as fluid as we'd like. A dedicated video button located next to the V1 and J1's shutter release is used to start and stop the recording process, but video recording is unavailable in two of the cameras' four exposure modes - Motion Snapshot and Smart Photo Selector. In these modes, pressing the red movie button simply brings up an error message.
Furthermore, while the most commonly used Still Image mode does allow video capture, it does so in a rather unconventional 3:2 (1072 x 720/60p) format. This footage is perfectly useable (and arguably more useful for playback on a conventional computer monitor) but to take advantage of the J1 and V1's full video capabilities you'll have to switch over to the movie position on the mode dial. In this mode the live view display of the rear LCD (or EVF, in the case of the V1) switches to a 16:9 format.
You can take still images while recording video by pressing the shutter button, but images are also recorded in the 16:9 aspect ratio (at 9MP). The restriction on aspect ratio is mildly annoying, but impressively, recording is not interrupted when a still image is captured and because images are recorded using the cameras' electronic shutters, taking a still capture during movie recording is silent. Also impressive is the fact that in movie mode you also have the ability to adjust both shutter speed and aperture while recording. Slow-motion (400 fps or 1200 fps) video is also available, and can be selected from a sub-menu via the 'F' button on the cameras' rear (it is not possible to switch between slow and normal motion video capture during filming).
Video image quality
Both Nikon 1 series cameras produce good-looking video, benefiting from a metering system that produces pleasingly accurate exposures in a variety of outdoor lighting situations and renders reasonably accurate white balance. When recording a scene with brightness changes, the resulting exposure adjustments do display discernible 'stepping' of the aperture, which can be visually distracting. In the (default) Standard Picture Control mode, colors in well-lit scenes are nicely saturated without being unrealistic. Autofocus is accurate and generally quick to lock focus, though as with normal still imaging, AF performance drops significantly in dimly lit interior scenes. We could discern no audible sounds from the focusing mechanism of any of the Nikkor 1 series lenses.
Audio recording is crisp and clear on both the V1 and J1 in a variety of shooting situations, with a pleasing balance between ambient sounds emanating in front of and behind the stereo microphones. The wind reduction filter is easily overmatched, however, when shooting in exposed conditions. Vibration reduction (VR) works impressively well in minimizing camera shake with the camera hand-held in a static position. Although it is clearly no substitute for a tripod, VR can produce reasonably steady video. However, as we note in a video sample later on this page, panning the camera with VR enabled produces less than pleasing results.
Video 1 (V1)
This hand-held clip from the V1 shows the zoom capability of the Nikkor VR 10-100mm power zoom lens. When the zoom lever is held at its minimum speed setting the result is a smooth, continuous speed zoom. It is of course much easier to hold the camera steady when you don't have to rotate a traditional zoom ring.
|1920x1080 30p, MOV, 26 sec, 75.9 MB Click here to download original file|
Video 2 (V1)
In this clip you can hear that the built-in stereo microphones of the V1 are picking up quite a lot of wind noise in the open surroundings in which we recorded, even with wind noise reduction enabled. The microphone sensitivity level is at its default Auto setting.
|1920x1080 60i, MOV, 18 sec, 53.3 MB Click here to download original file|
Video 3 (V1)
This clip demonstrates the audio recording capability of the V1's stereo microphones. Even from a distance, the amplified music is recorded cleanly with minimal background conversation. You can also see how the camera's AF system attempts to reacquire focus when the lens is zoomed in and out.
|1920x1080 60i, MOV, 26 sec, 76.3 MB Click here to download original file|
Video 4 (J1)
In this sample you can observe the J1's metering system making exposure adjustments as the camera zooms in on the cooking pan which is lit by an overhead stove light. As the subject occupies a larger portion of the frame, the metering is adjusted so that the rice is no longer being overexposed.
|1920x1080 60i, MOV, 18 sec, 53.5 MB Click here to download original file|
Video 5 (J1)
In this hand-held sample you can observe the effects of the J1's Vibration Reduction (VR) feature when panning the camera to track a subject. The VR option is set to Normal. You can see abrupt 'jumps' as the camera tries to counteract the deliberate panning movements. While you can avoid this behavior by disabling VR when panning the camera, doing so will obviously lead to shakier hand-held video.
|1920x1080 30p, MOV, 22 sec, 65.5 MB Click here to download original file|
|10-30mm lens, Red, Standard Packaging|
|Nikon 1 J1 10.1 MP HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm...|
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Chinese Acrobat by lim yau tong|
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II brings more resolution, better autofocus and faster continuous shooting to Canon's entry-level full-frame camera. And we've had the opportunity to shoot with one.
The Canon 6D Mark II will ship to consumers in August, but we've been able to do some shooting with a pre-production unit well in advance.
Rumors have been swirling around for a while, and Canon has just unveiled the long-awaited successor to the popular and long-serving EOS 6D. Read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Canon's latest entry-level DSLR is here. The new Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) is the belated successor to 2013's Rebel SL1, billed at the time as the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.
Nearly five years after the announcement of the EOS 6D, Canon has finally replaced it with the EOS 6D Mark II. The Mark II features an all-new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF full-frame sensor, 6.5 fps burst shooting, a fully articulating touchscreen, 1080/60p video and much more.
Canon has announced the EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D), which replaces the aging SL1. This ultra-compact DSLR features a 24MP sensor, DIGIC 7 processor, Dual Pixel AF system and a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD.
When one of his friends got a filter stuck on his $1,700 Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L, former MythBuster Adam Savage removed it using an unlikely, terrifying tool: a band saw.
The New Yorker asked Magnum's famed photographers, in town for the agency's 70th anniversary, to go out and capture 'the fleeting beauty of New York City's golden hour.' This is what they shot.
Roger Cicala is a difficult man to impress, but he's been waxing lyrical over at Lensrentals about Sony's new 12-24mm wide zoom.
Glassware is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, especially against a white background. This tutorial shows you how to do it with hardly any gear.
Handevision is now shipping its all-metal Iberit 90mm F2.4 short telephoto lens for Leica M-mount 35mm and full-frame cameras.
Isocell comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.