Expert Review of Nikon 1 V1 Mirrorless Kit 10-30mm Black
Nikon V1 can be best called the camera of the modern times, based on Canon’s forte compact interchangeable lens, the exact specifications of this efficient device include a sensor measuring 10.1 Megapixels, Full HD video, a selection of really innovative shooting modes and great burst modes of what according to Nikon is the fastest AutoFocus known till date. It was launched alongside Nikon J1, and both of these conclude the first of the hopefully many cameras in the archive of Nikon’s new “1” series. Unlike the existing and popular APS-C and Micro Four Thirds models, Nikon 1 system is based totally upon a brand new new 'CX-format' CMOS sensor which measures 13.2x8.8mm with a 2.7x field-reduction aspect, the CX format has an advantage over APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors, that it is comfortably smaller but sadly is larger than those in point-and-shoot cameras or the Pentax Q system. This 10.1 Megapixel CX-sensor in Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 J1 also fancies a new hybrid AF system which automatically switches between contrast based and phase based technologies.
This allows it to quickly and continuously autofocus on both the still and provide a decent Full HD video, which as mentioned earlier is world’s fastest as claimed by Nikon. In addition to this, both the models also boast really good and fast continuous shooting, at 10 frames per second along with autofocus, which can go upto a really huge 60 frames per second as the focus is locked at the first frame. High resolution stills can also be taken while filming Full HD video, or one can opt for the fun shooting modes which can cover short video clips in each image, or you can have a bunch of shots before you can automatically choose the best one. All these capabilities alongside the sheer high speed of the Nikon 1 system according to many photographers can make up for a sensor that isn’t as big as most of the rival ILCs. Obviously, take the example of a sport, the camera that reacts quickly takes home the best shots. But is this device your ideal camera? Lets find out.
Design and Build Quality
Looks of Nikon 1 V1 are solid and the build of it speaks “no nonsense”, this device has a virtually flat front with screen occupying most of the rear, the head is slightly raised to accommodate for the electronic viewfinder. One surprising feature here is that it is larger in size that most existing ILCs which is surprising because of the already mentioned fact that it has a small sensor. Nikon 1 V1 is available in black and white. Exact dimensions of this device measure 113mm x 75mm x 43.5mm and weighs a high 383 grams with battery and card but excluding lens. When it comes to build quality, there are hardly any complaints from Nikon 1 V1 with a magnesium alloy finish it feels refreshingly solid with a heft which will definitely make owners of higer end DSLRs happy.
Focus and Face Detection
Nikon V1 is a total winner in this category, I personally have never seen anything quite like it in a compact device. Phase detection AF employed here can extend upto a humungous 73 pointss for single AF point selection and 41 points when set to auto area. Now, when the object is stationary or is poorly lit the device shifts to their contrast based AF system, which can use upto 135 areas ( WOW! ). So if nothing else, Nikon can certainly put a claim on having world’s most focus points on its device.
Lens and Image Stabilization
The standard kit used in Nikon 1 V1 is is the Nikkor VR 10-30mm f3.5-5.6, which gives an equivalent focal length of 27-81mm with built-in optical vibration reduction. This lens weighs 115g and retracts to a rationally portable 42mm long by 58mm in diameter. It weighs Twin lens kits also include the Nikkor VR 30-110mm f3.8-5.6 telephoto zoom, which takes over where the 10-30mm left-off, with an equivalent range of 81-297mm, and again built-in optical vibration reduction. Like the 10-30mm, it's retractable design which measures 60mm in diameter, folds down to 61mm in length, and weighs 180g.
Screen and Menus
In addition to a 3 in screen there is also an electronic viewfinder (EVF) for the composition, playback and menu navigation in Nikon 1 V1. This may be one of the major differences in it and Nikon 1 J1 which has no electronic viewfinder. Viewfinders are often preferred to composing with the screen under very bright conditions and also have the stabilising benefit of the camera being held to your face; some people also simply prefer composing with them. Well, moving onto the screens, both the devices are occupied with 3 inch screens, while Nikon 1 J1 has moderate 460 dots in its screen, this no. goes to 961 dots in Nikon 1 J1. This does give Nikon 1 V1 an advantage, but in practice, this is hardly noticeable.
Nikon V1 uses the considerably chunkier EN-EL15, rated at 1900mAh. As you'd expect, this translates into almost double the lifespan for the V1, allowing it to shoot 400 images or 120 minutes of HD movie footage per charge compared to 230 shots or 70 minutes of HD video on Nikon 1 J1.
Nikon V1 has its HD Movie mode set to 1080 at 60i which is 59.94 fields when measured actually, which encodes at a rate of 24Mbit/s and can record clips up to 20 minutes long. From the menu you can change this to 1080p Full HD t 30 frames per second (29.97fps actual), which also works at 24Mbits per second for clips up to 20 minutes long, or 720p HD at 60 frames per second (59.94fps actual) which works at 16Mbit/s for clips up to 29 minutes long.
Nikon V1 works on a 10 Megapixel 'CX' format sensor, which measures the exact dimensions of 13.2x8.8mm and applies a 2.7x field-reduction to all lenses. This is smaller than the 17.3x13mm and 2x reduction of Micro Four Thirds sensors, as used in Olympus and Panasonic ILCs, or the 23.4x15.6mm and 1.5x reduction of APS-C sensors as used in Sony NEX ILCs.
Fast AF and confident tracking in good lighting.
Fast burst shooting, including 10fps with AF.
Able to capture high-res stills while filming HD video.
Built-in viewfinder, mic input and accessory port.
Viewfinder slow to activate and no manual override.
Switches to slower AF system under dim conditions.
No exposure bracketing, live histogram or effects.
No built-in flash. Proprietary accessory shoe limits options.
Shutter often too slow in Portrait mode to avoid blurring.