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The Nikon 1 introduces two new cameras with a completely new lens mount, completely new sensor design, and new lenses to go with the system. Will these cameras become "The One" choice when available? Nikon certainly hopes so, we give our first impressions on the new Nikon 1 V1.
The Nikon 1 V1 is the premium level mirrorless camera from Nikon with an electronic viewfinder and accessory hot shoe setting it apart from the J1. For more details on the differences between the two new cameras have a look at our Nikon 1 V1 vs Nikon 1 J1 comparison.
- 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor - CX format, 2.7x crop
- 3inch 921k dot screen
- EVF 1.44million dots
- Full HD video, 1080p, Stereo sound
- ISO100-3200 (expandable to ISO6400)
- World's fastest autofocus system
- Focal plane phase-detection AF + Contrast-detect AF
- 10fps continuous shooting, with AF tracking
- 60fps full resolution shooting (Single AF)
Rear of V1
Ergonomics - There are a good number of buttons, with a mode dial on the back, although the mode dial is quite limited giving the choice of motion snapshot, smart shot selector, normal photo, and video mode. It seems a little surprising that the V1 doesn't include additional more advanced modes on the dial on the back. There is a small raised bar at the front to aid in gripping the camera, and on the rear is a good size rubber thumb grip.
Nikon 1 V1 Speedlight
The lack of a built in flash could be of concern for some, as the optional flash is not as compact as other mirrorless flash systems. Although it does offer more features, by being adjustable, and includes an LED video light.
|Photo menu (from J1)||Setup menu (from J1)|
Menus - there are three main sections, playback, photo, and setup. When the photo mode is selected with the dial on the back, you can then change the exposure mode in the menus to choose between: Scene auto selector, Programmed auto, Shutter-priority auto, Aperture-priority auto, and full Manual.
Speed - With 135 focus areas (Single-point AF) and Auto-area AF with 41 focus areas the focusing system on the Nikon 1 V1 is very responsive, and gives excellent control over what you are focusing on. The V1 shoots at 60fps at full resolution, and will shoot at this speed for 30 shots.
1/30 sec | f/2.8 | 10.0 mm | ISO 1600
1/250 sec | f/3.2 | 10.0 mm | ISO 100
1/100 sec | f/4.5 | 57.2 mm | ISO 800
1/50 sec | f/2.8 | 10.0 mm | ISO 1600
1/200 sec | f/4.5 | 38.5 mm | ISO 400
1/60 sec | f/5.6 | 110.0 mm | ISO 2800
Without being able to view full size images from production versions of the cameras, it is difficult to assess the image quality. However, colour reproduction looks good so far from viewing these samples, and dynamic range seems decent. With the camera(s) being available to buy on the 20th of October, which is less than a month away, we should have full size samples from production cameras in the not too distant future, where we will be able to give our full verdict.
Front of V1 with lens off
The lenses are all optimised / designed for both still image quality and video recording with quiet auto-focus and motors in the power zoom models, and white balance is optimised for each lens. The first three zoom lenses are all retractable / collapsible making them more compact when not in use.
10mm f/2.8 pancake lens - 27mm equivalent.
10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 - 27-81mm equivalent "Standard" zoom.
30-100mm f/3.8-5.6 - 81-297mm equivalent telephoto zoom.
10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 - 27-270mm equivalent power zoom.
A Nikon FT1 adapter is available for Nikon lenses - and with AF-S / AF-I lenses Auto Focus will work. With a 2.7x crop factor, a 35mm standard lens will become a 94.5mm equivalent lens, and this crop factor would suit telephoto lenses particularly if you're interested in having as much zoom as possible. Another way of looking at this is to think of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D lens, which is available for around £90, would become a 135mm f/1.8 telephoto lens, which means getting a bright telephoto lens would be very cheap looking at the price of the lens on its own.
Future lenses are already under development with 7 prototypes being shown including a number of thin zooms, portrait, and macro lenses, for details have a look at the future lenses and prototypes here. It will be interesting to find out the specifications of these lenses when they are officially announced.
Value For MoneyAvailable from the 20th October 2011 the Nikon 1 V1 is priced at £829 with kit lens. This makes it a premium priced camera, most closely matched to the Panasonic Lumix GH2 (£739), Olympus PEN E-P3 (£775), Sony NEX-7 (£1250), and Samsung NX200 (£699) and the rest of the compact system camera market is cheaper still.
High speed shooting at 60fps
Nikon 1 V1 Pros
High resolution viewfinder
Compact camera and lenses
Large range of future lenses
Hybrid AF - Contrast and Phase Detection
Nikon 1 V1 ConsSensor size / Image Quality yet to be determined
High initial price compared to market for V1
Nikon 1 V1 Specifications
|CCD pixels||10.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||CX format|
|Sensor Size (width)||13.2mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||8.8mm|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/16,000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 6400|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1.44million dots|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery|
|Box Contents||EN-EL15 rechargeable Li-ion battery, MH-25 battery charger, UC-E6 USB cable, EG-CP14 audio/video cable, AN-N1000 strap, BF-N1000 body cap, BS-N1000 multi accessory port cover, ViewNX 2/Short Movie Creator CD|