The Nikon 1 V3 replaces the Nikon 1 V2
and is the premium mirrorless camera in the Nikon 1 series, the new Nikon 1 V3 no longer features a built-in electronic viewfinder, but comes with an accessory port on top that supports an optional electronic viewfinder. The camera has a new 18.4 megapixel CX (1inch, 13.2x8.8mm) CMOS sensor, shoot at up to 20fps with continuous AF, or snap 40 RAW images at up to 60fps with focus fixed at the first frame. The Nikon 1 V3 is available as a kit with a VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom for £799.99, and with the same lens plus an EVF and grip for £1049.99.
Nikon 1 V3 Features
The Nikon 1 V3 has an 18.4 megapixel CMOS sensor without an optical low-pass filter to capture sharper detail, ISO160 - ISO12800, RAW image shooting. The camera has PSAM shooting modes, front and rear command dials, and programmable function buttons. The mechanical shutter is rated for 100,000 shots, and there is also the option of using the electronic shutter, which is used when shooting at high speeds.
There is a Hybrid AF system - the 171 point hybrid AF system allows shooting speeds up to 20fps with continuous AF, and the camera will automatically switch between the 105 phase-detection AF points and contrast detection AF, which extends to the edge of the frame to focus on peripheral subject.
Built in Wi-Fi lets you control the camera from your smartphone, as well as share images to social network sites via your smartphone. HD movies are recorded with hybrid AF and subject tracking, you can also shoot full resolution images while recording.
The camera has a solid metal body with a moulded rubber grip from the front to the back of the camera. The camera features a 3inch tilting touch-screen with a 1037k dot resolution. The touch-screen lets you set the focus point, shoot photos and adjust settings.
There are a number of optional accessories available, including an electronic viewfinder (EVF), the Nikon 1 DF-N1000 with a 2,359k dot resolution and near 100% frame coverage. An optional grip is available, the GR-N1010, which will help when using Nikkor DSLR lenses with the FT1 Mount adapter.
18.4 megapixel CX format (1inch) CMOS sensor
Nikon 1 lens mount
3inch 1037k dot tilting touch-screen
171 AF points, 105 phase detection
EXPEED 4A image processor
20fps continuous shooting with continuous AF
60fps continuous shooting with fixed AF
ISO160 - ISO12800
Full HD, 60p video recording, microphone socket
Full manual controls and RAW shooting
Available in black
Nikon 1 V3 Handling
The Nikon 1 V3 feels very well built with a solid metal body and an updated and improved designed compared to the slightly DSLR looking V2
. There are now two command dials on the V3, letting you set the aperture and shutter speed when in the relevant manual shooting modes. The rear command dial (Fn2) can be pushed in to change settings and acts as the zoom control in playback mode. Both the Fn1 and Fn2 function buttons can be customised. The camera has a good rubber grip that goes from the front of the camera to the back, giving a good area for your thumb to hold on to. For those that would prefer a larger grip, there is the optional grip that gives the camera a more DSLR styled hand-grip - this also adds a 3rd function button - as shown below, with the optional electronic viewfinder.
The Nikon 1 V3 gives side access to the HDMI / USB and MicroSD card slot, and has a microphone socket on the left hand side for connecting an external microphone. There are four buttons on the left hand side of the touch-screen, and these move with the tilting screen, so that it is still easy to use the buttons when the screen is tilted. The top mode dial makes it easy to switch modes, and the buttons on the back of the camera all fall neatly into position, so you can quickly change settings when holding the camera with one hand. The manual pop-up flash is accessed by a side button, and can be tilted up (and held in position with your hand) for bounce flash.
To focus you can choose from auto-area, single point and subject tracking focus, as well as touch the screen to set the focus position. You can set the focus point across a wide area of the screen, and the screen quality is very good with a high resolution and good colour production. The tilting screen also helps with visibility when shooting outdoors.
The menus are neatly laid out into separate sections including: playback options, shooting options, movie options, image processing, setup and Wi-Fi. You can use the touch screen to scroll through the menus and set options making it quick and easy to change settings.
- Battery life is rated at 310 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is average for a compact mirrorless camera - therefore we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more.
- We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
Continuous Shooting - Flash
Continuous Shooting - RAW
Tested with the 10-30mm VR PD-Zoom lens, focus and shutter response are both extremely quick. The camera shoots at 6fps with the mechanical shutter, you then have the option to shoot at 10, 20, 30 or 60fps with an electronic shutter - it's also possible to shoot at 20fps with AF-tracking active. Flash is not available in any of the continuous shooting modes. When using the continuous shooting modes it can take a while to write to the MicroSD card, so a quick memory card is recommended.
Nikon 1 V3 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database
, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Nikon 1 V3 Sample Photos
- Images have good colour and exposure is reliable. Photos using the flash show very little red-eye, and skin tones are good. Dynamic range is good, with the camera featuring a D-Lighting option to improve dynamic range, and there is also a HDR shooting mode available in the creative shooting mode.
Nikon 1 V3 Lens test images
- Purple fringing and chromatic aberration is well controlled, with a little visible in areas of high-contrast near the edges and corners of the frame. Built in distortion correction takes care of any barrel and pincushion distortion, as well as vignetting. The 10-30mm PD-Zoom kit lens gives impressive macro results, letting you focus very close to your subject when using the full zoom. Images have reasonable levels of detail, however become quite soft when using the full optical zoom of the lens, and are softer in the corners. Therefore we'd recommend using a prime lens for better results.
Nikon 1 V3 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance
- For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO160 to ISO400, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO800 to ISO1600 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. ISO3200 still produces good results with reasonably low levels of noise, but the level of detail is low.
At ISO6400 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. There is also an ISO6400 NR option that produces an image with less noise, but also noticeably less detail. ISO12800 is best avoided as noise is at its highest, and detail is very low.
Nikon 1 V3 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance
- Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well with a warm colour cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a more accurate result. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta colour cast.
Panoramic | 1/1000 sec | f/5.6 | 10.0 mm | ISO 160
- The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good, and well stitched together, although the resolution is low.
Nikon 1 V3 Digital filters
Digital Filters -
The camera has a number of ways to shoot with a creative effect or filter, with a new Creative Palette mode which adjusts brightness, saturation, and white balance as you slide your finger around the ring on the touchscreen, or rotate the multi selector. There are also a number of the more usual effects, such as miniature, selective colour, cross process, soft, and toy camera.
- Video quality is good, and continuous auto-focus is quick when the camera needs to re-focus during recording. The Nikon 1 V3 has a number of high speed video modes, with the video resolution reducing every time the frame rate is increased, an example of these can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel, recorded at 120fps
(768x288), and 1200fps
(416x144). The highest ISO setting available for video is ISO6400, and the slowest shutter speed is 1/100th of a second whether recording 60p, or 30p. An example video, recorded using ISO6400, can be found on YouTube
Value For Money
The Nikon 1 V3 is available for £729 body only
which makes it quite good value for money, particularly up against the following cameras, which also offer high speed continuous shooting:
Sony Alpha A6000
, 11fps with AF tracking, £549 body only.
Panasonic Lumix GH4
, 12fps, 7.5fps with continuous AF, weather sealed, £1299 body only.
Olympus OM-D E-M1
, 10fps, 6.5fps with continuous AF, weather sealed, £1249 body only.
, 8fps with continuous AF, weather sealed, £1049 body only.
You'll also need to buy a memory card
and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags
Nikon 1 V3 Verdict
The Nikon 1 V3 is a compact mirrorless camera, with a new compact 10-30mm power zoom lens, making it more easily placed in jacket pockets. The camera, with its unique sensor technology allows extremely fast continuous shooting, at up to 60fps at full resolution! The camera also offers impressively quick continuous shooting with AF tracking, far beyond what any other camera can currently offer. If you are looking for a camera capable of shooting at extremely quick continuous shooting speeds, up to 60fps, or up to 20fps with AF tracking, then this is the camera for you, as there is nothing (other than the Nikon 1 J4) that can come close to this performance.
The Nikon 1 V3 is available for £729 body only
, or £1049 with 10-30mm PD Zoom lens, EVF and Grip, making it cheaper than a number of the competition. The Nikon 1 system also benefits from a fairly wide range of lens options, currently at 11 lenses, as long as you're happy buying a Nikon lens, as there is currently no 3rd party lenses for the system.
Image quality is good with the camera producing good colours and reliable exposure, with the only negative being the performance of the 10-30mm PD-Zoom lens when using the full optical zoom as images are slightly soft. This is partly offset by the excellent close-up macro performance, which is unexpected on a kit lens. Video quality is good, with rapid focus and the ability to shoot full size images while recording. The 3inch tilting touch screen also makes it very easy to use the camera, and built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to share photos. The Nikon 1 V3 with extreme high-speed shooting offers something unique in the camera market and offers a well-rounded package of options and features, making the Nikon 1 V3 highly recommended.
Nikon 1 V3 Pros
Great tilting touch-screen
2 year warranty
High speed continuous shooting
20fps continuous shooting with AF tracking
High speed video modes
Good image quality and colour
10-30mm lens gives excellent macro shots
Fast focus and shutter response
Nikon 1 V3 Cons
Non-standard flash hot-shoe
10-30mm PD lens soft (particularly telephoto end)
Prime lenses needed for best results
VALUE FOR MONEY
Nikon 1 V3 Specifications
|CCD pixels||18.4Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size (width)||13.2mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||8.8mm|
|Screen resolution||1037k dots|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
- Scene modes
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||160 - 12800|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
|Video FPS||60p, 30p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||No Data|
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