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My review of the Nikon V1 is now posted at
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Always interested when you review a camera, particularly one I am using. I bought it for long distance, multi-day walking and camping in the UK and in that respect I consider it will be a good fit in that it is light, with good battery life, and I have to say, as small as any ILC cameras with a lens attached. The 30-110mm is impressively small. It will be a miracle if the accessory cover doesn't get lost! It fell of while in my chest pocket so it is now held in place by a piece of electrical tape.

Yes it would be great to have more control, but I can live with the limitations. I get the feeling Nikon will continue to develop this range and wouldn't be surprised for the next iterations of the body to provide additional functionality. They have already indicated a road map for lenses which suggests an initial commitment to develop the CX format. Sales will probably have a lot to do with whether this actually happens - some other comentators have already suggested that this format will have a short life.

I have some concerns over the use. A day walk in snowy conditions brought about a frustrating problem when a snow flake landed on the eye sensor for the EVF . When I subsequently took my eye away from the EVF it wouldn't switch to the rear display (because of water lying in the sunken area. I also found occasions when the lens wouldn't extend on first attempt (locking up).

Happy to feed back as I become more experienced with the V1.
Thanks! I have been looking for a good review for a while.
Definitely agree on the need to be able to set the "F"unction button to something I want to access often, though my choices would be ISO or custom white point. I'm curious if you are doing a separate review of the mini Speedlight, or updating this review later?
+Thom Hogan Thanks for the review.

But does the mechanical shutter make any difference besides flash sync speed?
+Gordon Moat I'll eventually get around to accessory reviews. Short review: as a fill flash, it works sufficiently. It has nice swivel/tilt capabilities for those that want to bounce. Not hugely powerful, but adequate for most things close in.
+Andre Pontes I suspect so. I think I see a small difference in results with the electronic versus mechanical shutter on high contrast edges, but I'm still exploring that. There are multiple variables that get in the way of a clear answer.
It is sad that there is no tilt/swivel screen, because in case of bird photography you might need to shoot very low. Probably I will wait for the next version.
+Sami Maisniemi True. The more I use cameras with swivel screens, the more I've come to enjoy the flexibility they give my old body while shooting. My days of being a contortionist are long gone, yet my desire to put the camera in positions where my eye is not continue.
Thom - I don't often check here but have already got into the habit of checking regularly. I only found the V1 review because I was hovering over the Cameras menu looking for a review of the NX-200. Did you miss it in "most recent" on the homepage?
I agree with Thom that the prices of Nikon V1 and J1 are far too high. In Finland the models have just become available, but I am quite sure that we will see some price cuts after the holiday period. Especially the F mount adapter is very expensive.
I'd still argue that both the V1 and J1, because of their shared UI, means the J1 isn't as easy to use as it should be for casual snappers, and the V1 is just a pain for seasoned photographers.
Hi Thom. I, too, am checking daily. Looking forward to your thoughts and review of the Gx1. But for now I'd like to know your thoughts about printing with the files out of the V1, both raw and jpeg. Thanks!!
One more comment. Looks like NX2 version 2.3 is up at the Nikon USA website. It did not come up when I did an update check with NX but I was able to update from the Nikon site.
Thanks for the review Thom. I personally like the V1 as a camera for the companion of the enthusiast photographer, with one proviso: the mode dial should have still image A and still image B, which would allow different settings to be recorded. A could be for no-brainer snapshot (e.g. jpg fine, scene) and B for more advanced settings (raw, others as needed). I fully agree with the fact that both mode dial and multi selector change positions too easily. On the other hand, I was quite pleased with the relatively flat structure of the UI menus. It could have been much worse. One regret: not having direct access to ISO settings through the F button for instance. Street price in Singapore for the camera including the 10-30 lens and 8GB card is between USD 800 and USD 850. Would greatly appreciate a wider lens, 20mm FX equivalent.
+Yuan Sheng Lee The problem is that there is no difference between UI for the two cameras (a couple of menu items, mostly). Thus, they're targeted at the same user. Yet there is a difference between function and (some underlying) features, and those differences do target different types of users. Thus, we have things on the J1 that can be changed that are likely never going to be changed by the person who buys one of those. And we have things that we wish could be changed in a different way on the V1 because they won't want to menu dance to get to them. Put another way, Nikon's choices don't work for either user optimally.
+John Davis Haven't really printed a lot from the Nikon 1 yet. The only real issue is pixel count. 10mp produces a very nice ~ 8 x 13" print. Any larger than that and you're starting to promote pixels from essentially invisible (300 dpi) to potentially visible (<300 dpi).
I was very curious about J/V1. I have D7000 but with my favourite 17-55 lens it is not exactly light setup. Many thanks for your review Thom, but after reading carefully both, I think I'll wait for next gen 1s. Or maybe I'll get cheaper J1 with pancake, which should be really small and easy to carry around.
M Sch
Gosh it is a shame that Nikon didnt use the P7100 or G12 as a "style-guide" for the V1. Is it really that difficult to take the P7100/G12 design, integrate a EVF and make the whole thing mirrorless? I am also disappointed by the prime lens. In my opinion it should be faster and have better IQ...
+Markus Schnober Rumor has it that's exactly what Canon did: took a G12 and simply put a bigger sensor in it to come up with their next small camera (no interchangeable lens, though).
+Thom Hogan Yea, that's pretty much what I said. Coupled with the high price, I'm not very enthusiastic over the 1 series, which is a pity, because I like the V1's combination of size and EVF.
M Sch
Wasnt there a rumor about a P7100 styled Nikon1 Cam? I wonder how much effort Nikon will put into the 1 System. After all they still got their PS & DSLR Lines :/
+Markus Schnober Nikon will put considerable effort into the Nikon 1 line, especially since it seems to be doing reasonably well. The question is better worded: "how will Nikon rationalize the Coolpix, 1, and DSLR lines?" That's especially a problem because Canon is going to take the G12 to a larger sensor, making it more competitive with the 1 than the P7100. Personally, if I were them, I'd make the P7100 a fixed lens 1. But of course, it has a different, higher end UI than the 1 ;~). Yeah, it's confused and confusing.
I was going to wait until the F mount adapter came out but I caved in with the rebates still going. +Thom Hogan I hope you will keep us up to date on your continued tests between the mechanical vs electronic shutter. I like to do some timelapse work and electronic certainly will take some worry out of running up the mechanical shutter count. Offsetting that is the odd decision to make 5 seconds the smallest interval. Would love to see that lowered in firmware but I can't see a groundswell of people asking Nikon to make it a priority :~(.
Well, a nice new CX Format, coupled with pretty decent imaging under the hood but totally wrong implementation, lousy build and a totally out of the market price. What a shame ...
Very pleasant surprise on the very low light the EVF seems better than both the Panasonic G3 and Sony 5n. Much cleaner image with less noise. Now to get used to "backwards" to attach/detach lenses.
As usual, a very detailed and sober tests.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Erik in Denmark.
Great review. I'm eager to see your NEX-5N review as I'm having a hard time believing that the V1 stands up to a NEX at all when you consider what focus peaking, live histogram, a tilt screen, and a big sensor add to the bag. I use a NEX 3 alongside a D7000 because it lets me play with strange lenses and compositions without getting my clothes dirty or missing shots with my D7000. It doesn't seem like the V1 has much to offer as a complimentary body. I also don't see the V1 being very useful as the only camera I carry since speed is never the thing I miss most when I'm going small. In those situations, I pick the NEX for its sensor/body ratio almost every time. You mentioned that you could get some shots more easily with the V1 than you couldn't with a NEX or m4/3. What sort of shots were those? I'm wondering if they would ever apply to me.
+Terry Banet I wouldn't overly worry about the shutter count. Basically no more than you'd worry about a D7000 shutter, which is to say, not worry at all.
+Terry Banet +Ian Tseng The Sony NEX-5N and Nikon V1 are going to appeal to quite different users, I think. A lot of that has to do with what they're best at. The NEX-5N is best at image quality, the V1 is best at focus/speed. Neither is a champ at handling, though the NEX-5N is much more configurable.
Right, clearly the NEX and 1 will appeal to different users (whether the companies meant for that or not). I just don't think there are too many situations where someone who really needs focus/speed can't or won't just bring a DSLR, especially given the UI quirks you're describing. It seems like a very narrow market that Nikon has targeted and I'm surprised its actually doing well.
+Ian Tseng It's called "size and weight fatigue."

Realistically, DSLRs are more camera than most DSLR purchasers actually needed. They were the primary choice in the 1999-2005 time period simply because of image quality and other performance factors. If you thought you needed any level of image quality above snapshot, you didn't have a lot of choice but get a DSLR. In many ways, the camera companies mimicked what they did with film: there was a big gulf for quite some time between compact film cameras and SLRs. Eventually we had a handful of high-end compacts, including the Nikon 35ti, the Minolta TC1, and even something like the Olympus XA.

In the digital age, it took a while before small sensor performance allowed higher end cameras. But we're now living squarely in that world. I sense a strong pushback now: more and more DSLR users are balking at the bulk and weight. There are some planes I can't get on any more with a full set of high-end DSLR equipment due to weight restrictions, too, so it isn't just users that are pushing back on weight.

Here's the thing that I didn't write about the V1: if 10mp is enough, if you don't shoot in insanely low light conditions, if you aren't constantly tweaking camera settings, and if you don't need every lens ever made, the V1 is probably a better choice than any Nikon DSLR. Thing is, those things I just wrote apply to more DSLR users than you might think. Many more. It's a bit like one-ton pickup owners discovering compact performance sport utility vehicles. More will switch than you think.

The problem for Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Panasonic is that the rush is on. The enthusiasts are finding lots to like about all those cameras, but lots that didn't get done, too. They'll tolerate those missing elements for a while, but if one company gets more of it right than the others, it'll change market share dramatically.

And I think that's already happening. The Sony NEX-7 and Nikon V1 each have aspects that go above and beyond what we've come to expect in the mirrorless market. What they don't have is lenses. So it's now a race: will Sony and Nikon get lenses out before Olympus/Panasonic get serious about an EVF in a small form factor, low-level light ability, and continuous focusing speed?
+Thom Hogan Completely agree on your comments about size and weight. Glad to see you emphasize that point. As a professional, I have a need for a back-up camera, along with all the other gear I carry onto an airplane. This year I had the misfortune of recovering from a back injury, only to get a previously injured shoulder dislocated; I'm doing better, but still not fully recovered. How much I can carry now impacts what I do carry, which is what led me to the V1. I don't see it as an only camera for professionals, mostly due to questions about durability, but I might be surprised next year seeing someone do just that. Agree that Nikon need to get those other lenses out soon, especially one or more faster lenses. If they do make a more professional Nikon 1 body, I hope it includes weather sealing and stronger control buttons.
Thom, thanks for another great writeup. I've used the camera on an extended trip, really like the small size and weight, plus the autofocus is pretty good, even compared to my d300. I also miss the af-on, ala the d300, and agree with your frustrations on UI design. A couple more frustrations: why have a menu driven system and not have a User 1 and User 2 setting on the (otherwise useless) mode dial? My S90 has this, takes the pain out of the menu system. Also, in addition to the too limited auto iso settings, why have a displayed top iso limit shown on the heads up display, rather than a bliinking ACTUAL iso setting as in the d300? Can't be lack of computational power!

I'm really looking forward to trying out the FT1 for birding. The Nikon Europe site originally claimed that both AF-S and AF-I would be supported, though now it appears that AF-S is the sole AF contender. Any info on this? Thinking of picking up a used AF-I if it is compatible. Thanks!
Thanks for the write up. I'm thinking of trading in my X10 and a lense (Zeiss 50mm f1.4, the focus shift is really getting to me) for one of these if I can. I hated this camera when it was announced but the more I think about it the more it seems like it would be a great addition to my D7000, it was very smart of nikon to use the same batteries.
Thanks for the review. I spent the last 20 days with this camera and have grown to like:
1. fast focus and operation
2. size (or lack of compared to size/weight of my D90 kit) - the V1 and 3 lenses easily travelled with me on two trips. I never take my D90 kit anywhere unless is explicitly for photography.
3. video - got some excellent video on the ski slopes
Did not like:
1. manual focus - unusable (I really enjoy slowing down and taking good manual focus/exposure nature images with old lens)
2. controls/lack of direct functions
3. lack of features - ie. exposure bracketing.

So the V1 is being returned. This year I am selling my DX based kit and getting a small system that goes with me 80% of the time (Nikon lost my money here and an OM-D E-M5 with a couple of primes is on order) and later this year will purchase a FF kit after I watch the industry shake out FF in 2012.
Has anyone else had an issue using the v1 where you put your eye to the EVF and it won't then revert back to the rear display? This happened to me on recently. As I use a tripod to shoot at low angles it was pretty frustrating. I was having to switch the camera off and then back on to gain control.

I've just used a cotton bud to gently wipe the small channel to the left of the EVF and it seems to have corrected the issue (although it didn't look dirty!)>
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