A great first entry, but needs improvements.
Nikon’s first entry into the increasingly popular mirrorless cameras (stemming from the Micro 4/3rd standard) market comes in the form of the Nikon 1. The very basic naming scheme emphasizes the simplicity of this mirrorless camera from Nikon, as well, perhaps, a basic starting point for their new line of cameras.
The Nikon 1 comes in two models, the Nikon J1 and the Nikon V1. The former comes with a built-in flash and a slimmer body, while the latter comes with an electronic viewfinder, a higher resolution screen, an accessory port (where you can plug in an external flash) and a larger capacity battery, but also suffers from a fatter body.
The model we were given for review was the higher-end Nikon V1 with two kit lenses, the NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 and 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 for a complete package.
The Nikon V1 is a tall and rather bulky camera, weighing 294 grams. It does get a bit difficult to move around with the V1’s bulk hanging around the neck compared to say the Panasonic Lumix GF5 or the Sony NEX 5.
Of course, a lot of this is attributable to the 1.44m Electronic viewfinder which provides 100% coverage and the i-TTL hot shoe. Thanks to this the Nikon V1 feels like a confident to use camera, where switching between the EVF and the Live View on the rear LCD makes it very adaptable. Of course, the Magnesium and Aluminum alloy body also helps.
On the top we have the mic, the On/Off switch in addition to the shutter release and the movie recording button.
Moving below we see the various operation buttons, including the Function and multifunction buttons (whose use changes depending on the shooting mode). The four primary modes of operation are on the main dial. The 3-inch 921k dots LCD takes the rest of the real estate.
On the left we have the USB and AV out port, the mini-HDMI port and the external mic input jack. On the bottom we have the battery and SD card slots.