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Nikon V1 Review

By on July 25, 2012
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A great first entry, but needs improvements.

Tags:
Good: Solid build, excellent EVF, Motion Snapshot mode is gimmicky but a nice feature, Smart Photo Selector is great for fast moving scenes, Continuous shooting at 60fps provides exceptional speed for novice users, both mechanical and (silent) electronic shutters available, and very fast AF system.
Bad: No manual focus ring on lens and digitally manually zooming is cumbersome, rear LCD doesn't accurately represent exposure compensation in Live View, some basic options are hidden in sub-menus and no special 'art filter' effects.
Price: AED 4,600
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

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.

Build

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.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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