Nikon Excellent detailed review of the Nikon V1 and J1

snake

Veteran
Oct 4, 2011
Spent another 15 minutes playing with a J1 at Best Buy tonight. Took a few photos of myself and was impressed with the sharpness and detail it rendered as viewed through the LCD. ISO 1600 (well exposed at 1/160) was actually nice. I'd say it's on par with a 12 mp m4/3 sensor. Maybe even a bit better. I like the styling of the J1 better than the V1, which does indeed look like a Tetris block! Unfortunately, there are no V1's at the retail Best Buy stores.

I can't believe I'm actually liking a Nikon ... strange feeling.
With all due respect, it's hard to make an evaluation and a comparison based on seeing the pictures on the screens of two different cameras. Most certainly not sharpness.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
Huntsville, AL
Jason
Here is a review for the J1 at dcresource. I really like Jeff's reviews, as I think they are well balanced:

Nikon 1 J1 Review | Digital Camera Resource Page

This caught my eye in the review, though, at the conclusion:

Camera performance is generally very good, though the J1 needs help in a few areas. The camera starts up in about 1.1 seconds, and generally focuses very quickly. However, if the camera switches to contrast detect AF, which it does in low light, expect less impressive performance, with focus times of a second or slightly longer. Shutter lag wasn't an issue, and shot-to-shot delays were brief, even if the flash is used. The J1 has an exceptional burst mode, with speeds of up to 60 frames per second. Two of the "slower" speeds -- 5 and 10 fps -- even allow for focusing between each shot. Despite having a relatively powerful battery, the J1 can take just 230 shots per charge -- tied with the Pentax Q for the worst of any interchangeable lens camera on the market.



I wonder why it uses CDAF in low light? Wouldn't PDAF be faster? Slightly curious.
 

retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
Retow, your right. I love watching the turning of the tides.
My daughter has a Nikon being delivered today. I think she got the better one, knowing her.
She also has a Nex 7 on the way from Japan on a fighter jet. Should be in Delaware tomorrow.
I hope she loves the Nikon and hates the Nex. That gives me a new Nex. She won't let me come down this weekend cause she wants to try them out by herself.

The Nikon is a sleeper. It no doubt will take off and do very well. The AF alone will change heads. The files I saw were real nice. As good if not better then the X10. Hmmmm
Good luck all.....
Lucky her. Fighter jet delivery for sure is the fastest and most exclusive form of shipment not even money can buy. In case both of you don't get along with the NEX7, I'd even drive to Philly to pick it up…..:biggrin:
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
Well, my daughter is a knucklehead about cameras. I bet the Nex is gone in less then a week. The X100 lasted about the same time. She refuses to admit that her photography is now about family stuff.
Anyway, The Nikon has her interest because it will fit in her pocketbook easily and safely. Of course that bag is larger than any camera bag known to mankind.

I'm reading some thoughts from the streets and the Nikon is the new capable kid on the block....
 

adanac

Veteran
Sep 30, 2011
Vancouver, BC
The Nikon is a sleeper. It no doubt will take off and do very well. The AF alone will change heads.
I think you are right... it is the "you won't miss the shot" camera and that alone will appeal to families if the legend holds up and gains traction. And it says N I K O N on it. Hopefully for Nikon the camera isn't one of those affected by the flooding in Thailand, because I think it'll sell well.

Handled the V1 in my local store a few blocks away today... it is surprisingly nice. I don't mind the black V1 for looks; would never by the J1 personally on appearance alone. I bet it does much better than the X10, and Nikon's distribution will probably mean people can actually get it as opposed to finding it difficult to get the latest hot Fujifilm creation.

Neither are a camera for me, but I could see buying one for my wife/the family if I were in the market for one right now. I can see people buying the V1 or J1 instead of budget DSLRs... probably grabbing some customers back that might have gone to Samsung or Panasonic or Olympus (if they are still an entity soon) or Sony. The V1 might not be classic looking but it looks like a camera whereas the NEX 3C/5N don't look classic at all.

Also had a look at the Pentax Q. Reminds me of tiny 110 cameras. Cute. Would never buy one but cute.

We expect a full review from you or your daughter of that NEX-7. That one catches my interest.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
When I am out and about at events where the moms and dads bring their cameras they almost always have small Canon or Nikon DSLRs. The Nikon 1 is the first camera that I think could seriously start to replace those DSLRs for that crowd.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
adanac, your right. There is a market for the Nikon but it's a much larger market than most enthusiast are aware. This camera will go places others can't reach.
It's probably the first real cross over camera in a long time. I'm enjoying all these new cameras, from afar but still enjoying. Actually with Bethany doing her buy everything, keep dads cameras thing, it's not to afar at that.
I hear the AF is scary fast.... Dunno?

Andrew, your right on....
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
Nikon 1 is a system which is dissed by many enthusiasts but loved by many professional photographers like Kirk Tuck. I was rather puzzled by the small sensor at the beginning, but defended the camera against many unqualified malign criticisms soon. The problem with most negative criticisms is, that the camera is not taken as what it is but as what it is not. As soon as one looks closer at that system and accepts it as what it is, it becomes rather interesting because of some unique properties.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
Nikon 1 is a system which is dissed by many enthusiasts but loved by many professional photographers like Kirk Tuck. I was rather puzzled by the small sensor at the beginning, but defended the camera against many unqualified malign criticisms soon. The problem with most negative criticisms is, that the camera is not taken as what it is but as what it is not. As soon as one looks closer at that system and accepts it as what it is, it becomes rather interesting because of some unique properties.
Very well stated.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
Huntsville, AL
Jason
Nikon 1 is a system which is dissed by many enthusiasts but loved by many professional photographers like Kirk Tuck. I was rather puzzled by the small sensor at the beginning, but defended the camera against many unqualified malign criticisms soon. The problem with most negative criticisms is, that the camera is not taken as what it is but as what it is not. As soon as one looks closer at that system and accepts it as what it is, it becomes rather interesting because of some unique properties.
This is what many said about the E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM1.
 

adanac

Veteran
Sep 30, 2011
Vancouver, BC
pictor, that was well put. My initial reaction to the new Nikon's was not positive and remains so - for me. But I can appreciate where they started their design process from - not for me.

It is an excellent, small, backup camera for the person that already has a do-all camera such as a pro or enthusiast equipped with a DSLR system, and it is an excellent do-all camera for the person or family that can have only one real camera other than their cell phone and should more properly value size, and getting "the" shot, over looking like they are carrying a mini version of that guy/gal in the media scrum.

Andrewtree said:
When I am out and about at events where the moms and dads bring their cameras they almost always have small Canon or Nikon DSLRs. The Nikon 1 is the first camera that I think could seriously start to replace those DSLRs for that crowd.
I agree, mostly because it came from Nikon and of course would say the same about Canon. That said there are probably dozens of better cameras than a small DSLR for many of these family type shooters but they tend to get sold that which they go looking for, don't they?

Case in point, I was just at one my youngest son's school taking some shots of their Remembrance Day ceremony for the school yearbook. Of the few parents that attended three were using small consumer DSLRS - one Canon, one Nikon and one I couldn't make out. The rest were either using cell phones (a few) or very small point and shoots (more). I bet most of them would love the V1 or J1.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
It is an excellent, small, backup camera for the person that already has a do-all camera such as a pro or enthusiast equipped with a DSLR system, and it is an excellent do-all camera for the person or family that can have only one real camera other than their cell phone and should more properly value size, and getting "the" shot, over looking like they are carrying a mini version of that guy/gal in the media scrum.
My very first reaction was not very positive, but it was not particularly bad, either. However, I have never made the mistake to take it as what it is not and the longer I read and think about it, the more I like it. I think that this camera is more than a backup camera or a camera for a family upgrading their cell phone camera. In my opinion this camera is a fine tool in its own right offering new ways of shooting.
 

adanac

Veteran
Sep 30, 2011
Vancouver, BC
In my opinion this camera is a fine tool in its own right offering new ways of shooting.
I think you might be right about that but unfortunately during my brief exposure to it this morning I didn't get to play with some of the unique capabilities. I'm sure people with vision will do fun / challenging / mind-bending / useful work with it.

Perhaps "backup" camera for those with other demanding needs is not quite right. "Alternative" camera that happens to also work as a backup/small carry everywhere yet does some unique things at the same time.

No doubt Nikon won't be the only one pushing the envelope as to what a camera is and can do. Exciting times.

Remember when the major difference from 35mm SLR release to the next were more mundane advances like max shutter speed or flash sync or motor winder capability? There's a lot more to take in now.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
I must agree Pictor. The camera will find its shooters. It fits many hands. I found out why Bethany is getting it. The AF ad has her going. That feature alone will bring even the hard core shooters to change their way of thinking.
I thought it was stupid looking and ugly. I still think that but it's gonna be fun trying to catch the grands in motion. After all, what could ever be more important than the family album? Nothing!
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
I must agree Pictor. The camera will find its shooters. It fits many hands. I found out why Bethany is getting it. The AF ad has her going. That feature alone will bring even the hard core shooters to change their way of thinking.
I thought it was stupid looking and ugly. I still think that but it's gonna be fun trying to catch the grands in motion. After all, what could ever be more important than the family album? Nothing!
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
With all due respect, it's hard to make an evaluation and a comparison based on seeing the pictures on the screens of two different cameras. Most certainly not sharpness.
Agreed. I wasn't comparing the sharpness of the images in the J1's screen with anything else other than my interpretation of what I saw on the J1's screen. I magnified the images as much as I could, and it looked sharp in the J1's LCD. I could see my pores, freckles, and moles quite well (unfortunately). Whether or not the same photos ends up looking as sharp on my computer screen or print, that's a different story. Just relaying my experience, and why the camera has peaked my curiosity. :)
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
One thing I couldn't figure out during my brief handling of the J1 was how to change aperture. I looked, looked, but couldn't find the option. On the other hand, the menu of the X100 wasn't all that friendly either. Or on the NEX.

I need to go find a V1 somewhere and check out that EVF.
 

Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
I am not in the market for another camera as I still have plenty of pixels left to abuse in the ones I have, but if was in need this would I would be very interested in the J1 or V1 with a strong leaning toward the V1
 

retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
I must agree Pictor. The camera will find its shooters. It fits many hands. I found out why Bethany is getting it. The AF ad has her going. That feature alone will bring even the hard core shooters to change their way of thinking.
I thought it was stupid looking and ugly. I still think that but it's gonna be fun trying to catch the grands in motion. After all, what could ever be more important than the family album? Nothing!
I look forward to your opinon and experience with it. So far, zone focusing and Ricohs snap mode were the savest bets for street shooting with compact cameras. In my opinion, with the N1 we have for the first time a compact camera with AF performance in good DSLR territory, fast enough to reliably get the shot. Additionally, continous shooting speeds and instant readiness for the next shot, even if a burst of raw pictures was just taken, are in a class of its own. Re ugly looking, I kind of like the bauhaus minimalistic design, it's a no nonsense and unobtrusive look (in black). As mentioned in an earlier post, retro design is nice but can be a little too much and sometimes feels as if function followed form rather than the other way around.
I like my new bag with the best compact large sensor MF camera, GXR M-mount, and the new AF champion V1.
 

retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
One thing I couldn't figure out during my brief handling of the J1 was how to change aperture. I looked, looked, but couldn't find the option. On the other hand, the menu of the X100 wasn't all that friendly either. Or on the NEX.

I need to go find a V1 somewhere and check out that EVF.
Changing shooting mode requires diving into the menu, it's quite intuitive though and I got used to it quickly. Mine is constantly set to aperture priority. Re EVF, it is good and so is the lcd screen, I hear not at the level of the NEX7 but it betters the GXR's one. And I have no complains about Ricoh's EVF.
 

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