I bought my wife a new camera. She was sad it wasn’t pink, but I’m sure she will get over it. I bought a Nikon V1. I can’t believe it’s true, but it is. When Nikon first released it, I mocked it! I thought a small sensor camera was the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of . The quality couldn’t be any good. The price was insane for what you get. And that was that. I never gave it another thought. That is until Nikon released the V2 and had to get rid of V1 stock. I got a killer deal on the V1 and the 10-30mm kit lens. $300.00 at B&H. For that insane price, there is tremendous value in this little camera. I scooped one up and I am stoked that I did!
First of all, mirror less inter changeable lens cameras fall into the “better than your cell phone, but not quite as good as your DSLR” market. It’s compact and convenient. That’s what I love about the Nikon 1 series. The focusing is super fast – like unbelievable fast. It’s incredible! The image quality is also tremendous for a sensor it’s size, including high ISO. I bought this camera as the goto, do anything family camera for stills and video. We have a canon point and shoot but the quality sucks. We had a flip hd camera, but it died. So we needed to clutch up our family memories department, especially for those times when the DSLR just isn’t an option. I can see the V1 being a near perfect little travel camera. I love that I can man handle my children and this little camera doesn’t get in the way. I love that! It’s such a plus to carry this much camera power in a light and compact setup.
Having the camera for only a couple of hours, I had the perfect venue to test it’s metal. Phoebe had her music for young children recital tonight at the United Church in town. I had no idea before hand but it is probably the worst-lit building I’ve ever been in! (Granted during the day time the nice windows light it up amazingly, but at night, it’s got old nasty green fluorescents). Perfect to test the high ISO garbage-light settings of the V1. The problem with small sensors is that they usually suck in low light. Henceforth, full frame cameras always do better than crop body DSLRs in low light. But how does the V1 perform? Not too shabby! I did find that with the kit lens, being limited to 3.5-5.6 sucked big time. I under exposed the video simply because I couldn’t open the lens up anymore. The sweet pancake 2.8 prime or the new 18mm f/1.8 would be just the ticket and I will quickly add one of those to the V1 kit for sure. Anyways, I shot video with the V1 and also with my iPod as a comparison. It’s interesting to see number 1, how well they both perform and number 2, how the Nikon beats the iPod hands down.
Same goes for still pictures too. The Nikon wins over the iPod/iPhone. So it’s worth carrying a larger recording device to me. I’m excited to see how the V1 fares over the next few days. I will test it outside and shoot some landscapes and some more video. I’m really excited and find that the streamlined body style is comfortable and fits my hand very well. I think the redesign of the V2 makes the camera a bit too bulky, even though I’m sure it will be far nicer to use. The menus are very intuitive and I was using the camera easily in no time. The ability to add the FT-1 adapter too to use my FX Nikon lenses will be amazing as well – perfect for wildlife! All in all, the V1 is a tremendous little camera with amazing possibilities. I’m sure Regan will love her new camera.
PS: For a stunning display of what the V1 is capable of, check out this amazing photo essay using only the V1 and the 10mm pancake lens.