Nikon 1 V1 Review

October 17, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 42

Main rivals no Pentax Q? Strange…

1:18 pm - Monday, October 17, 2011

#2 Jim McDermott

Thank God we’ve got another sensor format! Eight just wasn’t enough. Can’t wait to blow some serious money on a Nikon’s Edsel.

4:40 pm - Monday, October 17, 2011

#3 broxibear

Your “Conclusion” doesn’t seem to have a conclusion of any sort ?

5:10 pm - Monday, October 17, 2011

#4 dj

Yes is looks like Nikon wants you to buy their DSLR cameras instead…. The V1 doesn’t look like a very serious system. Pana/Oly/Sony/Samsung all have better mirrorless systems.- and to top it all off the V1 is very expensive.

7:22 pm - Monday, October 17, 2011

#5 Mad Hungarian

$1000 bucks for an average Chinese made camera? Thanks, but no thanks.

8:40 pm - Monday, October 17, 2011

#6 Kodak Man

This is the Kodak approach to digital photography. Make it crappy so that it won’t threaten our business.

10:08 pm - Monday, October 17, 2011

#7 Grateful11

As I was reading this review I was thinking the exact same thing as the Mad Hungarian, $1000 camera and where is it made, China. Even my 2 year old $400 Canon SX10 was made in Japan. Keep it Nikon.

3:39 am - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#8 Michael

We are running a competition that is giving away $8k worth of Nikon kit including the Nikon 1.

Check it out if you are interested:

7:04 am - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#9 danaceb

Even without a lens or fast AF, me thinks the Nex7 will eat this thing alive.

The problem with mindless Nikon fans is they won’t considering anything but a chunky DSLR. Besides reviewers thrilled that Nikon thinks enough of them to loan a camera, there is no one enthralled by these sub M43 cameras.

7:29 am - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#10 Anna Seed

Your 4th paragaph is incorrect.  It’s not double the size of the Fujifilm X10, it’s the same size!

7:39 am - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#11 Zoltan Arva-Toth


The new Fujifilm X10 is a compact camera with a so-called 2/3-type sensor, whose imaging area is 8.8x6.6mm, or 58.08 square millimetres. The Nikon 1 series cameras have a “CX” format sensor with a surface area of 13.2x8.8mm, or 116.16 square millimetres, which is exactly twice as big.

7:52 am - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#12 DonParrot

This sounds not too bad to me.
Suffering from arthrosis in some of my vertebras, resulting in a lot of pain, it seems that I have to say farewell to my E-5 and my beloved Zuikos. And while I’m really happy with my E-PL3 as long as it’s about objects moving not too fast, there hasn’t been a DSLR replacement for my dog action, to date. So the V1 might be a temporary option, until the µFT camp comes up with a similar V-AF solution.

4:32 pm - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#13 Low Budget Dave

Seems like a specialty camera.  Great for chasing around little kids, but not the camera we wanted.  What I wanted was a mirrorless d3100, what Nikon made instead was a souped-up Powershot. 

A mirrorless D3100 would have put Olympus and Panasonic cameras out of business.  This thing isn’t going to hurt anyone, except maybe Pentax.

4:34 pm - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#14 AG

The sample images for the more expensive V1 are not as sharp as those for the J1. Neither seem as sharp as those for a Lumix DMC-LX5. Maybe its camera shake, but the samples don’t sell the camera.

1:39 pm - Saturday, October 22, 2011

#15 DonParrot

“A mirrorless D3100 would have put Olympus and Panasonic cameras out of business.  This thing isn’t going to hurt anyone, except maybe Pentax.”

Could you plesase expain me why this should have been the case?

4:51 pm - Saturday, October 22, 2011

#16 Low Budget Dave

Pentax bet a lot of money on the Q.  The Q is doing well in Japan as a novelty, but bombing everywhere else.  The V1 and J1 are better cameras than the Q, but the Q was already losing out to the Olympus EP3 and Panny GF3.

Image quality, low-light, lens selection, and ease-of-use (in my opinion) are the areas where the Nikon D3100 beats the MFT design.  If they had taken the D3100 and just removed the mirror, Panny and Oly would have to go back to the drawing board.

Instead, they made a camera with more noise, less lenses, fewer controls, and a higher price tag than anything in the current MFT crop. 

The only reason anyone would buy one of these if if they absolutely need “Nikon” written on the side of their camera.

1:17 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2011

#17 DonParrot

Don’t think so. Why should anyone buy a mirrorless camera with the same old big lenses?
The way to success in the mirrorless era is the best possible compromise between portability and IQ.

And while the IQ of the smaller lenses is improved generation by generation, there is now way to reduce the size of the lenses for bigger sensors - particularly if you want a short flange to allow the use of many legacy lenses via adapters.

So, I think that Sony’s NEX system and Samsung’s NX system with APS-C sensors represent - on the long term - a dead end, while Nikon’s 1 system will be the biggest threat for µFT.

9:13 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2011

#18 PAUL


9:38 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2011

#19 Henrik

The excellent viewfinder makes this camera a very good solution. For me it´s impossible to compose a picture with a any sort of a screen. Nikon has made the smallest solution with a viewfinder. Most people that is complaining about this camera has just read the technical data. The only bad thing with composing with a smaller sensor is the control of focus with low aperture. I have been using the camera for a week and in most cases my SLR will stay at home. Looking forward for more lenses.
Sorry for my english. Hope you understand what I mean

10:56 pm - Thursday, October 27, 2011

#20 Howard

just returned from 3 weeks cycling in northwest Argentina and hiking in Southern Patagonia, took 1300+ shots, would have been a drag with a dslr and lenses, would have been disappointed with any point and shoot, the V1 and 2 lenses were compact, the photos are wonderful, the shooting experience was a pleasure, not a camera for everyone or for all situations, but for an active trip the V1 is a winner

9:16 pm - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#21 jonno

Several comments and opinions from people who have not used this great little camera.  I sprung for a V1 with 10mm. It is fast, sharp, good color, and loads of fun. The RAW files yield adequate data for anything short of exhibition quality fine art printing and the video is impressive for anything short of broadcast quality. In my experience the little V1 definitely beats higher end micro 4/3 (at least the GH2) for ease of use and speed and is of around same IQ - except in low light - which may be solved if Nikon give us some fast primes. Does it replace my D700/Zeiss Macroplanar? Wrong question. I have shot hundreds of frames with the V1 after a week of owning it…none of which i would have taken with my “serious” kit that stayed in its big old bag.  I would urge you to try this camera before you dismiss it.

10:01 am - Sunday, December 4, 2011

#22 daniel

thank you for the last two comments))

4:34 pm - Friday, December 9, 2011

#23 Karl

I just ordered one of these, with a 10mm kit-lens! If you’re on doubt about image-quality, check out this huge library of sample images:


12:58 am - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#24 Tony

Why no mention that with the Nikon adapter, you can use most of Nikon’s DSLR lenses?

7:28 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

#25 Sct888

After read lots of review about Nikon 1 v1 my conclusion is I want a camera that have both good still image and video quality that doesn’t sitting in the camera bag most of the time.
So I order a Nikon 1 v1 10mm, 10-100mm and a flash because that what is suit table for my need.  The main reason are good looking and fast auto focusing and it’s a Nikon.

6:13 am - Saturday, January 21, 2012

#26 Nigel Cummings

I bought a V1 kit on a whim, fully expecting to use it only as a ‘snapshot’ camera as I thought the 10MPixel sensor would be a touch

limiting- I am a Pro using D300s and D7000 DSLR bodies- but a thought occurred to me, its not that long ago that I was using D200 DSLRS for

my ‘Pro’ work, so, would it be possible to get similar levels of quality from the V1 when used in a ‘Pro’ situation? The answer is yes, I

carried a V1 along with me on several assignments as a ‘back up’ camera and quickly found I was appreciating its speed and more

significantly compactness and lack of weight for capturing quality images. On the down side the current flash option for the V1 is a little

weak (Nikon please note)- but the 1 series cameras are in my opinion, not to be discounted as ‘prosumer’ or ‘advanced amateur’s’ cameras -

they really can deliver!

Flippantly I guess, I tried a number of lenses on the V1 body via the F-Mount adapter option, from my collection of Nikon lenses. Whilst it

looked a bit odd, the 18-200mm VR11 allowed me to grab some ‘tack sharp’ images whilst providing me with a colossal 48-540mm (equivalent)

zoom range. My 60mm f2.8 Micro lens turned into a fast, ultra sharp 162mm optic too, whilst my 85mm f1.4 became a 230mm f1.4 which has

proved to be a dream lens for stage and low light telephotography! Great Work Nikon! I’m looking forward to the next generation of your
‘Series 1 offerings’!

9:37 am - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#27 Tord S Eriksson

I have now used my V1 for quite a while (originally it was a gift to my wife from me), and I, like the early commenters here, didn’t think much of it. But I have learned otherwise.

Quite a few buttons are a bit stupid in function, or arrangement, like on the Fuji X100, but I must say that, as long as you keep ISO under 800, it is a very good camera indeed. It’s choice of ISO, and shutter speed, or sometimes weird, but there are workarounds, of course.

I have two 16MP cameras that I just love, a by now well used Pentax K-5 (I am on my second!), and a Sony NEX-5N, and side-by-side testing on my own, and what DPReview have done at their site, shows the V1 as not tailing behind in resolution at all, till ISO 800, or so.

When it is dark outside, or you haven’t sufficient lighting indoors, the small size of the V!‘s sensor does give away the game, but otherwise ...

Like Nigel I’ve been using ‘regular’ Nikon AF-S G lenses with it as well, as yet just two, a 50/1.4G, and a 18-70/3.5-4.5G, with excellent results, not least when used with a Canon 500D close-up lens attached. I also have the classic 80-200/4 that Ken Rockwell think is the sharpest zoom that Nikon ever have made, and that works well, too, even if it is totally manual!

What would I like it to have?! A few of the goodies included in my Sony NEX-5N, of course, like sweep panorama, HDR, and a dedicated ISO button (like the K-5’s), and a different zoom button, not least. That would be it!

Do not need more pixels, or just marginally so, as the sensor is outstanding as it is!

12:07 pm - Monday, April 2, 2012

#28 jehannebc

I bought the V1 just before a trip to Africa, when my sudden inability to carry much weight on my shoulders or around my neck made me leery of taking my Canon dslrs. (See—no brand allegiance here.)  I really just bought it because of the lovely viewfinder - I just can’t stand composing with nothing but a screen (which means I never learned to love my Canon s90). And, I admit it, the camera was just cute. Even in black. The important point is that I fell in love with this camera.  The fast autofocus proved invaluable on my trip when I was with my tour group—where they prod you around at a fast pace to see this and that and then get on the bus.  1800 shots and maybe 1 or 2 were out of focus.  Even the stuff shot at near dark turned out usable to my surprise. No, I don’t love the menus, and no, if I could carry all my gear all the time, I wouldn’t love this camera. Or if I had all the time in the world to set up a tripod and get the perfect shot, no, I wouldn’t take the V1. But for all the other times, and for all the other people who just want something better than their cell phone can produce and don’t devote their whole lives to photography - or can’t carry everything with them at all times - I find it hard to believe that they will do much better than a V1. I’ve shot with exactly none of the micro four thirds cameras so maybe they are great, but most of them don’t have viewfinders and that ruled them out for me. I just wanted to put in my views after spending time actually shooting with the V1, to counter some of the criticism of those who only look to the specs. Everything is a compromise, and I believe that there is a place for the V1 and other cameras like it - and if you like a viewfinder, the V1 had little competition there.

6:11 am - Saturday, June 16, 2012

#29 Tord S Eriksson

I just love my V1!

2:07 pm - Saturday, June 16, 2012

#30 HT

I don’t really get what Nikon’s strategy is for their product line-up.
Now we have a Coolpix P7700 with all sorts of manual setting possibilities for possibly pleasing the enthusiasts, whereas the Nikon 1 series which is priced above the P7700 have less features satisfactory to enthusiasts.
- Sony has launched the RX100 with a 1 inch sensor in a much smaller & lighter body.
- Nikon J1 is being replaced by a slightly modified J2, narrowing the difference between V1 and J1.
These mid-range products of Nikon, i.e. the Nikon 1 series and the P7700, seems to be only drifting in the marketplace struggling to find a place vis-a-vis its stronger competitors, only because Nikon’s innovations are simply behind its major competitors, from the consumer marketing standpoint.
And Nikon now has the D3200 with a 24MB sensor which is driving the price of D5100 go down !!
I think there clearly is a lack of an overall product portfolio strategy and Nikon’s recent launches of new product are just confusing to their users.

5:09 pm - Sunday, August 26, 2012

#31 Tord S Eriksson

Yesterday I had a short stroll in one of our city’s parks and just brought the V1, with the FT1 F-Mount adapter, and the AF-S 70-300 VR. Took maybe 50 pictures of people, birds, and plants, and maybe 5 were out of focus (if you step down the lenses too much the AF doesn’t work perfectly - if you use the native Nikon 1 lenses this is not an issue, by the way).

Pretty pleased with the results - a random selection can be seen here:

To get a comparative kit I’d have to bring along my Sigma 150-500, one of my APS-C-sized DSLRs, not nearly as portable and easy to use, nor quite as long zoom range.

It is also worth remembering that a lot of people react very negatively to such a big lens, as the Sigma 150-500 really is, being pointed at them.

The DOF of the 70-300 is perfect for my taste, and the bokeh just right, so for macro shots I prefer this to my other lenses - often with a Canon close-up lens added to make it possible to focus closer than normally!

The system 1 30-110 lens is nice as well, but being a collapsing type of lens, it easily gets a lot of dust inside, like my have. The mighty Sigma 150-500 is of a similar design, where zooming extends the lens a lot, resulting in similar problems with dust (I’ve been lucky as yet).

10:34 am - Thursday, August 30, 2012

#32 SelimTheDream

I see a lot of disappointed people.  I guess all about expectations and needs.  I wanted a small camera I could easily carry around with me but I also required lightning fast autofocus, very sharp images, fast continuous shooting (10 fps on this camera).  I haven’t used a full frame camera but used a few APS-C ones, Canon 450D, 60D, 7D and Nikon D7000, and out of these cameras only Canon 7D met my needs but it was quite huge and hassle to carry around.  I am buying this camera and happy with it.  Most of the other competition are bulkier due to larger lenses which is the result of larger sensors. 

I can imagine comments like why don’t you get a point and shoot then! Well there isn’t a compact system out there that meets my needs and actually not even the other mirrorless cameras meet my needs.  Later on I will get a full frame DSLR but for now Nikon 1 V1 is more than enough for me.

8:22 pm - Sunday, August 4, 2013

#33 Tord S Eriksson

Seems most who comment on the V1 doesn’t own it, have never used it, nor know what they are talking about.

Yesterday I was visiting my sister and Nordens Ark, a place where they breed endangered species of amphibians, birds, and mammals, including snow leopards. Wasn’t very lucky, as sometimes you see a lot of animals there, sometimes just a few, but picture-wise I had to maybe discard one in ten for being slightly out of focus.

None of my pictures have been post-processed, some cropped a bit (to fit my TV screen).

I think they speak for themselves, when it comes to image quality.

Around 50 pictures:

7:46 pm - Monday, May 5, 2014

#34 JohnC

Is anybody using the CX 70-300 VR lens with the Nikon 1 V3?
Would love to see some shots at 810mm equiv for picture quality before I spring for the lens.
Thanks much!

6:40 pm - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#35 Tord S Eriksson

A lot of Canon users I know Have made an exception, and that is the V3 + the 70-300CX.

It needs a bit of right treatment to work perfect (like opening the images in DxO Optics Pro 10, and set the noise reduction to ‘Prime’, for perfect results)!

Also the limiter works a bit different than on many lenses, in that you first set the minimal focusing distance, then turn On the limiter, and after that don’t touch the manual focusing ring at all!

2:04 am - Saturday, May 2, 2015

#36 nick

v1 is not great if it’s over $500, not able to accept standard flash, no built-in flash, no bracketing.

but for under $250 for the v1+10mm, I’m totally blown away! Fast focus, 9fps raw (mechanical shutter, and up to 40 in buffer), nice big EVF, good screen, nice size and weight, huge battery

get the V1 when you can ! u can’t get a better camera for under $250 ! I’m so wanting another v1 with the 30-110mm+10-30mm for $250 also !

8:16 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#37 ellena stewart

Nikon 1 V1 is a compact camera which poses with 10-megapixel “CX” format sensor and the all-new Nikon 1 lens mount that lets you capture every moment of your life in outstanding clarity. BUt it also causes photo loss issue too. In this case it is recommended to use advance recover tool. More details here:

12:13 pm - Thursday, March 10, 2016

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hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact system camera, nikon, hdmi, mirrorless, csc, RAW, 10fps, 1080i, 10 megapixel, 60fps, viewfinder, stereo sound, NEF, nikon v1, nikon v1 review, 1 V1 Review, Nikon 1 V1 Review

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