Nikon 1 V1 Review

October 17, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon 1 V1 is a compact system camera featuring a 10-megapixel "CX" format sensor and the all-new Nikon 1 lens mount. Boasting continuous shooting speeds of up to 60 frames per second at full resolution, Full HD video capture, an ultra-fast hybrid auto-focus system, Smart Photo Selector and a unique Motion Snapshot Mode, the Nikon V1 also offers more conventional shooting modes like Programmed Auto, Aperture and Shutter Priority, as well as Metered Manual. Also on board is an eye-level electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1.44 million dots, a sharp 3" rear display and an accessory port for attaching a flashgun, GPS unit or one of a number of not-yet-available accessories. Photographers can choose between using an electronic or a mechanical shutter. Priced at £829 / $899 with a 10-30mm lens or £979 / $1,149 in a double-lens kit, the Nikon 1 V1 is scheduled to go on sale later this month.

Ease of Use

Made of aluminium with magnesium alloy reinforced parts, the Nikon 1 V1 is heavier than you would think based on its size alone. It also feels better made than the official product shots would have you believe. It simply feels good in your hands. With an essentially grip-less design, the Nikon V1 is very much a two-handed affair that requires you to hold the camera's weight in the left hand, clutching the lens, and use your right hand for balance and operating the controls. This is actually a good thing as it forces you to pay attention to holding the camera properly, which in turn goes a long way toward avoiding shake-induced blur in your photos.

The camera's clean, minimalist front plate is dominated by the all-new Nikon 1 lens mount. Instead of being a scaled-down version of the good old F mount, it's a completely new design that provides 100% electronic communication between the attached lens and the camera body, courtesy of a dozen contacts. Just like on the manufacturer's F-mount SLR cameras, there is a white dot for easy lens alignment, although it has moved from the 2 o'clock position (when viewed front on) to the top of the mount. The lenses themselves feature a short silver ridge on the lens barrel, which needs to be in alignment with said dot in order for you to be able to attach the lens to the camera. While this may require a bit of getting used to, it actually makes changing lenses quicker and easier.

With no lens attached, you can see the sensor sitting right behind the plane of the bayonet mount. Like the mount itself, the sensor is brand new. Measuring 13.2x8.8mm this "CX" format imaging chip has double the surface area of the biggest imagers used in compact and bridge cameras like the Fujifilm X10 and S100FS, but only about half the area of a standard Four Thirds sensor. In linear terms, a Four Thirds chip has a 1.36x longer diagonal than the Nikon CX imager. Given that Four Thirds has a 2x focal length multiplier, the CX "crop factor" works out to about 2.72, meaning that a 10mm lens has approximately the same angle of view as a 27.2mm lens on an FX or 35mm film camera. The Nikon 1 Nikkor 10-30mm standard zoom is thus equivalent to a 27.2-81.6mm (or, practically speaking, 28-80mm) FX lens in terms of its angle-of-view range.

The rest of the faceplate is almost empty, featuring only the lens release, a receiver for the optional ML-L3 infrared remote control, an AF assist/self-timer lamp and a raised vertical bar in lieu of a hand-grip that's more of a decoration than a functional part of the camera.

There are two ways of powering on the Nikon 1 V1. You can either use the on/off button sitting next to the shutter release or, if you have a collapsible-barrel zoom lens attached, you can simply press the unlocking button on the lens barrel and turn the zoom ring to unlock the lens, an act that causes the camera to switch on automatically. This is an ingenious solution as you need to unlock the lens for shooting anyway. Start-up takes just over a second - nothing to write home about but still decent and entirely adequate.

Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V1
Front Rear

You can frame your shots using either the rear screen or the EVF. The former is a three-inch, 921,000-dot display that boasts wide viewing angles, great definition and accurate colours but only so-so visibility in strong daylight. That's where the EVF comes in. The Nikon V1 has a smooth, fluid and high-resolution electronic viewfinder with natural-looking colours, but a somewhat low magnification. Make no mistake, the finder isn't small - especially if you compare it to the OVF of a typical entry-level DSLR - but its apparent size is definitely smaller than that of the Panasonic G3, whose EVF boasts the same 1.44-million-dot resolution but a noticeably higher magnification. The Nikon V1 has an eye proximity sensor that allows the camera to automatically switch from the rear screen to the EVF when you raise it to your eye, but this doesn't happen instantly. There's a lag of about 0.5-1 second, which doesn't interfere much with general shooting but can be frustrating when trying to grab a quick shot of something. The EVF has a dioptre adjustment knob on the right-hand side of the viewfinder housing, when viewed from behind.

The control layout is rather peculiar. The Nikon 1 V1 has a small, rear-mounted mode dial that lacks most of the shooting modes that are usually found on similar dials - most notably P, A, S and M - even though it has enough room to accommodate them. These modes are available on the V1 but you have to dive into the rather long-winded and not entirely logical menu to find them. The V1's mode dial has only four settings, Photo, Video, Motion Snapshot and Smart Photo Selector. The four-way controller also has four functions mapped onto its Up, Right, Down and Left buttons; including AE/AF-Lock, exposure compensation, AF mode and self-timer, respectively. Although this isn't a bad choice of functions, the fact that there is no ISO button will doubtlessly cause a lot of photographers interested in buying the Nikon V1 to be unhappy.

There's a button labelled "F" but alas, this isn't a programmable function button. In Photo mode, it allows you to quickly choose between the mechanical and electronic shutter, which isn't exactly the most frequently performed operation; while in Video mode, it lets you toggle between regular and slow-motion recording. There are two more important controls on the back of the camera, including a scroll wheel around the four-way pad and a rocker switch marked with a loupe icon. The scroll wheel is used to set the shutter speed in Manual and Shutter Priority modes (once you've found them in the menu, that is), while the rocker switch controls the aperture. The reason why it's got a loupe icon next to it is that this control is used to zoom in on an image to check for critical focus in Playback mode. Last but not least, there are four small buttons around the navigation pad, flush against the rear panel of the camera, including Display Mode, Playback, Menu and Erase.

So what are those shooting modes on the mode dial all about? The Photo or Still Image mode, marked with a green camera icon, is where you will want to be most of the time. With the mode dial set to this position, you can pick your desired exposure mode from the menu. The Nikon V1's Scene Auto Selector is a smart auto mode in which the camera analyses the scene in front of its lens and picks what it thinks is the right mode for that particular scene. You can also choose one of the conventional PASM modes, which give you full menu access and the ability to manually set the aperture, shutter speed, or both (Program AE Shift is available in P mode). ISO and white balance can also be manually selected, but only from the menu, as already mentioned.

Of course there's AWB and auto ISO as well, with the latter coming in three flavours (Auto 100-400, 100-800 or 100-3200) allowing you to specify how high you want the camera to go when the light gets low. You can also choose from three AF Area modes, including Auto Area, in which the camera takes control of what it focusses on (this isn't a great mode to have as your default as the camera obviously can't read your mind and may focus on something else than your actual subject); Single Point, in which you can pick one of 135 AF points by first hitting OK and then moving the active AF point around the frame using the four-way pad; and Subject Tracking, in which you pick your subject, press OK and allow the camera to track that subject as it moves around, as long as it doesn't leave the frame of course.

Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V1
Top Side

The Nikon 1 V1 has an intriguing hybrid auto-focus system that combines contrast- and phase-difference detection in a similar fashion as the Fujifilm F300EXR did. This allows the Nikon 1 V1 to focus extremely quickly in good light, even on a moving subject. The company claims the Nikon 1 system cameras are the fastest-focusing machines in the world, and this matches our experience - as long as there's enough light. When light levels drop, the camera switches to contrast-detect AF which, though faster than on most cameras, isn't nearly as fast as the other method. It's always the camera that decides which AF method to use - the user has no influence on this.

Generally speaking, the V1 will usually only resort to contrast detection when light levels are low. In good light, we were able to take sharp photos of bikers, various fast-running dogs, kids playing sports etc. The Nikon V1 certainly does not disappoint here. Manual focusing is also possible, although the Nikon 1 lenses do not have focus rings. If you want to focus manually, you first have to hit the AF button, choose MF, press OK and then use the scroll wheel to adjust focus. To assist you with this, the Nikon V1 magnifies the central part of the image and displays a rudimentary focus scale along the right side of the frame - but those are the only focusing aids you get. There's no peaking function available.

As noted earlier, you can choose from two different shutter types when shooting stills, mechanical or electronic. The mechanical shutter is the way to go if you shoot with flash (note that the Nikon 1 V1 does not have an on-board flash and cannot accommodate the regular Nikon Speedlights either, but is compatible with the new, tiny SB-N5 that slots into the accessory port left of the viewfinder hump, if viewed from behind), as it can sync at shutter speeds as fast as 1/250th of a second. With the mechanical shutter selected, the Nikon V1 can shoot as fast as about 4 frames per second, with auto-focus. In continuous shooting mode, the EVF freezes for a split second after each shot, but with some practice, you will be able to track your subject unless it moves in a completely erratic fashion. The shutter is not very loud but you can hear the sound of the motor that's used to cock it.

In most shooting situations, you will probably want to use the electronic shutter as it's completely silent (the focus confirmation beep can be disabled from the menu), allows the use of shutter speeds as fast as 1/16,000th of a second and, with the Electronic Hi setting selected, lets you shoot full-resolution stills at 60 frames per second. Note however that while this is a major achievement, it's limited by a buffer that can only hold 30 raw files. Additionally, the use of this mode precludes AF tracking - you have to lower the frame rate to 10fps if you want that -, and the viewfinder goes blank while the pictures are being taken. About the only application we can think of where shooting full-resolution stills at 60fps could really come in handy is AE bracketing for HDR imaging. At this rate, a series of 5 bracketed shots could be taken in less than 0.1 second, rendering small movements that can otherwise pose alignment problems - like leaves being blown in the wind - a non-issue. Alas, the Nikon V1 does not offer such a feature - in fact it does not offer autoexposure bracketing at all.

Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V1
V1 + J1 V1 + Lenses

Moving on to the video mode, the Nikon 1 V1 has some pleasant surprises here. First and foremost, the camera can be set to shoot Full HD footage, and you even get to choose from 1080p @ 30fps or 1080i @ 60fps, depending on whether you prefer to work with progressive or interlaced video. If you don't need Full HD, there's also 720p @ 60fps, which is really smooth and still counts as high definition. Secondly, you get full manual control over exposure in video mode. This is an option; you don't have to shoot in M mode but you can if that's what you need. Thirdly, you get fast, continuous AF in video mode, and it works well, especially in good light. Movies are compressed using the H.264 codec and stored as MOV files. There are separate shutter release buttons for stills and video, and thanks to this - as well as the massive processing power of the Nikon V1 - you can take multiple full-resolution stills even while recording HD video. This works in the other way round too - you can capture a movie clip even when the mode dial is in the Still Image position, simply by pressing the red movie shutter release. We've found that in this case the camera will invariably record the video at 720p/60fps.

In addition to being capable of shooting regular movies in HD quality, the Nikon 1 V1 can also shoot video at 400fps for slow-motion playback. The resolution is lower and the aspect ratio is an ultra-widescreen 2.67:1, but the quality is adequate for YouTube, Vimeo and the like. These videos are played back at 30fps, which is more than 13x slower than the capture speed of 400fps, allowing you to get creative and show the world an array of interesting phenomena that happen too quickly to observe in real time. The Nikon V1 goes even further by offering a 1200fps video mode, but the resolution and overall quality is too poor for that to be genuinely useful.

The third icon on the mode dial stands for Smart Photo Selector. This feature allows the camera to capture no less than 20 photos at a single press of the shutter release, including some that were taken before fully depressing the button. The camera analyses the individual pictures in the series and discards 15 of them, keeping only the five that it thinks are best in terms of sharpness and composition. This feature can be genuinely useful when photographing fast action and fleeting moments. Finally, there's a so-called Motion Snapshot mode in which the camera records a brief high-definition movie - whose buffering starts at a half-press of the shutter release, so again includes events that had happened before the button was fully depressed - and also takes a still photograph. The movie and the still image are saved in separate files but the camera can combine them into a single slow-motion clip with background music. It's fun but we can't really envision people using this shooting mode on a regular basis. (If you view the video on a computer, it will play back at normal speed, without sound, so this mode is really only interesting if you view the clip in-camera or hook the camera up to an HDTV via an HDMI cable.)

The Nikon V1 stores photos and videos on SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and supports the fastest UHS-I speed class. The camera runs on the same EN-EL15 Lithium-ion battery that powers the Nikon D7000 digital SLR camera, and is consequently capable of producing considerably more shots on a single charge than its little brother, the Nikon 1 J1. The use of this battery also explains some of the extra bulk and weight. The camera's tripod socket is made of metal and is positioned in line with the lens' optical axis. This also means that changing batteries or cards is not possible while the V1 is mounted on a tripod, as the hinges of the battery/card compartment door are too close to the tripod mount.

Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V1
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

So, how did we like using the Nikon 1 V1? On one hand, we liked it a lot. In good light, its auto-focus system is indeed faster than pretty much anything we've used so far, being able to track and lock focus on a range of truly fast-moving subjects, and yielding a lot of sharp images in situations where our keeper rates have never been very high. Additionally, its high-speed continuous shooting modes have allowed us to capture interesting moments that we'd have surely missed if we had used a slower camera. We also liked the smooth, high-resolution electronic viewfinder.

On the other hand, the Nikon V1 has its share of frustrating idiosyncrasies starting with the user interface that forces you to dive into the menu to access functions as basic as exposure mode, ISO speeds and white balance. While Nikon obviously cannot add extra buttons to a finished product, they could at least make the "F" button customisable via a firmware update. Also, while there is a dedicated button for exposure compensation - which is a good thing - I did not find a way to activate a live histogram, even though it would have made EC a lot more useful and easy to use. Again, this could probably be fixed in firmware.

Another thing we did not like was that the camera would always show the picture just taken for a few seconds onscreen, and we did not find a way to turn this instant postview function completely off (although you can at least cancel it via a half-press of the shutter release). Finally, while the camera is generally fast and responsive, it does take a few performance hits here and there: we've already mentioned that switching from the rear screen to the EVF is far from instantaneous, and we should also add that the camera takes way too long to wake up from sleep mode when it has been idle for a while.

All things considered, the Nikon 1 V1 is a small, high-performance system camera that could use a few tweaks to its user interface to better suit the needs of serious amateurs, but we are quite confident that the intended target market of casual users will like it as it is for its sheer speed and the fun features it offers.

Let us now see how the camera fared in the image quality department.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

During the review, the Nikon 1 V1 captured images of very high quality, especially if you consider the size of its sensor. Noise is kept to a minimum, and only becomes disturbing at ISO 3200 in very low light. Colours are perhaps somewhat muted for a consumer camera but you can easily add a little punch by switching to the Vivid picture control. The Nikon 1 Nikkor 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR and 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR lenses both performed admirably (stay tuned for our detailed lens reviews), with good sharpness throughout the frame and negligible purple fringing. The close-up performance of the 10-30mm lens is surprisingly good. The night shot came out well even with long-exposure noise reduction switched off, and the Vibration Reduction feature of the lenses worked very well.


The base sensitivity of the Nikon 1 V1 is ISO 100. The highest setting is ISO 3200, with ISO 6400 available as a "boosted" value. The 100% crops below show what the quality is like at each setting.


ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)


The out-of-camera JPEGs are quite sharp but still benefit from a little sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


File Quality

The JPEG quality settings available on the Nikon V1 include Basic, Normal and Fine. The camera can also save photos in Nikon’s proprietary raw file format, NEF.

Fine (6Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (3Mb) (100% Crop)


Basic (1.5Mb) (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon 1 Nikkor 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens does not suffer from strong chromatic aberrations - the examples here show the worst-case scenario you are likely to encounter in real-world images.

Example 1 (100% Crop)


There is currently no macro lens available for the Nikon 1 system, but the Nikon 1 Nikkor 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens offers a very good close-up performance for a kit zoom. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash memory card. We have also included a 100% crop to show you what the quality is like.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


The Nikon V1 has a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds, with a Bulb setting also available for really long exposures. The shot below was captured at a shutter speed of 15 seconds, aperture of f/6.3 at ISO 100. We have provided a 100% crop to show you what the quality is like. Note that long-exposure noise reduction was switched off for this shot.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Vibration Reduction

The Nikon 1 V1 does not offer body-integral image stabilisation, but the kit lens bundled with the camera features Vibration Reduction, Nikon’s proprietary lens-based optical stabilisation system. This allows you to take sharp hand-held photos at slower shutter speeds than with lenses that lack this function. To illustrate this, I took two photos at 1/15th of a second at the 81mm focal length, one with VR and another without. You can see that this feature really works and could mean the difference between a ruined shot and a sharp capture. Note that even though VR is lens-based, you need to activate it via the camera’s menu as the lenses do not feature a VR switch. The available VR modes are Normal, Active and Off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)
1/15th sec / 81mm

Active D-Lighting

Active D-lighting is Nikon’s dynamic range optimisation tool that attempts to squeeze  the full dynamic range of the sensor into JPEGs. On the Nikon 1 V1, the strength of the effect cannot be modified by the user. The only available settings are on and off.



Picture Controls

Nikon’s Picture Controls, similarly to Canon’s Picture Styles, are preset combinations of different contrast and saturation settings. The available Picture Controls are Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape. The following series demonstrates the differences across these settings.









Slow-motion Video

The Nikon V1 can capture videos at a frame rate of 400fps which, when played back at 30fps, become slow-motion movies. This example demonstrates what this feature is capable of.

Motion Snapshot Mode

The Nikon 1 V1 has a special shooting mode called Motion Snapshot. In this mode, the camera records a brief high-definition movie - whose buffering starts at a half-press of the shutter release, so it includes events that had happened before the button was fully depressed - and also takes a still photograph. The movie and the still image are saved in separate files but the camera can combine them into a single slow-motion clip with background music. Here we can only show you the video and the picture as separate files.

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon 1 V1 camera, which were all taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon 1 V1 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 29 second movie is 85.2Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon 1 V1

Front of the Camera

Nikon 1 V1

Front of the Camera / Lens Removed

Nikon 1 V1

Isometric View

Nikon 1 V1

Isometric View

Nikon 1 V1

Isometric View

Nikon 1 V1

Isometric View

Nikon 1 V1

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Nikon 1 V1

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

Nikon 1 V1

Top of the Camera


Nikon 1 V1

Bottom of the Camera

Nikon 1 V1

Side of the Camera

Nikon 1 V1

Side of the Camera

Nikon 1 V1

Battery Compartment

Nikon 1 V1

Memory Card Slot

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Lenses

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon 1 J1


"If you want to shoot anything that moves fast, get a DSLR." Such was the advice once given to beginners inquiring what camera to buy for shooting their pet at play or their kids at sports. And it was good advice. Digital compact cameras have never been famous for being able to keep up with fast-paced action, and most compact system cameras also performed poorly at capturing quickly and erratically moving subjects in sharp detail. The past year has brought some exciting changes in this area. A new generation of compact system cameras, spearheaded by the Panasonic GH2 and followed by Panasonic’s own G3 and GF3 as well as Olympus’ latest digital PEN offerings, have hit the market, offering lightning-fast auto-focus performance in a small body. Yet even these super-fast cameras would run into problems while trying to keep a moving target in focus, for reasons inherent in their contrast-detect auto-focus systems. Enter the Nikon 1 V1 with its hybrid AF system and ultra-fast continuous shooting modes. Is it really the speed demon Nikon makes it out to be?

Yes and no. In good light, the Nikon V1 is indeed as fast as anything out there when it comes to auto-focus speed. Even if you compare it to pro SLR cameras with fast-focusing lenses, the Nikon 1 V1 comes out favourably, both in terms of sheer speed and accuracy (although in all fairness we should add that the generally larger depth of field also works in its favour, covering up any small focusing errors that would be evident in a shot taken with a full-frame camera and fast lens). Its headline-grabbing 60fps burst mode might not be quite as useful as it may sound, but the fact that it can shoot at 10fps and keep the subject in focus is still sensational, especially if you consider that we are talking about a camera that’s quite a lot smaller than a typical SLR. On the other hand, low-light focusing is less stellar, and there are some other areas of performance where there’s still room for improvement.

That being said, the Nikon V1 offers a combination of speed, portability and image quality that should easily satisfy its primary target consumers - that is, people who aren’t attracted by bulky DSLRs but are fed up with their current cameras’ inability to take well-focused shots of their pets running around in the park or capture the most precious expressions on their baby’s face. Whether these people want interchangeable lenses - and if so, whether they are ready to pay the price Nikon is asking for the V1 and assortment of optics - is an entirely different question of course.

As to whether the Nikon 1 V1 is a good camera for serious amateurs, the answer is not so clear-cut. The V1 is doubtlessly a small, high-quality, discreet and generally fast camera but its interface is quite clearly not geared toward users who like to take full control of the picture-taking process. Most of the features these photographers want are there, but too many of them are buried within the menu, which is bound to be a source of frustration to any power user. Small firmware changes, such as making the "F" button customisable and/or the self-timer button reprogrammable could make the Nikon V1 more appealing to this group - the question is whether Nikon wants these people to use the V1 in the first place, or wants them to buy their SLRs instead.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon 1 V1 from around the web. »

Nikon has launched its own 'Nikon 1' interchangeable lens compact camera system, using a mid-sized sensor that's smaller than those typically used in micro four-thirds and APS cameras, but bigger than the small-format sensors used in regular compacts. The cameras have also been loaded with a few interesting new shooting modes, like Motion Snapshot and Smart Photo Selector, which apparently make for a 'brand new photographic experience'. The first Nikon 1 camera we've managed to get hold of is the V1, a high-end model complete with electronic viewfinder and flash hot-shoe.
Read the full review » »

The Nikon 1 introduces two new cameras with a completely new lens mount, completely new sensor design, and new lenses to go with the system. Now that full production cameras have been made available lets see how the V1 performs. With 60fps shooting at full resolution, and claims of the World's fastest focus, the camera certainly offer something unique, find out how it performs in our review.
Read the full review » »

The Nikon 1 V1 is the flagship model in the new Nikon 1 system of Mirrorless ILCs. The system comprises of a new electric lens-mount paired with a 3:2 aspect ratio sensor having a 2.7X crop factor. This makes it possible to shrink Nikon 1 cameras and lenses compared to all but one system of SLDs.
Read the full review »


•Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a camera with a fully-charged battery operating at an ambient temperature of 20°C (68°F).
•Nikon reserves the right to change the specifications of the hardware and software described in this manual at any time and without prior notice. Nikon will not be held liable for damages that may result from any mistakes that this manual may contain.

*1 Around 34 frames at shooting speed of 10fps; around 30 frames if shooting speed is set at 30fps and 60fps. As determined by Nikon performance tests.

*2 Sensor output is about 60 fps.

Type of camera Digital camera with interchangeable lenses
Lens mount Nikon 1 mount
Effective angle of view Approx. 2.7× lens focal length (Nikon CX format)
Effective pixels 10.1 million
Image sensor 13.2 mm × 8.8 mm CMOS sensor
Dust-reduction system Dust shield glass
Image size (pixels) Still images (still image and Smart Photo Selector modes, aspect ratio 3 : 2) • 3,872 × 2,592 • 2,896 × 1,944 • 1,936 × 1,296 Still images (movie mode, aspect ratio 16 : 9) • 3,840 × 2,160 (1080/60i) • 1,920 × 1,080 (1080/30p) • 1,280 × 720 (720/60p) Still images(Motion Snapshot mode, aspect ratio 16:9) • 3,840 x 2,160
File format • NEF (RAW): 12-bit, compressed • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compression • NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control system Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Storage media SD (Secure Digital), SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
File system DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) 2.3, PictBridge
Electronic viewfinder 0.47-in., approx. 1440k-dot color TFT LCD viewfinder with diopter control and brightness adjustment
Frame coverage Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
Eyepoint 17 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)
Diopter adjustment -3-+1 m-1
Eye sensor Camera switches to viewfinder display when it detects that viewfinder is in use
Shooting modes still image (3 : 2), Smart Photo Selector (3 : 2), movie (HD 16 : 9, slow motion 8 : 3), Motion Snapshot (16 : 9)
Compatible lenses 1 NIKKOR lenses for 1 mount
Shutter type Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane mechanical shutter; electronic shutter
Shutter speed • Mechanical shutter: 1/4,000-30 s in steps of 1/3 EV; Bulb; Time (requires optional ML-L3 remote control) • Electronic shutter: 1/16,000-30 s in steps of 1/3 EV; Bulb; Time (requires optional ML-L3 remote control)
Flash sync speed • Mechanical shutter: Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/250 s or slower • Electronic shutter: Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/60 s or slower
Release mode • Single frame, continuous • Mechanical, Electronic, Electronic (Hi) • Self-timer, delayed remote, quick-response remote, interval timer shooting
Frame advance rate*1 • Electronic (Hi): Approx. 10, 30, or 60 fps • Other modes: Up to 5 fps (single AF or manual focus, S Shutter-priority auto or M Manual exposure mode, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values)
Self-timer 2 s, 5 s, 10 s
Remote control modes Delayed remote (2 s); quick-response remote
Exposure metering TTL metering using image sensor
Metering method • Matrix • Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 mm circle in center of frame • Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on selected focus area
Mode Programmed auto with flexible program; shutterpriority auto; aperture-priority auto; manual; scene auto selector
Exposure compensation -3-+3 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Exposure lock Luminosity locked at metered value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) ISO 100-3200 in steps of 1 EV. Can also be set to approx. 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) above ISO 3200; auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 100-3200, 100-800, 100-400) available
Active D-Lighting On, off
Autofocus Hybrid auto focus (phase detection/contrast detect AF); AF-assist illuminator
Lens servo • Auto focus (AF): Single AF (AF-S); continuous AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); full-time AF (AF-F) • Manual focus (MF)
AF-area mode Single-point, auto-area, subject tracking
Focus area • Single-point AF: 135 focus areas • Auto-area AF: 41 focus areas
Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single AF) or by pressing AE-L/ AF-L button
Face-priority AF On, off
Flash Control i-TTL flash control using image sensor available with optional SB-N5 flash unit
Flash mode Fill flash, slow sync, red-eye reduction, slow sync with red-eye reduction, rear-curtain sync, rear curtain with slow sync
Flash compensation -3-+1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged
White balance Auto, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning
Movie Metering TTL metering using image sensor
Metering method • Matrix • Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 mm circle in center of frame • Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on selected focus area
Frame size (pixels)/ recording rate HD movies • 1,920 × 1,080/60i (59.94 fields/s*2) • 1,920 × 1,080/30p (29.97 fps) • 1,280 × 720/60p (59.94 fps) Slow-motion movies • 640 × 240/400 fps (plays at 30p/29.97 fps) • 320 × 120/1,200 fps (plays at 30p/29.97 fps) Movies recorded in still image mode 1,072 X 720/60p(59.94fps)(plays at 24p/23.976fps) Motion Snapshot 1,920 X 1,080/60p(59.94fps) (plays at 24p/23.976fps)
Maximum recording time 1080/60i (20 minutes?, 1080/30p (20 minutes?, 720/60p (29 minutes?
File format MOV
Video compression H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Audio recording format AAC
Audio recording device Built-in or optional external ME-1 stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable
Monitor 7.5 cm/3-in., approx. 921k-dot, TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback function Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, slide show, histogram display, auto image rotation, and rating option
USB Hi-Speed USB
Video output NTSC, PAL
HDMI output Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Multi accessory port Used for designated accessories
Audio input Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)
25 Supported languages Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian
Battery One rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery
AC adapter EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5B power connector (available separately)
Tripod socket 1/4-in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W× H × D) Approx. 113 × 76 × 43.5 mm/4.4 × 3 × 1.7 in., excluding projections; thickness of body (from mount to monitor) is 36 mm/1.4 in.
Weight Approx. 383 g/13.5 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap; approx. 294 g/10.4 oz (camera body only)
Temperature Temperature: 0-40 °C/+32-104 °F Humidity: less than 85% (no condensation)
Supplied accessories (may differ by country or area) EN-EL15 rechargeable Li-ion battery, MH-25 battery charger, UC-E6 USB cable, EG-CP14 audio/vldeo cable, AN-N1000 strap, BF-N1000 body cap, BS-N1000 multi accessory port cover, ViewNX 2/Short Movie Creator CD
Still images Approximately 400, or 350 with SB-N5
Movies Approximately 120 minutes of HD footage at 1080/60i

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