Meanwhile, the controls are just as lackluster as those on the J1. We like that Nikon uses the four directions on the menu navigation pad for direct access to controls. But when you try to access drive modes from the control pad, you get only the self-timer menu. Want continuous drive for burst shooting? You will have to search the menus for this option. In fact, you have to go to the menu for far too many of the V1’s controls.
Even changing shooting mode—program, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, manual—requires the menu, because Nikon didn’t use all of the possible spots on the camera’s wheel. Instead, the wheel guides you to a number of gimmicky image modes, such as Motion Snapshot and Smart Photo Selector, instead of the standard shooting modes (e.g., Aperture and Shutter Priority) that we’d prefer to find there.
The Bottom Line
With the 1 system cameras, Nikon seems to have lost focus on what has made it such a great camera manufacturer. The company that always put an emphasis on producing extremely sharp lenses and cutting-edge, rugged camera bodies has decided to target a lower common denominator with its ILCs. Sadly, outside of flashy ideas like Motion Snapshot—a cute trick that will likely get old fairly quickly—the V1 doesn’t offer much else.
Given its convoluted control system, Nikon DSLR shooters would have an easier time shooting with Panasonic’s G3 than they would with the V1. And they can put the money they save toward one of the many lenses available for the Micro Four Thirds format that have yet to come around for the new Nikon 1.
IMAGING: 10.1MP effective CX format CMOS sensor captures images at 3872x2592 pixels each, with 12 bits/color in RAW capture.
STORAGE: SD, SDHC, or SDXC stores JPEG, NEF RAW, RAW + JPEG, or MOV files.
VIDEO: Up to 1920x1080i60 or 1280x720p60 H.264/MPEG-4; built-in stereo mic; contrast/phase AF with continuous AF in video mode.
BURST RATE: Full-sized JPEGs up to 58 frame at 5 fps; RAW up to 44 frames at 5 fps.
AF SYSTEM: TTL hybrid contrast/phase detection with autoselect 41-area AF, or single-point selectable AF from 135 areas.
SHUTTER SPEEDS: Mechanical: 1/4000 to 30 sec, plus B. Electronic: 1/16,000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments).
METERING: TTL metering with unspecified-area evaluative, centerweighted, and spot (2mm circle centered on focus area).
ISO RANGE: ISO 100–3200, expandable to ISO 6400 (in 1-EV increments).
FLASH: No built-in pop-up; proprietary accessory shoe; flash sync to 1/250 sec.
VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level LCD with 1,440,000-dot resolution
MONITOR: 3-inch TFT LCD with 921,000-dot resolution.
output: Hi-Speed USB 2.0; mini-HDMI video.
BATTERY: Rechargeable EN-EL15 Li-ion, CIPA rating 350 shots.
SIZE/WEIGHT: 4.4x3.0x1.7 in., 0.8 lb with an SD card and battery.
STREET PRICE: $900 with 10–30mm f/3.5–5.6 lens; $1,150 with 10–30mm and 30–110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens.