The Nikon 1 V1 is one of the two cameras launched at the release of the new 1 system, promising headline performance in a compact mirrorless body. How does the Nikon V1 fair in relation to its CSC peers?
Image quality and verdict
Nikon 1 V1 review – Image quality
Images from the V1 are very good considering the size of its sensor, but not compared with other cameras of a similar cost, all of which have much bigger sensors. Although exposure and white balance are generally accurate, and colours vibrant, the sharpness, noise and dynamic range are bettered by most other cameras at this price, and they can produce shallower depth of field at the same field of view and aperture. That said, high quality A3 prints at ISO 1600 are entirely possible. The lenses are sharp but the 10-30mm zoom suffers pronounced barrel distortion at 10mm, as does the 30-110mm at 30mm to a lesser extent. The 10mm f/2.8 pancake is the best of the trio we tried.
Nikon 1 V1 review – Verdict
The V1 is beautifully made, fun to use, has an
excellent built-in EVF and delivers good quality pictures in most
situations, including fast action. The problem is that it isn’t clear
who it’s for, and so it falls between two stools. If it’s aimed at the
mass market consumer the V1 is way too expensive and, as Olympus found
to their cost, not including a flash is commercial suicide. The V1 does
have some clever modes but they aren’t the kind you’d use every day,
while some of the more popular consumer features (e.g. filter effects,
scene modes, panorama modes etc.) are missing.
On the other hand
the V1 won’t appeal to the serious enthusiast, due to its emphasis on
clever gimmicks over user control and the fact that, thanks to the small
sensor, the image quality is not as good as cameras costing half the
price (and which, to add insult to injury, are smaller). This, sadly,
makes the V1 difficult to recommend.