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Test

Nikon 1 V1

Field test

I could not wait the day when Nikon Ltd’s Representative Henrietta Bata handed over the box to me in which a Nokia 1V1 was. I had high expectations of this excellent, little camera. My hopes were justified as I could get my hands on a camera of cutting-edge technology which meets today’s highest requirements in every aspects. The market of mirrorless cameras with interchangable lenses has developed rapidly, new models has been launched one by one. The micro four-thirds 1V1 camera developed by Nikon is a refined example of them. Producers see serious market in this category and they are right. Unfortunately its price is still a bit high but it likely to be reduced in the near future. When I unwrapped the box I was really surprised. I could hold a camera in my hand which was small but elaborated, very graceful and handy in its shape. The black colour suits very well to the metallic shell! The three graceful lenses which comes with the shell looks great.
Photo: © János Szekeres


Technology

What does Nikon offer by 1V1? A brand new CX format, 3,2×8,8 mm, 2,7 2.7x lens focal length szorzójú ultra fast CMOS sensor, presently with 10.1 megapixel resolution, from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 sensivity. The camera is also equipped with an inbuilt, top-quality and high- resolution electronic viewfinder, 3 inch LCD monitor with 921k pixels resolution, Full HD Movie with H264 compression, MOV system with 60 pics/mp picture refresh. You can also make Slow Motion movies with a speed of 400 – 1200 pics/mp (in 640x240 and 320x120 pixels resolution). You can choose between a camera with mechanical or electronic shutter mechanism, continuos shooting up to a speed of 60 fps, contrast and phase detection based focus system. Focus points can be moved freely, there is an inmer sensor cleaning and RAW format support. We can also find a supplementery Accessory port in which we can attach a flash or GPS module, constant light movie lamp or portable LCD as well. Let’s pick out some practical features of this little wonder which could be used well in nature photography. The new Nikon 1V1 is excellent on the field of automatic focus too. Besides contrast detection which is conventional at this category, a phase detection based mode is also available. During the test it was proved that the camera really know in many cases where to go to reach proper sharpness and in these cases we get a DSLR fast focus setting.
Sometimes the camera switch to contrast detection and search back and forth, but even this process is not slow, much faster compared to still compacts. We can set the autofocus measure field to the 15x9 matrix points but we can also set it to let the camera recognise the position automatically. Moreover, subject tracking and face recognition are also available. We can select one-time or continuous autofocus mode, but manual focus is also available, in this case a digital zoom support our work. In case of poor light conditions a green LED helps the precise focusing.
Photo: © János Szekeres

As for light metering, we have the options of spot, center-weighted or matrix metering methods. Thanks to the application of the excellent CMOS sensor continuous shooting is really fast. At Nikon 1V1 using electronic shutter provides 10-30-60 fps in AF-S mode. 1/16000 shutter speed shows an extreme knowledge too. Exposure makes normal or 2-5-10 mp exposure time possible. We can make video in 1920x1080 or 1280x720 resolution. Picture refreshment in FULL HD mode can even be 60 fps. During the movie the camera record stereo sound and set sharpness continuously. The size of the record can be about 2 GB. During video making we can save up to 15 still picture and will not experience any break when playing the record.

Image noise

Here Nikon made a great achievement too: from ISO 100 to 800 noise is almost unnoticable on the ready pictures, above ISO 800 the quality is still excellent, it comes close to the performance of a better mirror reflex camera and this can be very useful in poor light conditions. We can select D-Lighting mode which is wellknown on DSLR bodies, even before exposure or after exposure to lighten the dark parts.

Speed

I was in my second year at secondary school when it first occurred to me that I could organise nature photography tours. This was one of the ways that I thought I might be able to make a living from my hobby of nature photography. When I first started to take pictures eleven years ago, nature photography, at least in Hungary, was cloaked in secrecy. Photographers kept quiet about where they had taken their pictures and how they had got them.
Photo: © János Szekeres

Whom do I recommend Nikon 1V1?

To those who do not compromise in image quality and want to have today’s cutting-edge technology and up-to-date solutions but do not want to buy a mirror reflex camera, however, they want to own a small sized camera with similar performance and interchangable lens. I also recommend for those who already own a serious body but want a second, travel camera with which they could take very nice, richly detailed, excellent quality pictures. If we purchase the adapter – with which we can use the original Nikon lenses – that will really get Nikon 1V1 into royal spirit. It will be even more interesting with the separately sold adapter, which allows to use DSLR lenses with Nikon 1V1. And at this point let our imagination fly...
Text and photo: János Szekeres
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