Nikon 1 V1 review

A CSC like the J1, but with an EVF and higher resolution screen

TODO alt text

Nikon v1 review

Given that they have the same sensor, processor and so on, it's no surprise that the Nikon V1 and J1 produce very similar images. Most look good straight from the camera, and although there's some variation, colours are natural looking, if slightly on the warm side, with just enough saturation to give them a bit of punch.

On most occasions the automatic white balance system performs well under natural or flash light, but a few of our shots taken in very overcast conditions have a slight magenta cast.

At 100% on a computer screen, edges in the Nikon V1's images can look a little bolder than they should, but fine details are still a bit soft. However, at sensible printing sizes images look good, with decent bite and detail.

We found that the Nikon V1's multi-purpose Matrix metering mode performs very well and isn't easily tricked into under or over exposure by bright or dark areas in the scene.

Nikon v1 review

Our resolution tests reveal that the Nikon V1 can't record as much detail as some Micro Four Thirds cameras, but the results are still respectable, given the size of the sensor.

As we'd expect, more detail can be extracted from raw files than is present in the simultaneously recorded JPEGs. It's also worth shooting raw files and adjusting the noise reduction that's applied (using Capture NX2 – not supplied) as it's possible to find a better balance between noise and detail visibility than in the high ISO JPEG files.

Even images captured at the lowest sensitivity settings have a faint texture that's just visible when they are examined at 100% on the computer screen. Increasing the sensitivity to ISO 800 introduces some mottled colouring in areas of shadow. This becomes increasingly noticeable (at 100%) as the sensitivity is increased.

In many situations, the Nikon V1's AF system performs very well, finding its target quickly and accurately. It even manages to keep up with fast-moving subjects in good light. However, in low light there can be some hunting. This is often just a quick back and forwards adjustment in focus, but it's present and noticeable.

Nikon v1 review

While the Subject tracking AF mode works well, activating it requires two presses of the rear OK button, and it can be hard to achieve the initial lock-on with some moving subjects.

The Nikon V1's 0.47-inch 1440k-dot EVF is clear and provides an excellent view in most situations. Unfortunately, as with most EVFs, it blanks out during continuous shooting, which makes following a moving subject tricky to say the least.

Interestingly, we found that for the majority of shots taken during this test, we used the main LCD screen for composition rather than the EVF. This is a mark of the quality of the LCD display, rather than a negative point about the viewfinder.

It's helpful that the EVF has a proximity sensor to detect when the Nikon V1 is being held to the eye, but it has a habit of turning off the main LCD when an object is a couple of inches from the EVF, so it can be a nuisance, for example when shooting at a low angle and reaching down to the control buttons.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution10.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product Family1
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Optical Zoom3x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, QuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)294 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size13.20 mm x 8.80 mm
Maximum Image Resolution3872 x 2592
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height76 mm
Width113 mm
Depth43.5 mm
Product Series1
Focal Length10 mm to 30 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelV1
Product Name1 V1 Mirrorless Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVVA102K001
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Built from the scratch to offer still image and video recording without compromise, the portable Nikon 1 V1 will propel your photography forward in ways you could never have imagined.

With an astonishingly fast AF CMOS sensor, clever shooting modes, strong low-light performance and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, it offers all you need to capture standout stills and movies.

Package Contents
  • 1 V1 Mirrorless Camera
  • 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
  • EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-25 Battery Charger
  • UC-E6 USB Cable
  • EG-CP14 Audio/Video Cable
  • AN-N1000 Strap
  • BF-N1000 Body Cap
  • BS-N1000 Multi Accessory Port Cover
  • Software CD
Limited Warranty1 Year