Nikon 1 V1 review

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

Nikon 1 V1
This mirrorless compact system camera shoots with 10.1MP

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Nikon v1 review

The higher resolution screen, EVF, hotshoe and choice of shutter types mean that the Nikon V1 is more likely to attract the attention of the enthusiast photographer than the J1 is.Which means it sells in smaller numbers than the popular J1 which has topped the UK CSC sales charts on several occasions.

While the build of the Nikon V1 will certainly meet with approval from these users, they may be disappointed that the shooting mode options are located in the menu. They may also be concerned that Nikon has plumped for a smaller sensor than most manufacturers.

Nikon is obviously keen to stake a claim in the new compact system camera market, but it doesn't want to damage its DSLR sales – after all, it is one of the top two camera manufacturers.

For this reason, perhaps more than any other manufacturer, Nikon has succeeded in producing a camera that sits between its compact and DSLR models. The Nikon V1 and J1 have larger sensors than the compact cameras and accept interchangeable lenses, but they lack the bulk and complexity of the company's DSLRs.

We liked

Like the Nikon J1, the V1 has a high-quality, durable feel. The controls are well laid out and unintimidating for the novice user. Image quality is also high for a small camera.

We disliked

It's a shame that there's no touchscreen and the LCD is fixed rather than articulated. We'd also like a quicker route to the exposure mode options.

Final verdict

Image quality from the Nikon V1 is good and noise is nicely controlled, especially if you have time to process the raw files individually. The sensor is small enough to allow a small camera body, but large enough to enable control over depth of field.

We think the Nikon V1 would grab more attention if Nikon had distinguished its handling a little more from that of the J1. Giving it an articulated touchscreen, an exposure mode dial and a customisable button or two would make it quicker to use and more versatile.