Nikon 1 V3 review: gained or lost?

Nikon 1 V3 review: gained or lost?


    Plus Wi-Fi, minus the battery. Plus an additional point of focus, minus the comfortable grip. Plus a new processor, minus the viewfinder … but, no, the viewfinder should be just lost it on the road! As you can see, the updated “mirrorless” Nikon 1 V3 turned mixed. So what still getting better, and what spoiled?

    The first version though advanced, but expensive mirrorless camera with a sensor size of only 1 inch was received very ambiguous. Of course, the sensor is less than Micro 4/3 or APS-C has its advantages, but many CX format was not to taste because of the noise, especially at high ISO sensitivities.

    Nevertheless line with their pros and cons continued its development, and in this time of testing is the third version of the hit series Nikon 1V.

    When looking at the camera immediately apparent its dimensions: it is not much larger of J4 and much thinner V2, as importantly, a digital viewfinder was removable. Such an approach to “mirrorlessh” one of the first to use the company Olympus, Nikon, and then – not a pioneer, but still an interesting innovation.

    Among other changes worth noting the increased resolution, a faster processor, a larger number of focus points, with one fell swoop – once almost a hundred (from 73 to 171), the improved resolution display, and the viewfinder is now worse than the most advanced members of the class of “mirrorless”.

    Well, instead of the usual SD cards used microSD. In addition, there was a built-in Wi-Fi. In general, changes quite a lot, but they appear to work, yet to be clarified.


    Nikon 1 V3
    Image Sensor CMOS CX format, 13,2×8,8 mm
    Effective amount of points, MP 18.4
    Format for saving images Photo:RAW, JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3)
    Video:MOV (Video: H.264 / MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding, Audio: PCM)
    Lens mount Nikon 1
    Frame size, pixels

    Photo:5232×3488, 3920×2616, 2608×1744;
    Video:1920×1080, 1280×720, 768×288, 416×144

    Sensitivity, units to ISO-equivalent Auto, 160-12800
    Shutter speed range The mechanical shutter from 1/4000 to 30 s
    Electronic shutter: 1/16, 000 to 30 s
    Metering Multi-pattern, center-weighted, spot
    Exposure Compensation Of ± 3 EV in increments of 1/3
    Built-in flash Yes, leading by 5 at ISO 100, at ISO 160 6.3
    Self-timer, sec 2, 10
    Storage device microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC
    LCD LCD display with a resolution of 1037 thousand. Pixels (720×480) and touch layer
    Viewfinder Electronic with a resolution of 2359 thousand. Pixels, 100% coverage
    Interfaces HDMI, USB 2.0, external microphone
    Power Li-ion Battery EN-EL20a, 8 Wh
    Dimensions (WxHxD), mm 110,9×65,0x33,2
    Weight, g 324 (with battery and memory card)
    282 (body only)


    In testing the camera was provided in the trial version, so in addition to direct to the “carcass”, we got only lens Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm ƒ / 3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom, battery and charger. Full kit also includes a CD with additional software, user guide, mounting strap, USB-cable, rear lens cap and the body cap, as well as the most removable digital viewfinder.


    Externally, the new is now more like a J4, than V2. Of course, even without a viewfinder differences enough, but they are visible only upon closer inspection. The main difference from its predecessor on the shape of the body – is the lack of the “hump” built-in viewfinder, as well as the rejection of the handle.

    The latter can be attributed to the downside, but in practice it turns out that a specific need for it, no, because the mass of Nikon lenses 1 and directly carcass camera is rather small. Of course, when using the adapter and the “adult” lenses weight ligament increased significantly, but the park Nikon optics 1 is already quite large, so little need for heavy lenses in most cases there is no standard.

    However, the front panel is not completely flat – a small ledge still exists, besides, it is covered with rubber, which pretends to be a diligent skin. The rubber pad is also on the back side, and the thumb is provided a tiny ledge. In general, convenient to keep V3.

    With the urgent need to handle can be extended by plugging in the camera module GR-N1010, but it is an option for which will have to fork out separately. The build quality housing is high, but when trying to twisting and squeezing is not cracked even angled display.

    On the front are the lens mount, LED AF illuminator, the window of the receiver signals an IR remote control, as well as the front control dial. The shape of the latter very much similar to the same disk with compact series P7000.

    Actually, it was the first time he appeared on the compact P7100. This arrangement of the facial disk is especially useful just the same when using the compact chassis without handle – in the classical location disk index finger would be hard to bend.

    Firstly, it would be inconvenient, and secondly, would lose control over the position of the camera. Under mount barely visible two slots built-in microphones.

    From the rear most portion of the inclined surface takes the panel. It is not only the LCD matrix, but also four keys: switch to playback mode to enter the main menu, change the display mode and uninstall.

    The right side contains buttons Fn1 (programmable) and F (call the quick menu), as well as round 4-way multifunction button, complete with the enter button in the center and around the perimeter of the dial. In the upper right corner of the fit system speaker, key lock AE-L / AF-L, as well as the rear control dial, who concurrently serves as the second softkey.

    On the upper part of the body perched lift flash connector connecting the viewfinder and other accessories, hidden plug, drive mode selection key, video recording, as well as the shutter button with push-button power.

    Spring-loaded lever, after pressing it returns to its original position, so the switching on and off are performed by the same movement. It looks funny and original, but there is a problem: Move the lever a bit too soft, so the camera mozhnt accidentally turn on if not wear it in the bag.

    It threatens not only the consumption of battery power, but also damage the lens, because the lens shutter complete expanded automatically – as in an ordinary compact.

    Underneath socket tripod mount, a door that hides the battery compartment, as well as a rubber plug, under which is a plug connection grip GR-N1010.

    On the left side are the key lock opening and closing the flash, as well as connecting an external microphone jack, a hidden rubber stopper.

    Right, under a plastic door, hidden connectors connect USB- and HDMI-cable, and insert the memory card slot format microSD. Using miniature memory cards – controversial decision, but a separate slot for them in any case it is more convenient than the total door under which slot SD-card is adjacent to the battery, as in the case of Nikon 1 V2. In V3 card, you can get it even if you set the camera on a tripod.

    Display and User Interface

    The camera uses diagonal display with two degrees of freedom, which allows it to deviate by about 90 degrees down to 170 degrees and up. Recall that in the V2 LCD matrix has been integrated into the housing.

    Resolution 3-inch matrix increased from 921 thousand. Until 1037 thousand. Dots. In addition, the sensor layer was added that in terms of functionality and ease of use is more important ramp design and increased resolution together.

    The viewing angles of LCD matrix is ​​quite large, so tilt the display to account for only the most serious cases, such as when the camera is mounted on the floor. For color reproduction, reserve the brightness and contrast were no comments, and the sun screen is easy to read.

    Of course, in direct sunlight to evaluate the correctness of setting the white balance or exposure is difficult, so in such circumstances, you should use a removable viewfinder, which has significantly increased the resolution and now totally inferior competitors. However, the personal experiences of the viewfinder, we will not share with you – as we have said, it is something to us and did not get.

    sm.lcd_1.600 sm.lcd_2.600

    As already noted, the display news touchscreen, which allows for hybrid control. Guidance for ease of operation – is, of course, “mirrorless” Panasonic. On the opposite side of the scale convenience – Olympus. Our test subject is closer to the leader: most of the parameters can be changed as normal controls, and virtual.

    Although there are miscalculations. For example, you can not scroll through the options simply by dragging – you have to aim for the virtual scroll key, which is not too convenient. Also in the quick menu were seen little troll, with the use of both the touch and classic controls.

    A similar observation was also the model J4. Apparently, it’s a family. Let’s hope that the new firmware versions this blemish on both cameras is fixed.

    Camera Features

    CMOS sensor is good for its speed than camera manufacturers will certainly use to organize those or other “chips”. In the case of Nikon 1 V3 chips are more or less standard: Ultra High Speed ​​Continuous Shutter, automatic panorama mode and HDR.

    Let’s start with the latter – it is, shall we say, very minimalistic. No ability to select the number of frames or the exposure increment, you can not set the anti-aliasing when bonding frames. HDR just works, with quite correct, but sometimes you want to have a space for creativity, and it in HDR mode is not, despite the fact that it is hidden in the “Creative”. However, thank you for working as it should.

    Automatic panorama Nikon cameras are able to create for a long time, but the resolution they still lag behind that make phones Sony with Panorama Sweep. But there are also pluses, such as the ability to create circular panoramas, which Sony cameras do not have learned.

    Yes, and bonding generally quite accurate. Moreover, the user does not even have to choose the direction of rotation – Automatic do it yourself. Press the shutter button must be held just before the “enlightenment” of automation, ie to turn about 10 degrees, after which it can safely go.

    In the process of shooting the screen displays a progress bar. Any demands on the uniformity of the rotation, but here much rapid motion regime does not like, and if the automation can not handle because of the speed of rotation, the screen displays a message stating that the camera must be turned in one direction. In general, for a variety of error messages, developers do not become generous, limiting one.

    Buffer capacity Nikon 1 V series has long been a landmark order, which should be equal to everyone – it is huge. In sum, with a fast CMOS sensor allows it to implement some very interesting features.

    For example, V3 can shoot series at 10, 20, 30 or even 60 frames / sec at full resolution, with both the JPEG, and in the RAW, as well as in RAW + JPEG. When shooting in JPEG duration of the series is limited to 60 frames, and in RAW and RAW + JPEG – 40, although the capacity of the buffer for the data formats allows you to fit up to 42 frames.

    Of the features is also worth noting Motion Snapshot feature that when shooting photos in parallel records 1 second of video, with a soundtrack for the video, you can select one of four preset tones. When watching a video is played back in slow motion (2.5 seconds), after which the picture is displayed directly.

    Function is not more than entertainment, but still interesting. Frustrating is that, unlike cameras Sony, Nikon 1 V3 does not allow to replace the preset own compositions.

    However, all of the above and was able to V2, but the built-in Wi-Fi predecessor was not. Although Outset functionality than its competitors no. Of the disadvantages of the lack of possibility of manual input settings, because supports only point mode WPS. In general, the module is available, but there is much more to grow – you can at least get support for NFC.

    Shooting and impressions of the work

    Rate of incorporation of “mirrorless” quite high, but in the case of our experimental duration on provisioning additional influence lens – it does not have a simple, but with a motorized drive, and when the power he has to move into the working position, which is also takes time.

    Nevertheless, Nikon 1 V3 even with this lens could take the first shot through 0.68 seconds. It is worth noting that the recent visit we tested J4, which was equipped with exactly the same lens, put in 0.71 seconds. In such a similarity of results is not surprising, because the processors and similar lenses, and the software part is basically identical.

    Zooming is also carried out with the help of a motorized drive, with a fixed rate, like most compact and analogues, there is not: it all depends on how fast you turn the control ring. Our record – half a second for the entire range of focal lengths.

    We return to the fast continuous shooting. Up to 60 frames per second – it’s good, but achieved only at the expense of the buffer. In normal mode, the buffer is not only important, but also the speed of data transfer to the memory card, and also directly write speed memory card, which has recently increased significantly and is no longer so much a bottleneck as before.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00MVHEIDK” cloaking=”no” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]Measuring the length of the series was conducted in three modes: in JPEG format with the smallest contraction in RAW and RAW + JPEG with the least compression. For all formats has been found the most affordable solution.

    Focus was transferred to the manual mode, the shutter speed is 1/1000 seconds, and a variety of software processing disabled. To investigate the effect on the memory card write speed were used two microSD card with dramatically different performance characteristics – unpretentious Transcend class 10 with a write speed of 10 MB / s, as well as SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I with a write speed of up to 90 MB / s.

    Our measurements have shown that regardless of the storage format and the type of card the camera can shoot at 6 frames per second. Very good and generally sufficient. As to the duration, then using a slower card in JPEG format is 56 frames in RAW – 47, and RAW + JPEG – 45, which is actually equal to the capacity of the buffer.

    With most brisk card when shooting in JPEG series artificially cut off at 100 frames when shooting in RAW manages to shoot 60 frames, and RAW + JPEG – 51. In general, we recommend that the card will not save: to JPEG series turns almost two times longer, and the record from the buffer to the memory card takes much less time, and the menu with almost no brakes.

    Velocity is measured by focusing was performed in good light (1000 lux at a reference point in the center of the template), as the object of guidance used still life test used in the evaluation of the noise level, the focus is on the central area (so that the number of focus areas has no influence), before each measurement the camera zooms to infinity, the survey was carried out from a distance of 50 cm at wide-angle and telephoto 100 cm.

    Surprisingly, the wide-angle V3 was even a bit slower than J4, who during our test was equipped with the same lens. 0.19 vs. 0.16 with the younger models. In telephoto V3 again outperformed, but again with scanty margin – 0.22 vs. 0.21 s.

    However, the differences are so minuscule that they may well be attributed to the measurement error. It is noteworthy that when shooting with weak light autofocus is not particularly slow, but records and is not intended, with both speed and at the minimum required level of coverage.

    For guidance on the test pattern when focusing on the central point of illumination requires not less than 1.19 lux. It is noteworthy that J4 during our test under the same conditions required 1.2 lux. In general, the similarity of the hardware filling J4 and V3 are once again evident in almost identical test results.

    The chamber 171 is provided, the focus area 105 of which support phase method, whereas V2 envisaged zones 135, of which phase method the central support 73. Operating modes are pretty standard AF – automatic multizone, single-zone with manual selection using the arrow keys or the touch screen, as well as tracking mode.

    The latter, as in the case of J4, really works, and they are even when shooting low-contrast objects in the background, but if they do not move too fast: nimble bird, especially in the trees, automation can not accomplish.

    In manual focus control is like a compact – with the help of the ring around the navigation keys. Aide provides only a schematic scale and increase in area. By the way, the enlarged area can be moved, but only with the help of classic or touch keys, but just click on it and you can not draw. But in vain, because such a method would be much more convenient.

    As for the metering modes, then there is no revelation. Supported modes PASM, and their selection, in contrast to the J4, carried out not on the menu, and using the shooting mode dial, which greatly speeds up the work.

    Metering works in three standard modes – any innovation is not here. Manage settings ekspopary done using two disks, so clamping additional keys do not have to. Exposure compensation is available in the modest range – only -3 … +3 EV in increments of one-third of the stage.

    This range is subservient to many compacts and DSLRs and most advanced “mirrorless” support a range of -5 to +5 degrees. In addition, exposure bracketing mode is not, that so not cheap camera very strange. Under natural light V3 rarely fails.

    Easy automation even given exposure setting when shooting objects with the sun in the frame, and this can not all cameras. Of course, mistakes happen and large. For example, automatic likes to bully the exposure when shooting strongly shaded objects.

    With artificial light camera a little more wrong, with that under fluorescent lighting that under incandescent light error is almost identical – to -0,2 EV. In general, it is not so much, but still error is visible even to the naked eye.

    Set white balance presets for most Nikon cameras rarely stands something extraordinary, and Nikon 1 V3 is not an exception. The following presets: sunny, cloudy, shade, fluorescent light and flash. Choice of color temperature is not, although they are often a function occurs even in compact spaces.

    But that’s not all restrictions. For example, to manually adjust the white balance is only one container, while for advanced compacts now and two cells to store the settings – not the limit. In general, as something too simple.

    However, some of the advanced features available – for example, fine-tune the white balance for each of the presets or manual / automatic setting on the scale AB / GM. In general, special remarks to the automatic white balance in natural light no.

    Excellent show themselves Automatic under fluorescent light with a color temperature of 5500 K. Of course, for many of the camera lamp with a color temperature – not a hindrance, but the V3 error quite miserable. Under incandescent lighting failures visible to the naked eye, but they are relatively small.


    Leading by built-in flash is small – only 5 at ISO 100 and 6.3 at ISO 160. This also manages to flash quickly overheat. In conducting our standard tests with sequential shooting with the flash test subject was able to capture 13 frames in 15 seconds, after which there was a message about overheating the flash and the need to wait until it cools down.

    It is worth noting that the result is exactly the same as in the case of testing J4, which is equipped with a similar outbreak. Setting, by the way, is also identical – in TTL mode, the introduction of compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of a third stage, and in manual mode provides power divider from 1.2 to 1/16.

    Unfortunately, no divider, no power correction in the quick menu are unavailable – to change the settings have to climb deeper into the main menu. The following are examples taken from the built-in flash working in TTL mode with compensation ranging from -3 to +1 in increments of 1 degree.

    Video mode

    One of the important innovations of Nikon cameras 2014 release is the introduction of support for the regime 60p recording Full HD-movies that managed to implement through the use of new, more powerful processor.

    However, in this regard, Nikon just caught up with Sony and Panasonic, which, however, still and know how to write video in AVCHD, which Nikon V3 is not taught. But progress in any case there is, in addition, significantly improved and the quality of the video.

    And the settings in the video mode – a lot. Moreover, many of them are carried out separately from the Photo mode, although they are often associated. For example, specified separately metering mode, the parameters of stabilization (optical or electronic), focus mode and AF-area mode, activating the priority function on their faces.

    In addition, in the settings, you can control the parameters ekspopary and sensitivity level, with directly while recording movies. Unfortunately, on the fly can be changed only with the help of the classical authorities, or use for these purposes is permitted only touch screen in standby mode.

    Of course, in such a tiny cell, this step is quite logical – it allows you to avoid shaking the device, but this approach has one drawback – record clicks dials on the sound track. However, this can be avoided by using an external microphone. Sound settings include activation mode suppression of wind noise, and the choice of microphone sensitivity level (three levels and automatic tuning).

    As already mentioned, the Nikon 1 V3 buffer is not large, and huge, so a sin not to take advantage of such opportunities in the video mode. With this test the camera during a video shoot is capable of full resolution 20 fps, with the process of photography does not affect the video – no pauses recording, no black screen, no shutter sound, much less cutting clips into several parts.

    At the moment, this is the best implementation of still images during video recording of all modern cameras.

    Power supplies and battery life

    And now the bad news. Downsizing and getting rid of uhvatistoy handle was not in vain – place a lithium-ion battery capacity of 11 Wh battery took the same type, but with a capacity of only some 8 Wh. It is worth noting that the V1 battery capacity was altogether 14 Wh, which by the standards of “mirrorless” is a very impressive figure.

    However, the stated duration of the battery life has not changed with respect to V2 – when tested by CIPA standard novelty should shoot all the same 310 frames. And this is the explanation – the new processor EXPEED 4A, which consumes more frugally charge.

    A similar pattern is observed in all other product lines, which got a new camera processor. In practice, we were able to shoot 418 personnel, of which 86 were made with a flash. In general, the result is very good.

    Battery level indicator only 3-segment, so be guided by it is quite difficult, although as far as possible it is quite accurate.

    Charging the battery is in a special device and the charging function of the USB-bus is not supported, although the greatest contribution to the development of this useful developments made it company Nikon, and the battery capacity is not as great as that of V1, so much to discourage the use of this type of charge not.


    Whether there was a novelty best previous model? Definitely yes. Yet without the drawbacks too, was not. Important – is, of course, is pretty big noise when shooting at high ISO sensitivities, but it’s – restrictions imposed by the physical dimensions of the matrix.

    Also worth noting is the rapid overheating of low-power flash. There are flaws in the touch control and periodic inhibition quick menu, although the overall hybrid control is quite convenient. Also, not the best way has a function of manual focusing. Metering by lamplight misses, although not critical.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00IYP9MQ6″ cloaking=”no” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]The advantages of Nikon 1 V3 is attributed tightly knit body, small size and weight controls, removable viewfinder, high-quality display, as well as imposing your camera in burst shooting. Also significantly improve the performance in movie mode, and even the ability to shoot 20 fps in full resolution during video recording – and at an exclusive feature.

    Special attention should be longer battery life, which, despite the use of less capacious battery, maintained at the same level through the use of more powerful and at the same time less voracious processor.

    However, if the urgent need for weight management bodies, inclined display, removable viewfinder and huge buffer is not present, then the benefits from V3 to a leaner, more importantly, much more affordable J4, in fact, are not.

    Processors, sensors, and complete lifting flash lenses in these cameras are the same, and the built-in software similar. Moreover, our measurements showed that the V3 is no better in terms of accuracy J4 install metering and automatic white balance, closing speed, focus speed and correctness of the autofocus in low light, and the possibility of similar outbreaks. In general, before you pay more, it is necessary to think carefully.

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