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We take a tour of Nikons first foray into the compact system camera market
It’s taken four years from concept to completion and now the Nikon V1 has finally hit the shelves. The V1 enters the stage alongside a cheaper, slightly lesser spec model, the J1. Aimed at the ambitious, tech-savvy family user disillusioned with their compact camera’s abilities, the V1 endeavours to impress with speed, ease of use and a robust magnesium alloy reinforced body. It serves as a tool for photographers to capture pin-sharp memories of their children, pets and holidays, while leaving room to improve their skills along the way.
One of the key points that makes this stand out from its CSC rivals is a fantastic set of movie recording options. Movie buffs will also appreciate the option to shoot 1080p at 30fps or 1080i at 60fps.
The V1 really shows off its processing power by enabling you to take full resolution stills at the same time as shooting video. It works the other way around too, enabling you to record HD video clips while in the still shooting mode. There is a separate movie and shutter button, so this is an easy action to perform.
Another great function is the Smart Photo Selector, which fires off 20 full resolution shots and keeps the best five (in terms of facial expression, focus and composition) for you to make your choice from. This is perfect for photographing pets and children, helping to ensure you capture the perfect smile or pose. If you use this option frequently then remember to invest in a large memory card, as all five options are stored.
The Nikon V1 is a really innovative camera that’s ideal for the family user. The manual controls are buried within the menu, so experienced photographers will find this frustrating, but for the intended consumer the shooting and video options provide ample opportunity to capture superb portraits and action shots. The quality proves you don’t need a massive sensor to produce a great photo.
The new Nikon V1 produces superb images, but the hidden Manual mode and the excessive price somewhat tarnish an otherwise excellent product