Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Initial Impressions - Nikon V1

So very late last night I got my Nikon V1 rental kit in.  I've only had maybe a hour with the camera so far, but here are some of my initial impressions.

Ergonomics - I don't like them.  The camera has virtually NO grip to speak of - it feels like a very well-made, expensive soap bar that wants to fall from your grasp.  Controls are easy enough to grasp (haha pun), but not having a custom menu option is a travesty.  So far it hasn't been a huge deal, but definitely an oversight by Nikon.

Image quality - Pretty darn good.  Here's a shot I took of a tree rat using the FT-1 adapter and the Nikon 70-300 VR

Tree Rat, Nikon V1 with 70-300 VR at 210mm (567mm equiv)
Click here to see larger flickr version.
This lens is quite sharp on the V1 up to around 220mm or so, but then starts to really soften up - I'm not sure if the sample is soft, or the V1's tiny sensor and density are stressing the 70-300 to its limits.  By the time I get to 300mm, it's almost not worth taking the photo...I'll have to try later once the light is better and I can stop down the lens a bit.

The excellent (and lightweight) Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX lens also works as a fast portrait lens when mounted to the V1.  A quick shot of my daughter:

Ava, Nikon V1 with 35mm f/1.8 DX
Click here to see larger flickr version
Note though that even at f/1.8, you're still going to get a fairly discernible background in the image.  I was standing probably 4 feet or so from her and the fence and shed in the background are about 20 feet or so in the distance.

With the Nikon 105mm VR Macro lens mounted, one can get some fairly close macro shots.  Here's a very small flower at almost MFD (minimum focusing distance).  Cropped a bit:

Flower, Nikon V1 with 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro
Click here to see larger versions

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