Monday, February 20, 2012

Nikon V1 - 2nd Field Report

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

While I stand by my earlier assertions the V1 is just a bit too unwieldy to hold with one hand and that it has some rather serious usability issues, some readers claimed I was a bit too harsh with my criticisms, so I decided to make another day with just the V1.  This time, with both hands available.

Nikon V1 with FT-1 and 105mm VR Micro
What can I say, today was a better outing.  I think I only accidentally switched the mode dial twice.  While I do wish it were in a different spot altogether, it's not as though other cameras are immune to the same problem (well, those without locking dials).

Nikon V1 with FT-1 and 70-300VR

Most of my shots were spent using the 70-300.  Autofocus with the lens was spot-on, and I was able to get a few really quick snaps of my children in focus, even if they were running (autofocus with the FT-1 is limited to tracking to be had).

A leap
Nikon V1 with FT-1 and 70-300 VR

A momentary pause
Nikon V1 with FT-1 and 70-300 VR
Using the 70-300 also allowed me to use it as a pseudo-macro lens - nothing serious, but overall it is a decent flower-taker.

Small star
Nikon V1 with FT-1 and 70-300VR

Overall the day wasn't too bad, though the forced image review again got in the way of several of my shot opportunities, especially when I would try to track my children playing.  I'd say the camera is nigh unusable for anything but the lightest of sports or other action scenes because of this, and I really hope Nikon decides to add the option to disable it.

While I won't be buying the V1, I could see at least being able to use the camera for most of what I shoot. I miss having an articulated screen, because the small size of the package (heft notwithstanding) really encourages  you to reach up, down, and around things to get different angles -- it would be nice to be able to adjust your screen accordingly to accommodate the usage, but it's not unsurmountable.

The autofocus performance with both the native 10-30 and the adapted lenses is pretty good, much better (and quicker) than my NEX-5N, so I get to mostly avoid missing crucial shots because autofocus.

It's also a rather small package for telephoto work - the 70-300 V1 combo isn't very large considering it gives you an ultra-telephoto field of view for not much more than a few pounds.

I'm certainly curious to see where Nikon takes the V1 as a system, and in the future I could see myself potentially buying into it, assuming some of the concerns I have are ironed out.  In the mean time, though, I'll just sit back and watch it grow.

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