Video: Nikon 1 V1 digital camera
Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V writing team in 2007 and is now a lead producer on our video team.
More from Zak Billmeier
Zak, Crutchfield photo enthusiast, tries out the Nikon 1 V1 hybrid camera and gives his review. He tells about the hybrid focusing system, electronic viewfinder, and Smart Photo selector. Zak also reviewed the Nikon 1 J1 camera.
Zak: So I got a sneak peek at the new Nikon 1 V1 interchangeable lens camera. And this is part of the Nikon 1 system, which is a brand new system designed from the ground up by Nikon — their first new lens mount since the F mount of the late fifties that has continued through today. So it's pretty exciting stuff. It features interchangeable lenses. There are already three available for it and in the near future you'll see an F mount adapter so that you can use your existing Nikon lenses with it.
It's got a very solid build. It feels great in my hand. It's got a little notch here for grabbing with your fingers here, and then a little thumb pad on the back so you can really get a comfortable grip on it. It's obviously a very quality, solid camera. The V1 has a fantastic electronic viewfinder and it, unlike some other electronic viewfinders that I've used, it has a very natural look to it. It looks really just like it looks on the screen on the back. The screen's also fantastic. You can use the screen to frame your shot like this or as you get closer there's an eye sensor that will trip the electronic viewfinder to come on. Sometimes out in the sun it's hard to see the screen but no problem. Just come on up to that viewfinder and you'll see everything clearly.
The Nikon 1 V1 features Nikon's brand new hybrid focusing system. What they've done is they've taken the contrast detect system found in point-and-shoot cameras and combined it with the phase detect system you'd find in a DSLR system. Nikon's brought them both together here so what they've created is something that focuses amazingly quickly — great for action, great for taking pictures of your kids or your pets or other wildlife. Anything that moves, this'll catch it.
A feature I really liked on this camera is what they call Smart Photo Selector. It's got its own mode on the dial and you flip the dial over there and what it does is it starts taking pictures when you focus and press halfway and then keeps taking pictures when you press it down. It takes a total of twenty, and then the camera decides which five are the best and from there you can whittle it down to the best one. It's kind of biased toward blinking and smiling so if, say you're assembling a group photo of some kind — you know how hard it is to get everybody looking the right way and somebody's always got their head turned or their moving a little bit — this one will actually automatically delete all those pictures and keep the five with the most people looking at you, the most smiles, and you'll get the best shot you can. It's also good for any fleeting moment, you know. You don't want to miss those shots and this will help you get them. The Nikon 1 V1 has an accessory port here on the top. And this is so you can add an external flash or a GPS module to it. It doesn't have a pop-up flash so if you plan on using flash that's what this port is for.
If you have any questions about this camera or the Nikon 1 system in general just give us a call.