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Nikon 1 V1

 
 
ray
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      05-10-2012
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actually USED one of the
cameras - preferably an owner. Please don't point to the 'reviews' - I'm
looking for actual use experiences.
 
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ray
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      05-15-2012
On Thu, 10 May 2012 08:54:53 -0700, RichA wrote:

> On May 10, 9:59*am, ray <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actually USED one of the
>> cameras - preferably an owner. Please don't point to the 'reviews' -
>> I'm looking for actual use experiences.

>
> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1058
>
> Not as many messages as it once had, owing to the lousy reviews the
> Nikon's have gotten.


Thanks for the link. Like most 'reviews' the ones I've seen have been
good. Depends a bit on intended use - I would not expect it to replace a
good dslr - but that's not what I'm after. Compact size and light weight
are important to me as I hike/bike/snowshoe often.
 
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Fredrik Jonson
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      05-25-2012
Ray wrote:

> I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actually USED one of the
> cameras - preferably an owner.


I've been meaning to reply to this, but I've been putting it of as I'm
afraid that my review isn't all that glowing. Besides, while I own a V1, I'm
still not sure I qualify yet; I haven't used it very much so far. When I
pick it up the V1 still feels brand new to me.

I didn't really imagine that the user interface, controls and layout, would
matter that much when I bought it. Maybe I just assumed that I wouldn't have
to worry about ergonomics when buying Nikon. Shame on me.

My primary reason to buy was that I wanted a small camera with a viewfinder,
fast response, and decent low light high iso quality. And in those specific
areas I'm satisfied.

I think the V1 delivered when it comes to speed. I'm very happy with the
response time, focus speed is excellent, power on is sufficiently fast that
it doesn't bother me.

I found low light - think candle light range - image quality maybe a bit
worse that I wanted. Wishful thinking, I guess. Otherwise the image quality
is fine. There is noise when you pixel peep, of course, but if you don't
there is nothing to complain about. I prefer framing in the field instead of
cropping post production, that's why I want a viewfinder. I'm also very
happy that it is 10 Mpixel. I find that be just the right amount of detail
most of the time.

Turns out the V1 isn't all that small though, the width and height isn't too
bad, and the viewfinder peak isn't bad at all height-wise. But the total
depth and the way the viewfinder protrudes almost a centimeter behind the
back of the camera makes it very hard to pull out of a pocket. You probably
won't want to put it in a pant side pocket either, it weighs too much for
that.

Now, lets talk controls. Power on, and the shutter button are ok. Easy to
find without looking, and the film button is distinctly separate from the
shutter button, which is good. Unfortunately the controls that regulate
aperture, shutter speed, iso, exposure compensation, camera mode, all make
me wonder if anyone at Nikon has actually used the camera in anything but
full auto mode? Also, the function button does nothing useful.

The little flat weel that controls the camera mode - video, still image,
smart photo selector, motion snapshot - is too easy to move accidentally. Or
should I say, impossible to not move involuntarily. I'm almost considering
epoxy gluing it in still image mode. Also, whatever happened to PASM? Why do
I have to dive in to menus to switch PASM modes?

There is a toggle button that is used to adjust aperture or shutter speed in
PASM modes. I'd much rather have a rear wheel, like the DSLR Nikons. I find
that it is hard to keep the camera steady while you toggle that button up
and down. Besides it is tedious to toggle repeatedly when you need to move
fast from one end of the scale to the other. A wheel makes that much more
convenient.

The next major control is the multi selector wheel, which is located at the
bottom right of the back. That position makes it almost impossible to use
when you hold the camera up to Your face. Intuitively you want to rest the
camera corner in your palm, to get solid support, but then the thumb is
positioned at the top of the camera, and it is impossible to reach the multi
selector. Also, the multi control is flimsy, there is no distinct feel when
you rotate it, and it rotates too easily, which means that you can't really
rest your thumb on it without changing values.

The auto area AF mode seems to operate by random selection, so I've set it
to single point. Here's actually a nice feature. In single point mode you
move the point by pressing the center ok button, and pressing the multi
wheel. No menu diving here. Still it involves the multi selector, which
obviously includes the ergonomic weaknesses mentioned above. I assume Nikon
designers have their right thumb attached on the arm a few cm above their
wrist. No?

No, as You can tell, I have a really hard time to make sense of the
controls. I love Nikon DSLR:s for their ergonomics, so I can't understand
why all that experience isn't found on the V1 too. It's almost like they
put the controls there, not for actual use, but solely to be able to check
that of the feature list.

I'm quite ok with the viewfinder. Great for framing, and getting a steady
shot, just as expected. Some reviewers complain that it takes too long to
activate, when you put your eye up to it, I haven't found that to be a
problem. There is a manual focus mode, but the viewfinder falls short for
that, not enough detail. Besides, manual focus is controlled by the multi
selector, which means that you need to control it with your right thumb...
See a pattern in this review yet?

As I mentioned, I haven't used it very much yet, and perhaps some of the
reason I'm so negative is that I'm not all that familiar to the interface
yet. Also, I haven't owned a pocket camera before, so maybe I'm spoiled by
the DSLR experience.

--
Fredrik Jonson
 
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