Nikon 1 V1 - early morning light - more fanboy gushing

 Nikon 1 V1 6.7-13mm zoom

  Nikon 1 V1 30-110mm zoom

 Nikon 1 V1 30-110mm zoom

 Nikon 1 V1 6.7-13mm zoom

Nikon 1 V1 30-110mm zoom

I continue to be impressed and frankly amazed at just how good the Nikon 1 system is. Beautiful rich colours and a genuine depth to those colours, and nice sharp images from those small high quality lenses are making it my camera of choice at the moment.

Having got up at 6:30AM to get these shots, I was in no mood to lug around a heavy outfit or fiddle with manual focus lenses. What I wanted was a lot of options from wide to telephoto and fast reliable operation, which is exactly what I got.  

I really can't say what Nikon intended with the Nikon 1. A response to the success of m4/3 and NEX? A genuine alternative to what is currently around? Probably bits of both, but either by design or accident they have come up with something that I think is actually quite special. There's been a lot of column inches about various new sensors in the last 12 months or so. The 24MP APS-C of the NEX-7, recently taken on further by the Nikon D7100, the new 16MP m4/3 sensor, the Fuji X-Trans and the incredible 36MP of the Nikon D800/800E, but for me its this Nikon 1 sensor that would get my award for the best of recent times. Just like the Sony RX100, this redefines what a supposedly 'compact' 'consumer' 'snapshot' camera can do, though personally I feel the RX100 is spoiled by cramming too many pixels onto the sensor and obviously having just a fixed lens and no viewfinder.

The Nikon 1 system offers more options. Simple and basic if thats what you want, with the J and S models and something a bit more serious with the V1 and V2. There are a decent pair of kit zooms and some other more 'creative' options and two primes, soon to be joined by a third. So, while under no circumstances can this be seen as anything other than a 'domestic' system, Nikon have come up with a wider possible user base for this system than was probably initially imagined. (Incidentally, there is a comprehensive review of the V1 at Cameralabs by Gordon Laing which if you haven't seen is well worth a look.)

I would of course make it clear that my enthusiasm for the system is defined by the fact that I rarely move away from the base ISO - 100. So I am using it very much as a 'bright light' camera. However, for that purpose its works very well for me. In fact it works superbly. I've worked a bit more on processing and I'm now able to get a 17MP - 51MB image from a V1 raw file that is sharp, clean and with superb dynamic range. (I'm currently preparing a post to show how I do this) I'm uploading these to picture libraries and they are being accepted with no problem. And following on from a previous post this is, after due consideration, probably my personal favourite of any of the mirrorless / E.V.I.L / CSC systems I've used. 

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a system that 'punches (way) above its weight', proving yet again that its not just the number of pixels or sensor size that determines the quality of results and ever since I've bought into it I've been pleased I made the decision to try it out. I am resisting the overwhelming urge to buy a V2 and one of the 10-100mm zooms and may yet succeed in seeing off that urge since when I look at the results on my screen I'm very satisfied with what I'm getting from the 6.7-13mm wide-angle zoom, which is really superb and the 30-110mm telephoto zoom, which is probably the best of its type (cheap, light etc.) that I've ever used. Currently I'm not using the 18.5mm f/1.8 much, nor the 10-30mm zoom, but both have impressed me when I've used them.

So, my nice surprise keeps on delivering. I've also found quite a few other enthusiastic users around the web as well. Interesting that many of them, like myself, seem to think that we have somehow stumbled upon a secret. Certainly there seems to be far less written about the Nikon 1 system than m4/3 and the Fuji X's for example. As is well known to regular regular readers I did dismiss it when it first came out and I suspect a lot of others have done the same. I won't pretend that you will get great results without some work and experimentation, because you won't, but there is some amazing quality hidden away in those files and if people are prepared to look for it, I think they might be (very) surprised at what they find.