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Author Topic: opinions on Nikon 1 series?  (Read 1691 times)

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« on: May 05, 2014, 13:07 »
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Thinking I might like a mirrorless for travel, and not have the big D700 and 200 mm VR zoom hanging around my neck.   But they're expensive, and there are already too many models for me to figure out. 

What I'd like is small size, low weight, a good viewfinder, and better image quality than an ordinary P&S - especially in low light.  Manual controls, so I can use shutter prioity.  A small VR zoom would be great.  Weatherproof would be nice.

Worth the price?   


« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 13:12 »
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« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 21:35 by tickstock »

« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 13:50 »
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This isn't serious work.   I could care less if any micro agencies accepted these photos. I don't care if "the corners are a bit soft" for example.    But I want raw, not just jpg, and I want to get reasonably good photos in low light,  hand-held.   

I know it's not a DSLR.  I'm wondering if it's so much better than a P&S that it's worth the money.

And I know there are other mirrorless cameras, but to make things simpler, I just stick with the Nikon name.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 13:52 by stockastic »

« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 14:02 »
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.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 21:34 by tickstock »

« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 14:08 »
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The Fuji XE1 is good value at the moment, especially used, because it is already an older model. Firmware updates have fixed most of the issues users had been moaning about. Fuji are making really great cameras and lenses. The 35mm f/1.4 lens is fantastic. These things are well made with very good attention to detail. The menu system is well designed and tidy and understated - but the camera and lenses have physical controls anyhow. You do not need to be constantly in the menus.

The Sony Nex-6 is good too. The Sigma 30mm f/2.8 is a good sharp standard lens to get for it. Smaller and much less exensive than Zeiss. Both also available used at bargain prices on eBay. Don't bother with the kit zooms. The Nex-6 will be even more of a bargain when a replacement comes out. And it will still be great. Downside is Sony's horribly counter-intuitive Fisher Price / Windows-ish happy-clappy menu system. And you have to do nearly everything via menus.

Both have good EVFs. The XE1 EVF is slightly laggy compared with the Nex-6 but that is unlikely to bother you since these are not the sorts of cameras anyone would be using to shoot sports.

Avoid cameras with lenses you cannot remove. You want to be able to clean the sensor. Google "<insert camera name> sensor dust".
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 16:34 by bunhill »

« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 15:30 »
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I love my Nikon D700 and my D5100 but found that my P7000 (a Nikon P&S that shoots RAW) is disappointing in low light (though great in good light and has an attached lens that goes from 6mm superwide to super telephoto). Given that disappointment I decided not to go with Nikon for a mirrorless and instead just opted for the new mirrorless Olympus OM-D EM-1 (very pricy but the older version - the EM-5 is now half price)

Took it on a trip to Arizona last week along with my D700 and the photos are incredibly sharp low noise really great even at high ISOs. The earlier model is now half price and I toyed with getting it but wanted to be able to use focus peaking with my legacy Olympus lenses from my trusty OM-1 film SLR. Anyway, the inexpensive 40-150mm zoom lens (it was on sale last month < $150) which is an 80-300mm equivalent is incredibly sharp and useful. I also bought the pricier 17mm and 25mm lenses and an adapter for my legacy lenses.

I really love this new camera and have heard good things about the older version. Right after I got it I shot a fire at night in the dark using manual focus exhausted at 1-2AM and the 40-150mm lens, licensed a few of the photos to a magazine & all shot at ISO 1250-1600. You can see them here. http://www.mariannecampolongophotography.com/#!/index/G00003RJjrLtWZTw (HIT "LOAD MORE" ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT several times to see them all)

Haven't processed all the Arizona pix yet which I shot at ISO 100-400 but will post a link when I do or pm me if you want to see some. I'd consider the OM-D EM-5 or the new EM-10 if I were you. You can also upgrade to Leica lenses and have the choice of using any of the micro 2/3rds lenses on them (without the need for any adapters) and can also get adapters for other larger lenses.

« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 19:45 »
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wordplanet - those photos of the fire are extremely good.  However, like you said, it's a pricey camera. 


« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 23:19 »
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If you are open to buying refurbished, I consider this Nikon 1 V1 kit a steal of a deal at this price point:

http://www.adorama.com/INK1V1BKR.html

I own two of them.   I picked up my first one when they went on firesale a year or so ago, to replace the very highly regarded Canon G15 P&S, which, was the best P&S I've ever owned, but the V1 is hands down better.  The second body I bought to convert to full-time IR (a very easy 15min DIY job).   

As for image quality including ISO performance, I would place the V1 firmly above a Nikon D70s and just behind a Nikon D80 DSLR (if you are familiar with an those bodies).   I'm not sure if that meets your requirements or not.  The V1 images are commercially viable for Microstock, I've not had much issues getting them accepted and never had a purchase refunded yet.  That said, I do typically sample V1 images down to 6MP though, just to play it safe. 

The V1 camera does have some real merits that outclass even my D800E and D7100 in other areas; most notably the 135 point autofocus system is faster and more accurate, with faster continuous shooting as well at 60fps (electronic shutter), not that I'll ever need that much.  The inherent characteristics of  the 1" sensor also offer some flexibility not found in larger sensors.  More than just the 2.7x crop factor, the almost 3 full stops (2.9) of added Depth of Field has been fantastic for extreme Macro work without the need for DOF stacking nor tiny apertures that result in diffraction.  This DOF characteristic also great for extreme telephoto work and landscapes, but is often a detractor for portraits or other work when shallow depth of field is desired.   Nikon does make a 18.5mm F1.8 lens for the Nikon 1 System that is some help in this regard and of course there is the FT-1 adapter.

The Nikon 1 lenses are great in themselves, but the addition of the FT-1 adaptor brings the 1 system into a whole new realm.  It allows you to mount your FX and DX glass on the Nikon 1 body .  Any AF-S lenses will retain the ability to autofocus on the 1 system (single point). I often use a 85mm prime with this adapter - gaining an effective field of view of a ~230mm lens, with the light gathering capabilities of f1.8, 3 stops increased DOF, and only uses the sweet spot of the lens.  Add a Rayox DCR-250 2.5x adapter, and the 85mm is also great high powered macro lens.   The same lens effectively becomes a completely different tool when mounted on this system affording shooting options I just wouldn't have if my sensors where all the same size.             

So for me, not only has the Nikon 1 system displaced the G15 P&S as my take everywhere camera as I intended, it also quite unexpectedly led to the displacement of a D7000 IR converted body (listed on ebay right now if anyone is interested), and largely replaced a D7100 (which will likely be listed shortly).  Sure, these current model APS-C sensor camera have significantly better overall image quality, but in the end the V1 was still "good enough" in this regard, plus its advantages that I just found myself no longer reaching for the DX bodies.  I was either grabbing a FF body or a V1.  Even when going on a serious shoot with a FF body, I'd still bring along a V1 (or both) - they are so light and convenient, there was is reason not to.   In reality, if I go anywhere with a camera, it's a V1, the question is whether I bring anything else along with it. 

My only major complaint (and it's a big one) is the proprietary accessory port (incl. hot shoe).  Its incompatible with the wider Nikon Lighting System used for DSLRs.  No commander mode either.  There are some McGyver tricks you can use to get around it, but it's an annoyance to be sure, and not a complete substitute.  Nikon really missed the boat on that part. 

Attached are a few samples shot with the V1 bodies.

 
Good luck with whatever you decide!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 23:23 by Muskoka Imagery »

« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 23:26 »
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I posted some sample images in the above post but they looked horribly compressed embed here so seemed pointless to leave them there.  I will see if I can put them somewhere and link to them.

« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 23:40 »
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I posted some sample images in the above post but they looked horribly compressed embed here so seemed pointless to leave them there.  I will see if I can put them somewhere and link to them.


The first 8 images in this gallery were shot with a V1.  There is some compression used at this site too, but not as bad: 

http://www.betterphoto.com/Premium/default.aspx?id=454017&mp=V3

« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 11:58 »
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Great shots Muskoska! Though clearly post-processed, the Nikon 1 looks like a great choice, though it would be nice to see some minimally processed shots as well. Can't beat that price.

Since my Nikon Coolpix P7000 is fine for microstock in good light, I was searching for a mirrorless that I could use for traditional stock as well as assignments, and one that was excellent at high ISO's, but as my new OLY is 10x the price (with a bunch of new lenses, filters, adapters, etc.), I can see that the Nikon 1 looks like a much better choice for the OP.

« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 13:05 »
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Muskoska - thanks for the detailed review.  Now I'm getting interested.  :)

« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 15:21 »
+1
Thanks for your comments, Muskoka.  I've been thinking about the AW1, Nikon's waterproof version.  I was on a cruise in February and envied a fellow traveler who was shooting stingrays swimming among us.  I had to settle for pictures from the boat.  Wasn't about to risk my D800 in chest high water.

« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 15:35 »
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I saw the AW1 in a store today - it's cool but not for me. Rather heavy for its size, and no viewfinder.  I don't need the waterproofing.  They didn't have any other Nikon 1 models, and (not surprisingly) told me they never sold very well, but they have hopes for the V3 which is coming soon.

While I was there, the sales guy showed me the new Sony A6000.  Wow.   


« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2014, 00:03 »
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Great shots Muskoska! Though clearly post-processed, the Nikon 1 looks like a great choice, though it would be nice to see some minimally processed shots as well. Can't beat that price.


Thank you for the compliment.  The Grasshopper and Bald Faced Hornet have only basic processing.  The near infrared shots, by their nature,  require significant post processing to get anything usable as a result of the conversion.  The others, indeed, have varying amounts of post processing work.

Here's one from Algonquin Park with only processing done in ACR:

http://www.betterphoto.com/Premium/Gallery.aspx?id=454017&cat=0&photoID=14472947&iPage=1&mp=V3

Here's a casual family snap of my son on St Patrick's day with only ACR processing.  The WB isn't great, lighting was tricky with 3 different types of light sources in the room.   

http://www.betterphoto.com/Premium/Gallery.aspx?id=454017&cat=0&photoID=14472946&iPage=1&mp=V3

Both of these were shot with the  Nikon 1 18.5mm F1.8 lens (set to f2.5 top, and f1.8 bottom).  Note the deep DOF even at these wide apertures. 

I can usually rely on the V1 to provide output that I can work with as a long as I keep my expectations reasonable, and when I play to its strengths, the results can be excellent.  Whether I do little or lots of post processing on a given image is largely a creative choice and not born out of necessity (in fact my experience is that  with out extreme care, excessive post processing tends to be destructive to the overall IQ).  The G15 quality was far more spotty, and cost more than the V1 and my first two lenses combined -  which is perhaps the V1's greatest strength of all.   

Thanks for your comments, Muskoka.  I've been thinking about the AW1, Nikon's waterproof version.  I was on a cruise in February and envied a fellow traveler who was shooting stingrays swimming among us.  I had to settle for pictures from the boat.  Wasn't about to risk my D800 in chest high water.


I don't blame you.  The AW1 would be a blast!  When it eventually goes on clearout I'll consider getting one if it's cheap enough, but I just don't have enough of a need for a waterproof camera to justify the current price tag.

I saw the AW1 in a store today - it's cool but not for me. Rather heavy for its size, and no viewfinder.  I don't need the waterproofing.  They didn't have any other Nikon 1 models, and (not surprisingly) told me they never sold very well, but they have hopes for the V3 which is coming soon.

While I was there, the sales guy showed me the new Sony A6000.  Wow.


The launch price of the V3 is too expensive for what you get in my opinion.  I love the 1 system, but not for that kind of money.   My personal strike point for this line has been about $375 or less.  The V2 with kit lens has already dropped below $500 in Canada (down from $899), and has the EVF and grip built in, both of  which you have to pay extra for on the V3.   

The A6000 really does look awesome!   I thought long and hard at the Sony mirrorless offerings several times before the V1's went on firesale, but always grounded to a halt when it came to the e-mount format.  Knowing me, I'd end up wanting to buy and carry duplicate copies of equivalent e-mount lenses that I already owned in F-mount.  The fact that the format offers little to no cross compatibility for my existing F-mount lenses is a real hang up for me.

« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2014, 13:19 »
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http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Nikon

In overall comparisons the Nikon 1 Series results arent very impressive.

« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2014, 14:24 »
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The Nikon 1 is losing in the comparison shoot-outs but that's one reason the V1 is now discounted.  It's probably quite a bargain, especially if you're not really sure you want a mirrorless but would like to try one for a while.

« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2014, 22:06 »
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The upcoming V3 has caught my eye. It has some really cool looking specs

« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2014, 05:19 »
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I like my Nikon 1 V1.  Got it for a good price, they seem to devalue very fast, so I wouldn't get the newest one for a few months.  The telephoto zoom is much smaller and lighter than an equivalent would be on a micro 4/3 camera.  Ideal for travel and I sell photos from this camera on the micros and alamy.  The sensor size snobs don't like it but I ignore them  :)


 

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