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This review is from: Nikon 1 J1 HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm Lens (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)I initially preordered the V1, most of the lens, and the flash. I realized I was getting a Nikon 1 camera so that I don't have to carry so much camera equipment. I cancelled the V1, and I purchased the J1 black instead. I am glad I did.
I think for most people the J1 and 10 - 30 mm kit is the best choice. The 10mm pancake lens is nice if you want to do a lot of shooting in low light, but you can't zoom. Most of you are used to zooming, and when you can't get closer with your feet because of some barrier, you won't be happy. Many are posting that the 30 - 100 mm lens is very good too. I would have gotten that one for my J1, but I have Nikon lens for my Nikon dSLR D5100. I plan on buying the adapter so I can use my current dSLR Nikon lenses on the J1 for fun.
The J1 is a great little camera, but you do need to read parts of the manual. If you are someone who likes to capture the moment, this camera is very good in bright light. The colors (white balance) is very good, and in bright light the camera will focus more quickly than most cameras out there. This is great camera for someone (example, my wife) who likes to just shoot and not worry too much about all the photographic technical mumbo jumbo.
The Nikon 1 cameras are very good in both pictures and video. I think there is one other mirrorless brand that does video as good as the Nikon 1 cameras. When I use my D5100 Nikon dSLR for video, I just have to accept the fact that there will be enough moments where the D5100 is trying to find focus, and so the video will have many small instances of a blurry picture. For most of us, the video of the Nikon 1 J1 will be very good for our family and social events. The Nikon 1 J1 has better auto focus video than any dSLRs out there.
My previous ''small' camera was the Canon S90. I really liked it. I have compared the J1 to the S90. You have to increase the sharpness in the J1 menu settings to match the sharpness of the S90. The J1 beats the S90 in color accuracy. I love the colors (white balance) from this new camera. It is as good or slightly better than my Nikon D5100, which is a great dSLR.
I am enjoying this new toy. Hanging the camera on my neck or shoulder is much more comfortable than my DSLR. If you can afford it, I recommend getting the J1 10 - 30 mm kit. In bright light it is fantastic with great fast focus and great color. You do need to read the manual on the topics of vibration reduction (VR) and active dynamic lighting. For pictures you will want the VR to be on 'normal' most of the time. For video, you probably will need to put VR on 'active.' This is currently the best camera for both very good pictures AND very good video. As a father, I really regret not taking enough small video clips of my kids, especially of them speaking. Like any camera, you do need to use good holding technique, read the manual, and learn to use this new toy if you want to get the most out of it. If you just like to point and shoot, this will do that too.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 30, 2011 3:16:18 PM PDT
Jiunjiun Ma says:
Is there any adapter available now? I'd like to use my other Nikon lenses as well but couldn't find anything out there.
Posted on Oct 30, 2011 9:54:04 PM PDT
Dr. Penrose says:
You say this camera is good in low-light situations which is common for most of us since we rarely have the luxury or time of getting the right lighting or setting it up, especially in the moment. Then you go on to brag about the benefits in bright light which I am aware of. "In bright light it is fantastic with great fast focus and great color."
In the other review by J. Wischkaemper (Knoxville, TN) he stated:
"At the end of the day, the J1 is a compromise, and it doesn't really pretend to be otherwise. You won't get the low light performance you would in an APS-C camera, but you won't be carrying ten pounds of gear with you either."
He also said "High-speed is somewhat gimmicky, perhaps, but don't plan on using it indoors." but I think he meant for video not for pictures? Regardless many of us do shoot indoors a significant amount and a light camera with low-light performance is a very important feature for us. Of course, indoors.. at least for self-portraits not much zoom would be needed anyway but again, if we plan on dealing with uncontrollable lighting conditions is this J1 or V1 really the best option around today or can we do better especially at this price while still keeping things mobile? I don't think i'm asking for a lot here. I love these logically incorporated features this camera sports but they seem to ignore age-old issues, i.e. the realistic basics.
Finally, can anyone clear up the main differences between the J1 and V1 ?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2011 11:12:11 AM PDT
J. Wischkaemper says:
Dr. Penrose -
My comment regarding the High-speed video was pertaining only to the 400fps or 1200fps modes, which require extremely fast shutter speeds, and are basically non-usable in low light.
You ask what the "best" option is. My personal opinion would be that the best option is either the J1/V1, or the Sony NEX line, but that "best" depends a lot on what your personal preferences and shooting styles are (and your tolerance for noise in images).
The J1/V1 appear to do reasonably well up to ISO 1600, and acceptable at 3200. 6400 is a bit more of a game. My NEX-3, however, did quite well at 3200, very acceptable at 6400, and was in some cases usable at 12,800. My suspicion is that the J1 is going to lag the current NEX cameras in low-light noise performance by about 1-1.5 stops. Whether that is important to you will depend a lot on whether you need those extra two stops. If I (really) need them, I pull out my pro gear. You may not have that option.
On the other hand, the NEX line is more bulky, especially when you start considering lenses. As I noted in my review, there are physical constraints on how small you can make lenses given a particular sensor size. I went hiking with my J1 yesterday, and found it to be much less obtrusive than my NEX, though the NEX is not particularly burdensome compared to a full bag of gear.
While I know it seems like we're not "asking a lot", there is a direct relationship between sensor size and lens size, as well as between sensor size and image quality. The larger the sensor, the more light (information) is collected, hence the higher the image quality (for the same sensor technology). The larger the sensor, the larger the lens needed to resolve light onto the sensor, and the larger and heavier of a camera you have. There's no such thing as a free lunch, after all.
For what it's worth, DXOMark benchmarked the J1/V1 sensor, and it scored only a single point lower than the Nikon D2X. When you consider that the D2X's low light performance beat film by a pretty wide margin, I'd say the J1/V1 isn't having to deal with "age-old issues", but rather with completely revised expectations of what should be possible with today's imaging technology.
Posted on Nov 11, 2011 2:18:34 PM PST
Adam Miarka says:
You mentioned increasing the sharpness of the J1 in the menu system. Is there a specific setting for this, or a combination of settings?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2011 12:42:39 PM PST
Adapter is not out yet. Hopefully by the end of the year they will be available. I can't wait to put my 28-300 vr2 lens on the J1.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2011 12:47:41 PM PST
To Adam Miarka:
Yes, it is camera symbol menu. I have set mine to 6 out of 10. The Canon point and shoot defaults are higher than Nikons.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2011 12:52:31 PM PST
There is no small camera that is excellent for low light. They all are going to have limitations because of the smaller sensor.
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