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Hide-Your-Cam Yi Home Cam Security Camera Camouflage Cover Skin Case Disguise Protection Decoration Sun Flower Also Fits on Nest Cam

Product Description
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  • Also fits on Nest Camera and SimpliSafe Security Camera

Nikon V1 mini review + SB-N7, 10/2.8, 18.5/1.8, 10-30/3.5-5.6 and Richard Franiec custom grip
Quick Summary (for those with little time):

Thanks to fast AF and excellent out-of-camera colour the V1 will allow you to take some nice vacation and family photos without needing to spend 2 hours reading user manual. LCD is great and EVF is nice enough (irreplaceable in bright light). Great battery time too. Keep the ISO low and you will get some very detailed photos that will give you some great prints. I would strongly suggest reading the review from Steve Huff to get better impression what these camera can deliver. In my opinion the V1 gives the user a very good balance of simplicity & performance & price (as of late 2013) as well as IQ & size & weight.

Versus larger formats:
One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realise that smaller sensor is not going to deliver the same technical image quality as a larger one – in particular in term of colour depth, noise and

Now onto the full review:

Nikon V1 is no news since a while. When it entered the market more than 2 years ago it was seen as an overpriced and under performing camera that nobody should buy. At least to those that have never used one. I myself found next to no interest in the system at the time either. Only once the already mentioned review from Steve Huff was published I started to take the V1 more seriously. And yes – the camera body for around 700€ was overpriced at the time.

With time (and once V2 was introduced) the price of the V1 sank considerably and also positive reports started started to pop. I myself needed some small, fast and easy to use digital camera and after looking into options I made a sensible choice and went with the V1. I have actually surprised myself too as the camera I was considering was Olympus OMD E-M1 – at the time announced, but not on the market. There is no questions that E-M1 is in many (most?) ways a better camera, but it should be for about 4x the price.

I have used the camera since few months now with the 10 and 18.5 lenses – and recently also with the 30-110 and the SB-N7 flash and those are the items that I would like to mention briefly here.

So – what is the V1 and what it is not. First of all – the sensor. 1" sensor is already known from Sony in their great RX100 (though with 20 Mpix). Performance wise (dynamic range, noise) is is below current m43 like OM-D or E-P5, but that should be no surprise. It still delivers solid performance, and, what I consider very important, V1 allows you to turn off the noise reduction and so your ISO 1600 photos will be still very detailed (albeit a bit grainy).

On the megapixel count. It is ‘only’ 10 and that is GOOD. Cramping more on sensor this small would be of little advantage. Thanks to very sharp lenses these 10 Mpix have great detail and should give great A3 prints at low ISO (I am yet to print some photos from my V1)

The camera itself – I would describe it as professional point&shot. The main reason is the lack of controls and also the relatively low level of customisation (menus). The only control wheel (on top of the 4-way standard one) there is the scene selector which is unfortunately very easy to turn, so one quickly learns to check its position before bringing the camera to you eye. Another reason to call the V1 a pro P&S is, that it works best in the ‘P’ mode. But more on that later.

Last but not least – the EVF. The EVF is not WYSIWYG – it adjusts automatically and the output (image you take) may look differently than what you saw in the EVF when you pushed the button. This is however a big issue if you plan on using 3rd party lenses via adapter. I have briefly had one to mount Minolta AF lenses. The camera offers only manual mode and because of the way the EVF behaves – you have no idea whether you will overexpose or underexpose – photo looks always the same in the EVF – irrespective of the aperture and shutter setting. I assume it is different with the Nikon F lenses as the adapter is more clever.

Resolution wise and contrast wise the EVF is behind current offerings, but it is perfectly usable and takes very little space on the camera. I find myself using it about 50% of the time. Contrary to the EVF the LCD is sharp, detailed and very fluid. There is nearly no lag.

When it comes to construction the camera is very robust (and feels ‘dense’ in your hand). The surface finish is very nice, but still given the shape of the camera it is not particularly nice to hold. I got the stick-on grip from Richard Franiec and it improves the handling considerably. Only downside is that it could have been less slippery.

In P mode the camera will not hesitate to select the widest aperture to keep the shutter speed reasonable (close to 1/f) and to keep the ISO as low as possible. However for some reason – once you enter the ‘A’ mode (aperture priority) the camera will push the ISO even mode down what often results in shutter speeds too low to handhold. This was a known ‘feature’ (bug, actually) already when I was buying the camera, but it affects me very little, since the camera does so well in P (and I use it as pro P&S anyway).

JPG versus NEF:
There is no bad news here. Jpegs are nicely detailed – in particular if you turn off noise reductio. Since the automatic white balance is really robust, you just point and shoot – I find that rarely I need to use the exposure compensation. When wring with the NEF files I can only say that I am not very impressed with what included Nikon software – View NX has to offer. Since I have recently got Lightroom 5 I gave it a try. You get even a bit more detail and if needed you can recover some highlights – I think that there is about a stop or so (no scientific assessment) which sometimes held. Indeed – large sensor camera would offer you more headroom, but there is still something you can do. But the message here is – the JPGs are so good that you will rarely need to mess around with NEF files what takes time and some decent software.

Since the above paragraphs do not sound all too great – what are actually the strong points of the V1? That is easy:
The strong points:
– Fast AF
– Very good video quality (get stabilised lenses for that)
– Excellent color – and I mean EXCELLENT – also with fill-in flash
– Size. If you really need not only compact camera, but also the lenses – the V1 will get you there. The camera with 10 and 18.5 lenses will fit any day bag you have. The 30-110 is really small too if you need a longer lens. The flash is tiny.
– Very good price-to-performance. The V1 with 10 and 18.5 lenses costs around 500€ in Germany – that is a great deal in my opinion.

And now for the weak points:
– Lack of manual controls – very little can be done without entering the menu.
– Lack of distortion correction (for JPEGs) – this should really be there. Both 10 and 18.5 have visible barrel distortion and it just costs too much time to remove it with 3rd party software – even if not necessary for every shot.
– The aforementioned behaviour of the A mode.
– Nikon View NX software is nothing to write home about. I am about to start using Lightroom 5 and will try to compare the RAW conversion of both softwares.

Now a few words about some of the lenses and accessories.

10/2.8
– sharp from wide open
– very compact – fits the body very well
– mild barrel distortion

18.5/1.8
– very sharp from wide open
– not as compact as the 10mm, but still small and very lightweight
– surprising amount of barrel distortion. I guess Nikon was trying to save on more complicated design.
– very little CA (this is good 🙂 )

30-110/3.5-5.6 – yes – it is a slow lens, but ..
– it is excellent from wide open
– it is very small
– the stabilisation works very well – I had no problem to get a perfectly sharp photo at 1/60 seconds at the full extension (equivalent of 300 mm on full frame).
– comes with lens hood that can be attached in reversed position to save space and the lens cap does not need to be removed when the hood is being mounted or unmounted. This is a little details that counts.

SB-N7 flash
This is a little great guy. A bit smaller than a pack of cigarets, operates with 2xAAA. The head swivels from 0deg (pointing towards the subject) to 120deg what allows to bounce the flash off the ceiling even if you point the camera down (photographing a child or a pet on a floor). It allows you to make some really nice portraits or interior low-light shots. There are several different flash setting on the V1 – even a second curtain synchronisation for some creative effects. The flash locks into the hot shoe so you do not need to worry about loosing it.

There are of course other lenses available – in particular the wide angle zoom 6.7-13 and the portrait tele 32/1.2 seem to be great lenses. But there are still white spaces in the lens lineup – in particular a dedicated macro lens – something like 42/2.8 is missing (and I think that V1 would make a great macro camera).

Hope this short write-up will help some of you.

If you have any questions about the V1 just ask 🙂

Regards, Matus
By Matus Kalisky on 2014-01-11 14:03:53
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What customers say about Hide-Your-Cam Yi Home Cam Security Camera Camouflage Cover Skin Case Disguise Protection Decoration Sun Flower Also Fits on Nest Cam?

  1. The D-Preview link you sent was of a discussion that took place in 2011 prior to the release of the SB-N7

  2. I have found that the Nikon 1 V1 with the Nikkor 10-30mm lens will give good macro photos ( hand held ) without the use of a flash. The close focus distance on this lens is 0.2 m. It may be necessary to set the iso to say 800 or 1600 to keep the shutter time small. For the more magnification I use the Nikkor 30-110mm lens with a 10mm or 16mm extension tube. Again I get good results ( hand held ) without a flash. If you look at my flickr site you will see many examples of macro nature photos I have taken.

  3. What I would really like ideally would be for some company to develop an adaptor to allow me to use nikon’s full range of speed lights on the V1. I really hate this stupid 1 series proprietary hot shoe!!!!!

  4. This is the bit that confuses me, "The world of creative lighting, at your fingertips.The Nikon 1 SB-N7 Speedlight brings Nikon’s renowned Creative Lighting System to your Nikon 1 V1 or V2." That statement was found here: www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Nikon1-Flashes…

  5. This frustration with the 1-series proprietary hotshoe almost makes me wish I had bought a micro 4/3ds system for portable macro shots instead as at least they have normal hotshoes compatible with TTL ring flash systems. … sigh. I just don’t see how it would be that hard for Nikon to either 1. develop a commander unit that fits the 1-series shoe or 2. develop an adaptor that allows mounting of the full range of speed lights.

  6. A detailed and excellent review. I find the EVF on the Nikon 1 V1 is excellent, I use it all the time. I tend to work in A mode ( aperture-priority auto ) and usually fix the iso depending on the situation( available light ).
    I have the Nikon 10-30mm and Nikon 30-110mm ( Nikon 1 ) lens . It is possible to get macro with these lens by using the extension tubes 10mm and 16mm Meike MK-N-AF3B – cost about £30. When working with iso of 1600 it is possible to get macro photos without the use of a flash. Here is a photo I took with the 16mm extension tube and 30-110mm lens. www.flickr.com/photos/26973646@N05/10157238056/in/set-721…
    I find the Nikon View NX 2 software excellent for editing the NEF files.

  7. Thanks Brian, I had a look and you do have some fantastic results (thanks for sharing those with us). It is slightly easier to achieve with lots of light outdoors. If trying to replicate in dark space it gets a bit more challenging.

  8. On behalf of Camera-Wiki :
    Thanks for adding your image to the Camera-Wiki Flickr group !
    www.flickr.com/groups/camerawiki/

    It appears here in the non-commercial Camera-Wiki :
    camera-wiki.org/wiki/Nikon_1_V1

  9. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/29504544@N08] I am honoured 🙂

  10. This is my response from Nikon USA: Thank you for calling Nikon today. Unfortunately the SB-N7 would not remotely fire the SB-200s you are using. I do apologize for the inconvenience.

    Do not hesitate to contact us again for further information.

    Thank You,

    Maureen Q.
    Nikon Support

  11. The NikonUSA link you provided at the bottom says, "Published 03/09/2004 10:55 AM|Updated 04/02/2013 11:58 AM". Again prior to the announcement of the SB-N7

  12. [http://www.flickr.com/photos/26973646@N05]
    Thank you Brian for your answer. I am very happy to hear about the extension tubes – I will check them out. It could allow me to use the V1 to digitise my film negatives (at least for previews). You have some really nice macro photographs in your photo stream.
    Concerning the Nikon View NX 2 – I have to admit that I did not give it too much time and it was not intuitive enough (I am used to Photoshop CS3 and learning Lightroom 5) to keep using it. I may give it a try again and see how it compares to Lightroom 5. I have read comments that it should actually be the best tool to get most out of NEF files. I guess I will have to google some how-to to get more fluent with the View NX.

  13. At the moment I am using a $30 LED ring light (but not the same results as my R1C1 system)

  14. Yeah, I have the FT1 adaptor and use a 60mm macro nikkor which effectively makes it around about a 120mm macro with f/2.8. The autofocus works great with the FT1 adaptor. I was so excited about this set up. The only drawback is that macro is really hard to do well without proper lighting (i.e. TTL ring flash).

  15. I’m realising (in retrospect of course) that even the Canon Eos M system would have worked better with their hotshoe and flash capabilities. They do have an adaptor that would allow the mounting of a similar 60mm macro lens from Canon with autofocus.

  16. Beautiful shot!!

    Travel light, live the moment, capture the serendipity!
    Travel Light Photography

    Walking Hadrian's Wall
    We’d be happy to have your kindred spirit in our group!

  17. I called the Australian tech support: which diverted me to some indian call centre. I asks the rep on the phone and she put me on hold for 15 min while she asked a tech and got back to me with her answer … which was yes.. you can use the SB-N7 as commander for SB-200 if it is a slave. However, she didn’t sound very convincing on the phone and it was a little hard to understand her. I’m going to call the USA call centre and see if they can give me a more detailed answer.

  18. If Nikon won’t do it.. hopefully a 3rd party will develop one soon.

  19. I am considering purchasing the SB-N7. However, it says on the Nikon website that this speed light allows CLS integration. I shoot macro work and would like to attach my SB200 flashes to a ring on the end of a 60mm macro (via FT1 adaptor). If I purchased the SB-N7 would this trigger the SB200 flashes like the R1C1 system?

  20. I am sorry about that – you went great lengths to find this out. I am also wondering what was the reason for separate hot-shoe design. Maybe mechanical constraints? Or just keep pros from using the 1 system … :-

  21. Please let us know then, thank you.

  22. I’ve emailed NikonUSA to ask them to clarify their statement about the SB-N7 and CLS integration. Hopefully, I’ll get an answer soon.

  23. That is some useful info. Thanks.

  24. I just don’t see how hard it would be for Nikon to either 1. offer a hotshoe adaptor for the 1-series to allow mounting of all nikon speed lights, or 2. offer a 1-series speed light with a commander functionality. If they are really trying to market this as a complete system style camera they really need to offer a professional lighting solution I feel.

  25. To be honest I am not sure. As far as I know V1 or the SB-N7 are not CLS capable. see here: support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9520/~/nikon…(cls) or here: www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3116690

  26. Well.. that was misleading. I wonder what they were trying to imply by stating that "the Nikon 1 SB-N7 Speedlight brings Nikon’s renowned Creative Lighting System to your Nikon 1". To me CLS means it is compatible with triggering other remote flashes.





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