I’ve had the V1 for about 5 days. Over those 5 days, I have taken just shy of 2,000 shots. The camera has performed flawlessly and done everything that I’ve asked of it. Certainly, I’ve not covered each and every feature on the camera. I didn’t shoot a movie with it. I didn’t use the Smart Scene Selection feature, where the camera decides everything. I used aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual. I used the camera, quite frankly, the way that I would use a camera. Video doesn’t interest me.
Obviously, I really liked this camera and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone who didn’t already have a point & shoot camera. I think that the Nikon 1 series (J1, V1) fit right in that place between the P&S and the DSLR. It’s a great camera to carry around and will do whatever you ask of it. From what I’ve seen, the biggest downfall of P&S cameras, from my perspective, was that the frame rate was too slow. This is not an issue with this camera. It has an exceptional mechanical shutter, offering 10 frames per second, and electronic offering 30 or 60 FPS.
Size – Fits easily in my hand.
Weight – Weighs about the same, just a little more than the Canon G12.
Menus – Simplified, menu system. Two levels deep at most. Intuitive. I’ve not opened the manual yet.
Frame rate – Great for capturing most anything.
Battery – The first day of use, I took about 1300 photos on a fully charged battery. When I returned, the battery still had 45% charge!
Electronic View Finder – Clear and has a high refresh rate. Showed very little lag.
Battery – During extended use the battery tends to get a bit warm. It was noticeable.
EVF – Although very clear, not as many pixels as the rear display. Some highlights looked blown-out in the EVF, but fine on the rear display.
Manual controls – I noticed, while doing some night shooting using manual that the controls are easy to move inadvertently. The control ring, used to adjust the aperture, though it contains detents, they are easily moved. I found myself at f/6.3 and sometimes at f/11, when I wanted to be at f/8.
Lens – The 10 mm – 30 mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 has a large amount of barrel distortion at 10 mm. You can really see this along straight lines that happen to be near the edge of the frame. This is the kit lens, however.
DOF – I thought of one more ‘disadvantage’ for the type of shooting that I like to do: Small sensors force you into having incredible amounts of depth of field. For a street shooter, or perhaps landscape shooter, this could really work to your advantage; however, when shooting portraits, macros, and other close up work where you want the background to dissolve, this is not ideal.
The cons are all somewhat minor, in my estimation. Not a single one of them would prevent me from recommending this camera. I think that Nikon has a winner here, even with its tiny 13.2 mm x 8.8 mm sensor, which is much smaller than a US postage stamp @ 22.2 mm x 25.4 mm.
Who knows how well it will do? I don’t. If people can get over their sensor envy, this could be a great seller!