Nikon J1 vs V1 Differences
A new camera system era is beginning for Nikon: “Nikon 1” is the name of the new system with 2.7x crop sensor, Nikon 1 bayonet, 10-megapixel CMOS, FullHD video recording and 10 frames/s continuous shooting speed as well as phase and contrast autofocus. J1 and V1 are the first two cameras in this system. The J1 comes with an integrated flash, the V1 with an integrated electronic viewfinder that resolves 1.4 million pixels (800 x 600 pixels). Right from the start, there are also four lenses, an F bayonet adapter with autofocus support, an external flash, a GPS and the possibility to connect an external stereo microphone.
With the 13.2 x 8.8 millimetre small CMOS sensor, which increases the focal length by a factor of 2.7 in relation to 35 mm. Olympus and Panasonic have repeatedly received criticism from demanding users for their larger Micro Four Thirds sensor (17.3 x 13 millimetres). But the Nikon sensor is again clearly smaller than Micro Four Thirds. Therewith, Nikon rather addresses to those people for whom compact cameras provide a too bad image quality and not to the “professional users”. After all, the sensor has the classic photo aspect ratio of 3:2 and is built in CMOS technology, which allows high speed and digitization and subsequent noise reduction circuits already on the sensor where they can work best. Nikon is modest with 10 megapixels in the resolution. This is sufficient for any magnification, with adjusted viewing distance. The pixel density corresponds to an APS-C sensor with 32 megapixels or a 35 mm sensor with 73 megapixels resolution. With APS-C, one is not far away from such resolutions and the respective pixel densities, but with the 35mm format one is. This indicates that you only have to make small concessions in terms of noise in comparison to the current Sony sensor with 24 megapixels in APS-C format. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6,400 in advanced mode.
The image sensor is capable of recording 10 fps at full resolution, and even up to 60 fps at FullHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels in 16:9 format). The sensor is supported by the Expeed 3 dual-core image processor. According to Nikon, it is faster than the image processors previously used in professional cameras – it should be able to process 600 megapixels per second. With a special shooting mode, Nikon wants to ensure that the photographer no longer misses the right moment to take a picture by taking pictures before the shutter release button is pressed. Another mode takes 20 pictures in quick succession, analyzes them with regard to sharpness, facial expression etc., saves only the five best ones and presents only the most successful photo in the direct picture view.
The two cameras also record films in FullHD resolution at 30 frames per second and, if desired, also at 60 fields per second. Switching to PAL with 25p/50i and cinema frame rate of 24 fps is not possible. Both cameras record the sound via an integrated stereo microphone, the more expensive V1 model also offers an external microphone connection. The movies are saved with H.264 compression (MPEG-4) as MOV files, the maximum recording time without interruption is 20 minutes. While filming, it is possible to take high resolution photos without interruption, but these will then have a 16:9 aspect ratio. In addition, high-speed movies can be recorded at up to 400 fps (at 640 x 240 pixels).
In autofocus, Nikon combines a phase detection system and contrast autofocus. According to Nikon, the phase autofocus sensors, 73 in number after all, are directly integrated in the image sensor. The contrast AF of J1 and V1 uses 135 measuring fields. Phase AF is active during movie recording. The autofocus was the fastest of the mirrorless system cameras (written by us in early 2012). Nikon also follows a double track when it comes to the shutter: While the larger model V1 has a focal-plane shutter combined with an electronic shutter, the J1 has only one electronic shutter. The electronic shutter allows for the shortest exposure time of 1/16,000 second, while the much louder lamellar shutter still provides a remarkably short 1/4,000 second. The advantages of the lamella shutter are the flash sync speed, which is 1/250 second, whereas with the electronic shutter the shortest sync speed is only 1/60 second. Why the electronic shutter does not allow shorter flash exposure times is something Nikon is currently not disclosing. The longest exposure time is 30 seconds and there is also a bulb long exposure mode. The infrared remote release ML-L3 can also be used.
Other differences between the two cameras include the dust protection system. While the J1 has only one dust protection disk, the V1 has a dust protection system that actively removes dust independently. The J1 comes as a less expensive entry-level model in a more compact aluminum housing with 106 x 61 x 30 millimeters and weighs 277 grams including battery, which is enough for 230 shots. The V1 measures 113 x 76 x 44 millimeters and weighs 350 to 400 shots, around 383 grams including the battery with a capacity of 350 to 400 shots. The housing is made of a magnesium alloy. In contrast to the J1, the V1 does not have an integrated flash, but is equipped with an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1.44 million pixels (800 x 600 pixels). Both cameras have a rear screen with a diagonal of 7.5 centimetres, whereby the monitor of the V1 with 921,000 pixels (640 x 480 pixels) has twice the resolution of the screen of the J1 with its 460,000 pixels (480 x 320 pixels). An external flash SB-N5 can be connected to the V1, it should cost 150 EUR. Also available as an accessory for the V1 is the GPS module GP-N100 for 150 EUR, but it does not record the direction of the shot due to the lack of an integrated compass. The Nikon F bayonet adapter FT1 should also be available as an accessory. For 270 EUR it offers compatibility with Nikon AF-S and AF-I lenses. Even autofocus is to be supported, although it may not work precisely. Nikon is currently still checking function restrictions in modes M and A, where the photographer sets the aperture. The VR Image Stabilizer is supposed to work, but is one light level less effective than on DSLRs.
The Nikon 1 J1 and V1 as well as the four lenses 10-30mm/F3.5-5.6 VR, 10mm/F2.8 pancake, 30-110mm/3.8-5.6 VR and the super zoom 10-100mm/F4.5-5.6 VR with particularly quiet focus motor and motor zoom for video recording will be available from the end of October 2011. While the V1 will only be available in black and white, the J1 will also be available in silver, red and pink. The standard 10-30 millimetre zoom is supplied to match the camera colour. The J1 with 10-30mm should cost 600 EUR, the set with 10mm pancake is 650 EUR. For 760 EUR the J1 is available with 10-30mm and 30-110mm or with 10-30mm and 10mm pancake. The same sets cost 870, 920 and 1,030 EUR with the V1.
Firmware update 1.20 for the Nikon 1 J1 and 1 V1: Improvements and bug fixes
Nikon provides a new firmware version 1.20 for each of the two mirrorless system cameras 1 J1 and 1 V1. This improves automatic white balance and flash exposure in ISO auto (100-400, 100-800, or 100-3,200) with short subject distances. The Smart Photo Selector, Scene Auto, and Program AE modes will use shorter exposure times after the update to avoid motion blur. Furthermore, an error of the interval function has been fixed, which previously could abort with an error message. Finally, a bug has been fixed that caused delays in triggering the camera when switching on by extending the lens. The update can be downloaded from the German Nikon website and installed by yourself. Those who do not feel confident to do this on the basis of the instructions should ask the Nikon service or its dealer for support.