Nikon V3 review: is this Nikon’s best CSC yet?

Nikon_1_V3_review

Nikon V3 review: this new Nikon 1 camera adds a tiltable touchscreen and a slew of cool, new features. But how good is it, really? Amy Davies puts it to the test.

Nikon V3 review

The Nikon V3 is the latest addition to the Nikon 1 mirrorless camera series and introduces a number of new features, such as a 3in, 1037k-dot, tiltable touchscreen LCD – a first for the Nikon 1 range.

Incorporating an 18.4-megapixel CMOS sensor with a sensitivity range of ISO 160 to 12,800, Nikon says the new Nikon 1 V3 performs better in low light and offers improved dynamic range.

In her Nikon V3 review video, Amy Davies of our testing team puts this new Nikon 1 camera through its paces to see how it performs.

http://youtu.be/uKVMmSlmpqw

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Nikon V3 Review Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Amy Davies from Future Publishing’s Photography Testing Team and today I’m going to take a look at the Nikon V3.

The V3 sits at the top of Nikon’s 1 range of compact system cameras. It features a one-inch type 18.4 million pixel sensor. Interestingly, Nikon has taken the decision to remove the anti-aliasing filter from the sensor, which should have a positive impact on detail resolution.

In comparison with the V2, the V3 has a much flatter appearance as it doesn’t have the angular, deep grip of the V2. Although this means you can’t get quite such a good grip on the camera, this raised, textured portion makes it feel secure in the hand.

On top here is a switch for turning the camera on and off – this requires only a light touch, which I’ve found meant that it can be easy to accidentally knock it to the on position, such as when placing it in a bag for instance.

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There’s also a mode dial on top of the camera for quickly switching between the various exposure modes that the camera offers, such as manual, video, creative and modes unique to the Nikon 1 system, such as Best Moment Capture.

This dial on the front of the camera controls different functions depending on the shooting mode you’re in. In aperture priority, for instance, it controls aperture.

This scrolling dial here, which is easily reachable by the thumb, can be used for number of different settings, such as white balance or ISO – the dial can be customised via the menu to best suit your needs.

The Nikon V3 is the first Nikon 1 camera to feature a touch sensitive screen, but despite this, a range of different physical buttons can be found on the back of the camera, and you’ll probably find that you need to use both hands to operate the camera since four of them are grouped to the left here.

On the right hand side of the camera is a scrolling dial which surrounds a standard four way navigational pad, with each of these directional keys having its own function – such as AF mode for the up key, or exposure compensation for the right key.

To set the autofocus point, so long as you have AF-are mode set to single point, you have a couple of options. If you prefer to use the physical buttons, you can hit this OK button here and then scroll around to the point you need. Alternatively, a quicker method is simply to tap the point on the screen you wish to use.

You can also use the touchscreen to fire off the shutter release, which is useful when shooting from an awkward angle where using the physical release might be a little tricky.

The touchscreen can be used for other functions too. It’s nice and responsive to use, and if you tap various places on the screen, such as here for ISO, you can make changes. It’s also useful during playback, where you can swipe through images, or use pinch to zoom.

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This button here labelled with an F is used to access the most commonly used settings – simply tap it and a number of different settings will pop up on the display.

You can then either touch the one you want to alter and use the rear scrolling dial to make changes, or use the directional keys to move to the setting you want to alter.

To access creative modes, you can either use the dedicated Creative mode, or you can use different Picture Styles in any of the semi-automatic or manual modes.

Picture Styles, such as Monochrome, can be customised – such as by increasing the contrast, and can be shot in raw format. Alternatively, these different effects in the creative mode can only be shot in JPEG format, so it’s not quite so flexible.

We were fairly impressed by the V2, so with an increase in pixel count and a removal of the anti-aliasing filter, we had pretty high hopes for the V3.

Colours straight from the camera are bright and punchy, and while detail is excellent for a camera with a one-inch sensor, it still can’t quite compete with those compact system cameras which have larger sensors.

PAGE 1: Nikon V3 Review Video
PAGE 2: Nikon 1 V3 – price, specs, release date confirmed (original launch story)

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