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Nikon 1 V3: First Look

Nikon 1 V3: First Look

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Super-fast MILC sports coupe

March 13, 2014

Nikon today announced the flagship of its growing line of mirrorless interchenageble-lens cameras, the Nikon 1 V3, as well as two new CX-mount lenses.

The Nikon 1 V3 today took the helm of the Nikon 1 MILC lineup, and appears to be the latest in the welcome trend where camera makers are making their newest models faster and more responsive. If all of Nikon's claims hold true, the V3 could become the little sports coupe of the MILC world. Nikon is hoping the V3 will attract sports and street photographers and succeed in the same way that its waterproof 1 AW1 model has gained sales and critical acclaim.

Note: the Nikon 1 V3 and the 10-30mm and 70-300mm lenses (see below) can all be pre-ordered now from Adorama. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. Your credit card will not be charged until the order ships.

The Nikon 1 V3 is backed by a flip-out touchscreen LCD monitor.

The big news here is the V3's souped-up Expeed 4A image processor and hybrid AF system, which Nikon says will deliver virtually lag-free focus and shutter release time, and continuous shooting at an unprecedented pace of 20fps with AF on, and 60fps with AF off. The camera has a hybrid AF system with 171 AF points for contrast detection and 105 AF points for phase detection. According to Nikon, the camera can lock onto the subject the moment it enters the frame. The other big news? Nikon has added built-in Wi-Fi with iOS and Android device compatibility.

Nikon 1 V3 Key features

  • 18.4MP CMOS sensor
  • New Expeed 4A image processor
  • Maximum ISO 12,800
  • 20fps burst rate with full AF
  • 171 AF point hybrid AF system
  • Virtually no lag time
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 1080/60p HD video
  • Built-in stereo mic
  • Simultaneous still + video capture
  • Optional Grip
  • Optional Electronic Viewfinder

Despite the small-format sensor, which measures 13.2x8.8mm and has greater resolution at 18MP than its predecessor, which boasted 14MP, Nikon says it will produce high quality images at higher ISOs; in fact, the camera can shoot at up to ISO 12,800. Nikon says images will be "sharp, clear and noise-free" even at the maximum sensitivity.  Nikon is providing free iOS and Android apps so you can operate the camera remotely or sharing images online.

Unlike its predecessor, the Nikon 1 V2, the V3 does not have a built-in electronic viewfnder. Instead, Nikon took a modular approach to this camera's design, offering the EVF as a separate, optional accessory. Nikon will be offering a camera grip (The GR-N1010) and the DF-N1000 Electronic Viewfinder. If you already own Nikon DSLR lenses, the FT-1 Mount Adapter lets you use them on the V3 (keep in mind the 2.7x crop factor, which will turn a 300mm lens into an 810mm). The resulting configuration is well suited for sports and street photography.

Nikon offers a grip to give the V3 a more professional look, feel, and ergonomic quality.

All decked out: An electronic viewfinder will be available as an optional extra. Here we see the Nikon 1 V3 with both the EVF and accessory grip attached.

Serious Video Specs

The Nikon 1 V3 delivers 1080 HD video at up to 60p, or slow-motion at 120fps. A new Movie e-VR (Vibration Reduction) feature keeps videos steady during handheld shooting, and Simultaneous Still Image Capture lets you save full-resolution stills while recording video.

The Nikon 1 V3 will be available at Adorama for $1,196.95

Two New Lenses Launched

Nikon launched two new lenses for the Nikon 1 CX mount series of small-sensor mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras.

The Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm f/3.4-5.6 (35mm equivalent: 189-810mm) is a long telephoto zoom designed for nature, wildlife, pro sports, portraits and concert photography in mind. The lens features Super ED glass for improved sharpness, contrast and color and a Nano Crystal Coating to eliminate flare and ghosting to minimize optical distortion. The advantage for sports photographers is that the lens is small and light, unlike the heavy camera and lens combinations sports photographers need to lug around. It will be available at Adorama for $996.95.

The Nikon 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom is a newer, more compact version of the original 10-30mm. New features, besides the more diminutive dimensions, is Power-Drive zoom, designed for smoother video recording while zooming. To adjust the zoom, gently swipe you finger. This avoids the camera shake and internal operating noise that is often picked up by the microphone. Also new: A built-in lens cover. The Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom will be available from Adorama for $296.95.


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