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on 18 December 2012
I'll start by explaining the missing star. In almost every respect this is a five star camera, in my opinion. But the flash will only sync to 1/60th of a second. If that means nothing to you or you never use flash, buy this camera. I'll get back to this one negative at the end.

This is what I like:
1. Small enough (I bought the 10mm 2.8 kit) to fit in my jacket pocket: I wanted a camera to have with me all the time. I've tried micro 4/3 but they always feel like Hobson's choice, all the draw backs of a DSLR, none of the pluses of a compact.
2. Silent. I shoot street all the time. I find in a candid situation my DSLR's mirror clack was a deal breaker.
3. Handles noise sensibly. Up to ISO 400 noise is virtually not an issue. At 800 and 1600 The noise has a pleasant film like character, that favours sharpness over aggressive noise reduction.
4. There's some chance to exploit shallow depth of field. If you exploit your situation, ie your subject is close to, with a background isolated by some distance, the bokeh is quite nice. This is a 1" sensor and just can't do what a DSLR can in this area, but I've been surprised by how well the camera performs in this area, I'd expected performance more in line with a compact.
5. The Speed. Put simply it's blazing. In good light the auto focus locks instantaneously, then the camera will fill the buffer at 60 frames per second. This is changing the nature of my photographs.
6. The lenses. Right now there aren't many, but they're starting by offering the focal lengths you'd want, and they're really sharp. Very sharp indeed. The next lens I buy will be the 18.5mm f1.8, a 50mm equivalent.

I bought this camera after having read all the bad reviews out there, largely as my interest was sparked after the release of the Sony RX1, as it has the same dimension sensor. That and I kept on seeing great files from people using it. So I knew what I was getting into, and it did seem to tick a lot of my boxes.

The thing that really worried me was the lack of manual control. But Nikon seem to have really thought about the implementation of how the camera works. Set in manual mode the dial on the four way controls aperture, the toggle that zooms in play-back, shutter speed. I can change settings, shooting manually without having to look at the camera. The menu remembers where you were, so left on ISO, it's as quick in operation as a dedicated ISO button. Of course having to open the menu for A/S/P/M is a bump in speed, but a small one. The menu is compact and well thought out, better than almost all I've tried. Before using this I was using a Panasonic M4/3 camera, even with a touch screen, a plethora of external controls and dedicated buttons, I'm still spending far less time lost in messy menus

A couple of things I'm less keen on, none of these detract, just niggles: No Auto ISO 100-1600, you need to manually select 1600. Why no accessory port? I chose this over the V1 due to size... that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to use the external flash now and then. And worst of these gripes for me, I can't turn off auto review. I find that grates, I hate auto review, I like to set up then keep the flow going and avoid chimping whenever possible, the review disappears with the next half click, but still I find I miss shots because of it.

And so back to that missing star. The only time I use flash is at social events. I'm sure lots of people are the same. Well isn't that exactly when you want to freeze the action? Kids at a wedding, frenetic freak-outs at a party? Not a t 1/60 of a second you don't. My girlfriend uses a mid-ninties mid-range compact, that'll sync faster than this... How is that OK?

So... I'm over a month in now, I thought long and hard before buying and have (unusually for me) no buyers remorse. I look forward to seeing where this system goes, I think it'll be here for a while.
31 people found this helpful
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on 1 February 2018
The Nikon 1 is a great camera. I did contact seller as the lens had an error message but its fine, he did offer refund. I googled and this is a fault with Nikon lenses. I have not had much practise taking photos only in the house and garden but pictures are crisp and clear colours are good I had this model before and sold then regretted.I was a bit dubious about a 2nd hand camera but this one is great. I like the pop up flash and dont mind the controls are manual. I do hope one day to get the 30 - 110mm lens too. I cannot wait for good weather to take out or to take to a concert one day! I have an instruction book for this somewhere from mine. I bought a case. I like Amazon and have never had a problem with a seller. Very pleased with my purchase love the camera so much I wont buy another.
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on 18 June 2013
A bit of background first - I have used a number of cameras, professional Nikon D3 series, a number of Micro Four Third cameras and Fuji XE1.

I bought a refurbished J1 from the Camera Centre (great service - looks new and in its original box) on Amazon as I wanted a 10mm to use on holiday. Buying the J1 with 10mm lens made more sense than just the lens on its own.

I found myself using the J1 and 10mm for about 90% of my shots and the V1 with 18.5mm lens for the rest. I mounted the 10-30 but found the twist to extend the lens counter-intuitive so took it off.

I left the camera in P mode and I used the menu to adjust the ISO as needed. The photos are brilliant form such a small sensor. There is noise but it is mostly luminance (or black dots) and isn't annoying.

The exposure from the camera is pretty much spot on. I did use the EV adjustment although that is odd to set and doesn't reset if you turn the camera off. Flash fill was good and well balanced.

The lens is pretty good into the sun even without a lens hood - the hood isn't as easy to source as the 18.5 one.

The screen is more difficult to see in bright sunlight but it's still usable.

All in all a great camera at a very reasonable price. Now all I need is the 6.7-13mm lens :-)
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on 11 July 2014
First of all... I'm an award winning, professional, 'press card' carrying photographer with a wide range of Nikon DSLR's and lenses. If you're one of those dudes walking around with a 70-200 / 2.8 lens attached to a DSLR body.. when you're on holiday or visiting somewhere.... friend... I have to tell you... you don't look cool at all. Having read up a bit on the Nikon 1, I saw this one for sale by Hitechhub and figured at the price - there was nothing to lose.

What a fantastic piece of kit, came with a 10mm 2.8 prime lens, takes pin sharp shots in RAW and JPEG if you like that. Has simple to understand manual controls, also perfect for point and shoot snap shots in auto. Can't tell you how impressed I am with such a small and user friendly piece of kit. Keep it in my pocket now and it goes everywhere with me.

If you like taking great pics, you'll not be disappointed with this camera. That is my expert opinion.

Oh... and it arrived early. Great service!
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on 10 April 2014
I wholeheartedly support the very positive reviews posted here. Positions itself halfway between a good compact and a medium expense digital SLR. I bought this because I hoped it would incorporate the usual Nikon quality and engineering and I wasn't disappointed. Still haven't got my head around how to make the most of its many functions but have got some great photos from just pointing and shooting. Small enough to shove inside my jacket or a large pocket if it is wet.
I am long-sighted and old fashioned so personally I have found that I don't like not having a viewfinder. I also find holding the camera steady while using the back screen can lead to wobble, which happened less in the olden days when I used a mechanical SLR with a viewfinder ('cos it was shoved against my face in a more stable position).
Expensive at nearly £500 (although its replacement the J3 is £730!) so you might want to go for a low/medium end digital instead (Nikon D3100, 3200, 3300 are approx £300, £400, £500) but they are bigger, more complicated and less point and shoot (and without the extra lens). I've no regrets and consider it a good buy, just need to get out and use it now a modicum of good weather has arrived.
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on 18 January 2014
This arrived very quickly before Christmas and has proven to be of a great little camera. We are not photographers, amateur or otherwise, but my wife and I wanted better quality photos of baby and family events etc so picked this based on an add in the paper (£500 down to £259) and the reviews online.

Speed and use. We now have some lovely high res photos of our Christmas holidays which included various get togethers and days trips in different lighting conditions including large indoor childrens play area and an outdoor zoo. The basic synopsis is in well lit areas you can take lots of high quality photos which autozoom very quickly so you miss nothing. In less well lit areas the camera is capable of picking up more than you would expect, but the images can sometimes be a bit blurred which you obviously need to delete. I figured out how to use the flash, and when it operates there is no blurring, but you just need to get accustomed to know when to use it and not. Please note I have only (I know, terrible) skimmed the instructions so I could be misinforming, but on the flip side, if you can't be bothered either it is a great camera for you.

Zoom: The standard 10-30mm lens is fine for close and near objects. If you want to be able to zoom in on unassuming wildlife or church spires you'll need to pick up another lens too. We didn't bother as it is another thing to carry around (bigger bag) and we're only at basic photographer level anyway.

Other stuff: The camera didn't come with a (memory) SD card so is basically inoperable from the get go. You can pick a 20GB one up for about £20 online or in a store. We bought a spare battery and a cheap bag too, through Amazon. One full battery charge lasted about a week over Christmas, with 4 days of fairly heavy use, so not bad.

Price. We were happy with the £259, but then when about to check out I saw "New and Used for £159". There was a new one at that price, which I assumed to be a display unit or something, so I bought that. Maybe that's why the odd photo blurs but I think that's harsh as is prob user operator related. Either way, I was blown away for the amount of camera in such a small package and for the super low price.
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on 27 September 2013
Overall, very impressed - used in point-and-shoot mode, the results are usually excellent. And manual control is good.

Only caveat is the flash, which has a maximum sync speed of 1/60. I had presumed that a non-SLR would manage to cope with flash at much faster speeds, and found this a real problem when trying to use fill-in flash against strong back lighting: the strongest "compensation" setting available on camera wasn't enough: I would have liked to be able to cut down the amount of ambient light, and make the flash relatively stronger, by going for a much shorter exposure than 1/60.
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on 9 January 2015
5 stars at the sell-out price. Wouldn't have been tempted at the original release prices. Bought it with the 10mm for a pocket job, but liked it so much I picked up a 10-30 (Ebay) for other uses. NEF raw files the same as my DSLR, so using the same Nikon software (CNX-2 or D) that I am used to. So much better than compacts I have tried. A winning system if Nikon could get the prices/facility equation right.
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on 25 October 2013
This is an absolutely brilliant piece of equipment for a beginner or someone looking to get into photography but is not as confident. I have had this for 3 months now and could not have been more happy with it. The quality of the photos on full-auto mode is top notch. I have slowly explored the semi-auto modes like aperture and shutter priority modes. I have even taken pictures and submitted them to competitions. Most importantly this is a kit that you can take on trips and vacation and will guarantee excellent photos with little fuffing about.
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on 26 September 2017
Not as good as I had hoped. Indoor shots are very grainy and it is a bit old school with a square screen. So no wide shots. But outdoor the quality is good and it's a small camera so very easy to carry around.
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