Some changes with my Nikon 1 kit

Like most folks, from time to time I like to review my camera gear and its current utilization rate, as well as anticipate my future needs. I recently did such a review which resulted in some changes with my Nikon 1 kit.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J4 + 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD zoom at 10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-160, Nikon 1 WP-N3 underwater housing

I ended up selling my Nikon 1 J4 with 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD zoom and Nikon 1 WP-N3 waterproof housing. While this is a great set-up for underwater photography and video, I simply hadn’t used this gear nearly as much as I anticipated I would. It made sense to part company. So, I found it a good home with a friend who has a passion for snorkelling while on holidays and at a family cottage. That gave me some money to reinvest in my Nikon 1 kit.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 212mm, efov 571mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-360

While my wife and I were away in New Zealand the V2 that I took to shoot birds and wildlife with my CX 70-300mm had an issue with the rear screen dying. I ended up shooting with the V2 she normally uses, and she had a chance to use one of the J5s.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-900

I’ve since had the V2 repaired by Nikon Canada and the camera is back up to snuff. Since my V2s are my ‘revenue’ cameras in terms of my client video business it caused me to think about adjusting my Nikon 1 kit slightly to further extend the life of my V2s by using something else with which to shoot birds and other wildlife.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 170mm, efov 459mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-200

So, while there are some things that I don’t particularly like about the Nikon 1 V3 (detachable EVF and grip), I decided to add one to my  Nikon 1 kit. After a few missed attempts at some ‘deals’ I was able to secure a V3 at an attractive price.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-560

I’m planning on doing more bird photography in 2017 with the ultimate goal of writing a bird photography e-book. The additional resolution from the V3’s 18.4MP sensor, lack of a low pass filter, and AF-C shooting rate of 20fps will all be beneficial for bird photography.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 212mm, efov 571mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO-800

Whether Nikon will ultimately bring out a Nikon 1 V4 is still anyone’s guess. I decided to buy a V3 now while there are some deals to be found. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush as the old saying goes. Being prudent, I picked up a couple of extra batteries and some faster writing micro-SD cards to use with the V3.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-250

I also reconsidered some of the family oriented photography and other indoor work that I do from time to time and decided that I should add a flash to my Nikon 1 kit. I looked at both the SB-N5 and SB-N7 and eventually decided on the N5 as I wanted the dual swivel flash head.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

There’s a trade-off of course, with the N7 being a more powerful flash that takes on-board batteries. The N5 uses power from a Nikon 1 camera which also makes it a smaller and lighter flash. For my limited flash needs the SB-N5 works nicely.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-640

It can be difficult to keep our emotions out of the process when reviewing our camera gear. Sitting back and examining how often we actually use the gear that we have can be very instructive, as well as anticipating our future needs. There’s little point in holding onto camera gear that we seldom use. The money tied up in that camera equipment can often be better reinvested in other components.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-720

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12 thoughts on “Some changes with my Nikon 1 kit”

  1. Thomas
    This is good news from my perspective as I have had a Nikon 1 v3 for a year and struggled with my 70 to 300 lens compared to the results on the v2. So hopefully I will be able to learn from you using the v3 version.
    Peter

    1. I get very good and sharp results with the 70-300 lens on my V1, J5 and V3 and with some practise even at quite low shutter speeds like 1/30 sec. at the long end. I was wondering if you have set Optical VR to Active or Normal as the latter is the preferred VR mode unless you stand on a moving platform (boat etc.).

    2. Hi Peter,

      It has been quite a while since I shot with a Nikon 1 V3 and wrote my hands-on review of the camera. There will no doubt be some nuances with the V3 that I will discover the more I shoot with it. I plan on writing ongoing articles for this blog, so if there’s any ‘pearls’ in them I hope they are helpful for you.

      Tom

    3. I see you have used the j4 and j5 bodies. The most irritating things about bodies with no viewfinder is the difficulty in focusing with them. Have you ever used a loupe with them? Do you have any recommendations about what to try?

      1. Hi Robert,

        I have tried to attach a Zacuto Z-Finder. It worked ‘OK’ but I really didn’t like the added bulk and weight. I used some elastic bands to hold it on…not the best but serviceable. There are loupes made specifically for non-EVF mirrorless cameras but I haven’t tried one.

        I did write an article about overcoming not having an EVF: https://photographylife.com/overcoming-no-viewfinder-concerns

        I think dealing with a non-EVF camera is a very personal issue and some folks may never feel comfortable.

        Tom

  2. Congratulations with your new V3. I also got a V3 at a reasonable attractive price and I think it is a really great camera even though the IQ is not quite on par with J5. I already have the SB-N5 flash from my V1, but I think I’ll only use it very rarely as it have to sit in the EVF socket. That is probably the biggest design failure as the same socket can be used for a GPS module etc. Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to seeing your images from the V3.

    1. Thanks Anders!

      I agree that not having an integrated EVF with the V3 was the biggest design failure. It does limit the functionality of the camera in terms of the use of accessories like external mics, GPS and flash.

      Tom

    1. Hi Joni,
      Well…we all try to make the best decisions we can. It just didn’t make sense to have money tied up in the J4 and WP-N3 when it wasn’t getting used as much as I had hoped. I think I will get a lot of use out of the V3.
      Tom

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