Nikon 1-series to ‘get its due recognition’ as flagship V3 mirrorless camera unveiled


posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:01 AM EDT


Nikon continues to advance and improve their mirrorless camera lineup with a new flagship model, the Nikon 1 V3. Back in 2012, the leap from the V1 to the V2 saw a radical change in the design of this camera, with the V2 opting for a larger, more enthusiast-oriented design that included a larger, more protruding EVF and fuller, contoured handgrip -- a design more reminiscent of a DSLR than a small, pocketable mirrorless camera. With the V3, Nikon has taken an interesting modular approach with the camera, giving users the option to strip it down to a more svelte, V1-like size and shape (or Nikon J1-like, perhaps) for better portability, while also letting photographers add on an EVF and larger grip for a more traditional shooting experience and easier handling with larger lenses.

However, the interior of the new V3 has undergone some big changes as well. Complete with a new 18.4MP CX-size CMOS sensor that lacks an optical low-pass filter -- a first for a Nikon 1 camera -- and a new EXPEED 4A image processor, the Nikon V3 should offer a big boost not only in performance but image quality as well. According to Nikon performance specs, the V3, in fact, has some impressive performance capabilities that perhaps give even the mighty DSLR a run for its money, especially in terms of AF speed and performance.

Mini-DSLR? The Nikon V3 with DF-N1000 Electronic Viewfinder and the GR-N1010 Grip

For starters, Nikon states that the V3 can shoot at a blazingly-fast 20fps with full-time autofocus and even when shooting RAW (or 60fps with focus locked). There's a new AF system as well, with a total of 105 phase-detect AF points on the image sensor with nearly 100% frame coverage, plus 171 contrast-detect areas. The ISO range also gets a boost on the high end, now going all the way to ISO 12,800 with an additional 4-frame multi-shot noise reduction option at ISO 6,400 and 12,800. 

Another significant upgrade is its video recording capabilities. The Nikon V3 now shoots 60fps video at Full HD 1080p resolution, like we've seen on other EXPEED 4-based cameras. Plus, fans of slow-motion video will enjoy 720p HD video at up to 120fps, while the frame rate gets a massive jump in speed when shooting at lower resolutions -- we're talking 1200fps at 416x144 resolution!

The V3 features a 3-inch tilting LCD screen.

Based on our brief hands-on with the V3, we were very impressed. Despite some detractors, Nikon remains committed to the 1-series camera line. "The Nikon 1 V-series is going to get its due recognition," as one Nikon rep told us. Given the feature set of this new model, the V3 looks to be a very impressive camera, and one that we're very excited to fully test in our lab when it begins to ship.

Want to know more about Nikon's latest flagship mirrorless camera? Read our Nikon V3 preview for the full story! Already at the edge of your seat to place your order for one? Place your pre-order now at the links below:

Place your pre-order with a trusted Imaging Resource affiliate now:

  • Nikon 1 V3 Kit with 10-30mm lens, EVF & Grip: ADORAMA | AMAZON | B&H
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM lens : ADORAMA | AMAZON | B&H
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6: ADORAMA | AMAZON | B&H
The Nikon V3 minus its grip and EVF attachments.