Nikon 1 V3 Hands on Review


After using the Nikon 1 V3 for two years with an FT-1 adapter, and the included 1 series kit lens, the 10-30 VR.  What are my thoughts on this miniature DSLR? Here? my comments on the newest Nikon 1 camera is as stated.

-- Update: I bought this Nikon 1 V3  and carry it on my outings.

Following the unboxing, I was taken with the diminutive size.

Even after seeing all the Images from the Internet. I was surprised to see just how small this camera was.
The camera comes with everything you need except a memory card which does not ship with the camera. It has an electronic viewfinder offering high resolution and an adjustable diopter for different eyesight adjustment. The rear of the camera and its LCD articulates out down and up and also has the buttons attached as well. The LCD set up makes it easy to change and find your settings while the LCD screen is tilted.

Early Mist

Early Mist

Using a longer lens on the Nikon 1 V3 I was able to pull in some atmosphere.

After attaching the electronic viewfinder and inserting the micro memory card it was time to charge the battery. The charging took 2 hours, which indicates to me a second battery would be a good option. To insert the battery you must remove the hand grip, not a big issue but be careful when removing and attaching the grip as not to induce added wear because of heavy-handed flexing. In other words, once the grip is on the camera and tightens down it seems very secure.

I'm used to a full-size DSLR but this smaller camera fits right in my hand with no problem. The button functions and layout seem logical and easy to get to and does not take long to get accustomed to how it operates. In fact, I wish my DSLR menus were as intuitive, especially with the rotatory dial with a push to set feature giving you almost one finger control for setting up your camera.
Ergonomically this is a very nice setup. Many have heard you can purchase an FT1 and use Nikon's DSLR lens. I gave this a try using a couple of my macro lenses. My two choices of a macro lens to use were the NIKKOR 105 and NIKKOR 60mm for today's outing. In addition to the lens at one point, I added an extension tube for closer focus and magnification.  YES, it all worked! However, you are reduced to one focus point.

Crop Factor

Crop Factor

This is a Nikon 1 V3 used with a 400mm 2.8, attached with the FT-1

Crop Factor for CX Sensor:  Is 2.7x.  This means even those short focal length lens will appear as a longer lens (if your use to DSLR).  My 10-110 is equal to a 27-297mm, this is a bonus for us bird/nature shooters.   In order to get a wide lens, you will need to look at the 6.7mm range and Nikon has a wonderful one for you.

Let's boil this review down to what matters;   In my opinion, most people who purchase this camera are looking for something more than a point n shoot. In many cases, they are DSLR users wishing to get into a smaller mirrorless camera, leverage their DSLR lens, or just want to travel light with a lot of the same features they are familiar with as in their bigger heavier DSLR.  Secondly, others lookers are those wishing to move beyond the smartphone.

The Nikon 1 V3 is a fantastic camera, offering very good image quality overall. Some color noise is present when using ISO above 800 and can be corrected to some extent using your favorite software such as Capture NX-D (FREE from Nikon).  

Out in the field, the Nikon 1 V3 is a pleasure to use even in bright lighting conditions. With a touchscreen LCD, easy to navigate menus, it becomes almost like second nature especially after you become familiar with the menu layout and settings, your digital workflow is smooth and predictable.

DSLR Nikon F mount Lens: When using this camera with an FT-1 and your Nikon F mount DSLR lens you are limited to a single focus point, making the performance less dramatic in the speed of focus and flexibility since the focus point does not move (center).  If you look at the Nikon site, you will see the camera being used in this setup.  But, when using this Nikon 1 with the Nikon 1 lens your overall speed both in focus and performance are greatly improved with the other available focus features such as face detection, automatic, and group.

Normal Focusing Speed: With Nikon 1 lenses is Fast when using the Nikon 1 lens, very fast and accurate. In almost all cases you actually get better results using the Nikon 1 lens rather than your normal DSLR lens and FT1 adapter.  The multi-point focus shows up on the LCD as green boxes when the focus is acquired, which is almost instant. Tracking and face detection works well.

Late Fall

Late Fall

The Nikon 1 V3 holds it's own with long reach using the 70-300. I love this birds colors.

Video:  The video features are very good. especially if you like to do some slow motion work because the camera supports 120 and higher fps. For the everyday shooter, this camera offers good HD, good news you can capture images while shooting video at full frame.

Noise:  Did I mention this camera is basically silent? Even when shooting video and capturing frames - a perfect camera for being in silent mode.

In-Camera Special Effects: If you wish to do some creative shooting your in luck, the v3 offers several in-camera "special effects" you can apply to your images. 

Capture your best shot:  Nikon 1 V3 can be set to "capture the best moment", fire off several images and suggest which image of the set is best, and also offer you the ability to select a different one. Great for fast moving kids.


The Nikon 1 V3 is my favorite Nikon 1 series camera, It has almost everything I need in a small lighter mirrorless camera and I can't wait to dive deeper into this little jewel and pick up a few more Nikon 1 series lens. ( I now own 4 )

Rumor: Nikon is releasing some neat accessories for this camera - I hope to see some macro lens and flash setup.

I added three videos for some additional content and information.  + here is a great site for Nikon 1 information; Nikon 1 Blog

In the Gallery Below: The tree leaves show my ISO comparison shots:  This is just for noise comparisons, not for sharpness due to the leaves were moving in the wind.   One shot shows some Post Noise reduction - None of the photos to me show un-usable noise, even at 6400, but it was present.

Impressed:  I was so impressed with this camera I bought one for my grab and go and I also set up a small Pelican case to house my new Nikon V3 and accessories. Thanks, Nikon!

Help this site; Buy This Camera

Buying from this site?  In short,  You are not buying from me! you are buying from Amazon. I receive a small percentage for a referral bonus, and the price is exactly the same regardless.  Thanks - TrueToad.  

Photographer's Notes

The Nikon 1 V3 is an excellent small crop sensor compact camera that offers a wide selection of great accessories and lenses.  Don't under estimate the capabilities of the V3 it will fool you every time.

Camera Body
  • Nikon 1 V3
Author: TrueToad
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Tags: FT1 FT-1 Mirrorless Nikon 1 V3


I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

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