Nikon 1 V3 gets more conventional design, superfast burst, $1,200 price tag

/ Updated: March 12, 2014 9:01 PM PDT
The V3, shown here with the new power-zoom 10-30mm lens Nikon

Nikon takes its flagship interchangeable-lens camera line to new heights, promising the fastest burst with autofocus at full resolution in its class. The Nikon 1 V3 not only outdoes the AW1 with a 20fps continuous-shooting rate, but incorporates an updated autofocus system that covers more of the imaging area than previous versions, plus a new version of its 1-inch sensor that (like many of Nikon's cameras of late) drops the anti-aliasing filter from the sensor for the promise of sharper images. In a considerable redesign of the V2, the camera has a much smaller grip and drops the built-in EVF in favor of a bundled add-on unit.

The new 70-300mm lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal-length range of 189-810mm. Nikon

The bulked-up feature set includes a tilting touch-screen LCD and built-in Wi-Fi. In addition to a bump in video frame rate to 60p, the camera also has 720p slow-motion capability, and there's electronic image stabilization available in movie mode. A new creative mode aggregates a lot of existing filters but adds the ability to change parameters. Nikon includes an add-on grip with the kit (GR-N1010) that compensates for the slimmed down grip on the body when you've got a heavy lens attached; it has a second shutter, subcommand dial, and function button.

Speaking of lenses, the V3 comes with a new kit lens. Nikon's jumping on the power zoom bandwagon with an electronic version of its 10-30mm CX-mount staple. Dubbed the 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom, it has the same specs as its standard sibling but is about a half-inch shorter and an ounce lighter. It also costs more than $100 more; its manufacturer price will be $299.95 when bought standalone. And because one of the benefits of opting for a small-sensored camera is more compact telephoto lenses, Nikon debuts the 1 Nikkor 70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR, with an effective focal range of 189-810mm and some of the higher-end coatings. While it's pretty compact -- only 4.2 inches long at rest -- it's fairly heavy at over a pound (19.7 oz./560 g), and not inexpensive at just under $1,000.

  Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 V3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony Alpha ILCE-6000 (A6000)
Sensor (effective resolution) 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II 14.2MP CMOS
12-bit
18.4MP CMOS
12-bit
16.1MP Live MOS
12 bits
24.3MP Exmor HD CMOS
n/a
23.6 x 15.8mm 13.2 x 8.8mm 13.2 x 8.8mm 17.3mm x 13mm 23.5 x 15.6mm
Focal- length multiplier 1.5x 2.7x 2.7x 2.0x 1.5x
OLPF No Yes No Yes Yes
Sensitivity range ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 6400/51200 (exp) ISO 160 - ISO 6400 ISO 160 - ISO 12800 ISO 200 - ISO 25600 ISO 100 - ISO 25600
Burst shooting 8fps
unlimited
47 JPEG/n/a raw
5fps (mechanical shutter)
(60fps with fixed focus, electronic shutter)
20fps
(60fps with fixed focus)
9fps
17 JPEG/11 raw
11fps
n/a
Viewfinder EVF
0.5-inch
2.4 million dots
100% coverage
1.2x/0.77x
0.5-inch EVF
1.44 million dots
100% coverage
n/a
Bundled EVF
0.5-inch
2.4 million dots
100% coverage
n/a
EVF
n/a-inch
1.44m dots
100% coverage
1.15x/0.58x
OLED EVF
0.4-inch
1.44 million dots
100% coverage
1.07x/0.71x
Autofocus 49-area contrast AF; phase-detection AF 41-point phase detection, 135-area contrast AF 105-point phase detection
171-area contrast AF
35-area contrast AF 175-point phase detection, 25-area contrast AF
AF sensitivity range n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 - 20 EV
Shutter speed 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 30 - 1/4,000 (mechanical); 1/16,000 sec (electronic); bulb; 1/60 x-sync (mechanical); 1/250 x-sync (electronic) 30 - 1/16,000 sec (electronic shutter); bulb; 1/250 x-sync 60 - 1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 8 minutes; 1/250 sec x-sync (flash-dependent) 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync
Metering 256 zones n/a n/a 324 area 1,200 zones
Metering range n/a n/a n/a 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV
Flash Included add-on Yes Yes Included add-on Yes
Wireless flash Yes No No Yes Yes
IS Optical Optical Optical Sensor shift Optical
Best video 1080/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV
(14 minutes)
1080/60i/30p H.264 MOV 1080/60p/30p H.264 MOV 1080/60i QuickTime MOV @ 20, 17Mbps AVCHD 1080/60p @ 28Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24Mbps
Audio Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic (via accessory shoe)
LCD size 3-inch fixed LCD
1.04 million dots
3-inch fixed
920,000 dots
3-inch tilting touch screen
1.04 million dots
3-inch tilting touch screen OLED
614,000 dots
3-inch tilting touch screen
921,600 dots
Wireless Wi-Fi None Wi-Fi None Wi-Fi, NFC
Storage 1 x SD 1 x SD 1 x micro SD 1 x SD 1 x SD
Battery life (CIPA rating) 350 shots 310 shots 310 shots 330 shots 420 shots
Size (WHD) 5.0 x 3.5 x 1.8 (inches)
129.0 x 89.8 x 46.7
(mm)
4.2 x 3.2 x 1.8 (inches)
107.8 x 81.6 x 45.9 (mm)
4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 (inches)
110.9 x 65 x 33.2 (mm)
4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7
(inches)
121.9 x 88.9 x 43.2
(mm)
4.8 x 2.9 x 1.8
(inches)
120 x 67 x 45
(mm)
Body operating weight (ounces) 15.6 oz
442.3 g
9.8 oz (est)
278 g (est)
11.4 oz (est)
324 g (est)
15.1 oz
428.1 g
12.1 oz (est)
344 g (est)
Mfr. price
(US $)
$1,299.95 (body only) $799.95 (body only) n/a $999.99 (body only) $649.99 (body only)
$1,699.95 (with 18-55mm f2.8-4 lens) $899.95 (with 10-30mm lens) $1,199.95 (with 10-30mm PD lens) $1,299.99 (with 12-50mm lens) $799.99 (with 15-60mm PZ lens)
n/a $1,049.95 (with 10-30 and 30-110mm lenses) n/a $1,099.99 (with 14-42mm lens) n/a
Ship date February 2014 November 2012 April 2014 April 2012 April 2014

The cheaper Nikon 1 models seem to be more in demand, and the V3 comes in at the high end of the spectrum; there's quite a bit of competition in its class, including Nikon's cheaper but weatherproof AW1. It'll be interesting to see if its worth it for the high-speed burst. A lot depends on how deep the buffer is and how sustainable it is not just for JPEG -- and Nikon tends to default to a lower-quality JPEG -- but for raw.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Optical Zoom 3 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 18.4 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8mm