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New Gear: Nikon 1 V3 Interchangeable-Lens Compact Camera and Lenses

NIkon 1 V3 Interchangeable-Lens Compact Camera

The 1-series gets a new flagship

With high-end interchangeable-lens compacts coming fast and furious from companies like Olympus and Fujiifilm, it seems appropriate that Nikon would issue an update to their flagship 1-series cameras, replacing the V2. The V3 is their most advanced ILC yet. So, what's new?

The 18.4-megapixel sensor maintains the 1-inch size, but it lacks an AA filter, which is quickly becoming more common. One of the big upgrades is the new A4 image processor, which is capable of churning out 20 fps with continuous AF and 60 fps with AF locked.

The AF system still maintains the hybrid phase-detection and contrast system, only now the phase detection pixels cover the vast majority of the sensor. 

One thing you've almost certainly already noticed is that the electronic viewfinder is no longer integrated into the camera. That's sure to be one of the most controversial parts of the entire thing. The EVF is now a mountable accessory that will come as part of the kit in the US. Without the EVF attached, the camera takes on a look more in-line with the current "retro" compact shape. It also comes with a grip to make it easier to hold.

The rest of the spec sheet reads pretty much as you'd expect. There's built-in Wifi, a three-inch touchscreen that tilts up and down (but doesn't rotate) and a full suite of video modes. It even does 1080p at 60fps, which is pretty desirable. 

The camera will come as a kit with the add-on grip, the 10-30mm kit lens, and the EFV attachment for $1,195. 

The new 10-30mm kit lens has a maximum aperture range from f/3.5-5.6, giving it a familiar equivalent focal range of 27-81mm. It's an electronic lens and uses a tactile dial that electronically controls the lens. 

The Nikkor VR 70-300mm F/3.5-5.6 PD has an equivalent focal range of 189-810mm thanks to the 1-inch sensor inside the 1-series bodies. That fully puts it into super-zoom territory and tries to leverage the smaller sensor.

The 10-30mm lens will cost $299 while the 70-300mm lens will set you back a cool $1,000.

This is a pretty clear move by Nikon to try and bring the 1-series in line with other current powerful ILCs like the Fujifilm X-E2. While the body seems like it may be up to the task, it will be interesting to see how Nikon continues to support the series with lenses. Right now, the options for true enthusiast shooters seems a bit limited. 

Here's the full press release

MELVILLE, NY (March 13, 2014) - Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new Nikon 1 V3, a compact, yet powerful addition to the Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System. Designed to make no sacrifices when it comes to speed, performance and image quality, the blazing fast V3 sports an impressive Hybrid AF system and the world’s fastest continuous shooting frame rate1 at 20 frames-per-second (fps) with full autofocus, a speed that outpaces even pro D-SLR cameras. Ideal for capturing fast-moving action, sports and wildlife, the new Nikon 1 V3 offers a top-class feature set that includes an 18.4-megapixel CX-format image sensor, a new EXPEED 4A image processor, 1080/60p Full HD video capabilities, built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity2 and a new touch-panel tilting LCD display. Whether searching for a compact interchangeable lens camera that can do it all or a D-SLR companion camera for moments when time is of the essence, the V3 can satisfy the needs of the enthusiast or professional.

 
Further expanding on the growing stable of 1 NIKKOR lenses, Nikon has also introduced the new 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom and the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lenses, providing even more impressive lens options for Nikon 1 shooters.
 
“The versatile Nikon 1 V3 allows the photographer to capture even the fastest moving subjects with clarity and ease,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “With an incredible feature set, a newly crafted ergonomic design and sporting the elite high-speed performance that has become a hallmark of the Nikon 1 System, the V3 is ready to help users make amazing images and HD video.”
 
Capture the Shots That Matter With Uncompromising Speed and Quality
The Nikon 1 V3 makes no sacrifices in terms of speed, performance and image quality, as Nikon continues to innovate and invigorate the Nikon 1 System. The camera sports the world’s fastest continuous shooting frame rate at a blazing fast 20 frames-per-second (fps), faster than other mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and ideal for capturing fast-moving action and sports. Combined with an outstanding Hybrid AF System, every fleeting moment can be captured with incredible precision and accuracy. With 171 contrast detect focus areas and the center 105 areas supporting phase detection AF, the V3 provides super-fast AF response and accuracy when capturing still images or HD video in addition to exceeding the AF abilities of many D-SLR camera offerings.
 
The Nikon 1 V3 also features elite imaging specifications that help ensure superior image and HD video quality and impressive low-light performance, including the addition of a high-resolution 18.4-megapixel CX-format image sensor and new EXPEED 4A image processing engine. Together, they help render true colors and incredible detail, whether shooting an exotic safari or the local swim meet. The V3 also carries an ISO range of 160-12,800 with high ISO noise reduction, providing the versatility to effortlessly capture images in difficult low-light shooting scenarios. 
 
Exceptional Video Performance and a Dynamic Feature Set
When still images are not enough, the Nikon 1 V3 sports an outstanding number of video features that today’s multimedia photographer can take advantage of. The V3 is capable of recording Full HD video at 1080/60p with Movie e-VR (Electronic Vibration Reduction) which helps to eliminate camera shake to record smooth and clear movies. Full-time continuous AF is also possible during video recording, helping maintain critical HD focus, while the versatile CX-format sensor assists in creating video with a beautiful shallow depth of field. The V3 can also capture slow motion video at an impressive 120 frames-per-second (fps) in high quality 720p HD. Additionally, users can capture full resolution still images during video recording, rounding out an impressive and comprehensive stable of video features at the user’s disposal. 
 
In another first for the Nikon 1 series, the V3 features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity2, helping users seamlessly share every unforgettable moment. Connect to a compatible smart phone or tablet and share precious photos with friends and family by uploading them to social networks. The Nikon 1 V3 also empowers the user to unleash their creativity, with fun and unique shooting options for all levels of photographer. The V3 offers a wealth of creative modes previously found in models like the Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3, including Miniature Effect, Easy Panorama and Selective Color, in addition to new modes like Creative Palette, Toy Camera and Cross Process, for a truly customized photography experience. Mainstay Nikon 1 System features such as Slow View, Live Image Control and Motion Snapshot return in this iteration of the V-Series, further enhancing a dynamic and versatile feature set for even the most demanding of photographers. 
 
Elegant Styling, Superior Operability
The Nikon 1 V3 has been ergonomically designed to allow the user to shoot comfortably and confidently in a variety of shooting scenarios. The extremely compact yet sophisticated body sports conveniently placed external controls with two programmable function buttons, allowing the enthusiast to tailor their camera to their own personal shooting style. An additional function button is added with the optional GR-N1010 grip, a lightweight option that provides steadier handling, as well as an additional shutter button and sub-command dial that will be familiar to D-SLR shooters. 
 
Another innovative addition to the Nikon 1 Series is the V3’s new tilting, touch-panel 3-inch LCD monitor that allows photographers to compose brilliant images and HD video from various new angles. This thin and versatile monitor is a convenient tool for adjusting settings on the go, affording the user the ability to quickly trigger the shutter when capturing a photo or change the focus point when capturing video by simply touching the screen. Playback is seamless and a new Highlight Display function helps the user to spot washed-out highlights after shooting. Additionally, a Virtual Horizon feature with pitching detection helps frame landscapes and architecture with rich detail and beautiful focus.
 
As part of the versatile Nikon 1 System of advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, the Nikon 1 V3 is compatible with eleven 1 NIKKOR lens options ranging from ultra-wide-angle to telephoto, while users can also employ their arsenal of NIKKOR glass using the optional FT-1 Mount Adapter. Users can also take advantage of the Nikon 1 System’s 2.7x crop factor for increased range when shooting sports or wildlife, making it an ideal companion for the D-SLR shooter. Nikon also offers an optional external high resolution 2359k-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), the DF-N1000, and optional multi-accessory grip, the GR-N1010, alongside the Nikon 1 V3 for increased control and handling. The V3 also maintains compatibility with Nikon 1 external flashes and the ME-1 external microphone (with the AS-N1000 Multi Accessory Port Adapter).
 
Go Farther with New 1 NIKKOR lenses
Announced alongside the Nikon 1 V3, Nikon has introduced two new 1 NIKKOR lens offerings. Kitted with the V3, the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom is an evolved compact zoom lens, ready for nearly any situation. Sporting a useful 3x zoom (27-81mm equivalent), the new 10-30mm lens is equipped with a unique power drive zoom dial that allows for simple and smooth zoom capability, ideal for capturing sharp and steady HD video. 
 
Additionally, Nikon has also introduced a powerful new telephoto zoom lens option that takes Nikon 1 users farther than ever before. The new 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens features a super-telephoto focal range (189-810mm equivalent) that can get the photographer up close to sports action or wildlife from a distance. The first 1 NIKKOR lens crafted with Super ED Glass, the 70-300mm lens is equipped with built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) and Nano Crystal Coating to prevent ghost and flare. 
 
Price and Availability
The Nikon 1 V3, kitted with the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom lens, the DF-N1000 Electronic Viewfinder and the GR-N1010 Grip will be available in April 2014 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1,199.95*. The 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom and the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lenses will also be sold separately for $299.95* and $999.95*SRP, respectively.
 
NIkon 1 V3 Interchangeable-Lens Compact Camera
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

NIkon 1 V3 Interchangeable-Lens Compact Camera

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