Every now and then a camera comes along that challenges our ability to accept a new concept. The Nikon 1-series V1 is just such a model, says Damien Demolder
LCD and viewfinder
A good deal has been made recently about the differences between electronic and optical viewfinders, and in this model Nikon gives us a good chance to investigate some more. While a 1.44-million-dot resolution isn’t the highest that exists in an EVF camera, the viewfinder of the V1 proved itself rather nice to work with during this test. It is clear enough and bright, and seems to refresh at a rate that does not induce blur or an especially obvious delay between the action happening in real life and on the screen. In low light there is a bit of drag and the amplified image does appear slightly grainy, but both are preferable to not being able to see what you are taking a picture of.
That the EVF is built in rather than an accessory, as happens quite often in compact system cameras, makes a big difference. Compared to many, the viewfinder seems bold and large, and the experience is a long way from looking down a tunnel. The colours seem to match those of the rear screen well, and while both are somewhat simplified compared to what the eye sees, they are good enough to render a clear idea of what will be captured and the accuracy of the white balance setting in use. One does not quite get the same connection as is possible with a very good optical viewfinder, but those are not as common as people seem to believe and this, I think, makes a more than satisfactory method of viewing the scene.
The camera’s rear screen measures a generous 3in across and has a resolution of 921,000 dots, which is just about enough for a meaningful manual-focusing experience. I found it fine to view in bright light and easy on the eye in dark conditions.