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
Nikon gives us the benefit in the V1 of its D-Lighting dynamic range optimiser with settings simply for off or active. With active selected, contrast controls in the picture modes are switched off, which makes sense should users try to increase contrast and optimise dynamic range at the same time. The metering system favours a bright image, which in turn damages the chances of recording detail in bright skies and side/backlit areas of the scene.
While we might not expect too much from small pixels, Nikon has got plenty from these ones, and I didn’t often lose detail in shadows or highlights. As ISO sensitivities increase it seems shadows are automatically lightened to avoid an almost inevitable emphasis on the contrast between light and dark. I found that while this is well intentioned, I often added contrast back in at the image-processing stage on the computer.