Nikon 1 vs Nikon D-SLR: which is best?

    By | Nikon Cameras | Reviews | 14/06/2012 08:05am

    Nikon’s new compact system cameras, the Nikon 1 J1 and Nikon 1 V1, were launched last year. They bridge the gap between compact digital cameras and digital SLRs, with many of the advantages of both.

    They take interchangeable lenses and offer many of the manual photographic controls of a Nikon D-SLR, but they’re closer in size to a compact camera and have a simplified control layout better suited to novices.

    Even the sensor is mid-way in size between those in compact cameras and those in D-SLRs. Compact system cameras from other makers have larger sensors, which gives them an advantage in outright image quality, but this makes the lenses much more bulky, even if the camera bodies aren’t.

    Nikon 1 vs Nikon D-SLR

    Nikon 1 vs Nikon D-SLR

    But this leaves Nikon fans with a dilemma! Digital camera novices who want to take their photography further will be wondering whether to get the Nikon 1 or a Nikon D-SLR.

    And Nikon D-SLR owners will be wondering whether the Nikon 1 will make a good ‘second’ camera for those times when their D-SLR is too bulky or inconvenient to carry around.

    Here on N-Photo, we’ve been using a Nikon 1 alongside our regular Nikon D-SLRs for some months now and we’ve had time to form some proper conclusions about Nikon’s compact system camera. Here’s what we think.

    • If you have a compact camera, you want something that takes better pictures, but you find photographic jargon complex and it just gets in the way of what you’re trying to shoot, the get the Nikon 1. It’s an easy step up because it’s designed around the same philosophy – the camera takes care of everything automatically, but you have the option to step in and adjust the settings manually via the menus if you need to.

    • If you’ve decided to start taking photography seriously, and you want to learn the theory instead of relying on the camera all the time, get a Nikon D-SLR. Manual adjustments are much easier, there’s a wider choice of lenses and accessories, and because they’re larger they’re much easier to hold and adjust.

    • If you’ve already got a Nikon D-SLR and you’re looking for a smaller, ‘second’ camera, the Nikon 1 is ideal. The sensor is smaller and has a lower resolution, but it’s still capable of great results. To our eyes, the image quality looks similar to that of an older 10-megapixel Nikon D-SLR like the D60 or D40x. Our tip, though, would be to go for the 10mm pancake lens, either with the J1 or the V1. The 10-30mm zoom is more useful, but makes the Nikon 1 just a little too large to fit in a pocket.


    Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 8:05 am under Nikon Cameras, Reviews. You can subscribe to comments.

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