Buying advice needed from Nikon 1 users

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Bellapinkpink, May 7, 2014.

  1. Bellapinkpink

    Bellapinkpink New Member

    May 7, 2014

    I'm interested in buying a Nikon 1. The two options in my price range are the J2 and J3. The J2 is currently on offer at under £200 but I would like to know what you would recommend I go for. I have looked at various reviews and there seems to be little difference.

    Also dumb question, can you use the camera without any lenses?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    not for taking images
  3. Bellapinkpink

    Bellapinkpink New Member

    May 7, 2014
    Thanks Bill. Any advice on which camera and now which lens to purchase. The kind of photos I'll be taking initially are portrait, action shots and occasional landscape ones. Thanks.
  4. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    I'd buy used - in the UK you would get a good (old model) J1 with the kit lens for £100

    But the V1 may worth the extra for the viewfinder

    not mine but a posting on another forum

    "I bought this last year for a planned holiday, but circumstances changed and I have never really used it.

    It's a Nikon 1 J1 in black with matching 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6, genuine Nikon black leather strap, charger, CD and booklets, all boxed.

    I don't really have any sample photos as I haven't used it beyond testing, but I can take some if wanted.

    £100 posted"

    they can be an acquired taste - they take really good shots, but I have never really got on with my V1 and much prefer something like a Canon S100 in a compact camera

    if you buy used and don't like it you can always sell it on and not drop much money
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I don't know what the differences are between the J1 and the 2 or 3, but it seems like it is raining used J1s at the moment. There are tons of great deals on used and new refurbs that come with or two lenses for less than a J2 or J3 body by itself.
  6. MoonMind

    MoonMind All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    It depends on where you're located, I guess; I agree with Luke re J1, but around here, you'd get quite a lot of fire sales on the J3 with 10-30 (at least - I've seen a double zoom kit today, too) for little money. I think that of the J series, the J3 is as good a choice as the J1. That said, why not a V1? They're cheap as dirt NOS around here, and for less than a new J3 (fire sale!), you'll get a far superior camera IMO (i.e. IQ is on par, but the EVF on the V1 is great - still absolutely competitive!).

    • Like Like x 1
  7. ReD

    ReD Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    Without lens - I presume you can make a pinhole lens for it if you have a lens cap or suitable adapter extension ring
  8. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Nikon 1's - I think that you either "love" them or not

    The Nikon name pulls people in, but they are not DSLR's - I've tried mine with all sorts - FT-1 plus lots of different lenses - I cannot see the point

    They may be OK with the dedicated 1 lens, but I'm not sure I see the point - IMHO, as usual

    As you say, there are lots of nearly new ones that guys have bought and fallen out of love with - but there again on the same forum there are wanted notices particularly for 1 lenses.
  9. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I'm selling my V1 with 10-30 lens. I really liked it but I went mad and bought a Fuji X-E1 so something has to go... PM me if you want details. It's on Amazon currently.
  10. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    Nikon 1 cameras are good options for someone that wants to shoot moving subjects but doesn't want to carry a bulky DSLR. They are great for parents whose children play youth sports or just play in the backyard. I'd suggest a used V1 with the two zoom lenses to start. It's a great, compact kit that should be fairly inexpensive. The viewfinder of the V1 will help keep the camera stable when tracking moving subjects.

    Failing that, I don't much of the difference between the Js, but I'd go for the older one and pocket the change for future purchase of the 18 F1.8 or a flash.

    Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. yakky

    yakky Regular

    Nov 30, 2013
    It's hard to beat the deals on J1s now. In the US refurbished ones are going for $150 with a copy of Adobe Lightroom. By refurbished, they are new cameras put in new boxes. Mine had two images taken with it according to the exif info.

    Ones are great cameras if you don't pixel peep. Actually they are the perfect camera for the average American consumer, the problem is they put them in the wrong body, it should have been in a DSLR type body.
  12. Lava

    Lava Regular

    Apr 21, 2014
    My daughter took a kiteboarding lesson yesterday. I couldn't go. My wife went with her to take a photo or two. Before I bought a Nikon J1, I would have tried to send my D300s and 70-200mm f/2.8 with my wife and she would been very resistant. Too big, too heavy, too complicated.

    So I put the 30-110mm lens on the J1, set it to auto, showed my wife that the dial needs to be turned to the green camera icon for stills and the movie camera icon for movies, and showed her the shutter button. She happily put it in her purse and came back with 300 photos, many of which were very good. I don't think any of them are as good as they could have been with the D300s and 70-200mm, but there was no way I was going to get her to take that monstrosity.

    My assessment so far is that in for photos in good light, of a midsized subject, at a midrange distance, with no need for a limited depth of field, the J1 is perhaps 90% as good as a DSLR. The further away from those conditions you get, the more the J1 photos get worse as compared to those from a DSLR.


    In that it is much more likely that you will have the J1 with you than a big DSLR rig, the picture you take will be 100% better than the one you didn't take with the DSLR you left at home.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. grillec

    grillec Veteran

    Jan 16, 2014
    Bought the J3 a while after the V1 to get the advantages of a V2 sensor without a viewer. Can't say which are the differences between J2 and J3, but J3 had the resolution like V2 and the lacking of a AA-filter like S1. So I thought I could get a cheaper alternative for a black and white shooter like Ricoh GR. The J3 is smaller than a V1 but uses a different battery model and can't be remote controlled (lacking IR-receiver) like J2.
  14. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    Dec 15, 2011
    Pretty solid assessment Lava. I do at times suffer from big camera-envy when I'm shooting my V1 around Canon and Nikon DSLR users, because I know they are better equipped to get "all" of the shots, but at the end of the day I am very happy with the overall value and convenience I get from the V1.
  15. MoonMind

    MoonMind All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    The 18,5mm is a true gem - in absolute terms, not relative. For what you get, the price is very low indeed. I use my V1 with the 18.5mm exclusively - in fact I sold the kit lens, so it's the only lens I have, and as of yet, I have no intentions of changing that. As a matter of fact, the small flash that came with the V1 is rather handy, though a bit weak - still, really a refreshing difference to other kit flashes (like the PM1's).

    I mostly use my mFT gear, but for casual B&W street shooting, the V1 is hard to beat - while bigger, the EVF gives it an edge over the GR in some situations. While the V1 beats neither the mFT nor of course the GR when it comes to IQ, shooting it is a *lot* of fun - and that alone makes for nice pictures I wouldn't take otherwise. And I got the (NOS) V1 and the 18.5mm for half the price of a GR!