The small camera images from Thanksgiving and beyond. Flash!

Nikon V1 with 10-30mm lens.  A place setting.

Ben.  A mix of daylight and flash from the little, dedicated SBn5 flash, set to fill flash.  Camera in program.  10-30mm.

Ben and I got up early on Thanksgiving morning and ran the 5 mile Turkey Trot race with 21,000 other central Texans.  Ben came in around forty one minutes.  I finished sometime later.  I did not take a camera with me on the run.  As a swimmer (not a runner) I had my hands full concentrating on the race.

The V1 with flash.  In program mode.  with the 10-30mm lens.

There was no shortage of wine or coffee at the VSL Thanksgiving festivities.  All dutifully recorded.

Nikon V1.  Program.  Auto ISO 100-400.  10mm lens.
Belinda and I went out shopping and then for a walk around downtown.  The light was totally different from yesterday's light at the same time.  Amazing.

Nikon V1.  10mm.  Program.

This lens comes alive with a raw conversion in Lightroom.  The lens profile correction is wonderful and the optic spruces up in the corners nicely.  This was shot at 100 ISO.  Go ahead.  Press your nose against the screen and look for grain.

Nikon V1.  10mm.  Program.  Auto ISO 100-800.

We ended up at our preferred halfway point:  Cafe Medici.  Home of the perfect cappuccino.  The weather was exciting.  A big temperature drop and gusty winds.  

Nikon V1.  10mm lens.  At some point I started playing around with Auto Scene Select and discovered that I both liked it, and it gave really good exposures and image files.  

Nikon V1. 10mm.  Auto Super Deluxe Platinum mode with Art overlay engaged.  This is for all the compulsive pixel analysts who like to see the worst case scenario for whatever camera they are about to flame.....

I set this one in ultra-auto and it came back at f2.8, 1/30th of a second, ISO 2800.  YES 2800.  Is there grain/noise?  You bet.  Do I care?  Is it important to me?  You've got to be kidding.

And I don't know what magic robot lives in that camera but the guy on the right is in full tungsten and Belinda is sitting next to a window to the outside and the color is........as close as I'd imagine it could be to right on the money.

One more day of vacation and then we'll break out the boring cameras and get back to work....or will we?



Govis said...

I see you continue to play with small, little toy camera. You say you take pictures, but all I see is grain from teeny tiny small size toy sensor. I weep for you, and your inability to use car sized digital cameras to produce perfectly grainless snapshots for our web perusal?

Thank you for taking this into consideration. Have a nice day.

Bill Beebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaveP said...

I think we all get the message :-)
You like (or more) this camera!

V1 + Coffee. I think we have Kirk summed up!

(Hey Nikon, don't send him one of those lenses, we'll all be bored stiff by then!... Or perhaps do, and put him on the retainer he deserves as your latest advertising recruit!)

I must admit though Kirk, you're getting some pretty nice photographs from that 'tiny' camera. And you made a fair comparison with the Canon Mk I yesterday as something to carry round with you.


James Kingdon said...

Your comment about colour balance in the last photo had me wondering if there was something special going on. But a closer look suggests the window light level had dropped to the point where it wasn't a major factor for the camera (the shadows are stronger on the window side). I think tungsten was the dominant light throughout, but I'm still open to the possibility of magic robots :)

kirk tuck said...

Govis, Stay tuned. I'm sure my attention will eventually wander to something else. But for right now the small cameras are the most fun. And the whole idea of the blog is fun for me. If it's fun for me and no one else then I've still achieved my primary aim.....

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

Very good results indeed Kirk. Plus some beautiful shots of your wife having coffee with you. Thanks.

Camarillo Brillo said...

hard to argue with the images coming from the V1...Hope it drops in price soon...thanks for the samples and great stuff you write about it and all the other stuff you do Kirk!

orcasmac said...

It's one thing to see your images on the blog, but what's the maximum size print that you'd consider making from the V1?

kirk tuck said...

orcasmac, If you were confident making large images from a Nikon D300 or a Canon 12 megapixel camera I think you'd find that this (V1) will mostly match their performance, in print, as long as you keep the ISO in a reasonable range. I'd say under ISO 400 I'd be able to make very nice 12 by 18 inch prints. But you might have different ideas of print quality than I.

I'd suggest you go to a store, borrow the camera, walk outside and shoot some frames on your own SD card and them print them with whatever method you are comfortable with and evaluate them.

If you are interested in shooting in very low light and then making enormous prints I'd say you'll be happier with a Canon 5Dmk2 or Nikon D3. I'm from the prehistoric times of photography and amazed just to be able to shoot at ISO 1600 and see anything more than a basically discernable image emerge.....

You may have grown up with the expectation that everything be rosy at ISO 6400. Our perspectives might not be reasonably convergent.

John Krumm said...

I like the way that iso 2800 shot looks. Nikon sure has made a pleasing grain with that camera. Now, for future walk-around cameras for you to swing wildly to, I'd like to see what Austin looks like through the Pentax digital medium format beast, and your impressions.

Scott said...

Haven't tried either yet, but from what I've seen on the interwebs the V1 and maybe the Fuji X10 may represent a breakthrough in sensor design and/or in-camera processing. This is a good thing all by itself, but it will also be fun to see if these improvements migrate up to the larger sensor sizes.

Life is good, and there's coffee.

Oh, and when your posts get boring, I'll let you know. Hasn't happened yet.

Michael Ferron said...

Kirk just for the record regarding print size and the V1. I made a beautiful B&W printed 10x15 shot at ISO 400. The quality is superb. Not a hint of noise showing on the print.

kirk tuck said...

Excellent Michael, I expected no less.

Jon said...

If you get time to play with the SB-N5 some more and can post your thoughts on it and how to get the most out of it, I'd appreciate it.

Also, I somehow accidentally deleted my previous comment. Oops. I guess I clicked in exactly the wrong spot as I was trying to scroll down to the bottom. It wasn't intentional though.

Bold Photography said...

How fun! I'm preparing for a trip to London and maybe Paris next week -- but all I have is a big, heavy sledgehammer....

skiphunt said...


I really like wandering with my XZ-1 without having to fuss with lens changing, etc. I picked up a V1 briefly and didn't like the feel of it, but I have to say that I really like the looks you're getting out of it.

macboy001 said...


please get an F lens adapter and turn the V1 into what its not supposed to be - large and unbalanced.

Paul Chance said...

Thank you Kirk for taking the time to share your impressions of the V1

I want a solution for hiking (light) and the two lens setup seems like it might be the ticket.

Specifically, I have questions regarding:

1. Build quality
2. Can shots at 800 ISO be usable
3. menu system - how easy to use for exposure comp.
4. how would IQ compare to my older D300 and 18-200 which I use alot, abeit not the sharpest lens (probably one of my least sharp lenses) - but because it is convenient I use it alot new not doing serious photography.

I use a G11 today for my point and shoot and love the build and knobs... ISO is not great after 400 IMO and limited focal length.


Aaron said...

Paging Dr.Kirk, please come to the white courtesy phone at the front desk....

Is it me or is there a certain "sameness" to a lot of the digital images from most cameras?
Maybe it's the web resolution.
An exception were the images from the Balance and Perspective post. Those seemed to have a luminosity, a nuanced texture that was that stuff that excited me from a great capture on film.
Are we spinning out wheels on all the back and forth for most of the sub-$1500 cameras and associated lenses?
Perhaps they are all just hammers and the real magic is in the post-process that lift almost any file to give a more impactful impression?
Or is the full frame capture truly Elysium and the cup from which all photographers REALLY want to drink?

Puriwit said...

Nice blog! My heart wants this camera but my head (+ my wallet) don't agree.

Paul Chance said...

hmmm, just got to thinking, if i sell my g11, lensmate stuff, flash, extra battery, RRS mounting plate, I can get about half way to the V1 and 2 lens kit....

I bet IQ is better on the V1.

Richard said...

Hi Kirk,

I am glad to see that you are following "the prime directive", keep it fun for yourself. :-)

I think I am noticing a trend...a cup of coffee to contemplate the day.



Martin Duerr said...

I like your blog and the way you show us the camera. It really seems you have a lot of fun with the camera and isn't that one of the main "features" a camera should have. Go out and shoot. Can't wait to see more images.



rbsandor said...

Kirk: thanks for a real world usage review rather than a test chart summary. You as well as Thom Hogan have mentioned that Auto ISO tends to favor a lower shooting speed rather than a higher ISO in Aperture. Can this be overcome by shooting Manual? Thanks, Richard

kirk tuck said...

rb, if you use Aperture priority and shoot wide open (a pretty good strategy for a lot of the m4:3 lenses) you're always shooting at the fastest shutter speed for the situation. With M you have more control but it takes time to exercise the control...

Paul Chance said...

Pulled the trigger and have my V1 kit on the way... going to the store and handling for myself combined with reviews like yours sold me!

I was a bit put off with no traditional hotshoe for off camera flash, but then remembered those little Su-4 modules I have for optical triggers.

I'm excited.