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Nikon 1 V3 Comparison Review

The Nikon 1 V3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in March 2014 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 18.2 megapixel.

camera

Is the Nikon 1 V3 a good camera? The V3 has a Camera Elo of 2106. This rating puts the V3 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the V3 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon 1 V3 is more than 5 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2014.

Headline Specifications
Nikon 1 V3
Mirrorless system camera
Nikon 1 mount lenses
18.2 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 160-12800
Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting touchscreen
60 shutter flaps per second
310 shots per battery charge
111 x 65 x 33 mm, 381 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon 1 V3 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon 1 V3 vs credit card front
V3 versus credit card top view
V3 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon 1 V3 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 V3 111 mm 65 mm 33 mm 381 g 310 n Mar 2014 799- i Nikon 1 V3
 
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799- i Canon G5 X
 
Canon 100D« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Fujifilm X-T10« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799- i Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-M1« » 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Jun 2013 699- i Fujifilm X-M1
 
Nikon D5500« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon 1 J4« » 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
 
Nikon 1 V2« » 109 mm 82 mm 46 mm 278 g 310 n Oct 2012 799- i Nikon 1 V2
 
Nikon 1 V1« » 113 mm 76 mm 44 mm 383 g 350 n Sep 2011 799- i Nikon 1 V1
 
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« » 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon 1 V3 was launched in the US market at a price of $799. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Nikon 1 V3:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Nikon 1 V3 features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon 1 V3 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Nikon 1 V3 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 V3 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452Nikon 1 V3
 
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
 
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
 
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-M1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-M1
 
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon 1 J4« » 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653Nikon 1 J4
 
Nikon 1 V2« » 1-inch 14.2 4608 30721080/60p20.210.840350Nikon 1 V2
 
Nikon 1 V1« » 1-inch 10.0 3872 25921080/60i21.31134654Nikon 1 V1
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The V3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the V3 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon 1 V3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 V3- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 V3
 
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
 
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
 
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-M1« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-M1
 
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon 1 J4« »- n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 J4
 
Nikon 1 V2« »1440 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 15.0 Y n Nikon 1 V2
 
Nikon 1 V1« »1440 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 n n Nikon 1 V1
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6

One convenient feature of the V3 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon 1 V3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 V3-stereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon 1 V3
 
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
 
Canon 100D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 100D
 
Fujifilm X-T10« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-M1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-M1
 
Nikon D5500« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon 1 J4« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Nikon 1 J4
 
Nikon 1 V2« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Nikon 1 V2
 
Nikon 1 V1« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Nikon 1 V1
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6

It is notable that the V3 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V3. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 V3-76/1004.5/53/54/5 Mar 2014 799- i Nikon 1 V3
 
Canon G5 X« »+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799- i Canon G5 X
 
Canon 100D« »+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Fujifilm X-T10« »+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-M1« »+77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2013 699- i Fujifilm X-M1
 
Nikon D5500« »+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon 1 J4« »--4.5/5-4/5 Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
 
Nikon 1 V2« »--4.5/5-4/5 Oct 2012 799- i Nikon 1 V2
 
Nikon 1 V1« »+69/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Sep 2011 799- i Nikon 1 V1
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« »+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon 1 V3 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the V3.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the V3?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Nikon equipped the V3 with the EXPEED 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the V3?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Nikon provides the DF-N1000 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon 1 V3?

Nikon does not publish a shutter rating for the V3. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon 1 V3?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Nikon 1 V3 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Does the Nikon 1 V3 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The V3's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Nikon 1 V3 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the V3 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL20a, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon 1 V3
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon 1 mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2014
    Launch Price USD 799
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 18.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5232 x 3488 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.52 μm
    Pixel Density 15.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 160-12800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 52
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 384
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 60 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium micro or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EN-EL20a power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)310 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 65 x 33 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 381 g (13.4 oz)

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