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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 1993. 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. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Nikon 1 V3 is more than 8 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 - 12 800
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

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 similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon 1 V3 111 mm 65 mm 33 mm 381 g 310 n Mar 2014 799ebay.com
2.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 470 g 820 n Jan 2015 899ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon 1 J5 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon 1 J4 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon 1 V2 109 mm 82 mm 46 mm 278 g 310 n Oct 2012 799ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon 1 V1 113 mm 76 mm 44 mm 383 g 350 n Sep 2011 799ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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.

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Check V3 offers at
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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 alternative cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon 1 V3 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452
2.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.926062
3.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.922761
4.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
5.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
6.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.712.9154679
7.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
8.
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
9.
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653
10.
 
Nikon 1 V2 1-inch 14.2 4608 30721080/60p20.210.840350
11.
 
Nikon 1 V1 1-inch 10.0 3872 25921080/60i21.311.034654
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon 1 V3optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0/s Y n
2.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5/s Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon 1 J5none n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon 1 J4none n3.0 / 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon 1 V21440 n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 15.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon 1 V11440 n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s n n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Nikon 1 V3 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the V3

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.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon 1 V3-stereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G5 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G7 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Fujifilm X-T10Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
10.
 
Nikon 1 V2-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon 1 V1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---

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.

Further information on the features and operation of the V3 can be found in the free online Nikon 1 V3 Manual or on the Nikon support site.

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon 1 V33/5....76/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2014 799ebay.com
2.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +..81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +..78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm X-T104.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 May 2015 799ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon 1 J5........4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon 1 J43/5......4.5/54/5 Apr 2014 549ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon 1 V23/5......4.5/54/5 Oct 2012 799ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon 1 V1..+..69/1004.5/54/5 Sep 2011 799ebay.com
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.

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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.

How do I find the shutter count on my V3?

Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your V3 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the free online shutter count finder app.

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 (here at amazon), 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 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 18.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 232 x 3 488 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 - 12 800 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
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus 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 Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium mSDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots 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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