Let’s talk about being hateful.

I’ve shot almost every type of camera you can shoot, film SLR, point and shoot film, point and shoot digital, crummy Vivitar video camera’s you name it. Currently i’m shooting using a Nikon D100 with battery grip and (generally) a Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro lens (i have a few other lenses but this is by far my favorite, and also the most crisp). Given a few minutes and google you can quickly surmise that my D100 was released in 2002, and has been largely “out of date” since about 2004. It uses an old APS Sensor size that by many is considered for inferior to a full frame sensor that has the same physical size of a 35mm film frame. Now, i certainly concede the point that there is a lot a modern DSLR can do that my D100 can’t do. Taking a good image is NOT on that list though. The same principles apply to my 6mp camera as apply to a 24mp camera, if you can’t frame and expose a proper image then your image is not going to be good.

Nikon D100 Shot at F5.6 and 1/160s.
Nikon D100 Shot at F5.6 and 1/160s.

I used a pair of studio lights with diffusers and reflectors to light this in an indoor studio. This rant and thought was brought about as a direct correlation to my current hunt for some new gear. I love my D100, and i especially love my OM-1, but what i don’t love is packing that massive D100 out for nature and wildlife shoots. Unfortunately for me these are some of my favorite shooting situations. Fortunately, i’ve found a solution for all of these quarks. The Nikon 1 V1. Again, not the newest of it’s generation by far, but certainly a great system none the less. My problem is that, among all of my attempts at research i ran into a problem. Every “review” i could find, and every person talking about this new syste of system, had nothing but disdain and hateful remarks to make about it… I’m sure right now most people would say “Well why would you get it then? if everything you read was negative?” the answer is easy for me. Every hateful post, almost every negative remark, was in no way geared at the image quality, nor any specific flaw. No, in fact 90% of what i read can be summed up in “it’s such a small sensor, why wouldn’t you get the m4/3 system? it’s sensor is so much bigger it must obviously take better images.”  . . .

To that, I say again.

Nikon D100 with reversed 28mm shot at f2.8 and 1/160s
Nikon D100 with reversed 28mm shot at f2.8 and                                  1/160s

So, if you don’t understand yet, the things that don’t make a good image; sensor size, megapixel count, special lenses. Things that do make a good image; an artistic eye, composition, exposure, focus. So why did i decide that the Nikon 1 V1 was right for me? Honestly, it’s sensor size is a big reason. The CX sensor provides an effective 2.7x focal length boost, which to me means that my 70-300mm lens just became an 810mm super telephoto. So, while my pack weight and general gear load go down, my wildlife photography capability goes up. On top of that the frame rate, auto focus, and lens selection (including the F-mount lenses, which very easily mount to the V1) are incredible! oh, also, the image quality is incredible. So, before you spend a ridiculous amount of time asking if it has enough megapixels for you, instead ask does it fit all of your needs?

~Wes

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