On of the ways I convinced myself that the D800 was a good purchase was that I can travel with only a single device and capture both fantastic video and still images. Mind you, this is not for professional use, this is vacations with the family, etc. I'm finally getting around to producing some quality video, but I will admit, it's a real pain in the butt with a super steep learning curve. Everything that makes it a great camera for photo's makes terrible for just capturing video's of family events (DOF for example) And there lies the problem.
My wife is getting very frustrated with the D800 and hates almost everything about it. Size, weight, complexity, and a lack of VR in my primary lens (24-70) so all her video is shaky as can be. And unless I completely set the camera up for her prior to the shot, she has produced maybe 5 pictures that are properly exposed and in focus since I got it. That said, she also has no interest in learning how to use it, she just wants it to work
With all the major sales going on right now, I was thinking about grabbing a Nikon V1 and 10-30mm package for her as it will also fulfill both her complaints but primarily she wants the video first, photo's a distant second.
I'm a bit uncertain about purchasing another camcorder b/c even into the $1000 range (I had a Canon VIXIA HFS200 which I sold to buy the D800) low light performance was rather poor and the lenses were just not wide enough for indoors (43.5-435mm). That, and being a Mac user, AVCHD is a pain to work with unless I purchase FCP X.
Has Nikon developed the video capabilities in the V1 to the point where they start getting close to camcorder ease and with better low light capabilities due to the considerably larger sensor (1/2.6" vs 1")? How well does the autofocus work in video? Has anyone replaced their camcorder with a V1 and been happy with the results?
One thing to consider, we have only once, in almost 3 years of ownership of the Canon, recorded something longer than 10 mins. Everything seems to be quick 1-2m (or less) video snaps.
#1. "RE: Nikon V1 or Camcorder?" In response to Reply # 0
I can't answer all your questions as I am somewhat of a video novice but I have a V1 and I have shot video with it for the last 8 months so I do have a little experience.
So here's how I would answer you:
1. Is the V1 easy to shoot video with? Yes, very. You turn the dial to video and press the button on top to start and again to stop. It will focus, too, if you set the focus mode.
2. How is low light performance? Like with most things you would want a faster lens like the 10 f2.8 or 18.5 f1.8 to get more light in. The small sensor is really good but it has limitations.
3. Is the high speed super-slow-mo mode worth it? It's a fun novelty but you won't use it because the resulting movie is low quality.
4. How is the AF? I haven't really had any issues with it. But I haven't tried to do things like tracking shots. Like with other cameras, the better the contrast of your subject the snappier and more sure the AF will be.
I haven't had a camcorder in 10 years. With the video in this and my D800 I wouldn't go back to getting a dedicated video device. I'd sooner use my iPhone than that.
#2. "RE: Nikon V1 or Camcorder?" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 10-Dec-12 04:49 PM by kenuck
I think she'll like the V1. I've been using it since August for both stills and video (D300 and Canon Vixia both in the drawer most of the time) for two trips - to Chicago and to Thailand. I've done a few comparisons and generally prefer the V1 to the D300 for stills (except under low light - but most of my stuff is outdoors) and prefer the V1 to the Canon (except perhaps the ease and range of zooming). I also like the ability to simultaneously record full resolution stills and HD video. The .MOV video output goes straight into iMovie with no problems. I'm getting the V2 shortly (my son-in-law is getting my V1)
I have the 10-30 and 30-110 lenses. I'd like the 18.5 mm f/1.8 but mostly for stills in low light. Noise under low light is less noticeable in video and the ability to frame accurately with a zoom is more important to me (you can crop video in iMovie but you don't have the pixels to work with like you do with a still).
#3. "RE: Nikon V1 or Camcorder?" In response to Reply # 2 Mon 10-Dec-12 05:02 PM by SirPuttsAlot
The Video from the V1 looks to be shot in 60i vs 30p, is that correct? It seems to have the Interlacing/Combing Effect on the V1 footage. Just wanted to verify that it was the settings and not the typical output.
Also, I doubt I would get the 30-100 or 10mm pancake, I would only purchase the 10-30 lens. If I got her another lens, it would probably be the 18.5 f/1.8 but since no one is running a special with purchase of the V1, I would let her get that if she thinks she needs it.
#4. "RE: Nikon V1 or Camcorder?" In response to Reply # 3 Mon 10-Dec-12 05:04 PM by kenuck
>The Video from the V1 looks to be shot in 60i vs 30p, is that >correct? It seems to have the Interlacing/Combing Effect on >the V1 footage. Just wanted to verify that it was the >settings and not the typical output. > Yes, 1080 3op or 720 60p would be smoother for action, but the full resolution stills are only available in 1080 60i