Thursday, 13 March 2014

My favourite little camera just grew up. And became way more expensive.

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As often-bullied fat kid Martin Prince from The Simpsons says in his high pitched, enthusiastic voice "Behold!!" 

This is the new Nikon 1 V3. Check this thing out. 18 megapixel sensor. 20 frames per second shooting. Flip out screen. Add-on grip and viewfinder. And a price well north of $USD 1000.

I'm really keen to check these out first hand in a few weeks in Japan. I have the first version of this series, the aptly named V1, and I am amazed by how good it is. I bought mine when they were heavily discounted, because they were around a thousand dollars when they came out. I got mine for around $300 with the kit lens (10-30 mm). It goes everywhere with me, because it fits in the centre console of all of my cars. Its metal body is worn nicely around the edges like a battered old Leica. 

It also has an optional (frightfully expensive) lens adapter that makes it work with my larger lenses; the downside is that it dramatically extends their focal length. However, the shutter speed is blazingly fast on the V1 (equivalent to 60 frames a second, which is actually a 15 frame burst in a quarter of a second. It's amazing).

(Just like the Dewalt cordless drill, that has probably extracted and inserted about 20,000 screws in its lifetime, a camera is a valuable and well-used tool. Make it work for you. I have also been told I have a good face for radio, hence the angle of this shot).

I haven't held the new V3 in real life, but if it is anything like mine, it'll be robust and feel like a quality object as opposed to a toy. However, as good as it may be, for the list price of well over US$1000, expect it to be heavily discounted in the coming months. 

This means that the current V2 model, a fantastic yet odd-looking package that looks like a missing piece of Skylab, should be VERY cheap in the coming weeks.

I am of the opinion that the best camera is the one you have on hand, whether it be a camera phone, a DSLR, or something in between. Have a good look at this under-rated family of small, but serious cameras. I did, and I am glad I bought mine. It's survived hundreds of daytrips around Victoria, South Australia and Queensland and a trip to Japan, and it's about to do it again in a few weeks......