Nikon V1 Digital Camera Review$899.95
In testing we found that the Nikon V1's 1080/60i video mode suffered from a slight bit of artifacting, with some hitchy motion and ghosting and trailing. In our motion rig, this was easiest to see around the RGB and monochrome pinwheels, with some slight motion blurring around the moving train. The 1080/30p mode, however, was much smoother, with greatly reduced trailing and motion blur. The 30p mode did also have the same artifacting issues that we saw in 1080/60i mode.
The high speed video modes provide an alternative way to capture motion, and they render even quick actions very smoothly. The Nikon V1 is one of the few cameras in the market to offer video speeds upwards of 400fps and 1200fps. With the others being Casio point-and-shoots and much more expensive cameras, the V1 and J1 from Nikon offer a solid middle ground for anyone looking to do high-speed videography/photography (such as to record a golf swing) along with solid image quality for stills.
When shooting high speed video, you understand that your resolution is going to be greatly diminished, and the final video is not going to be of the same quality as when recording in full HD. It will require a great deal of light, solid framing, and a subject that doesn't move a great deal laterally. The results are impressive, however. If anything, we wish Nikon had included a higher quality 120fps or 240fps mode, however, as that would likely strike a better middle ground between quality and speed. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
The Nikon V1 was able to produce acceptable sharpness in our video test, on par with the Nikon J1. We saw up to 750 LPPH of horizontal sharpness in bright light, with that dropping to right around 600 LPPH in our vertical sharpness test. These are good numbers and are a substantial jump over the low light sharpness results. We found better sharpness results in the 1080/60i mode; both that and the 1080/30p mode were sharp, but the 60i had the added benefit of reducing moire. The interpolation in the 60i mode seemed to function as an extra anti-alias filter, as most of the finer lines on our chart were rendered as flat gray. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
In low light we saw sharpness dip somewhat, with our test coming up with 600 LPPH horizontal sharpness and just 500 LPPH vertical. The moire effect (the ugly discoloration you get along with wavy lines when a camera tries to reproduce a pattern that's slightly too fine) was much worse in low light than in bright light, as well. We found low light sharpness was better in the 1080/60i mode than in 1080/30p. In 1080/30p sharpness dipped to just 500 LPPH horizontal and 450 LPPH vertical.
Low Light Sensitivity
We found the Nikon V1 was able to produce an acceptably bright image (which we define as reaching 50 IRE on a waveform monitor) with 20 lux of light at its maximum ISO speed with the 10-30mm kit lens. That's a very dim lighting setup, so the V1 should be able to ably capture video in a dark bar, but that's still quite a bit worse than what we're used to seeing from DSLRs (most of which only need 7-15 lux to produce the same image brightness.)