Around this time last year, I was asked to shoot a wedding for a young couple getting married in Charleston. I came to find out that the groom's father was none other than Nikon advertising photographer Mark Alberhasky. Mark and I hit it off instantly so when I found out he has been shooting wildlife with Nikon's V1 mirrorless camera, I knew he would be perfect for Fstoppers Mirrorless Month. Mark explains how mirrorless cameras can out perform dlsrs below.
If you aren't familiar with his work, Mark is a contributing photographer for Nikon advertising and a Nikon mentor for the Pop Photo Mentor Series treks. His work has been featured in Nikon World magazine (read it here) and calendar, has won awards internationally, and has been used in commercial ads, magazine covers, textbooks, action sports publications, and corporate installations. This being "Mirrorless Camera Month" here at Fstoppers, we asked Mark to share his insights on the Nikon 1 System, specifically the V1 camera. Here is what Mark had to say about using the Nikon mirrorless system:
Nikon System 1: V1
by Mark Alberhasky
Enter the Nikon 1 System. Nikon choose a different route for the sensor creating yet another standard: the CX format. Admittedly, when I first read of this my reaction was one of skepticism. Do we need another sensor size? Yet my experience with the V1 and CX sensor over the past year has yielded several pleasant surprises.
There are two major advantages with the Nikon 1 System. Ironically they are at opposite ends of the size spectrum. The Nikon 1 System lenses are small. Really small. As in 3 lenses (10.5mm, 10-30mm, and 30-110mm) that cover the 35mm equivalent of 28mm - 297mm can fit in the palm of one hand. Once you discover that these lenses with the CX sensor produce sharp images with somewhat greater depth of field than your DSLR, the potential for a wonderful travel kit begins to emerge. My first appreciation was when I hiked into the sand dune field in Death Valley with only the V1 and the kit lenses. What a treat! The control set has enough depth to allow serious shooting and you're not exhausted lugging 30 lbs of gear.
I decided earlier this year to try the V1 during photo safari in Africa, using several legendary Nikkor lenses: the 70-220mm f/2.8, the 300mm f/2.8, and the 400mm f/2.8. The relative focal lengths on the V1 ranged from 190mm to 1080mm, all at f/2.8. I also used the diminutive kit lenses for walk-around shots. While I can't share all the highlights here on Fstoppers, I can tell you the results were amazing. Such that Nikon ran a feature article in the summer issue of Nikon World ("Skill Set") that speaks volumes about the capability of this camera. Serious DSLR shooters should consider the V1 if for nothing more than it's use as a teleconvertor. Increase the focal length of glass you own without losing lens speed or any compromise in the optical quality of the native lens design. But don't be surprised when you end up using it for more.
In summary, the Nikon 1 System is something unique. It can be a simple still / video system for the consumer market. But in the hands of a serious photographer it becomes a tool with amazing potential. And once you experience the pleasure of System 1 as you travel it may have you thinking twice the next time you're packing photo gear for adventure.safari journey through Tanzania. For more information about Mark, visit his website www.imagema.com and blog.