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While Nikon 1 V1 is an awesome camera, there are situations when you might hit the wall. Take your time to study this section to avoid the possible catches, especially if you were used to classic camcorder.

No PAL frame rates

I originally planned to use V1 as companion for my Canon HV40 camcorder. If you have the European model of HV40, you just... can't do this. PAL model of this camcorder shoots at 25 FPS, while V1 shoots only 30/60 FPS, doesn't matter if bought in Europe or US.

Mixing clips of different frame rates in single project is not a good idea in most cases. In my particular example, having footage at 25 and 30 FPS gives the only option to downscale the 30 FPS footage to 25. Doable, but with very unpleasing visual artifacts. See the two images of robot Advee below for reference.

The first image is original still from 30 FPS footage, while the second image is still from footage converted from 30 FPS to 25. You can notice the second image doesn't contain just motion blur, which is okay, but also ghosting. And "thanks" to fact the fraction of 25/30 is not a nice one but a number with lot of decimals instead, you will always see some kind of this artifact when doing such a conversion.

After denial of requests for adding PAL mode both from Nikon support and Nikon Hacker, I decided to buy second V1 to have something compatible. At price of $300 it is not as a big expense as would be paying more than double for second, tape based HV40.

20 / 29 minutes limit

So you shot a concert with your camcorder - turning it on at the beginning and off once the show is over? Well, you need to forget about this with V1 - and even DSLRs, unless hacked.

One of the reasons for this limitation is purely financial. European Union does tax regular camcorders higher, because, as we are all thieves and criminals (ha ha), it wants to compensate fact you could record whole movie from TV for example. Manufacturers of the classic cameras don't want to raise the price for their products (and risk sales issues)  just because of this ridiculous rule, so the compromise was to classify sub 30 minutes recorders as non-camcorders.

The 20 minutes for full HD and 29 minutes for HD is actually quite good amongst cameras, there are still DSLRs with 12 minutes per clip and so on, but one has to take this limitation in count anyway. Well, especially because it is also most probably also related to the following issue,

Heat is rising slowly

Yeah, yeah, we all know V1 is one hot little camera, but sadly, it can become hot even in the literal sense! This is most probably caused by the fact that mirrorless, unlike DSLR, keep the chip always on - to supply the screen or viewfinder with what we see through the lenses. While DSLRs do this only when in LiveView mode, V1 keeps eating the photons all the time. And it comes at the price.

Take for example model situation of shooting video of your favourite band. You respect the 20/29 minute limit, so you start/stop for each song. That should do it, right? Well, even with this workaround you may notice V1 starts feeling uncomfortable quite soon.

Recently, I managed to shoot first half of the concert (60 minutes) without issue this way, but once more people came in, the temperature grew higher and my second V1, untouched during the first half, complained about temperature after 40 minutes and immediately shut off. I removed the battery, waved around with it for about 10 minutes and after 30 minutes of further shooting there was another temperature triggered shutdown.

One of the things I could have tried was to remove the lens, to let the heat of the chip go out more easily. Maybe next time...

No burst mode with manual lenses

Burst mode is one of the areas where V1 shines, but  you can run into one quite strange limitation. Shooting photo with manual lenses and M mode is no issue, shooting video with the same is no problem too, but trying to use burst mode the same way with purely mechanical F mount reduction is a no go. V1 will complain there are no lens attached and that's it.

The response to this issue by Nikon support is "it works okay with FT-1". Sure, but there is no advantage of getting FT-1 to work with contactless lenses, for which the mechanical reduction works just fine in video mode and is 6 times cheaper. Grrr.


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