At the base is the tripod socket and the battery/memory card compartment. Battery life is not brilliant 230 shots, but should suffice for a day’s shooting. The camera uses the popular SD and SDHC cards, typically an 8gb card will give you 1000+ exposures using the JPEG Fine setting or 440 RAW images, or 310 using RAW and JPEG (Fine) together. For movie capture you should use SDHC class 6 or higher cards, slower cards may result in unexpected termination of movie capture.
At the back of the camera, there is a large 3 inch LCD screen. This has an air gapless design to produce a brighter image, certainly it’s one of the few LCD screens that I could clearly see on a bright sunny day, even with the sun directly on it. I love the image quality on this screen
The shooting mode dial has four settings;
- Movie Mode,
- Still Image Mode,
- Smart Photo Mode
- Motion Snapshot Mode.
Movie Mode: The camera has three movie modes 720/60p, 1080/30p and 1080/60i, these settings all conform to the NTSC standard, interesting it doesn’t have a 25p for PAL countries. However, the frame rates shouldn’t be a problem for computer playback and most DVD set top player will also play movies shot at 30fps (frames per second). If you are intending to burn Standard Definition DVDs from you movies then the 720 setting may be the best option as this down converts well to the 720 x 576 size – when converting higher 1080/30p to SD you may encounter some moiré or aliasing. Use the 1080/30p for higher definition BluRay output. The 1080/60i is an interlaced output and could cause a tearing effect on fast motion – 60i combines two shots to make up a frame, the shots are split into Even and Odd lines (Upper and Lower fields).
Movies can be shot for a generous duration of up to 29 minutes using 720/60p or 20 minutes in 1080/60i,30p although in reality you would never need to capture more than a few minutes or seconds on any one scene – unless of course you want to shoot an entire wedding or concert etc. If you need longer capture times then a dedicated movie camera may be a better choice.
You can capture still photographs whilst actually shooting movies, but these will not be the full resolution images that the J1 is capable of shooting. With the camera set to 1080/30p or 1080/60i, a still image size will be 1920 x 1080, if set to 720 60p the image size will be 1280 x 720. You can also capture still pictures whilst the camera is set to Movie mode and not actually shooting a movie, but these will be 1920 x 1080 or 1270 x 720. However, if you have the camera set to 1080/60i then the still image will be 3840 x 2160. If simultaneously capturing a still whilst shooting a movie using 1080/60i, then the image will be 1920 x 1080.
Besides the HD capture formats, the Nikon 1 also has two high speed capture modes. 400fps and 1200fps, these are activated by pressing the rear F button and then selecting Slow motion, select either 400 or 1200fps from the menu. The camera will capture 5 seconds of video in both settings. However, the frame size will be 640 x 240 for 400fps and a micro sized 320 x 120 for 1200fps – not quite High Definition but could be useful for dropping the short sequence in as a Picture within Picture movie clip.