Like many photographers I’ve used different types of camera gear including APS-C and full frame Nikon DSLRs, a brief flirtation with M4/3, Nikon 1, and bridge cameras. I thought it would be interesting to ask readers a simple question, “What’s your favourite camera?”
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
To get the ball rolling it would be prudent to answer that question on a personal basis. For me, the clear choice is the Nikon 1 J5. I have not had as much fun with any other camera that I’ve ever owned. I recently added a third Nikon 1 J5 camera body to my kit for that reason.
I originally dismissed the Nikon 1 J5 out-of-hand when it was first introduced because it didn’t have an EVF. The logical question is – What changed my mind?
Well, I discovered that not having an EVF wasn’t nearly as big a deal as I originally thought it would be. Within a week of getting my first J5 it felt comfortable and natural to use it. Unless I’m photographing birds-in-flight, I don’t even think about using an EVF when composing images any more. In fact, I’ve grown to prefer using the rear, tilting screen on the Nikon 1 J5 rather than use a V-Series body.
What about the Nikon DSLRs that I used to own? Absolutely fantastic cameras to be sure. Fun to use? Not really. My DSLRs were little more than tools for work. I was always 100% confident that I could point them at virtually anything and get a usable image. For some reason they always felt like they were an impediment to the creative process.
My M4/3 flirtation? The Panasonic GH4 was a superb camera, especially on paper. I found it frustrating to use. RAW files were erratic and the auto-focusing wasn’t even close to any of my Nikon 1 cameras in terms of speed and accuracy. And, I found out that I hated the 4×3 format.
Why is the Nikon 1 J5 my favourite camera? I love how it feels in my hands and how it performs ergonomically. Basic external body controls for shutter speed, aperture and ISO are ideally placed. Setting a single AF point is easily done and provides lots of creative latitude.
The Nikon 1 J5 is small, intuitive and enables my creativity. The RAW files are superior to my V-Series cameras. More dynamic range and colour depth – nothing like my Nikon DSLRs – but certainly acceptable for my needs.
The auto-focus is fast and accurate. The camera is wonderful for close-up photography when equipped with extension tubes and the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6.
Above all else, the Nikon 1 J5 is unassuming, impish, and impetuous all at the same time. So, what’s your favourite camera?
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. Images were created from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6, and the Nik Collection.
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