Click on the linked camera names below to be taken to the review (unlinked items are in process of being reviewed).
The following are the current Nikon 1 cameras (lowest to highest):
- J1 — small, consumer-oriented compact-style body (first generation)
- V1 — enthusiast-oriented DSLR-style body (built-in EVF) (first generation)
- V2 — enthusiast-oriented DSLR-style body (built-in EVF) (second generation)
- V3 — enthusiast-oriented hybrid-style body (optional EVF) (third generation)
So What Would Thom Get?
For me the choice is simple: V2 or V3. While at first glance the feature lists seem remarkably the same, the V2 handles like a small DSLR, while the J1 (and J2, J3, J4, S1, S2, and AW1) handle like a large compact. A small DSLR is useful, while a large compact is a bit of an oxymoron. The V2 has better user controls than the V1.
The V3 is tougher to pin down. With the optional grip and EVF, it is very DSLR-like, but without them it is very compact-like. Nikon seems to be trying to give users the best of both worlds, but the combination has some faults.