Nikon 1 J1/V1 For Dummies®

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Table of Contents

Nikon® 1 J1/V1 For Dummies®



About the Author

Julie Adair King is the author of many books about digital photography and imaging, including the best-selling Digital Photography For Dummies. Her most recent titles include a series of For Dummies guides to popular Nikon, Canon, and Olympus cameras. Other works include Digital Photography Before & After Makeovers, Digital Photo Projects For Dummies, Julie King’s Everyday Photoshop For Photographers, Julie King’s Everyday Photoshop Elements, and Shoot Like a Pro!: Digital Photography Techniques. When not writing, King teaches digital photography at such locations as the Palm Beach Photographic Centre.

An Ohio native and graduate of Purdue University, she now resides in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Author’s Acknowledgments

I am deeply grateful for the chance to work once again with the wonderful publishing team at John Wiley & Sons. Kim Darosett, Jennifer Webb, Steve Hayes, Barry Childs-Helton, and Patrick Redmond are just some of the talented editors and designers who helped make this book possible. And finally, I am also indebted to technical editor Dave Hall, without whose insights and expertise this book would not have been the same.

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments at . For other comments, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Vertical Websites

Project Editor: Kim Darosett

Executive Editor: Steven Hayes

Senior Copy Editor: Barry Childs-Helton

Technical Editor: David Hall

Editorial Manager: Leah Cameron

Editorial Assistant: Leslie Saxman

Sr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case

Cover Photos: © Murillo

Cartoons: Rich Tennant ()

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Patrick Redmond

Layout and Graphics: Melanee Habig, Joyce Haughey

Proofreader: Linda Seifert

Indexer: Estalita Slivoskey

Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director

Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director

Publishing for Consumer Dummies

Kathy Nebenhaus, Vice President and Executive Publisher

Composition Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


Nikon. The name has been associated with top-flight photography equipment for generations. And now, with the introduction of its V1 and J1 cameras, Nikon brings its stellar reputation to an entirely new breed of photographic tool: the Nikon 1 compact system camera. A photographer’s dream, Nikon 1 models offer the flexibility of interchangeable lenses and superior image quality in a compact, lightweight body. Yet despite their small size, these cameras are big on power and control, providing all the features a photography enthusiast could want.

In fact, both cameras offer so many features that sorting them all out can be more than a little confusing, especially if you’re new to digital photography. Dig through the camera manual, and you encounter all sorts of techie terms — resolution, aperture, white balance, and so on — on top of a seemingly endless array of camera buttons and menu items. If you’re like many people, you may be so overwhelmed by it all that you haven’t yet ventured beyond the fully automatic picture-taking mode, which is a shame because it’s sort of like buying a Porsche and never actually taking it on the road.

Therein lies the point of Nikon 1 J1/V1 For Dummies. Through this book, you can discover not just what each bell and whistle on your camera does, but also when, where, why, and how to put it to best use. Unlike many photography books, this one doesn’t require any previous knowledge of photography or digital imaging to make sense of things, either. In classic For Dummies style, everything is explained in easy-to-understand language, with lots of illustrations to help clear up any confusion.

In short, what you have in your hands is the paperback version of an in-depth photography workshop tailored specifically to your Nikon picture-taking powerhouse.

A Quick Look at What’s Ahead

This book is organized into four parts, each devoted to a different aspect of using your camera. Although chapters flow in a sequence that’s designed to take you from absolute beginner to experienced user, I’ve also tried to make each chapter as self-standing as possible so you can explore the topics that interest you in any order you please.

Here’s a brief preview of what you can find in each part of the book:

check.png Part I: Fast Track to Super Snaps: Part I contains four chapters to help you get up and running. Chapter 1 offers a tour of the external controls on your camera, shows you how to navigate camera menus, and walks you through initial camera setup. Chapter 2 explains basic picture-taking options, such as shutter-release mode and Image Quality settings, and Chapter 3 shows you how to use the camera’s fully automatic exposure modes, the Scene Auto Selector and Smart Photo Selector modes. Chapter 4 explains the ins and outs of movie-making with the J1 and V1 and also introduces you to the Motion Snapshot exposure mode.

check.png Part II: Working with Picture Files: This part offers two chapters, both dedicated to after-the-shot topics. Chapter 5 explains how to review your pictures on the camera monitor, delete unwanted images, and protect your favorites from accidental erasure. Chapter 6 offers a look at some photo software options — including Nikon ViewNX 2, which ships free with your camera — and then guides you through the process of downloading pictures to your computer and preparing them for printing and online sharing.

check.png Part III: Taking Creative Control: Chapters in this part help you unleash the full creative power of your camera by moving into the advanced shooting modes (P, S, A, and M). Chapter 7 covers the critical topic of exposure, and Chapter 8 explains how to manipulate focus and color. Chapter 9 summarizes all the techniques explained in earlier chapters, providing a quick-reference guide to the camera settings and shooting strategies that produce the best results for portraits, action shots, landscapes, and close-ups.

check.png Part IV: The Part of Tens: In the famous For Dummies tradition, the book concludes with two “top-ten” lists containing additional bits of information and advice. Chapter 10 provides ten camera maintenance and emergency repair tips, and Chapter 11 wraps up the book by detailing some camera features that, although not found on most “Top Ten Reasons I Bought My Nikon 1 camera” lists, are nonetheless interesting, useful on occasion, or a bit of both.

Icons and Other Stuff to Note

If this isn’t your first For Dummies book, you may be familiar with the large, round icons that decorate its margins. If not, here’s your very own icon-decoder ring:

tip_4c.eps A Tip icon flags information that will save you time, effort, money, or some other valuable resource, including your sanity. Tips also point out techniques that help you get the best results from specific camera features.

warning_4c.eps When you see this icon, look alive. It indicates a potential danger zone that can result in much wailing and teeth-gnashing if ignored. In other words, this is stuff that you really don’t want to learn the hard way.

technicalstuff_4c.eps Lots of information in this book is of a technical nature — digital photography is a technical animal, after all. But if I present a detail that is useful mainly for impressing your technology-geek friends, I mark it with this icon.

remember_4c.eps I apply this icon either to introduce information that is especially worth storing in your brain’s long-term memory or to remind you of a fact that may have been displaced from that memory by some other pressing fact.

j1_4c.eps v1_4c.eps Most of the information in this book applies to both V1 and J1 cameras. But if a feature is available only on one model, I mark the paragraph with one of these two icons to let you know which camera I’m referencing.

Additionally, I need to point out these additional details that will help you use this book:

check.png Other margin art: Replicas of some of your camera’s buttons and onscreen symbols also appear in the margins of some paragraphs. I include these to provide a quick reminder of the appearance of the button or feature being discussed.

check.png Software menu commands: In sections that cover software, a series of words connected by an arrow indicates commands that you choose from the program menus. For example, if a step tells you to “Choose File⇒Convert Files,” click the File menu to unfurl it and then click the Convert Files command on the menu.

check.png Figures: Most figures in this book show menus and screens as they appear on the V1. Rest assured that things look the same on the J1 unless I specifically say otherwise. When a feature is provided only on the J1, I show the screens from that camera. You’ll notice that the J1 screens are a little smaller than the V1 screens in the figures; the difference has to do with the way that I capture the video feed from the camera in order to create the figures. The J1 has only an HD (high-definition) video feed, which produces screens with a different aspect ratio than those taken from the V1, which I capture using the traditional, analog (A/V) video feed. Don’t think too much about it — I bring it up only so that readers who pay attention to such things won’t be distracted with wondering why the screens are two different sizes.

Occasionally, we have updates to our technology books. If this book does have technical updates, they will be posted at .

eCheat Sheet

As a little added bonus, you can find an electronic version of the famous For Dummies Cheat Sheet at . The Cheat Sheet contains a quick-reference guide to all the external controls and exposure modes on your camera. Log on, print it out, and tuck it in your camera bag for times when you don’t want to carry this book with you.

Practice, Be Patient, and Have Fun!

To wrap up this preamble, I want to stress that if you initially think that digital photography is too confusing or too technical for you, you’re in very good company. Everyone finds this stuff a little mind-boggling at first. So take it slowly, experimenting with just one or two new camera settings or techniques at first. Then, each time you go on a photo outing, make it a point to add one or two more shooting skills to your repertoire.

I know that it’s hard to believe when you’re just starting out, but it really won’t be long before everything starts to come together. With some time, patience, and practice, you’ll soon wield your camera like a pro, dialing in the necessary settings to capture your creative vision almost instinctively.

So without further ado, I invite you to grab your camera, a cup of whatever it is you prefer to sip while you read, and start exploring the rest of this book. Your Nikon 1 camera is the perfect partner for your photographic journey, and I thank you for allowing me, through this book, to serve as your tour guide.

Please note that some special symbols used in this eBook may not display properly on all eReader devices. If you have trouble determining any symbol, please call Wiley Product Technical Support at 800-762-2974. Outside of the United States, please call 317-572-3993. You can also contact Wiley Product Technical Support at .

Part I

Last Track to Super Snaps


In this part . . .

Making sense of all the controls on your camera isn’t something you can do in an afternoon — heck, in a week, or maybe even a month. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take great pictures today. By using your camera’s Scene Auto Selector and Smart Photo Selector shooting modes, you can capture terrific images with very little effort. All you do is compose the scene, and the camera takes care of almost everything else.

The part shows you how to take best advantage of these two point-and-shoot exposure modes and also addresses some basic setup steps and gets you familiar with the camera menus, buttons, and other controls. In addition, chapters in this part explain how to obtain the very best picture quality, whether you shoot in an automatic or manual mode, and how to use your camera’s Movie and Motion Snapshot shooting modes.