Nikon J1 w/ 10-30 lens

Matt Cashell

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I just aquired this camera and plan on checking it out as an all-around AND digiscoping camera.

Stay tuned...
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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I haven't tried digiscoping yet, but I have been filming and photographing the kids quite a bit. A few things I have noticed so far:

Pros:

1. Picture and video quality is outstanding. This camera really shows that sensor size and quality really determine picture quality way more than high megapixel counts. Video is especially awesome.
2. The kit lens autofocuses totally silently, and works awesome for video with AF. A big plus over most video DSLRs.
3. The hybrid autofocus is super fast, and you can shoot continuous JPEGs at 10 fps - Awesome.
4. The camera is remarkably small for a interchangeable lens camera. Even smaller than the NEX.
5. The screen is very high quality.

Cons:

1. Mine is bright white (it is all they had available locally - this thing is going to see some camoflauge.)
2. The pop-up flash is handy, but you have to pop it up manually for the camera to use it.
3. Controls are mostly menu-based. I would prefer some more traditional dials. We will see if I get used to it.

Digiscoping tests begin soon ...
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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Update on the J1:

I used this camera for photos and video this weekend for a backpacking/scouting trip with my 8 year old son. The camera is extremely simple to use and delivers very nice results. Video continues to amaze, and the large sensor size and lower megapixel count deliver great noise-free images.

Digiscoping results have been great hand-held, but as I touched on in another thread, the lens filter connection to the tines up adapter does not eliminate vignetting. The camera's speed and great autofocus are good enough for me to take the plunge on adapting the 10-30 kit zoom for digiscoping, so tonight I epoxied a 58mm filter thread extension to the housing of the lens. This should allow me to use extensions to get the right distance between the lens and the spotter eyepiece to have a good useable vignette-free range on the lens and eyepiece. More to follow...
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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Scenery pic:

 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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I photographed my customization of the kit 10-30 lens for the J1:

Here is the lens in original condition:



Here is the lens with the moving parts taped to avoid the epoxy locking it together:



This is the lens with a 58mm Cokin extension ring fit backwards around the lens housing, freshly epoxied with Devcon Steel Epoxy (Do it right the first time, right?):



This is the next day after the epoxy cured. I removed the tape and everything works!





Now the TInes Up 58mm adapter needs female threads to screw on, and since I had to epoxy the entension ring backwards, I simply used a female-to-female filter adapter, and two more Cokin extensions to get the lens the right distance from the eyepiece ... and ... it is all good to go!

 

drake2h

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Looks like a good setup, Matt. Have any example photos to share from your new configuration? Were you able to minimize the vignetting?
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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I took one of the kids out looking at deer last night, but didn't see any big bucks. I did snap some nice photos of some mammas and babies that show the potential of the J1/ Diascope 85 combo:



This file is compressed a lot, and lost a lot of detail, but the results are encouraging.

Video is even better.
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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Here is some video (again really compressed, the original files are really sharp):

[video=youtube;k_hYF3rZ90E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_hYF3rZ90E&feature=youtu.be[/video]

The tennis ball shot was at 300 yards with the Savage 7mm Mag and Swarovski Z3.
 

Kevin Root

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They were about 300 yards away. The eyepiece was on 20x. The lens was at 30mm.

Wow 300 yards!!! That is very good results for 300 yards. When I first read your post I thought it might be a lot closer than that, 10-50 yards as you left out that detail. 300 yards is very awesome results Matt. I was out with my wife hiking last weekend taking pictures of some mammas and babies too. Only difference was I was a lot closer and with a big heaver DSLR and a 100-400 mm lens. I like the J1/ Diascope 85 combo results so far. Did you take any 1080p video or is it rendering in YouTube still? When I looked it was only showing at 480p.





 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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Kevin, the file I uploaded was 1080i. I don't know why it downsampled to 480p, but the loss of quality was pretty drastic.

Nice pics, Kevin! What range were they? Looks pretty close. Looks like some post-processing also?
 

Kevin Root

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Kevin, the file I uploaded was 1080i. I don't know why it downsampled to 480p, but the loss of quality was pretty drastic.

Nice pics, Kevin! What range were they? Looks pretty close. Looks like some post-processing also?

What impressed me is reading that the picture you took was out at 300 yards with the scope. I need to work on my digiscoping set up and the set up you have looks promising. I have a Razor HD 85mm too and the Tines up adaptor but I've been looking for a better lightweight camera option for using it.

We were very, very close, perhaps 10 yards or so and the aperture gave it that depth of field diffused focus look in the distance since we were so close.

This picture is a better example showing how close we were with my wife in the foreground and deer in the background :).

 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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Here is a quick and dirty update on the J1 system:

[video=youtube;WzWsMe9hRzE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzWsMe9hRzE&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

trk3263

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How long does the battery last and how does it charge? Do you have to remove the battery to charge it or can you just plug directly into the camera? Does it have a USB plug charging option?

I am looking for a new camera and since there are not many good quality cameras out there that take AA batteries I prefer a charging option to work with my Goal Zero.

Thanks for the review and details on this camera.
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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I think it was day 5 of my Alaskan hunt I had to change batteries. It charges solely on the wall charger, AFAIK.

I also wish they still had good cameras that worked on AAs.
 

Kevin Root

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Ver nice Matt. Thanks for the video update. I really like the option of the useing the lightweight camera with the three options, scope, camera and camera with full size SLR lens options. That is very cool. Have you noticed any/much compromise in picture quality in the full size lens conversion or anything you wish any of the set ups had?
 
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