Its been a busy couple of weeks with the wind-down of the semester, and I'll be back in NYC for the break and intersession for some work here and there.

Part of that travel includes packing for both the literal needs (clothing, phone, chargers) and tech. Though I love having some sense of a home-base, packing light is a fun (and frustrating) challenge.


Knowing full well I wouldn't have any major shooting planned (and if it did come up, gear could be rented easily), I opted to leave the big cameras at home and pack for light-shutterbug-status.

For now until late January or so, I've only packed my Nikon V1, 10mm f/2.8 lens, and the 10-30mm "kit zoom."

The V1 was an addition to my kit about a year ago, after losing an Olympus E-PL1 to the streets of New York (ouch). The Nikon "1" system is not as popular as the offerings from Panasonic, Olympus, or Fuji, but a few key factors make it a winner for me. It has been since replaced by the V2 (and rumored V3) but for a camera that's 2 years old... it does pretty well.

  • That lack of popularity means that older models are offered at an incredibly competitive price. The previous models (J1, V1) can easily be found under $400.
  • Video, which shoots 1080P/30 (Full HD), and standard 3.5mm (headphone-sized) microphone input.
  • Compatibility with Nikon F-mount (with an adapter), autofocus with AF-S series lenses too.

What this means for me is that I can use my V1 as a B-camera (and its small and lightweight enough to clamp into place with something like mini friction arm and mafer clamp. Whether its rolling footage, or running a timelapse (which it has a built-in intervolameter) Now... there are a few downsides too.

  • The 1-system uses a "CX" format sensor, which is 2.8x smaller than a 35mm sensor. Which means my loved 10mm lens has the feel of a 28mm lens in traditional framing.
  • The F-mount adapter also means that any Nikon lens you mount to it has a multiplied focal length, which can be a challenge when wider lenses are desired.

All things considered though, at the heart of things the little dude does what is ironically most challenging - taking more pictures. Though I love my phone for all that it can do, sometimes having a camera with me is just the kick in the pants to get snappin'.

Happy Holidays to everyone around, and best wishes!