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Sports photography using the Nikon 1 System J1

First post: December 8, 2011

Are you nuts?!

It might be the expression people would tell me if I they find out that I want to use the Nikon J1 for sports photography. But I did!

I've had previous experience using an Olympus m4/3, Nikon Coolpix S8000 and a Sony DSC-W350 in shooting sports, particularly indoor volleyball. Therefore, I've been wanting to test how the 1 System copes up in such conditions.

The Ninoy Aquino Stadium where the NCAA 87 volleyball is being held is one poorly-lit venue, therefore the J1 was set to 1/500, ISO 1600, 10mm f/2.8. One might be wondering what the hell I'm up to with using a 10mm "pancake", and the answer is, that is my ONLY 1 NIKKOR lens! I've been anxiously waiting for the FT-1 adaptor, but like an addict withtout a fix, I'd have to die waiting.

To give you a perspective of the venue, here's the uncropped shot.

Simply, the lighting is poor as it is clearly seen how few of the lights are actually used during the games. I love how the Nikon J1 did the white balance, which is set to AUTO. On my D7000 I have to fiddle with the white balance and I have my custom settings for this venue stored in U2.

Nikon is marketing the 1 System as having the fastest hybrid auto focus. This is something I have to prove to myself.

Here is one of my favorite setter, Anne Dionela with her unique jump serve captured well by the J1 without lag.

I barely use continous shooting mode, even if my D7000 is always set to high speed continuous. I like "sniping" and is a practice that makes me fulfilled when I see the photos. The J1 was set at Single frame for all the shots.

Heavily cropped are the photos so I can zoom in on the action. But I'd like to repeat myself, that the 1 System auto focus rocks!

What's important for me is the release lag is at par if not better than my D7000 + 70-200mm f/2.8 combination.

There is a lot of potential using the 1 System for sports. I'm waiting for the day when I can mount my Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4 on the little J1!

Update: