Nikon V1 + 18.5mm f/1.8 go to a Birthday Party

In my continuing quest to test the limits of the Nikon V1 and 18.5mm f/1.8 lens, I took the camera to my great-niece's second birthday. The setting is a typical house interior (dimly lit for photography purposes) on a cold winter day. In other words, not a lot of light.

For this test, I also decided to let the camera do all the work. I set the V1 to the automagic Scene Selector mode and let it handle all of the AF selection, aperture, shutter, and ISO. The biggest challenge would be light levels and moving, candid subjects. I didn't shoot a lot as I was too busy eating and chatting with family. But here's the best of the litter:

It's a Lorax Birthday
1/100s, f/1.8, ISO500
This is a JPG still shot while shooting video. This is one of the cool tricks of the V1 and it works pretty well. The only downside is that the resolution matches the video resolution, so this is 1920x1080 which ends up being around 2 megapickles.

He'll always be our mayor.
1/50s, f/1.8, ISO800

1/60s, f/1.8, ISO1250

The Princess is Two.
1/60s, f/1.8, ISO2500

The first thing that you'll notice of course is the BW conversion. This decision was driven by a couple of factors. First, as I said, the lighting inside the house (inside most houses for that matter) wasn't that special for photography. It was perfectly fine for living in, but not for taking pictures. That resulted in color that wasn't all that hot on the V1. It was ok, but nothing special. There are cameras that will take every available photon and turn it into a piece of art; we all know of them and have seen thousands of appealing dim restaurant/dark street/insert dark thing here photos online showing off this magic. The V1 isn't one of those cameras, not even with the 18.5mm f/1.8. Add to that the otherwise uninteresting backgrounds in these photos, and the fact that I actually prefer BW portraits, and here's where we ended up. I'm happy with the results for family shots, but the V1 certainly isn't the right tool for paying low-light work.

Oh, and one more thing to add - I really missed image stabilization at the party, not so much for the still images but rather for the video. Handheld 50mm EQ footage looks awfully shaky, and I was trying to stabilize by pulling the neck strap tight. I wonder if holding the camera up to my eye would have helped? I'm not sure that would have been enough.

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