Nikon 1 V2 Review - Digital Photography School

Nikon 1 V2 Review

Nikon 1 V2 Review white.jpg

Straight out of the box I have to say the Nikon 1 V2 is the sexiest camera I’ve ever wrapped my mitts around.

In ivory, with a finish reminiscent of a highly polished car’s enamel, the camera is a stand out. Unlike most other mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILC) the Nikon 1 V2 has a pronounced speed grip that is so effective it rivals even that of high end DLRs. The body is possibly pocketable but maybe not so easily with a lens mounted, but overall the body is quite small. And there’s a black body if your dress style is more modest.

Nikon 1 V2 Review.jpg

Nikon 1 V2 Review back.jpg

Nikon 1 V2 Review top.jpg

The body is quite a departure from the launch Nikon 1 model which also was less endowed pixel-wise at 10.1 million pixels capture; unlike the newcomer, it had no internal flash while the new model also now offers a command dial.

The latter, set into the top deck right next to the electronic turret viewfinder, offers access to auto plus PASM exposure modes; to the right are the power toggle, shutter button, video record and command dial.

The rear surface presents four buttons that take you to replay, menu, display options and trash. Off to the right is the four way jog dial that has options to apply exposure compensation, continuous shooting and self timer plus flash options. Note: to the rear of the flash is a Nikon 1 i-TTL hot shoe port, allowing the use of optional lighting and camera accessories.

The CMOS captures 14.2 million pixels and a maximum image size of 4608×3072 or 39x26cm as a print.

MPEG4 video can be recorded at Full HD res of 1920×1080 pixels. You can’t capture stills while in movie mode and I found also in movie mode the auto focus does not track while you’re recording … so you have to tap the shutter button occasionally to bring it to heel! Perhaps the Nikon 1 lenses designed specifically for this camera behave differently.

Nikon 1 V2 Features

The camera is fairly feature full and indicates that Nikon is dead serious in pursuing the MILC portion of the market.

Nikon 1 V2 Menu.JPG

For one thing, the hybrid auto focus system relies on a 73 point AF array to deliver accuracy and very precise focus, even on moving subjects.

Continuous shooting is a stand out: photographers can capture approximately 15 up to 45 fps; you can also shoot a run of 40 frames at approximately 60 fps. Taking it further, you can shot at 400 or 120 fps with a size limitation of 640×240 or 320×120 pixels respectively. The camera’s internal memory can store up to 100 successive images.

A novel mode is the Enhanced Motion Snapshot Mode which saves a four second movie file plus a separate JPEG image; alternatively you can save a 10 second movie file without a separate JPEG image.

And there’s Best Moment Capture Mode, an advanced creative mode that allows you to ‘slow down’ a moment while you are shooting. By pressing the shutter button halfway down when focused, photographers can capture approximately 1.33 seconds of live action, while the subject is displayed at five times slower than real time. Helps you catch that instant when things are happening real fast.

Cars 1.JPG

Cars 3.JPG

Then there’s Smart Photo Selector, where you can capture up to 20 shots with a single tap on the shutter button: the camera will then automatically select the five best images, based on optimum exposure, focus and facial recognition. You can also shoot simultaneous Full HD video and high res stills of a subject.

Viewing is via a turret finder and the rear 7.5cm LCD screen: I found the top finder to be useful only as a sighting tool, with the image quality very poor. Rear screen? FIne!

Lenses

The camera was supplied with an AF-S Nikkor f1.8/50mm lens that was fixed to the camera with the FT1 optional adaptor: the end result was a somewhat bulky piece of kit but at least the adaptor did provide a secondary tripod mount in its base. This 50mm translated to a 135mm optic in 35 SLR terms, so it was far from ideal.

As it was not a VR lens, it provided no vibration reduction, which made video shooting a tricky challenge. To find out exactly what lenses can be used: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/acil/accessories/mount_adapter_ft1/compatibility.htm

When purchasing the V2 you can get a twin lens kit with a 10-30mm and a 30-110mm. More info on Nikon 1 compatible lenses can be found here.

Nikon 1 V2 ISO Tests

Nikon 1 V2 ISO 160.JPG

Nikon 1 V2 ISO 800.JPG

Nikon 1 V2 ISO 1600.JPG

Nikon 1 V2 ISO 3200.JPG

Nikon 1 V2 ISO 6400.JPG

All the way up to ISO 3200 I considered the camera to be on top of its game. By ISO 6400 noise and lack of definition to be past a useful level.

Nikon 1 V2 Review Verdict

Quality: impressive.
Why you’d buy the V1: access to Nikkor lenses; small form factor.
Why you wouldn’t: no vari-angle finder.

There’s a lot to like in this model. It will please many Nikon fans. A classic Nikon.

Nikon 1 V2 Specifications

Image Sensor: 14.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Matrix, centre-weighted and spot.
Lens Mount: Nikon 1 mount.
Exposure Modes: Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Effective Sensor Size: 13.2×8.8mm CMOS.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 2.7x.
Shutter Speed (stills): 30 to 1/4000 sec (mechanical) or 30-1/16,000 sec (electronic) plus Bulb and Time (with optional remote). Flash sync: 1/250 sec (mechanical shutter) or 1/60 sec (electronic).
Continuous Shooting: 5 fps as well as 10, 30 or 60 fps using the Electronic (Hi) shutter.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 4608×3072 to 2304×1536.
Movies: 1920×1080/60i and 30p; 1280×720, 640×240, 320×120.
Viewfinder: 12mm (1,440,00 million pixels); 7.5cm LCD screen (921,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, NEF (RAW), JPEG+NEF, MPEG4.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 160 to 6400.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, audio input, accessories.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 107.8×81.6×45.9 WHDmm.
Weight: 337 g (inc battery and card).
Price: Get a price on the Nikon 1 V2 Body Only or Nikon 1 V2 with a 10-30mm VR 1 NIKKOR Lens or Nikon 1 V2 with a 10-30mm & 30-110 VR 1 NIKKOR Lens.

Summary
Reviewer
Barrie Smith
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nikon 1 V2
Author Rating
4

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Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • Jason

    Watching that video made me get motion sickness from the wobbles and shakes. Doesn’t that thing have image stabilization? Also, ISO tests can be deceiving since they are usually shot i optimal lighting conditions. I’d love to see this thing shooting 800-1600 in everyday or less than perfect lighting.

  • Barrie Smith

    Steadiness in video shooting would be much better if the camera was held at waist hight. Need a vary-angle finder for this!
    Lighting? Reflected sunlight. Standard as can be for every test.

  • Andrew

    Ok. Is it just me, or is this the ugliest camera ever created? And surely with the huge turret and the grip there is no way that’s gonna fit in a pocket? And what’s with the bad image quality in the turret? It’s big enough and expensive enough that should really be class leading?

  • Frankd1279

    I just took custody today of a Sony RX-1 with the optional EVF, thumb grip and leather case. I’ll take this any day over a Nikon 1 V2 with its tiny sensor (14MP versus Sony’s 24MP) along with a Carl Zeiss Sonar T* 35mm f2.0 lens that puts the Nikkor lens in the dust.

    Yeah, it costs more, but for the money I’ll take the Sony any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  • Jason

    Frank, you have just compared Golden apples to raisins.

  • Peter White

    My 2005 ‘bridge’ camera has a live EVF mode, Ok, it is 2005-slow but when, oh when am I going to see this feature again?

  • RSR

    so happy i picked up Olympus OMD over this.

  • Antonio Mario

    Barrie,

    Thanks for the review. I agree that the V2 looks like a very exciting camera. Few pro DSLRs get even close to its AF speed. I’m a Canon user (though I own a D70s as well), but the V2 leaves Canon’s mirrorless in the dust.

    [I'm amazed as to the people that don't have a life and keep on trolling... Who cares if the camera is 'ugly' (a very profound comment, no doubt), or 'my camera is better than the one you reviewed' (even though 'I paid extra for the EVF and now have to put up with a fixed lens camera'), and so forth. If your camera is so good, why do you have to come to another review, of another manufacturer's camera, with totally distinct characteristics... Oh, I see... This review is about a NIkon, with tens of available first class lenses, which you'll never be able to use... I guess I'd be frustrated as well...]

  • Dave

    Yes, Frank, your $2800 camera is probably a bit better than the $1000 camera reviewed. If not, why not?

  • Andrew

    Well I think the 2.7x crop factor kinda wipes out any possibility of using existing Nikon lenses (even a moderatly wide 35mm will become along telephoto), so there are really 9 lenses for this camera, 4 of which are zooms that cover mostly the same focal lengths. I think it’s cool if people love their gear enough to comment and make comparisons, it can give an insight into a product you may not be aware of and open discussion that may add value. I also think what the camera looks like is a fair consideration as well, otherwise why do camera manufacturers put any effort into the design of their cameras at all? Personally I think this one looks like something Jaques Causto rejected.

  • http://www.flickriver.com/photos/barryspics/popular-interesting/ Barry

    A useful and interesting review. I have the V1 and I believe that it has the same EVF which I quite like, so I am surprised at the comment regarding that. The look of the camera is probably something you either love or hate. I prefer the look of the V1 myself. The kit lenses are quite something, especially the 30-110mm. I look forward to trying the 6.7-13mm when I can get hold of one. The big thing about the 1 series is the FT1 which opens up use with numerous Nikkor lenses for long telephoto application. In concert with my 18-200mm VR lens for instance I have a very useful and relatively light air show setup.

    As for trolling I do find it strange that people who chose a different camera type have so much time available to comment negatively as they do. I looked at various mirror-less offerings before settling on the V1. They all have various pros and cons.

Some older comments

  • Barry

    March 12, 2013 12:29 pm

    A useful and interesting review. I have the V1 and I believe that it has the same EVF which I quite like, so I am surprised at the comment regarding that. The look of the camera is probably something you either love or hate. I prefer the look of the V1 myself. The kit lenses are quite something, especially the 30-110mm. I look forward to trying the 6.7-13mm when I can get hold of one. The big thing about the 1 series is the FT1 which opens up use with numerous Nikkor lenses for long telephoto application. In concert with my 18-200mm VR lens for instance I have a very useful and relatively light air show setup.

    As for trolling I do find it strange that people who chose a different camera type have so much time available to comment negatively as they do. I looked at various mirror-less offerings before settling on the V1. They all have various pros and cons.

  • Andrew

    March 11, 2013 10:32 am

    Well I think the 2.7x crop factor kinda wipes out any possibility of using existing Nikon lenses (even a moderatly wide 35mm will become along telephoto), so there are really 9 lenses for this camera, 4 of which are zooms that cover mostly the same focal lengths. I think it's cool if people love their gear enough to comment and make comparisons, it can give an insight into a product you may not be aware of and open discussion that may add value. I also think what the camera looks like is a fair consideration as well, otherwise why do camera manufacturers put any effort into the design of their cameras at all? Personally I think this one looks like something Jaques Causto rejected.

  • Dave

    March 11, 2013 07:45 am

    Yes, Frank, your $2800 camera is probably a bit better than the $1000 camera reviewed. If not, why not?

  • Antonio Mario

    March 11, 2013 02:13 am

    Barrie,

    Thanks for the review. I agree that the V2 looks like a very exciting camera. Few pro DSLRs get even close to its AF speed. I'm a Canon user (though I own a D70s as well), but the V2 leaves Canon's mirrorless in the dust.

    [I'm amazed as to the people that don't have a life and keep on trolling... Who cares if the camera is 'ugly' (a very profound comment, no doubt), or 'my camera is better than the one you reviewed' (even though 'I paid extra for the EVF and now have to put up with a fixed lens camera'), and so forth. If your camera is so good, why do you have to come to another review, of another manufacturer's camera, with totally distinct characteristics... Oh, I see... This review is about a NIkon, with tens of available first class lenses, which you'll never be able to use... I guess I'd be frustrated as well...]

  • RSR

    March 10, 2013 05:20 am

    so happy i picked up Olympus OMD over this.

  • Peter White

    March 9, 2013 10:21 pm

    My 2005 'bridge' camera has a live EVF mode, Ok, it is 2005-slow but when, oh when am I going to see this feature again?

  • Jason

    March 9, 2013 04:53 am

    Frank, you have just compared Golden apples to raisins.

  • Frankd1279

    March 8, 2013 10:44 am

    I just took custody today of a Sony RX-1 with the optional EVF, thumb grip and leather case. I'll take this any day over a Nikon 1 V2 with its tiny sensor (14MP versus Sony's 24MP) along with a Carl Zeiss Sonar T* 35mm f2.0 lens that puts the Nikkor lens in the dust.

    Yeah, it costs more, but for the money I'll take the Sony any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  • Andrew

    March 4, 2013 10:01 pm

    Ok. Is it just me, or is this the ugliest camera ever created? And surely with the huge turret and the grip there is no way that's gonna fit in a pocket? And what's with the bad image quality in the turret? It's big enough and expensive enough that should really be class leading?

  • Barrie Smith

    March 4, 2013 09:13 am

    Steadiness in video shooting would be much better if the camera was held at waist hight. Need a vary-angle finder for this!
    Lighting? Reflected sunlight. Standard as can be for every test.

  • Jason

    March 4, 2013 12:28 am

    Watching that video made me get motion sickness from the wobbles and shakes. Doesn't that thing have image stabilization? Also, ISO tests can be deceiving since they are usually shot i optimal lighting conditions. I'd love to see this thing shooting 800-1600 in everyday or less than perfect lighting.

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