Nikon 1 V2 Review : New Compact Camera Option For Enthusiasts

 

Although the J1 and V1 have done a remarkable job in popularizing Nikon’s line up in CSC ( compact system camera), but everyone who is into photography was looking for more from Nikon, and here is Nikon’s answer to them, the NIKON 1 V2.

V2 is so unlike V1, first of all it has new upgraded sensor, a new body and style and more utilitarian bodywork. In this new avatar it has become more dSLR like and less compact like, which is kind of trade off between the utility and size.

Other additions range from capturing stills in between movie recording which was thing of smart phones only. High speed photography is more serious and fun to do.

 

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Still lots of features are similar to V1 (which is predecessor of it), and camera retain the core philosophy of keep it simple and compact.

But pricing may be a little of a put down for users considering its priced at $899

Specifications:

  • 14.2 megapixel CX-format CMOS image sensor, 13.2×8.8mm (upgraded from 10.1 MP)
  • 3.0-inch LCD display (921K dot)
  • New EXPEED 3A image processing engine(upgraded from EXPEED 3)
  • 1.4-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 160-6400 ISO Range
  • 1080p HD Video Recording
  • Advanced Movie Mode
  • Advanced Hybrid AF System
  • 73-point AF Array
  • 15 frames-per-second high speed burst shooting with full AF (up to 45 frames)
  • 60 frames-per-second high speed shooting (up to 40 frames) without AF
  • Best Moment Capture Mode(new)
  • Smart Photo Selector
  • Live Image Control
  • Direct Setting Control
  • Enhanced Motion Snapshot Mode(Enhanced)
  • Nikon 1 i-TTL Hot Shoe Port
  • Compatible with all 1 NIKKOR lenses
  • Compatible with F-mount NIKKOR lenses with optional FT-1 Mount Adapter
  • Built-in Flash with range up to 5 m @ ISO 100(New)

 

 

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Lens and Sensor:

The sensor is all same 1” sensor wih CX format, but the Density of pixels have changed as now the same sensor house 14 Megapixels, but what may downgrade performance by a very small margin is the amount of brightness in the image will be compromised as pixel area has become smaller than usual size compared to V1. But apart from that nothing is new.

Camera uses NIKOR 1 series of lens which are specifically built for the series 1 camera. Also there is a FT-1 adapter for older generation F mounts lenses, but camera’s autofocus is not integrated with those lenses, so do not expect that your older generation lens will perfectly blend with this. Also lens has a multiplier of 2.7 X for focus length , which makes a 10-30 mm lens a 27-81 mm lens system. Moving parts has been reduced in these new lenses which had made the auto focus faster in the cameras, which is well under 1 sec.

Body and Physical:

One of the main improvement in the V2 is the grip, which is substantially large and nice to feel in . Body is same as earlier V1, which is aluminum and magnesium

A lot of things have been changes since V1, as you can see in this top plate, there is a mode dial which was on the back plate earlier is now moved on top, thanks to the additional grip space on the camera. In the new mode dial there is PASM mode added, which is a relief for the enthusiast photo graphs. Lens release system is same you need to push the button on lens and twist the ring to switch on the camera or you can simply push the in off button.

 

clip_image008On the top you can see the pop up flash, and a covered up proprietary port for GP-N100 GPS or Speed light flash system designed especially for the camera. Buttons are flushed and feels premium to touch. Body on the overall feels nice to hold and camera feels much more balanced to hold thanks to now grip.

At the weight of 338 gms and dimensions of (107 X 86 X 45), it is utility camera and certainly it has gained some weight compared to V1.

EVF at 1.4 million dots is rich and covers the 100% view. There is a dioptre correction wheel besides EVF which corrects the vision for Near sighted or far sighted people till the range of -3 to +1

Switch between EVF and LCD is automatic as there is a proximity sensor just besides the EVF. Also there is a control dial at the back panel and 4 buttons for menu option.

A 3” inch LCD with 961K dots is clear with good visibility even in sun light.

Battery :

Nikon has given EN-EL21 rechargeable Li-ion battery pack which is good for around 350 photos, though Nikon has not supplied CIPA data for it. But in normal tern usage it can last upto 400 – 450 shots depending upon the light condition, flash fired and electronic viewfinder used.

 

Memory:

Camera supports all there major format of SD/SDHC and SDXC cards, also the card compartment is just besides the battery compartment.

Flash:

Built in Flash works well till 5 m at ISO 100, a proprietary, accessory port can be used to attach a speed light flash for a better range.

Performance:

ISO performance is good till ISO 800, and controllable till ISO 1600 but after it it starts showing in images under low light. Day light performance is really good.

A minimum distance of 20 cm is required in 10-30 mm kit so you cant goes real close to your subject but images are decent.

Flash can’t be synced beyond 1/250 sec shutter speed, but electronic flash can sync up to 1/16000 second.

The high speed photography is really the star performing feature of the camera with the capture speed of 60fps, slow view is really rock star here , but It may take a minute or two to get accustomed to it. What camera does is it record 40 high res images since the moment user half press the shutter release button at 15 fps. While the release button remain half pressed, these 40 images is played and when you reach to the image you want to reach you press the shutter fully and it gets recorded to SD card. Apart from that, no digital filters have been given, which would have been much more fun. AWB ( Auto White Balance) does good job in judging the lighting condition. Images with shallow depth of Field is really stellar and camera offers good low light performance and justify the sensor size.

Video performance:

It can impressively shoot for the 1080P/1060i at 60fps or 30fs, but if you more than keen to drop the resolution considerably to 320 X 120, you can get super slow motion capture at 1200 fps, or at 400 fps, which is played back at 30 fps normal mode and looks really nice slow motion video, much fun to do that.

Colour reproduction is accurate and does not see any colour fringes in between; also focus is also good while shooting. Sound track is clear thanks to stereo microphones. In exterior shots as well, colour reproduction was again accurate, although compensation for changing light levels, while swift, was stepped rather than smooth. Full exposure control is also added in video mode

Conclusion:

If you compares Nikon V2 with Sony NEX, than you will certainly miss the articulated LCD and big sensor with better than V2 performance at higher ISO, but Sony does not offer external battery charger in package, nor does Sony offer ultra fast photography like V2. But certainly both camera offers really good body structures and v2 exceed where Sony lacks. Further it is matter of personal choice what user ultimately wants. V2 is certainly good compact system camera with over all performance at par with the class. And exceeds the standards in high speed photography and over all experience, but lacks the touch screen will be great along with articulated LCD.