Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On Preview

Daniel Bell visited London to get his hands on the latest Nikon 1 camera, the V2.

| Nikon 1 V2 in Mirrorless Cameras
Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On Preview: Nikon 1 V2 White 7

Nikon have added to the range of Nikon 1 cameras with the addition of the V2. At a press event in London, they also revealed the addition of the Speedlight SB-N7 flash unit. There are also three new lenses in development:
  • 32mm f/1.2 medium-telephoto fixed focal length
  • 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 ultra wide-angle zoom
  • 10-100mm f/4-5.6 compact and lightweight 10x zoom
Away from the Nikon 1 range, there is also a new FX-format 70-200mm f/4 ED VR lens which will be on sale in late November 2012. Unfortunately, the new flash unit and lenses weren't available for us to see.

Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On Preview: Nikon 1 V2 Black 1

Nikon 1 V2 Features

There is a 14.2 megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor which has an ISO range of 160-6400. It has faster hybrid autofocus, 15 fps continuous shooting with autofocus and 60 fps with fixed-point AF. There is also a pop-up flash as well as a hotshoe to add the new Speedlight SB-N7 flash unit. There are a couple of new, exciting shooting features - Live Image Control and Slow View. Live Image Control lets you view the effects of changes to exposure settings in real time and Slow View takes up to 40 continuous shots and shows them in slow motion, you can then choose the exact moment you want to take a shot. Smart Photo Selector will take a number of pictures and will save the best 5 based on an algorithm, using information such as blinking in portraits to determine the best ones.

Key features

  • 14.2 megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor
  • Nikkor 1 lens mount
  • 1440k dot electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • Live Image Control and Slow View
  • Full 1080p HD movies at 60 and 30 fps as well as 1200 fps slow motion recording
  • ISO 160-6400
  • 15 fps with continuous autofocus and up to 60 fps with fixed-point AF
  • Full manual controls
  • Available in black or white
Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On Preview: Nikon 1 V2 White 3

Nikon 1 V2 Handling

The V2 is really small, making it an ideal camera to carry around, with a substantial hand grip which is rubberised, as is the patch on the back for your right thumb. It has a number of buttons which are similar to those found on DSLR's, such as mode dial and dial to control aperture and shutter speed when in the relevant buttons. The menu system is clean and simple making it easy to use, you can circle round using the rotating wheel on the back. The F button lets you access the settings which are able to be changed in the mode you're in, such as ISO and white-balance. The screen is bright and clear, but if you prefer, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is excellent, with a high resolution. It's bright, great for shooting in dark conditions.

Nikon were very keen for us to play with the new features, the most fascinating is the Slow View mode. It's a little tricky to get used to, but is excellent. It's ideal for shooting fast moving objects, just press the shutter half way and the camera will focus and start to record up to 40 shots. There is a green bar on the screen which indicates its progress. When it fills up, you keep a hold of the shutter at half way, but the screen then shows you the shots again in what appears to be a video format. Then, when you spot the moment you want to take your shot, you press the shutter all the way. It is basically giving you a second chance to take your picture. If you release the shutter at any point you do lose the 40 shots, it would be ideal if you could save them to look back on later, or at least a way of not losing them if you do happen to accidently let go of the shutter.

Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On Preview: Nikon 1 V2 Black 3

Currently there are six Nikkor 1 lenses available, with three new ones in development:
  • 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom (available now)
  • 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR compact telephoto zoom (available now)
  • 10mm f/2.8 slim wide-angle fixed focal length (available now)
  • 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM lens (available now)
  • 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 2.5x normal zoom lens (available now)
  • 18.5mm f/1.8 fixed focal length (available now)
  • 32mm f/1.2 medium-telephoto fixed focal length (available soon)
  • 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ultra-wide-angle zoom (available soon)
  • 10-100mm f/4-5.6 compact and lightweight 10x zoom (available soon)
A Nikon FT1 adapter is available for Nikon lenses - and with AF-S / AF-I lenses Auto Focus will work. With a 2.7x crop factor, a 35mm standard lens will become a 94.5mm equivalent lens, and this crop factor would suit telephoto lenses particularly if you're interested in having as much zoom as possible. Another way of looking at this is to think of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D lens, which is available for around £90, would become a 135mm f/1.8 telephoto lens, which means getting a bright telephoto lens would be very cheap looking at the price of the lens on its own.

Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On Preview: Nikon 1 V2 White 6

Value For Money

Available from the 22nd November 2012 the Nikon 1 V2 is priced at £799.99 with kit lens. This makes it a premium priced camera, most closely matched to the Sony Alpha NEX-7 at £839.00, Olympus E-PL5 at £799.00, Canon EOS M at £769.00 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 at £729.00.

Nikon 1 V2 Verdict

Nikon have made some fairly significant changes to the body from the V1, with the addition of a good hand grip, built-in pop-up flash as well as moving around some of the buttons, including giving you access to the manual controls via the mode dial. With the addition of three new lenses due soon taking the range to a total of nine and innovative features such as slow view, the Nikon 1 V2 looks like an exciting addition the range and we can't wait to get our hands on a full production model to test.

Nikon 1 V2 Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels14.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3072
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeCX format
Sensor Size (width)13.2mm
Sensor Size (height)8.8mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921,000
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/16,000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • M
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder Resolution1.44million dots
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting60fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS60
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Wi-FiNo Data
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeEN-EL21 rechargeable Li-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsEN-EL21 rechargeable Li-ion battery (with terminal cover), MH-28 battery charger, BF-N1000 body cap, BS-N3000 multi accessory port cover, UC-E19 USB cable, AN-N1000 strap, ViewNX 2/Short Movie Creator CD, User's Manual, Reference manual CD

View Full Product Details

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Photographs taken using the Nikon 1 V2

Blackhead Lighthouse, CarrickfergusMoonUntitledBig wheelLast of the summer sunUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitled

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scottakoz Avatar
24 Oct 2012 12:01PM
Wow, I've been looking at 4/3 cameras and this one - for me - sounds like a right buy. Great camera, and the slow-mo video capture is something I've wanted to start out at... but didn't want to buy a camera JUST for the high FPS. And 60fps photo - what the ... ! I don't know, that's going to suit someone right there. I like the crop factor too, getting close zooms for easy money makes me smile. The photography game's forever changing!! Wink
ballz Avatar
ballz 13 United States
24 Oct 2012 12:18PM
Please stop saying the FT1 works with AF-I lenses, this is misleading. It works with it in manual mode only. I verified with Nikon that that is false and that they have no plans on ever making them compatible with autofocus.
blanko70 Avatar
blanko70 12 1 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2012 9:12PM
Boy, it sure is ugly. It might be small, but it's bulky, like a scaled down bridge camera. I just can't see who this is for; it seems to have the disadvantages of a bigger camera, with out the pluses, while being not small enough to pocket and still needing lenses. it looks like a lose-lose situation.
scottakoz Avatar
24 Oct 2012 10:33PM

Quote:Boy, it sure is ugly. It might be small, but it's bulky, like a scaled down bridge camera. I just can't see who this is for; it seems to have the disadvantages of a bigger camera, with out the pluses, while being not small enough to pocket and still needing lenses. it looks like a lose-lose situation.

I think it's a design element they're bringing through, they've seen the hype the retro-look cameras bring in certain circles and decided to bring one looking old-school but doing new-school stuff in my opinion. Not a bad effort I say.
josa Avatar
josa 11 25 Czech Republic
25 Oct 2012 12:09PM
Another insane product from Nikon, however I want to work for them in my next life! The whole day doing nothing, smoking grass....
hhsiegrist Avatar
28 Oct 2012 10:46AM
Careful with V1s and V2s in London!

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