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Nikon 1 V2 review

Nikon 1 gets serious

Our Verdict

For

  • Small body
  • Advanced controls
  • Viewfinder

Against

  • Small sensor
  • Average EVF
  • Fixed LCD

One of the key distinguishing features of the new Nikon 1 V2 is the much larger grip, making the design of the compact system camera much more akin to a miniature DSLR. The pronounced grip makes it much easier to hold, and makes it feel secure in the hand, especially when shooting with one hand.

Another big improvement is the addition of a mode dial at the top of the camera. This enables quick changes between the camera's automatic, semi-automatic and manual modes. Previously, in order to access P/A/S/M modes, you needed to delve into a menu - this was one of the main gripes about the Nikon 1 V1 that made it appeal less to serious photographers.

Also on this dial, you'll find some of the Nikon 1's unique features, such as Motion Snapshot and Best Photo Selector. Like the Nikon 1 J2, the Nikon 1 V2's Best Photo Selector has been reworked for the latest version of the camera to include the new Slow View mode.

Nikon 1 V2 review

When the camera's dial is set to Best Moment Capture, pressing the Fn button enables you to choose between two options - Smart Photo Selector and the new Slow View.

Slow View is particularly interesting, and although it takes a minute or two to get your head around it, it could prove very useful in a range of situations. In essence the camera records 40 full-resolution images at 15fps from the moment that the shutter release is half pressed.

While the release remains half-pressed, the camera plays back these 40 images in slow succession so that you can decide which one you want to keep. When you reach that image, pressing the shutter fully home records it to the SD card.

Nikon 1 V2 review

It's a fun feature that's useful for capturing quick happening moments, such as school sports days, but it does take a little bit of practice to get the hang of it. It's no good starting to shoot before the action has started, for instance, because the shots will be taken before the subject has got going.

There are two options for actually switching on the Nikon 1 V2. The first is a small switch around the shutter button, which is akin to a zoom lever on a compact camera and can be a little confusing at first. The second is via the lens itself, and makes it quick to capture moments as they happen.

When in aperture priority mode, a dial on the top of the camera can be used to alter aperture, and when in shutter priority mode, to control the shutter speed. Exposure compensation is controlled by first tapping on the four-way control pad, and then scrolling with a dial around the pad.

Nikon 1 V2 review

It would perhaps have been nice to see another dial, or a more direct way to control exposure compensation, but it's not too tricky to use.

Near the aperture/shutter speed scroll dial is a small function button for accessing some of the key parameters, such as white balance and autofocus mode. It would have been nice to have a few more features included here, or the ability to customise which features can be accessed from the function button.

The Nikon 1 V2 doesn't have a touchscreen, which is a shame, since that would have made it quicker to set the autofocus point.

Nikon 1 V2 review

As it is, it's not too laboured a process, requiring first a tap of the central 'OK' button on the four-way keypad, then a use of the directional keys to position the autofocus point. Alternatively, you can have the camera select points for you.

On the back left of the camera is a row of buttons, including the Menu button for accessing the more extensive settings of the camera. These buttons can't be reached when using the camera with one hand, which isn't too much of a problem, thanks to the function button.

The menu itself is reasonably well laid out, with most parameters where you'd expect them to be. If you've used a Nikon camera before, it's likely you'll be familiar with the setup.

Nikon 1 V2 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution14.2 Megapixel
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product Family1
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3x, 3x (Lens 1) - 3.6x (Lens 2)
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Live View, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)278 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3072
Maximum Frame Rate1200 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution15.1 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedEN-EL21
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height81.6 mm
Width107.8 mm
Depth45.9 mm
Autofocus Points135
Focal Length10 mm to 30 mm (Lens 1) - 30 mm to 110 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsAAC
Flash ModesFill Flash, Red-eye Reduction, Rear Curtain Sync, Slow Sync, Flash Exposure Compensation, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Auto Flash
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelV2
Product Name1 V2 Mirrorless Camera
Product Line1
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVVA111K003
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nikon.co.uk
Marketing Information

Why compromise when you want to travel light? The Nikon 1 V2 ensures you don't have to.

With a 14.2-megapixel super high-speed AF CMOS sensor, high ISO, and direct access to manual controls, you get detailed images just the way you want them even in low light.

Combining speed, power, and precision in a seriously small body, this is a versatile main camera and a great second camera that you'll end up putting first more often than you'd expect.

Battery Life310 Shot
Package Contents
  • 1 V2 Mirrorless Camera
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6
  • 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6
  • EN-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
  • User's Manual
  • Reference Manual CD
  • Software CD-ROM
Display Resolution921000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker