Nikon and I seem share a common belief in a thing called a second chance. A year ago Nikon 1 V1 hit the market as company’s first mirrorless offering. It took pictures, but that’s about it. It didn’t appeal to advanced users, and the not-so-advanced crowd also avoided it due to various reasons. Hence this autumn’s price reduction; it plummeted from insane $899 all the way down to around $299 in some stores. Low sale figures are not the only reason responsible for the price drop; shops had to get rid of the supplies before the all new V2 came out. And it’s good they have because the V2 is a completely different and quite desirable camera.
NIKON V2 GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS
- Announced: 2012.
- Type: Mirrorless
- Dimensions: 109 x 82 x 46 mm
- Weight: 278g (with battery)
- Sensor: CMOS, 14 MP (4608 x 3072 pixels)
- ISO range: 160 – 6,400
- Image stabilization: In lens
- Dust and moisture protection: No
- Flashlight: Built-in
- Continuous shooting: 60 fps @ full resolution
- LCD screen: 3″, 921,000 dots
- Memory card: SD
- Battery: Li-Ion EN-EL21
- Video: 1920 x 1080 @ 60i, 30p; 1280 x 720 @ 60p, 30p;
- Connectors: USB 2.0, mini HDMI
CONSTRUCTION AND HANDLING
First incarnation – the V1 had decent build quality but felt rather awkward in my hand. Sharp angles with flat grip made me wonder should I hold it like a teacup with my little finger up in the air or grab it like it a proper DSLR and hope it would grow the grip at some point before my fingers start to feel numb.
Nikon made some changes with the V2 camera and now it fits in my hand like a proper camera. Grip is big and quite deep for such a small camera, covered with soft non-slippery rubber and makes holding this camera a joy. Many mirrorless cameras have an awkward compact-camera feel in hand, but this is not the case with the V2: it fits in my hand like a proper well though-out product.
The new V2 sports a somewhat odd industrial-like design reminiscent of its predecessor, but I got used to it very soon. V1 also didn’t have a proper “PASM” mode dial; the new one does, allowing quick access to shooting modes. New is the second control wheel on the top, as well as the built-in flash unit. On the top of the viewfinder you can see a special connector for external flash or GP-N100 GPS receiver. It’s a shame Nikon didn’t use a standard hot-shoe.
Menu system looks a bit boring with its gray background but is relatively easy to navigate. It offers different options regarding on shooting mode selected. Several of the most important settings like ISO, WB, focus mode and points can be accessed via “F” button for a quick change.
One thing I don’t understand: where is live-view histogram? It is simply left out; probably assuming typical V2 buyer wouldn’t know how to use it. It is available in playback thou.