NIKON V2 LCD AND VIEWFINDER
LCD unit has 3 inch diagonal and 921,000 dots. It is detailed with nice colors. Electronic viewfinder is also a pleasant surprise. It has 1,440,000 dots and very detailed and smooth image preview. Basic shooting informations are displayed at the bottom with green color, mimicking displays used in optical DSLR viewfinders.
Switch between LCD and EVF can be automatic due to proximity sensor at the right side of the EVF, or can be chosen manually. In case you choose to use EVF all the time, it will operate only when held close to the eye; this clever detail can prolong the battery life. All of the informations can be shown in EVF, so it is possible to operate the camera to full extent with broken or malfunctioned LCD. The live-view switch between LCD and EVF is very fast, unlike Olympus OM-D for example.
NIKON V2 SENSOR
Nikon chose to use 1-inch sensors in their 1 series cameras. It is clear they wanted to protect sale figures of entry-level DSLR’s, but it might be a turn-down for some customers; most of the mirrorless competitors use larger APS-C sensors.
This particular one used in V2 has 14 megapixel resolution and ISO range of 160 – 6,400. It performs very well, but high ISO shots in dark environments quickly reveal sensor’s limits. Sony 16 megapixel sensor used in many NEX models is clearly better at high ISO, as is the case with Olympus’s new 16 MP units in OMD and PEN cameras (also made by Sony).
Examples below demonstrate V2′s high ISO performance. It is quite good up to ISO 800, but noise becomes apparent beyond that. I would still sometimes use JPEG at ISO 1600, but 3200 and 6400 look way too noisy, with considerable detail blur. RAW files reveal much more information, and then only ISO 6400 looks really dreadful. Sadly, noise appears even at low ISO in shadows, so it’s clear Nikon did not do a best job with this sensor.
MEMORY AND BATTERY
Nikon V2 uses standard SD memory cards and EN-EL21 lithium-ion battery. It provides juice for around 300 photographs what is in line with competitors. Battery is charged with supplied external charger.
NIKON V2 AUTOFOCUS
Auto focus speed is quite good. It is not as fast as Olympus OM-D which I consider to be faster even than most DSLR’s on the market, but V2 is certainly amongst the faster focusing cameras. You can select all focus point or only one and set it anywhere in the frame.
Manual focus implementation is excellent; upper control dial chooses zoom-assist magnification level and back dial operates focus.
NIKON V2 CONTINOUS SHOOTING
Sony started the trend of fast continuous shooting cameras two years ago with its SLT models, but Nikon went a step beyond with the V2. Well, a whole staircase beyond to be honest. It is possible to shoot up to 60 photographs per second at maximum resolution and RAW+JPEG file option. This is insane! Actually, it makes the model name “V2″ quite appropriate… since it was announced it reminded me of the German WWII V2 ballistic rockets which terrorized London and flew at 5,760 km/h. Now you can terrorize your family members or neighbors’ cat with your little fast-as-a-rocket Nikon V2.
Below: a sample of what can be done with 60fps continuous shooting on Nikon V2, it’s harder to catch such moments with lower frame rate:
There are also slower burst rates at 5, 15 and 30 frames per second respectively. I think the 15fps option is the most interesting one in real life, perfect for fast sports or playful home pets. Memory buffer is big enough for 40 photos at 60fps, and becomes a bit bigger with slower shooting speeds.