Test Review: Nikon 1 V2

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Nikon 1 V2 - Nikon cameras - Test review

Nikon cameras : Nikon 1 V2

The Nikon 1 V2 is the follower of the V1, which was one of the first two compact-system cameras (CSC) made by Nikon. The new V2 offers a modified design of the body and function elements, a new sensor with higher sensor resolution (14 instead of 10 MP) and a lot of creative image effects.

Comments on Image Quality

Camera review Nikon 1 V2: Colour testing

The Nikon 1 V2 reproduced the standard test box with only a very little colour shift into the yellow direction. The colours look natural; the differentiation of red colours is good and the sharpness is also good. There is only little decrease of sharpness in the image corners.

Colour: The test chart was reproduced with a very low level of colour errors. The blue nuances showed a colour shift into the more magenta rated and very saturated area – which is typical for Nikon cameras. Skin tones are reproduced very precisely and therefore got only a little to high yellow rate—both in darker and in lighter skin areas. The automatic white balance system causes a shift of brighter areas into the yellow colour areas. Therefore you will notice an additional shift of skin tones into the yellow direction. The differentiation of red colours is very good as you can see in our standard test box image.

Sharpness: The camera performed well in our resolution tests. It reproduced the test chart with 2678 lines per picture height, which is a good result for a camera with a nominal resolution of 3072 lines per picture height. Hard contrast lines (like the black and white lines of the Siemens star) show some overshot effects, caused by intense sharpness filtering. This filtering is necessary to compensate for the intense anti-noise filtering. The overshot factor is 21.3 percent, which is high for an SLR system and acceptable for a CSC with a small sensor.

Noise: The luminance noise level in images taken with lower ISO speed settings is a little higher than in images taken with APS-C and full-frame sensors. The y-factor starts with 0.60 in ISO 100 and 0.71 in ISO 200, while cameras with larger sensors reproduce the same image with an y-factor of 0.3-0.5. Nevertheless, the luminance noise factor is limited by a decreasing level of anti-noise filtering. That’s the reason why the luminance noise level stays below 1.0 even in images taken with ISO 1600.

Colour noise is noticeable in images taken with ISO 3200 and higher, but stays on an acceptable level even in the highest ISO settings. Nevertheless you will notice colour clouds in homogenous coloured areas when shooting with ISO 3200 and higher. The dynamic range results are very good. The camera gained a maximum of 11.7 f-stops and keeps this high level of more than 10 f-stops up to ISO800/ISO 1600 setting.

Comments on Handling

Camera review Nikon 1 V2 : Top view

The combination of mode dial and parameter wheel allows a very fast and intuitive handling of the camera. The camera has a built-in flash system on the top and a new accessory shoe for external flashes like the SB-N7. This shoe isn’t compatible to standard flash systems, flash adapters or flash remote controls.

Just like the Nikon 1 J2, it’s a new version of a camera based on Nikon’s CSC 1 system – in this case the Nikon 1 V1. Compared to the V1, the design of the V2 was radically changed. Instead of a small body with minimized dimensions, it has a really bulky look now. Aside from this bulky look, the new design offers better handling. The camera has a new parameter dial, located on the top, which can be reached with the right hand’s thumb very easily, allowing a fast change of settings. Four buttons left of the large screen on the back help set up all parameters very easily.

Camera review Nikon 1 V2 : LCD view

The Nikon 1 V2 has a large LCD on the back which offers 921000 RGB dots. The electronic viewfinder has a resolution of 1.4 million RGB dots.

The camera has a large monitor on the back that offers a high resolution of 921.000 RGB dots. The small viewfinder now has even more pixels. It uses 1.4 million RGB dots and creates a very sharp image, which allows manual focus, for example.

Nevertheless manual focusing isn’t as easy and as comfortable as using an SLR system or CSC with a lens system including a mechanical focus ring. The Nikon 1 V2 uses servo systems in its lenses. The photographer has to choose the manual focus mode in the menu and use the multi selector dial (a wheel that encircles the standard cursor field). This handling is similar to simple compact cameras. In automatic focusing mode, the camera is extremely fast. It uses a combination of contrast metering (in the live preview) and phase detection, like an SLR system. The additional AF sensors are located directly on the image sensor (= Hybrid AF system).

The camera allows recording in full HD video. The movies are recorded in 60i mode (59.97 interlaces frames per second) or in 30p mode (29.97 progressive frames per second). These are the basic frame rates for the American and Japanese NTSC system but will cause some problems when you try to mix these videos with European camcorder files (PAL system), which are based on 25 or 50 frames per second. The camera allows the use of P, S, A and M modes when recording videos and the audio level to be set up manually in three steps. The V2 has a microphone jack on the left-hand side of the body for an external microphone to enhance sound quality. Nikon offers an external microphone for the 1 series as an option (microphone ME-1). Besides this microphone, there are some other optional devices. The lens adapter FT1 allows the use of standard Nikon lenses with an F mount on the V2. The GPS receiver GP-N100 can be used for geotagging images, and the WLAN adapter WU-1b can be used for wireless data transfer of images to a smart phone, for example.

Pros:
+ compact-system camera with more SLR-like handling than its forerunner
+ new sensor with higher resolution than its forerunner
+ electronic viewfinder with high resolution
+ filter and photo/movie effects (Motion Snapshot mode, for example)

Cons:
– no swivel monitor
– bulky design for a CSC

This review is based on precise lab tests conducted by BetterNet GmbH and provided by the Technical Imaging Press Association (TIPA). TIPA is the largest family of independent photo and imaging magazines worldwide. Photo Life is an active member of TIPA.

SPEC SHEET: Nikon 1 V2
BASIC TECHNICAL DATA:
Resolution 4608 x 3072
Resolution Sensor 14.0
Colour depth in bits 36
Size of Sensor in inches 0/0.00
Size of Sensor in mm 13.2 x 8.8
LENSES:
Focal length (wide angle; 35 mm equivalent) in mm 30
Focal length (tele; 35 mm equivalent) KB in mm 74
Focal length (wide angle; real) in mm 11.0
Focal length (tele; real) KB in mm 27.5
Speed 3.5 – 5.6
Macro 30 – 100
Manual focus, controlled by function elements yes
Manual focus, controlled with lens ring no
TAKING PICTURES:
Startup time (in sec) 1.48
Shutter delay (in sec) without pre-focusing 0.14
Shutter delay (in sec) with pre-focusing 0.01
Continuous shooting speed (frames per second) 15.0
Max. burst during continuous shooting speed 15.0
Fastest shutter speed in sec 1/4000
Long time exposure/shutter speed in sec 30
Self timer yes
Exposure Settings:
aperture pre-setting, shutter speed pre-setting, manual exposure settings,
automatic bracketing
Exposure programs 8
White balance:
Auto yes
White balance settings 6
Individual white balance yes
ISO:
ISO min 160
ISO max 6400
ISO steps 7
Manual ISO control yes
FLASH:
Integrated flash yes
Flash Mode:
On, off, automatic flash, slow-sync, anti-red-eye, rear curtain sync
External Flash:
X-Sync no
Accessory shoe yes
FILE FORMATS:
Standard file formats JPEG, RAW, DCF
JPEG-Compression grades 3
LCD AND PREVIEW:
Size in inches 3.0
Resolution of LCD in pixels 921000
Zoom mode during preview yes
Index during preview yes
Slide show during preview yes
VIDEO:
Video available? yes
Max. width 1920
Max. height 1080
Picture frequency 30
POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable battery yes
Battery type Li-Ion
Battery charger included? yes
Power connector no
Power supply unit? no
STORAGE SYSTEM:
Supported memory cards SD-Card, SDHC-Card, SDXC-Card
PC CONNECTION:
PC connection USB, HDMI
TV-Out HDMI
DIMENSIONS:
Dimensions in mm (width x height x depth) 107 x 81 x 45
Weight in g (body without battery and memory card) 278
ACCESSORIES:
Docking station no
Printed manual yes
Manual on CD yes
Bag no
Remote control no

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