Nikon 1 V2 : lightning fast mirrorless camera

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The Nikon 1 V2 offers a direct access to PASM modes from the main dial.
The NIkon 1 V2 offers a direct access to PASM modes from the main dial.

The Nikon 1 V2 finally brings a new sensor technology in its Nikon CX mount mirrorless camera range with the integration of a new 1″ sensor offering a definition of 14.2 megapixels and that can reach ISO 6400, high defintion 60 fps stills burst shooting with focusing locked or 15 fps with AF-tracking on. Nikon has also revised its user interface to better suite the needs of enthusiat photographers (these ones who has been quite disappointed by the Nikon V1 controls layout). If the camera does not get neither Wi-Fi, nor GPS, built-in, it is compatible with the Wi-Fi adap^ter (Nikon WU-1b) and the new GPS antenna for Nikon ones (Nikon GP-N100). The Nikon V2 will surely be adopted by videographer thanks to its full HD 60p movie recording capabilities and its slow motion modes in various definitions. Finaly, today, Nikon also unveiled a lens mount adapter (Nikon FT1) to use AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses on Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras.

Speed

The velocity is the trump card of the Nikon V2, that is obvious. Speed seems to be the central asset of the camera thanks to the adoption of a new CMOS sensor, still measuring 1″, offering a 14.2-megapixel definition and a huge transfer rate. Combined with the new EXPEED 3a processor, the Nikon 1 V2 can record Full HD videos up to 60p (vs 60i on the V1) and also slow motion in lower resolutions, take still images at an incredible frame rate of 15 fps with continuous autofocus tracking on and 60 fps with the focusing locked. This means that the Nikon V2 is able to manage 850 megapixels per second. The Nikon V2 allows to shoot stills at full definition while filming a video and gives access to some slowmo modes : slow motion up to 400 fps in 640×240 pixels and 1200 fps in 320×120 pixels. Reactivity of the autofocus is excellent, we know the AF module from the previous mirrorless cameras as I discovered it last year when I reviewed the Nikon V1. It is truly fast and accurate. It is a hybrid system : a phase detection system with 73 areas is combined with a contrast-detect system (135 points). The new 14.2-megapixel 1″ sensor sensibility can be set from ISO 160 to 6,400 which is enough for Nikon to say that it allows the V2 to shoot at high burst rates even under low-light conditions.

 

Nikon V2
The Nikon V2 gets a pop-up flash.

 

The Nikon 1 V2 gets a new user interface

The ergonomics of the Nikon 1 V2 have also been revised compared to the V1 to stick with its target’s needs. For instance, the Nikon V2 offers direct access to PSAM modes via the main dial. Access to the most common settings like sensibility or white balance now operate by pressing the function key and then playing with the dial. Its electronic viewfinder is a decent 1.440.000 dots display, with TFT technology, complemented by a  3 “/ 921,000 dots LCD screen. Its handgrip has been redesigned and is now coated for better hand grip. Smart move : above the viewfinder you will find a pop-up flash ! This is going to be useful. The V2 also has an external flash hotshoe.
If the viewfinder of the Nikon V2 is so prominent is that it is topped by a built-in flash appreciable. We can also mount the new external flash Nikon SB-N7.

Creative and advanced modes

Creative modes that were making the pride of Nikon when they introduced the Nikon 1 family last year are slightly renewed on V2 with a few improvements and innovations. The Nikon 1 V2 has a combination of the “Smart Photo Selector” and the Animated moment. When you take your photo, the V2 captures the scene at 40 fps speed and then displays all images on the screen in a kind of fast slideshow or slow motion animation to let you quietly chose the best one, the one taken at the exact right moment. The V2 also has the Optimized Photo Selector which captures 20 images at full definition before and after the exact time you press the shutter button, animated moments that can now be recorded in the form of three separate files: the picture in high definition, the video in slow motion and n audio file.
The aim of Nikon V2 is the same as the Nikon V1 EVF 1,440,000 dots and screen 3 “/ 921 000 dots.
Nikon FT1 adapter for Nikkor AF-S and AF-I lenses on Nikon 1 cameras

Nikon FT1 lens adapter

 

Nikon FT1 adapter is designed to mount Nikkor lenses for Nikon SLRs on a Nikon 1 CX mount mirrorless camera while benefiting from the hybrid autofocus system when using the FT1 with Nikkor AF-S or AF-I lenses. The crop factor induced by the CX mount is 2.7x. For example, the new 70-200mm f4 telephoto lens becomes a 190-540mm equivalent when used with Nikon V2 and the FT1 adapter. The FT1, with long focal lengths lenses and the talent of the Nikon V2 for action shoots really makes sens all together.

 

The Nikon 1 V2 offers a direct access to PASM modes from the main dial.
The NIkon 1 V2 offers a direct access to PASM modes from the main dial.

Wi-Fi transmitter: Nikon WU-1b

The small Wi-Fi module Nikon WU-1b allows to offer the V2 wi-fi connectivity, since it has not been integrated into the camera itself. Instant sharing of photos and videos via a smartphone or a tablet through the mobile application available for Android devices and iOS Google Play on iTunes.

 

Price and availability of the Nikon 1 V2 + lens road map for 2013

The Nikon 1 V2 will be available at the end of November 2012 at a suggested retail price of  $899 / €829 with the 1 Nikkor 10-30mm kit lens. (€1039 euros in double kit with the 1 Nikkor 10-30mm and 30-110mm lens in Europe). We can complete this array (yet, expensive enough…) with the Nikon GP-N100 GPS sensor, or with the wireless transmitter Nikon WU-1b, two refinements that we would have loved to see built-in the V2.

Regarding new Nikon 1 lenses, what can we expect ? For now, just none, but Nikon announces three new I Nikkor lenses under development that should be released in 2013. So we should see next year:
– 32mm f/1.2 Telephoto lens (approximately 85mm f/1.2) for portrait and macro
– a wide-angle zoom 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 (equivalent to 18-35mm)
– a versatile 10x lens 10-100mm f/4-5.6 (27-270mm equivalent).
For now, Nikon simply remind that they announced the portrait  lens 1 Nikkor 18.5 mm f/1.8.

The Nikon V2 mirrorless camera
The Nikon 1 V2 offers a 1,440 Kdots EVF and a 3″ / 921,000 dots LCD screen

Nikon Speedlight SB-7N

Nikon also lunched a new external flash for its mirrorless cameras range, the SB-7N, i-TTL compatible and offering a relatively low power, yet decent, with a guide number of  18 at ISO 100. The flash’s head is can be rotated at 120° to operate the camera with bounce light reflected by a ceiling or wall.
The new Nikon Speedlight SB-7N for Nikon compact hybrid.

 

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