While it was a long time coming, Nikon’s 1 series of compact system cameras has proved incredibly popular since its launch. The Nikon 1 V2 is the second generation in the V strand of the 1 series, and features a complete redesign on its predecessor with a selection of key improvements. How does it fair under closer scrutiny?
Image Quality and Verdict
Nikon 1 V2 review – Image Quality
Colour and White balance
The white balance system on the Nikon V2 is generally reliable, managing to produce accurate images in a variety of lighting conditions. Colours do appear a touch muted on the default settings, although the ‘Picture Control’ settings are on hand to add a boost to colour if desired.
While the V2 exposes accurately on the whole, there are issues with the cameras dynamic range. There’s a noticeable tendency for highlights to blow in contrasty scenes, with detail also being lost in areas of shadow.
Although the 14MP sensor is capable of resolving a good level of detail, the small physical size in comparison to equivalent CSCs means that it falls slightly behind the competition.
Noise is another area of concern when you consider the physical size of the V2’s sensor compared to the competition, although on the whole it handles it well. At the higher settings, such as ISO 1600, aggressive noise reduction causes a softening of images.
The 10-30mm kit lens offers a reasonable level of performance with edge sharpness respectable and very few signs of chromatic aberrations.
Raw and JPEG
While JPEGs suffer from aggressive noise reduction, Raw files display the full noisy glory of images. Although this isn’t ideal, the option of applying your own more refined noise reduction is certainly preferable.
Nikon 1 V2 review – Verdict
There’s a lot to like about the Nikon V2; a camera which sees a real marked improvement on its predecessor. Although the design might not be to everyone’s taste on an aesthetic level, there’s no arguing with the fact that the addition of a fully functioning mode dial on the cameras top plate, as well as an ample hand grip, both make the V2 a more enjoyable camera to shoot with. Throw in the headline features, such as the 60fps burst mode and lightning fast AF system, and the V2 seems like a winner.
Certain issues remain, however, and these cause the V2 to still pale in comparison to its CSC competition. The physically small sensor causes a range of image quality issues and places restriction on depth of field, while the price is certainly not for the faint of wallet. A greatly improved camera that is a pleasure to use, although is ultimately still hamstrung by price and image quality.