Like with the Nikon 1 V1, we struggle to define just who the Nikon 1 V2 is for. It offers a few advantages over the V1, like increased resolution from 10MP to 14MP, increased clarity in its images, a built-in flash, an improved grip and better manual handling. But none of these strike us as particularly enticing for owners of the V1 to upgrade, especially since the V1 is only about a year old. Of course, Nikon is merely improving the proposition of the V-series and is likely targeting users who haven't yet made the jump to a mirrorless camera system.
The V2 is not a bad camera, in fact it offers quite a few features unique to the Nikon 1 mirrorless series. Its auto-focus is, in our opinion, the best among mirrorless cameras today. Not only is it fast and accurate, but it's able to keep up with moving subjects when shooting in bursts, something most other mirrorless cameras still struggle with.
Its quick, multiple frame-rates are useful for capturing those fast moments, something parents with active children might find useful. Yet, those bursts will cost you a second or so of the camera locking up after each burst, and the camera AF does hesitate a bit in low-light (something other mirrorless cameras also struggle with). These points make the V2 still not quite ready for serious sports photography.
The handling is much improved over the V1, the V2 gives you quicker physical access to manual controls, but its Function digital menu still needs some work. While resolution has been improved, the V2 suffers from image noise which can be seen even at low ISO settings. It doesn't compare with the brilliant ISO performance of the latest generation of Micro Four Thirds sensors found in the Olympus E-M5 and E-PL5, not to mention the APS-C sensors found in the Sony NEX and Canon EOS M cameras.
And compared to the Nikon 1 J2 which has a dismal battery life of 220 shots, the V2 has a longer battery life of 310 shots (but it is still 40 shots less than the V1's battery life).
But if you're not missing shots due to quick moving subjects, or don't know what 15 fps in AF-C means and you're still nailing most shots in focus, then you might not need the insane frame-rates that the V2 is capable of. In other words, the camera as a tool should fit the kind of photography you do, for instance if all you're shooting are landscapes, then you won't need to capture multiple bursts of one (unless your mountain moves). If that's the case, then other cameras in the same price bracket can offer you better image quality, especially those with larger image sensors.
|Canon EOS M||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-PL5||Panasonic GX1||Samsung NX210||Sony NEX-6|
|Lens Mount||Canon EF-M||Nikon 1||Micro Four Thirds||Micro Four Thirds||Samsung NX||Sony E|
|Image Sensor||22.3 x 14.9mm CMOS||13.2 x 8.8mm CMOS||17.3 x 13mm Live MOS||17.3 x 13mm Live MOS||23.5 x 15.7mm APS-C CMOS||23.5 x 15.6mm APS-C CMOS|
|Max. Frame-rates||4.3 fps||5, 15, 30 or 60 fps||8 fps (with I.S. off), 3 fps (with I.S. on)||SH: 20 fps, H: 4.2 fps, M: 3 fps, L: 2 fps||8, 3 fps||10, 3 fps|
|ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-12800||ISO 160-6400||ISO 200-25600||ISO 160-12800||ISO 100-12800||ISO 100-25600|
|Auto-focus||Phase/contrast-detect AF with AF-assist illuminator||Phase/contrast-detect AF with AF-assist illuminator||Contrast-detect AF with AF-assist illuminator||Contrast-detect AF with AF-assist illuminator||Contrast-detect AF with AF-assist illuminator||Phase/contrast-detect AF with AF-assist illuminator|
|Image Stabilization||Depends on lens||Depends on lens||Built-in||Depends on lens||Depends on lens||Depends on lens|
|Built-in Flash||External||Approx. 5m (ISO 100)||External||Approx. 6m (ISO 100)||External||Approx. 6m (ISO 100)|
|Max. Movie Resolution||1080/25p with stereo||1080/60i with stereo||1080/30p with stereo||1080/60i with stereo||1080/30 with stereo||1080/50p with stereo|
|Monitor||3" 1.04 million dots, touch-screen LCD||3" 921k dots LCD||3" 460k dots, touch-screen, swivel LCD||3" 460k dots, touch-screen LCD||3" 614k dots, AMOLED||3" 921k dots, swivel LCD|
|Battery||230 images||310 shots||360 images||300 images||330 images||360 images|
|Dimensions||108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm||107.8 x 81.6 x 45.9mm||110.5 x 63.7 x 38.2mm||116.3 x 67.8 x 39.4mm||117 x 63 x 37mm||119.9 x 66.9 x 42.6mm|
|Weight (with battery and memory card)||298g||337g||325g||318g||222g||345g|