Nikon 1 V2: A Serious-Looking Mirrorless for People Who Don’t Want to Think

Just as the rumors predicted, Nikon announced the new V2 mirrorless camera today. Succeeding the Nikon 1 V1, the V2 is a slightly-more-serious mirrorless camera than the recently-launched J2 (think V for “varsity” and J for “junior varsity”). Unlike the J2, the V2 offers more differences from its predecessor than a few minor tweaks.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the simple flat body design of the V1 is gone, replaced with a much more angular one. In terms of appearance, if the cameras were species in the Pokemon franchise, the V2 would fit right in as the evolved form of the V1 (please forgive us for that reference):

The V2 features a 14.2 megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor (up from 10.1), an ISO range of 160-6400, a speedy 73-point autofocus system, 15fps continuous shooting with full AF (up from 10fps), 60fps continuous shooting in MF (unchanged), a new ergonomic grip, a built-in flash, new mode dials on the top of the camera, a 1.4-million-dot electronic viewfinder, a 3-inch 921K-dot LCD screen, a hot shoe mount, simultaneous recording of 1080p video and high-res stills, 400fps/1200fps slow motion capture, and in-camera HDR.

For those of you who are/were fans of the Max Payne series, you’ll be happy to know that the camera offers a crazy feature that allows you to slow down time. It’s called “Best Moment Capture Mode”, and lets you slow down whatever you’re capturing by 5x simply by pressing the shutter button halfway. The camera will show you 1.33 seconds of time stretched out to 6.66 seconds. When the moment you want to capture appears, simply press the button down all the way to snap that photograph.

Another intelligent feature baked into the camera is “Smart Photo Selector”, which snaps 20 photos in rapid succession and then automatically picks the 5 best based on certain factors (e.g. exposure, focus, faces).

Just to ensure that the V2 isn’t lonely in this announcement, Nikon has also announced two new accessories for the Nikon 1 system: a WU-1b wireless adapter for beaming data to other devices, and a new $160 SB-N7 speedlight that has a 120-degree tilting head and a guide number of 18m/59ft.

The Nikon 1 V2 will be available starting late next month for $900 (a price that includes a 10-30mm kit lens).

Nikon is moving in a different direction with its mirrorless cameras than Canon is with its EOS M. While the EOS M packs a large APS-C sensor and is geared towards serious photographers, Nikon has use small 2.7x crop factor sensors for its 1 System — a system that is geared toward casual consumers looking to step up a bit from compact cameras.

The two companies are clearly shooting at two different targets.

  • Tarmo

    Casio EX-F1 had slow motion view for stills 4 years ago, nice to see that feature coming to other cameras too now.

  • kaja12

    the consumers nikon is aiming at are not changing lenses.
    at least most of them do not.
    most customer of this camera would be happy with a fixed zoom lens.. they don´t need a “system camera”.
    at least that´s my experience working as retailer.

  • sayithere

    what? a bulldozer?

  • sayithere

    btw, slow motion feature is basically a video shooting mode that saves the frames to the buffer. when you press the shutter button then the camera will grab the exact frame and save it to the memory card as still image.

  • Jason

    Hmmm…size approaching the size of my NEX5n, only the sensor is tiny and the viewfinder is half the resolution. No thanks…ever.

  • Mansgame

    Does this one leak oil too?

  • Mansgame

    Does this one leak oil too?

  • J. G. R.

    Now, I want the V1 after looking at this strange piece, especially at half the price of this one.

  • Matt

    the only thing that attracts me to this camera is the 15 fps with full AF

  • 9inchnail

    Thanks, Captain.

  • jesseyardley

    Fugly lookin’ isn’t it?

  • Hector Sanchez

    and AF that’s about 10x faster. I’m sorry but you own the wrong generation of NEX. 5r and 6 simply destroy what you have. sad thing is, your 1yr old mirrorless camera is almost worthless (well at least half way worthless)

  • Vincent

    “For people who don’t want to think’ – pretty much sums up every Nikon product. Except for the Dyson D600 of course…what a vacuum!

  • Jonathan Maniago

    “While the EOS M packs a large APS-C sensor and is geared towards serious photographers, Nikon has use small 2.7x crop factor sensors for its 1 System — a system that is geared toward casual consumers looking to step up a bit from compact cameras.”

    In terms of direct controls and form factor though, I think it’s the other way around.

  • Nathan Blaney

    Looks like it was built out of Legos or something…

  • Sacha

    It’s really ugly, isn’t it?

  • Steve

    The only reason I could think to buy this is if they bring out a decent telephoto lens. With the small sensor, they should be able to design a relatively compact telephoto with a good reach. Other than that, I can’t think of any reason why anyone would want one of these. Nikon and Canon seem to be shooting themselves in the foot. Their competitors must be laughing at some of their recent cameras.

  • Jason

    Sorry my friend, but my 5n takes wonderful photos and in no way is worthless. What do you buy cameras for, the to brag about them or to produce wonderful photographs? And the AF speed..not a problem, not 10 months ago, not today.

  • Mark Hamburg

    Nikon does have a decent telephoto for this- a 30-110 which is approximately an 80-300 in FF terms. I have a J1 and the 30-110, it fits nicely in a jacket pocket. Combined with the camera’s insanely fast autofocus, it’s a good option for times when I don’t want to, or can’t, lug my Canon with a 70-200. I agree that the Nikon 1 series cameras are a bit overpriced, but I also think many of the critics are missing the point of the cameras and their real strengths. I have nothing against NEX, Micro Four Thirds, or the new EOS-M- they all have their place. Had Nikon come out with a mirrorless system with a larger sensor, they would have been praised in photography circles, but I think it would have been a miss for me. Nikon 1 is superior to almost every compact (except the RX-100) in terms of image quality and performance. And it’s not that much larger. This system really shines as a family camera or a travel system.

  • Auckland Event Photographer

    Why do I feel this camera would be a prop on a 1970’s star trek episode???

  • Dan Scott

    I thought Pentax was trying to corner the market on hideous looking cameras. Nikon, obviously, isn’t letting Pentax get away with it.

  • El Dre

    It’s interesting that most V1/V2 owners love their camera and the negative comments come from non-users or armchair reviewers. I own a D7000 and a V1. The D7000 stays mostly at home thees days, why? The V1’s autofocus is dead on just about every time, not so with the D7000. Despite its smaller sensor, there’s less than a 1 stop difference in ISO performance. I have tested this extensively. The video autofocus works better than any other camera in this class and leaves DSLRs in the dust. Try shooting 10fps with continuous autofocus…in Raw…my buffer doesn’t fill up. Unless you own a professional level DSLR, you can’t do that. My 55-200mm (30-100mm) equivalent lens fits in the palm of my hand. Check out the MTF on the lenses for this system…they are all very sharp wide open.

  • LarryAt27N