In this article, I will show feature differences between the Nikon 1 V1 and the newly announced Nikon 1 V2 mirrorless cameras. Judging by the J2 and V2 updates this year, it seems like Nikon will be refreshing the 1 line fairly often, so I am planning to provide feature comparisons like this to show what has changed between cameras after each announcement. As you may already know, the whole Nikon 1 line has a CX mount with a 2.7x crop factor and the J1/J2 cameras are targeted for photo hobbyists, while the V1/V2 cameras are targeted for more serious shooters. Hence, there is a significant difference in size, feature and performance between the two lines. Please keep in mind that this Nikon 1 V1 vs V2 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon 1 V2 Review.
Looks like Nikon listened to many of the customer complaints about handling, layout and design of the V1 camera, so they came up with a completely different design this time around. The grip on the V2 resembles the Sony NEX series cameras. As I pointed out in my Sony NEX-5n review, I loved the way Sony designed its grip, so it is nice to see that Nikon borrowed the idea and improved the ergonomics. Another new addition is the dedicated PASM camera mode dial, which Nikon completely omitted on the V1. The rear of the camera also went through significant layout changes – now we have four function buttons on the left side of the LCD, similar to what Nikon DSLRs have. Aside from these ergonomic changes, the V2 comes with some new features and improvements. The sensor on the V2 has more resolution – 14.2 vs 10.1 on the V1. A built-in flash is now included. And despite the new form factor and the built-in flash, the V2 is also slightly lighter. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras stack up against each other in terms of specifications.
Nikon 1 V1 vs V2 Specification Comparison
|Camera Feature||Nikon 1 V1||Nikon 1 V2|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Million||14.2 Million|
|Sensor Pixel Size||3.40µ||2.86µ|
|Dust Reduction / Sensor Cleaning||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||3,872 x 2,592||4,608 x 3,072|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 3||EXPEED 3A|
|Viewfinder Type||0.47″ 1.44m dot EVF||0.47″ 1.44m dot EVF|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/60 (Electronic), 1/250 (Mechanical)||1/60 (Electronic), 1/250 (Mechanical)|
|Storage Media||1x SD||1x SD|
|Top Continuous Shooting Speed||5 frames per second 10, 30 or 60 fps using Electronic (Hi) shutter||5 frames per second 10, 15, 30 or 60 fps using Electronic (Hi) shutter|
|Max Shutter Speed||Electronic Shutter: 1/16,000 sec, Mechanical Shutter: 1/4,000 sec||Electronic Shutter: 1/16,000 sec, Mechanical Shutter: 1/4,000 sec|
|Exposure Metering||TTL metering using image sensor||TTL metering using image sensor|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 160|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-3,200||ISO 160-6,400|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 6,400||N/A|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid autofocus (phase detection/contrast-detect AF)||Hybrid autofocus (phase detection/contrast-detect AF)|
|Video Maximum Record Time||20 min in 1080/60i and 1080/30p, 30 min in 720/60p||20 min in 1080/60i and 1080/30p, 30 min in 720/60p|
|Video Maximum Resolution||1920×1080 @ 30p, 60i||1920×1080 @ 30p, 60i|
|Audio Recording||Built-in stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable|
Optional external ME-1 microphone
|Built-in stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable|
Optional external ME-1 microphone
|LCD Size||3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD||3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD|
|LCD Resolution||921,000 dots||921,000 dots|
|Battery||EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery||EN-EL21 Lithium-ion Battery|
|Battery Life||350 shots (CIPA)||310 shots (CIPA)|
|Battery Charger||MH-25 Battery Charger||MH-28 Battery Charger|
|Weather Sealed Body||No||No|
|Weight (Body Only)||10.4oz. (294g)||9.8oz. (278g)|
|Dimensions||113 x 76 x 43.5mm||107.8 x 81.6 x 45.9mm|
|MSRP Price||$899.95 (as introduced, now $489)||$799.95 (as introduced)|
As you can see from the above comparison table, aside from the basics that I already covered on the top of the article, there is not much difference between the two cameras. What I find to be very interesting here, is that the V2 has a pixel pitch of 2.86µ. If the image quality of the V2 is as good as on the V1, then imagine what kind of a DSLR Nikon could potentially create. Putting some math into work, if we had a DSLR with this kind of pixel pitch, we would have a 105 MP full-frame sensor! So when someone talks about a 50 MP+ resolution on a 35mm sensor, this is more than doable, today.
I bought a Nikon 1 V2 on Friday along with the 10-30mm kit lens (I couldn’t buy just the body) and the FT-1 adapter so I can use my DX and FX lenses on the V2. My main intent is to use this camera to get an increased equivalent field of view and use it for nature and bird photography when my regular gear just doesn’t have the reach.
Here are some initial thoughts after shooting several hundred bird shots the past couple of days:
1) Pairing the V2 with the 70-200 f/4 and TC-17E II is simply awesome. The EFOV is 918mm at f/6.7. The VR on the 70-200 is so good that I have been able to get good, sharp images hand-held at 1/200 and 1/250 without any problems….as long as the subject isn’t moving around obviously. Focus is very fast and accurate. I’ve never shot with an EFOV this long before and I’ve not been able to get birds in flight….at least not yet….likely my skill level….and lack of familiarity with the camera. With the FT-1 you are limited to one centre focus point…but for birds I don’t think this is an issue. Also, no burst shooting with the FT-1 either.
2) ISO performance from the CX sensor is very good to 400 then it starts to get grainy at ISO800 and quite noisy at ISO1600. Even lower ISO shots do have a bit of a film-like grain to them….but not in a distracting way. Nik’s Define 2 does a nice job with RAW files from the V2. If people can keep their shots at 400 and under they should be very happy with the performance…..and going up to ISO800 is certainly OK. Personally I would not go to ISO1600 or higher unless it was a really special shot and I had no choice.
3) Jpegs are noisy even at base ISO and I find them unusable for any kind of enlargement. They just seem to clog up in the shadow areas. The RAW files are considerably better and hold up quite well in post. I found that DxOMark Optics Pro8 is better than Photoshop for my initial processing….the RAW files just seem to react better to the Optics Pro8 presets. After running the RAW files through Optics Pro8 I tweak them a bit further in Photoshop and then Nik. You can get pretty decent final images but it does take some time in post.
4) The dynamic range falls far short of my D7000 and D800 so highlights are very easy to clip with the V2. I tried to underexpose by -1/3 and its not enough. I have a feeling that on bright days going to -1 may be needed to try and hold onto the highlights. The shadows hold some detail….not nearly as much as a DX or FX sensor and you can only push them so far before noise is a real issue….so high contrast scenes will cause some loss that is inescapable.
5) The FT-1 adapter is solid and very easy to use. It is an amazing feat of engineering since you get a 2.7X crop factor with NO LOSS OF LIGHT on the V2! Using my 70-200 on it gives me an EFOV of 189-540 at f/4! And…with the TC-17E II it is 321 to 918 at f/6.7. As long as you shoot at ISO400 or under the RAW files are quite good. Think of the V2 as a 2.7X teleconverter for you FX lenses.
6) While the body may look a little ‘lumpy’ with the kit lens….it actually looks like a mini dslr when used with the FT-1 and I find it quite appealing visually.
7) The viewfinder is quite good and as you put it up to your eye it automatically shuts off the LCD screen. It feels like I’m shooting with a mini dslr and is very comfortable. The new hand grip is a great feature since the camera is a flyweight and some extra gripping area is needed especially with a zoom and the FT-1 mounted on it.
8) The AF on your lens will continually hunt when the V2 is turned on….even when you are not trying to take a pic….so I find that I click the AF and VR off between shots…or just turn off the camera since the battery life is quite limited…..a little over 300 shots. A spare battery is a must. It boots back up very quickly though.
9) The manual mode dial works well and anyone familiar with shooting a Nikon dslr will feel at home.
10) I think as more nature and bird photographers investigate the V2 with the FT-1 they will find it to be a very practical and well performing combination when shooting in good light where a longer EFOV is required. This is where the CX sensor and its 2.7X crop factor is a huge advantage. The bump up to 14MP from 10MP on the V1 really helps with finished image size. I took a few hundred shots this weekend and played around with a few dozen of the best ones. My smallest useable image ended up being 4.3MP after cropping….another one was 6.5MP and all the rest were over 8mp…with over 80% being 10Mp or larger. Almost all the shots I took were at 918mm EFOV….it was so much easier than trying to get up too close and scaring subjects away.
Like any photographic tool its good to understand the strengths and weaknesses of any piece of gear. This is NOT a camera with good jpegs or to be shot at higher ISOs…or in high contrast situations…but…..I would highly recommend the V2/FT-1 combination for anyone looking for increased EFOV when shooting in good light for their FX or DX lenses. To me….the V2 is perfect for nature and birding shooters…..other people are probably better served with the J series part of the Nikon 1 line.
My V1 has had a LCD problem. It stopped working and I had it repaired. It worked for a a couple of months and now it does not turn on again. The zoom lens also stopped working. The photographs though are great. I was wondering if the V2 will have the same problem. Has anyone else experienced the same LCD problem?
I have just ordered a V1. I will also buy the adapter and a Nikon 300mm f4, which will be equivelant to an 800mm f4 on this camera, and with a TC14E it will be an 1100mm f5.6. Perfect for shooting wildlife & birds!
Around $2000 and total weight less than 4lbs.
Now a DX (yes better IQ) with 500mm f4 & TC14, around $10000 and over 10lbs.
Thats right, $8000 more & 6lbs more, and unless you print real big, or pixel peep your screen, you won’t see much difference.
You will find that the increased efov is amazing…but the poor high ISO performance does limit the V1 and V2 to shooting in good light.
Plan on shooting RAW since the quality of the jpegs is quite poor….at least it is with my V2.
But….in good light this is an incredibly good, lightweight option….especially when using the 70-200 f/4 VR. My set up with the TC-17E II allows me to shoot hand-held and get good, sharp images at 1/200 and 1/250 of a second at an EFOV of 918mm.
I really like my V1 but was not impressed with the manual focusing. Did they do anything to improve the manual focus?
I wanted an answer to the same question John. Judging from a read of the V2 manual, the answer seems to be ‘no change’.
Well, if that’s the case, no need for me to upgrade . . . Nikon again fails to listen to their customers, and I wrote them direct about the crippling of advanced functions on the V1. No reply then, and obviously, no interest in giving us what we want. Only interested in “iteration”.
It is a techninal issue not crippling.
I have the V1 and use it with the FT1 and various Nikon lenses (70-200 f/2.8 especially) for birding. You will know that the V1 cripples more advanced functions when the FT1 is attached. Even so the combination is magic for walking around shooting. The BIG question, to me, is whether or not the V2 allows more creative control with the FT1 attached????????
Hi there, I am going to buy Nikon 1, but messed up don’t know which one to buy. Any suggestion for me between V1 and V2? Going on vacation soon and which one more suitable? Thank you :)
Hi everyone, I actually think that the biggest thing that the 1 series has going for it is the 2.7 crop factor CX format. I know everyone wants an APS-C size sensor, but I think that’s too “me-too” and doesn’t distinguish the product from everything else on the market. For the Nikon dSLR shooter, the 1 series has amazing potential in terms of “reach” by using the adapter plus existing DX or FX lenses, especially the fast primes or zooms. If only Nikon would market the CX as the perfect DX or FX companion….
I’m following your posts more and more, recently.
Actually, I think the V2 has a great potential – probably its real limit is that within 12 months the V3 will come out and it will lose value very quickly.
I’m wondering if – as you expect – some better zoom (stop those horrible 3.5-5.6 things! If Nikon expects us to use (relatively huge) FF lenses on V2, I’m sure they can do kind of 9-36 F/2.8 VR or 9-50 F/4 VR without too many problems.
I have one question for you: why FF lenses (which work at their best in the center) are “not so good” (as otherwise expected) on this camera? Because of the very high pixel pitch which demands the best and highest resolving lenses for FF? Have we kind of D800E in little, where everything out of focus, minimal misalignment or other optical issue is emphasized a lot?
I’ll be waiting for your full review with great pleasure and interest.
I would second your request. I have been using my V1 with a 70-200VR for some time now – with amazing results – but the muscles on my arm are weakening with age (!) . . . so a 70-200 weighing well under 1kg would be a godsend.
So please Nasim, give this camera a fair chance and just compare what it can do at near 600 mm for under £2000 and include a V2+FT1+70-200F/4 test !
Thankyou (in hope!)
Christian & KSPGM,
Please browse this page of Brad Hill’s website, see the images in chapter II, III and IV,
Nikon 1 + FT1 + AFS Nikkkor lenses
Thanks Paul! I do know this site and Brad gives one of the best overall reviews of the Nikon1 V1 + FT1 system antwhere on the net. I have been using this combination for nearly a year now and can confirm that I have the same overall impression. What I was hoping Nasim would review is the new 70-200F/4 with the FT1. I would hapily trade my 70-200f/2.8 VI for the new lens if the IQ and AF performance were as good. The added stop to f/2.8 is not so useful to me as saving 500 or 600 grams in weight!