Nikon V2 arrives, but the original V1 is still a steal of a deal!
Happy THURSDAY to all! I’m having a great and happy day as always and not because it is valentines day (for me, every day is valentines day) but because a new camera arrived this week for me to review and it is none other than the Nikon V2. Yea, not so “new” but new to me! I was not originally going to review the V2 but I figured that since I almost panned the V1 (the camera I expected to hate) I figured it would not be fair if I did not review it. What if it is flat-out AMAZING and kills the V1? Lol.
After a couple of days with it I can say the IQ reminds me VERY much of the V1 in color, tone, and look. The camera has a huge grip now, is not as ugly in person as it appeared in photos and is really fast thanks to its phase and contrast detect AF. Super early 1st impressions over the V1 (which I also have here) is that it is easier to hold, has physical control dials, and is built just as well. There are indeed improvements but are they huge? NO. With that said, is it worth a $600 difference in cost over the V1? Probably not since teh V1 is still available for such an amazing price.
The V1 is one hell of a little speedy camera that has fantastic color and “feel” even with the smaller sensor (that does put out a teeny bit of grain even at base ISO). In fact, in the past I stated I felt that the V1 has a filmic like feel at times, depending on the light. Film, even ISO 200 film had noise and some grit. So does the V series but not too much. They are very capable cameras.
The new V2 is just under a grand with two lenses, the 10-30 and 30-110. The V1 can be had (and there are still a few in stock at B&H at this price) for $399 with the same TWO lenses. Yes, the V1, the 10-30 and superb 30-100 for $399. I bought my son one and also bought one for myself (I sold my previous V1) because at these prices it is a steal.
So would I go for a V2 for $995 over a $399 V1 set? Well, it is very early for me to say but I will spill the beans in my upcoming V2 review. I will be reviewing it with the new 18.5 1.8 lens. My very 1st indoor test shot with the V2 is below and this is out of camera in my kitchen yesterday wide open at 1.8. The two shots under it were also shot wide open with the new 18.5 – you can click any image for a larger and crisper view 🙂
What I find interesting is that the V1 and two lens kit is $1149 if you buy direct from Nikon:
but click over to B&H and it is $399 for the same kit, and if you add the 10mm you get $100 off of that as well:
Then we have the V2 and the same two lens kit for $996.95:
So my Nikon V2 review will be coming soon as I will be shooting all weekend with it to see how it performs and feels over the V1. There will also be side by side comparisons with full size image samples, so stay tuned.
I bought a V1 before Christmas last year when Steve posted the great deal ($299 with 10-30mm kit lens). I bought an adapter (leica R to Nikon 1) to mate with my R lenses. With the kit lens, the AF is nice, accurate and fast enough. Color picture looks quite good. But the EVF blinks during refresh occasionally. Sometimes the color on the EVF wasn’t accurate. The red flower looked like pink flower on the EVF. The result picture was correct though.
Manual focus don’t have magnify assist, no focus peaking that caused several bad shots. I returned the unit to B&H. The customer service agent was very courteous to accept my return.
I had a V1 with the 10, 10-30 and the 30-110 in 2012, but sold all after two weeks of testing – not due to the lenses or the IQ, which I still love, but due to the sub-average quality of the buttons of the V1! They gave me the feeling of brittleness, as if they would fail every next moment. The shutter button was particularly problematic in this regard. The 1 J1’s buttons weren’t better either (plus its monitor was worse). What I liked about the J1 was the grip of the surface. It was not slippery like, e.g., a Oly Pen Mini or a Leica D-Lux XYZ, but the finish gave good adhesion to skin which stops your fingers from gliding around. With the intro of the J2, things have changed to the better: monitor of the V1, and MUCH better quality buttons. The J3 got again worse – the tactility of the buttons is on par with the J2, but now Nikon minimized the number of controls, so that the aperture has to be selected now on the command dial. The V2 is now kind of a commitment, with a very high quality body with excellent control buttons and dials, stellar ergonomics – really top of the notch, but, again, too much of a commitment, say, overall now too large for me. I wanted something smaller.
Guess what I did.
Now, I bought a 1 J2 in silver with silver 10-30 and black 18.5/1.8 lenses – and I love this gang!
It took a few weeks to get into this one after my V1 but with the 18.5mm lens I like it. Not used my D800 much since purchasing!
Examples can be seen with the 18.5 mm at
and many more at pbase.com/mjlamoon
Great! gallery Martin. I’m tempting to a V1 or V2 myself. Been a shooter for many, many years. Moved to Olympus OM-D last October and this is a very fine and capable camera. Except for c-af!
Don’t want to go back to the big guns if possible. Wish Nikon update their firm-ware to make it possible to c-af with the FT1 adapter. Also where are the ‘longer’ lenses…?
Didn’t you miss VR with the 18.5mm?
Maybe a V1 is worth to give it a try, consider its price right now.
Been… a Canon.. shooter, forgot the word..
No! The 18.5 works well without VR, proball due to faster speeds.
I have been using the 70-200 with the v1 and V2 mainly for wildlife shots, it’s amazing and of. Course it’s still f2.8.
Hoping to get the new wide angle when released. I am getting the new 10-100vr next week so will see how this performs, the 30 – 110 is good, better than the 10-30.
I will be happy if I can carry just the 2 new lens and the 18.5
Thanks for this info Martin.
I’ve been trying to recommend the V1/V2 to some colleges who use Nikon. Of course so I could try one myself 😉
Yes the 70-200mm makes a fine combination with the 1 series. Would be really great for sports(soccer) during daylight, if….. Nikon provides continues AF. Really a-shame this isn’t possible.
Recent my sister bought a Fujifilm X-S1(24-600/2.8/5.6) bridge camera. A different class maybe. But the sensor is the same as the Fuji X-10 and if you know what you do and understands its limits, this camera amazes me! Ugly camera on photos, like the V2 is ugly as well on photos. But in real life quiet pleasing to use.
Did you use the V1/V2 in low light? I mean with for example a 50mm/1.4 attached? Curious if that work well.
Shoot my V1 everyday, no complaints!
You mean every day you pay twice as much for your roses as you did the day before and fight crowds just to go out and get a steak special:P
I bought a V1 kit for the brother in law and was going to buy one for me as a travel camera to supplement my 5N but I think I am leaning to the RX100 as you can take it places you can’t take the interchangeable lens cameras such as concerts and shows. I was very disappointed when they turned my camera away from a children’s show. I just have cameraphone shots:(
I appreciate the heads up on the deals, I bought the Sigma lenses yesterday for the 5N. Have you heard of any great deals on the rx100 and is it still made in Japan? A recent review said it was now made in China and feels much cheaper?
Dismount the lens from the body and it’s done.
It evolved fast!
I love the V1 for the cool design and good performance.
But the V2 seems to be a real usability upgrade.
That first photo has surprisingly pleasant bokeh. I think it’s partially a trick though since Steve’s wife is so much brighter than what’s behind her. Still, very sharp and the colors are excellent. Normally I do not like Nikon colors as much.
The V2 sure is ugly! Almost looks a little NEX-ian (NEXist?) in design, but less aethetically pleasing than Sony’s cameras.
If I was planning on taking the Nikon mirrorless route, I would definitely scoop up that V1 deal though!
No, V2 = Nikon F401
I got the camera a while back and I love it. Fast focus and I love the colors too.
Id post some of my pics with the camera here if I knew how to:(