Nikon 1 V2 joins the family

27/08/2014 - 16:08

I have started running into joint problems again and realised that this may be linked to my getting some longer and heavier pro quality lenses for my EM-1.


I've long been mulling over giving the Nikon 1 cameras a try and when two factors came together, the reviews of the new nikkor 1 70-300CX lens (equivalent FOV of 800mm on the Nikon 1) and the availability of a mint used nikon 1 V2 with a couple of lenses to start with at a very good price I took the chance and got it


If it works out how I hope I will sell my EM-5 to cover some of the costs and maybe end up using the V2 + 70-300 exclusively for my birding work, keeping the EM-1 for the rest of my shooting and for competition / sales images


As always with a new lens the weather is foul and the light poor but I have had the chance to run a few shots off and drawn a few tentative conclusions:


- the V2 is small, light and cute but seems well put together

- the shooting experience lacks the tactile pleasure if using the EM-1, button and switches feel a bit less "professional" and I don't like having the SD card slot in with the battery compartment (and to make things worse, the lens attaches with a twist in the "Wrong" direction - I can see some real frustration in the future :D )

- as expected, the image files are more noisy than those from the EM series (smaller sensor) but still seem perfectly usable for the uses I have in mind

- focus speed is remarkable (even in the poor light) and being able to keep shot to shot AF at 15fps is mad (but useful :) )

- Using the 70-300 VR, I was shooting some House Martins in flight, which it did with ease and recorded some new face to face interactions which looked fascinating (mating or fighting, I couldn't as the images were too small) but it picked up the focus and maintianed it without problem


More to report once the conditions improve but so far, so very good


After a lot more shots and a day at the Bournemouth Air Festival (in rotten conditions) I'm pleased to say that the V2 is exceeding expectations. Focus speed, even in poor lighting conditions (hazy cloud cover with lack of contrast) was excellent and made my EM-1 look a bit second rate to be honest.


the images are more noisy then the EM-1 with its larger sensor, I reckon ISO160 noise = that of ISO400 on the EM-1, but images are still very good quality


I've put a gallery of images from this system up in a gallery from the 29th


More Airshow tomorrow, hopefully in better conditions


Update - 10-10-2014:

I've now shot many thousands of images through this little camera, mostly using the 70-300cx (what a brilliant lens that is!) but also with the 10-300 and 30-100 kit lense. Primarily sport / action work but also using it as a travel camera. It has exceeded my expectations for both lightness as a total system and performance. Low shutter speed work in a museum was impressive and being able to capture high-speed windsurf action with focus tracking at 15fps has been a joy. This is fast becoming my "go to" camera system (sorry Olympus EM-1, I still love you bu there is a new kid on the block :) )


I have been printig out a lot of the images I am getting from this system, typically up to 15"x10" on either lustre baryta paper or Permajet parchment textured fine art paper.  Whilst there may be some more noise and slightly less line defintion they are good enough that customers are happily buying them and they have got me maximum points in the club print competion. An 18"x12" print is also perfectly feasible and has excellent impact at arms length viewing


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