Nikon V2 Review

 
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Nikon V2 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance for a compact system camera, though startup and buffer clearing is slow.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~2.1 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0.2 second

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
16 seconds after 40 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
22 seconds after 40 RAW files*
33 seconds after 40 RAW+ LF JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was a bit sluggish for a compact system camera, though shutdown time was very fast. Buffer clearing time depends on the quality and number of shots, and on the speed of the memory card. With a fast 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card, the Nikon V2's buffer clearing times were quite slow for max-length bursts, though buffers were very deep.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second
Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.7 second
Time to display a large/fine JPEG file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.2 second
Time to display a large/fine JPEG file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was pretty fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-point AF mode
0.072 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing performed with the new Nikon 1 10-30mm kit lens.)
Full Autofocus,
Auto-area AF mode
0.148 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto flash enabled
0.391 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. Built-in flash enabled.
Continuous AF
0.085 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.055 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.055 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon V2's full-autofocus shutter lag in single-point AF mode (center AF position) was incredibly fast, at only 0.072 second with the 10-30mm kit lens. That's faster than most professional DSLRs we've tested! In auto-area AF mode, lag more than doubled to 0.148 second, though that's still very fast for a CSC and faster than most DSLRs. Enabling the flash added some delay for preflash metering, however lag was still good at 0.391 second. Continuous AF mode resulted in a shutter lag of only 0.085 second, though we can't test tracking ability in the lab. When manually focused, the V2's lag time was 0.055 second, also very fast. The Nikon V2's prefocused lag time of 0.055 second was quite fast as well, faster than most DSLRs and CSCs, though many point & shoots are still faster in this regard.

Overall, Nikon 1's hybrid AF system offers outstanding AF speeds and the V2's iteration has set a yet another benchmark for CSCs and DSLRs alike.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/fine JPEG

0.32 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing, 11 seconds to clear.*

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.32 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing, 14 seconds to clear.*

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG
0.31 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing, 19 seconds to clear.*

Early shutter
penalty?

No
(Yes with flash or review turned on)

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/fine JPEG

0.02 second (60.6 frames per second);
40 frames total;
16 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.02 second (58.8 frames per second);
40 frames total;
22 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.02 second (62.5 frames per second);
40 frames total;
33 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Flash Recycling

2.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very fast at less than a third of a second no matter the file type, which is much faster than average for a CSC and a big improvement over the V1's 1+ second cycle times.

The Nikon V2 offers full-resolution continuous mode speeds up to 60 fps when using the electronic shutter, and up to 5 fps with the mechanical shutter. We tested the 60 fps mode, and the V2 met expectations, delivering approximately 60 full-resolution frames per second with any file type -- outstanding!

Buffer depths were also outstanding, at 40 frames for any file type. Buffer clearing took a long time when shooting maximum burst lengths, though that's not a complete surprise given their depth.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

10,857 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

USB download speeds were very good, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Nikon V2's overall performance was generally outstanding. Autofocus speeds, burst speeds and buffer depths were all exceptional. The only sluggish performance results we got were startup time and buffer clearing, though the later is mostly due to the unusually deep buffers. Again, the Nikon 1 system truly raises the bar for CSCs in most performance metrics.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a CSC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
310

The Nikon V2 uses a custom EN-EL21 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and dedicated charger. The rated 310 shots per charge is somewhat below average for a compact system camera, so we strongly recommend getting a second battery for your V2 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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