All the new things!

Here’s a quick update of what else arrived in Singapore in the last week. Firstly the Nikon 1 V2 is now available, and the basic kit price is at over S$1,000. I have yet to try the camera personally, unlike CK who managed to spend some quality time with it in Japan, but I don’t think that whatever the improvements are, it is going to be worth that kind of price premium. A camera like the D3200 is almost 20% cheaper, despite costing more to produce. Nikon really needs to re-evaluate their pricing on the 1 line if they are going to be competitive with the other mirrorless system cameras. Along with the V2 also comes the Nikon 1 18.5mm f/1.8 lens. So if you want a fast prime for your 1 system, this is a good start (and currently the only start, if you ask me).

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A Quick Hands-on of the Nikon 1 V2

Black and white models of the Nikon 1 V2 on a shelf at Yodobashi Camera, Tokyo.

I chanced upon the newly released Nikon 1 V2 at Tokyo’s Yodabashi Camera store while I was on holiday and decided to give it a quick hands-on test. One of the biggest differences between these great stores is that customers are able to play with a lot of gear without having some pesky salesman stare at you, which is a great plus.

Unfortunately, the battery/SD card door was taped shut and thus I was unable to insert my own SD card to get some sample shots.

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Nikon Announces the Nikon V2, Speedlight SB-N7 and Three 1-series Lenses

Nikon 1 V2 with 10-30mm kit lens

Ah, now I know why there’s a sudden price drop of the Nikon 1 V1 cameras. It’s because Nikon now has the Nikon 1 V2, announced today. The camera is an upgrade to the V1, sporting a 14 megapixel CX-sized sensor, built-in flash, a mode dial (finally), a customisable function button (finally) and a built-in hand grip.

YS: Ye gods, is that hump on top ugly or what? In fact, I can see the flash panel exposed in the image – This reminds me of Transformers toys with inelegant kibble bits stuck behind the robot, except this time it is hanging off on the front.

CK: Indeed it is ugly, no where as ugly as the Hasselblad-made NEX 7 recently announced but still ugly. A dpreview user was right to say that it shouts, “Don’t buy me!!!”

YS: To clarify on another point, there has always been a mode dial for the 1 cameras, just that this time the traditional PASM modes are there as well. However, there is still no button dedicated to the ISO setting, which means the customisable function button is not going to be so customisable after all, since most photographers will set it to ISO. Still, having a proper command dial is a good thing. Oh, and get ready for a new battery – the V2 uses the new EN-EL21.

CK: Nikon has also added a a Live View Control – giving a preview of exposure effects on the LCD and EVF prior to shooting.There’s also a “Slow View” mode which buffers 40 frames over 1.33s when you half-press the shutter button, then replays them at 1/5th speed, letting you choose your own decisive moment. A little gimmicky, in my opinion.

The camera will retail at the V1’s original list price of US$899 with the 10-30mm kit zoom in late November.

YS: This camera really needs to be S$899, not US$899. Plus, I am sure many early adopters are going to remember the V1’s incredible price drop (more than 50% over one year), and will tell their friends about it. Customers will remember when they’ve been burnt. Not Nikon’s best moment, really.

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