If you followed the launch of Nikon's J2 interchangeable-lens compact recently, then waking up to today's announcement of a higher-specced V2 probably won't come as a huge surprise. Nevertheless, whereas the J2 was frustratingly incremental compared to the J1, the V2 will likely represent a more significant upgrade when it lands on shelves at the end of November. For a start, the magnesium alloy camera has been bestowed with a sizable grip, which makes a vast difference to its ergonomics -- it feels much more secure and manageable in the hand, without hurting the small and lightweight appeal of this form factor. Nikon has found room for a pop-up flash too, which is certainly nice to have. The mode dial has moved to the top of the camera and now includes the four main shooting modes (P/S/A/M) -- a change which, in one fell swoop, helps the entire remainder of the control system to become more intuitive and accessible. A new processing engine allows the camera to shoot 15 fps with continuous focus (versus 10 fps with the V1), with Nikon claiming that AF speed has been improved as well. And as for the bad news? It's waiting for you after the break.
Nikon 1 V2 hands-onSee all photos
If you've been put off by the small sensors in Nikon's 1 System, then there's nothing to change your mind here. We're looking at a revamped but still tiny CX sensor, this time with the resolution bumped up to 14 megapixels (instead of 10) -- a move that likely won't do much for the camera's overall image quality or low light performance relative to APS-C or Micro Four Thirds shooters. There's also a couple of software features that risk being thrown into the gimmick bucket. This includes the guided interface, which lets you make photographic adjustments without necessarily understanding how you're changing shutter, aperture and ISO -- a strange inclusion on a camera that costs $900 with a kit lens. Finally, there's a new best shot mode called Slow View, which captures a full-res ultra slow-motion video clip of your subject and then plays it back on the LCD. You're meant to watch this video on a loop and then press the shutter when you see the frame you want, at which point all the other images get deleted. It looks fancy and may come in handy on occasion, but didn't feel to us like a very reliable way of picking a good, sharp image -- we'd still use the more traditional best shot mode for that.