Friday, 28 December 2012

Nikon V2 is not the camera I was waiting for

I had been waiting eagerly for the Nikon V2 as I wanted to buy the second generation Nikon 1 system. However, V2 is not the camera I was waiting for. The problems with V2 as I see them are:

  • V1 had a cool styling - I felt that Nikon was trying to be like Apple and Leica. But V2 is traditional and boring. While it is to be appreciated that Nikon took the negative feedback on V1 and responded quickly - in my view the response is inappropriate. They should have improved the V1 rather than abandoning it in favour of an SLR look alike. 
  • Instead of a 14MP sensor that has worse performance rating than the V1's 10MP sensor, I would have liked Nikon to keep to 10MP but increase the sensor performance in low light and dynamic range. It seems that after stating 10MP was sufficient they decided to play the number game after all - as a response to Sony RX-100 no doubt.
  • What was wrong with the original V1 was its price, and the lack of fast lenses. Neither of these issues have been fixed. With smaller sensor, fast lenses are essential to make up for the loss of light, as well as to improve background blurring. I would have thought that given the sensor size, it should have been relatively easy to create compact but fast lenses. But Nikon appears to be following an inexplicable agenda of creating slow zoom lenses - with a couple of semi-fast aperture primes thrown in. Why is the 10mm wide f2.8 and not f1.4? Why is the 18mm f1.8 and not f1.2? 
  • I got the thinking behind V1 - to create a camera where a photographer could forget about his or her skill and just shoot like a novice. That is relaxing for someone who is always worrying about technicalities of taking photographs. So I personally did not have an issue with lack of a PASM dial. I think the new layout of the V2 is boring and ugly. I wanted a beautiful camera, but it seems true that the Japanese companies do not know how to create good looking products.