Colour and White balance
The V2's automatic white balance is generally reliable, producing accurate images in a variety of lighting conditions. Colours appear a touch muted when the camera's default settings are used, however this can be easily rectified though the on-board ‘Picture Control’ settings, with the Vivid setting producing images with much greater saturation.
While the V2 exposes accurately on the whole, we did experience some issues with the V2's dynamic range. When faced with high contrast scenes we found that the V2 tends to deliver blown highlights, with detail also being lost in shadow areas.
Although the V2's 14.2MP CMOS sensor is capable of resolving a good level of detail, the smaller physical size of the sensor means that it falls slightly behind rival compact system cameras using larger Micro Foiur Thirds or APS-C sized sensors.
On the whole the V2 handles noise quite well. At the higher settings, for example ISO 1600, aggressive noise reduction does result in a softening of images.
The 10-30mm kit zoom delivers a reasonable level of performance with edge sharpness respectable and very few signs of chromatic aberrations.
Raw and JPEG
While JPEGs suffer from aggressive noise reduction, uncompressed Raw files are much noisier. That said, there is of course much more scope to apply your own levels of noise reduction at the post-processing stage.
Nikon V2: Verdict
There’s a lot to like about the Nikon V2 and it’s certainly a big improvement on the V1. The addition of an exposure mode dial on the top-plate and a comfortable handgrip both make the V2 a much more enjoyable camera to shoot with. Performance impresses too, with the V2’s 60fps burst mode and lightning-fast AF system being the obvious highlights, and well supported by a good range of shooting modes. Sadly though, the V2 is not without its faults; the in-camera menu system remains clunky and longwinded, and the V2’s smaller one-inch sensor is responsible for a range of image quality issues. Last but not least, the V2 is also expensive – at least for now, although given time the price may well fall.