From the V1 to the V2

Earlier this year I was looking at getting a used Nikon V2. As much as I enjoy using the V1 for surfing photos, the damned image review that can't be turned off has cost me quite a few shots. I've been waiting for Nikon to make that oh so small change to the firmware, but that's been a waste of time.

In the meanwhile, I got distracted by the Fujifilm X-E1. The IQ is so much better than the V1, although AF speed can't compare. Despite that drawback, the X-E1 has replaced the V1 as my small, carry anywhere body.

So where does that leave the V1? Well, it was going to remain my surfing camera (which means selling the 10mm, 18.5mm and SB-N5), but then I found a V2 body with the 10-30mm PD lens going for a decent price (thanks again, Craigslist).

A few observations:
1. The V2 body is smaller and lighter. It's not that much smaller than the V1, but being thin with that big grip gives the impression that it's much smaller. Being lighter also helps, but that is at the expense of battery life.
2. The PD lens is very convenient. Turn on the camera and the lens opens and extends, no need to remove a lens cap and then push a button to extend the lens. Hopefully the mechanism doesn't break down.
3. The grip makes it easy to hold the camera, but it gets uncomfortable after several minutes. The corners are not as rounded as on a Nikon DSLR body, which is probably one reason my fingers start hurting after using the V2.
4. There are some surprising missing features compared to the V1, such as no battery status (really, Nikon?), no interval timer, and no option to independently turn the AF confirmation and shutter sounds on or off.
5. Auto ISO is still not correctly implemented with a minimum shutter speed setting as on Nikon's DSLR bodies. I thought the algorithm was favoring lower shutter speeds in aperture priority, but a quick test with the V1 shows similar exposures.
6. There's no way to manually select between the electronic and mechanical shutters (aside from picking silent mode). With the V1, I tend to shoot using the electronic shutter, even at slower speeds.
7. I found out my FT-1 was one firmware upgrade behind when I was unable to focus continuously at 15fps. I did a rough test using the same lens on both the V1 and V2, and the V1 feels like it's focusing faster (or refocusing more often) than the V2. 

Not having image review is a relief though. I'm looking forward to the next trip to Hawaii so I can test the V2.

The V1 is off to another Nikon fan. It will get some good use and will still be loved, but by a new owner.


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