Nikon 1 S2 Review

Review posted 09/23/2014

Quick Take
  • Very small and lightweight camera body
  • Minimal shutter lag and shot-to-shot delay issues
  • Continuous shot modes are extremely fast
  • Image quality is good
  • Can shoot in RAW or JPEG (but not both at the same time)
  • Several choices of body colors
  • Can turn on camera with either power button or by unlocking kit zoom lens
  • Fully Automatic mode is easy to use
  • Can shoot still images while shooting video (but shutter noise is audible on video recording)
  • Popup flash unit intensity can be adjusted
  • Popup flash opens automatically as needed in Auto mode (but not in other shooting modes)
  • Menu structure is confusing and poorly organized
  • Smaller image sensor versus DSLRs
  • Only can shoot in 3:2 aspect ratio
  • No image stabilization option
  • Lowest ISO setting available is ISO 200
  • Ergonomics could be better; no raised area to serve as a right-hand grip
  • Too few dedicated buttons for controlling camera
  • Limited in-camera editing options
  • Uses microSD memory cards
  • Camera almost looks and feels like a toy
  • No electronic viewfinder
  • No hot shoe
  • No touch screen display option
Bottom Line
The Nikon 1 S2 is a tiny mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that almost looks more like a toy than a serious camera. Unfortunately some of its features are more toy-ish than serious too. The S2's menu structure is such a mess that it makes this camera confusing to use at first in anything but fully Automatic mode. It's a tiny camera that's a little tough to handle because of the lack of any right-hand grip. And for a fun, colorful camera, Nikon neglected to give the S2 a touchscreen display, built-in Wi-Fi, or enough fun special effect features to appeal to the beginners at which it's aimed. Image quality is good with the Nikon 1 S2, and you can shoot in RAW, which is nice. This camera performs extremely fast, which is probably its best feature. But it just isn't good enough elsewhere versus its peers. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
In May of 2014, Nikon added two new siblings to their Nikon 1 System of compact ILCs (Interchangeable Lens Cameras). The more affordable of the two, the 1 S2, is quite similar to the $150-more-expensive 1 J4, but has a smaller image sensor and is missing a few features.

Otherwise, the Nikon 1 S2 seems like quite the bargain. You get Full 1080/60p HD video recording courtesy of a 14.2 MP CMOS image sensor and the EXPEED 4A image processing engine which enables features like 20 frames per second Continuous Shooting (a world record speed incorporated from the Nikon 1 V3), Auto Image Capture (automatically captures 10 images while you record an HD video clips) and lots of Creative Modes, some of which have returned from previous years (Selective Color, Miniature Effect, Easy Panorama Mode), while others are new only for video (Jump Cut, Fast Motion, Four Second Video).

The Nikon 1 S2 also features a modest 200-12800 ISO range with ISO Sensitivity Noise Reduction, which overlays four separate images to reduce the amount of noise at higher ISOs. Finally, while this ILC does not include built-in Wi-Fi for image back up and social network sharing, it is compatible with the inexpensive 1a Wireless Mobile Adapter.

Nikon 1 S2 Features:
  • 14.2 CMOS image sensor
  • EXPEED 4A image processing engine
  • 3.0-inch TFT-LCD display (460K dots)
  • Full HD Video Recording
    • 1080/60p up to 10mins per clip
    • 1080/30p and 720/30p Vibration Reduction (e-VR)
  • Auto Image Capture
    • Simultaneous Still Image and Video Capture
    • Automatically saves 10 best shots during video recording
  • ISO 200-12800
  • ISO Sensitivity Noise Reduction
  • 20 frames-per-second Continuous Shooting
  • 105 phase-detect AF points
  • Creative Modes
    • Selective Color
    • Miniature Effect
    • Cross Process
    • Toy Camera
    • Creative Pallet
    • Jump Cut
    • Fast Motion
    • Four Second Video
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
    • Requires 1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
  • Optional Accessories
    • WP-N3 Waterproof Case
      • Capable of operating down to 45m (147.6 ft)
    • SB-N10 Waterproof Speedlight

The Nikon 1 S2 comes in black, white, red, or yellow. The $449.95 MSRP kit includes the 1 NIKKOR 11-27mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. And the $699.95 MSRP two-lens kit includes the above lens plus a 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens. See our best price box at the top right of this page to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • Nikon 1 S2 body
  • Nikkor 11-27mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (depending on kit purchased)
  • EN-EL22 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-29 Battery Charger
  • UC-E16 USB Cable
  • AN-N1000 Strap
  • BF-N1000 Body Cap
  • ViewNX 2
  • Short Movie Creator CD
  • User's Manual
  • Reference Manual CD

Additional Product Views


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