Even after a year of V1 and J1, Nothing has changed in the Nikon’s production house. The so called improved version of the J1 (“Compact System Camera”) which is J2 (and it was launched in Sept 2011); does not cover all expectations of people.
For the people who are reading it first time; mirror less cameras offer better image quality over the traditional compact cameras and a interchangeable lens system, which like dSLRs, comes into several configuration, better AF system them compact cameras and of course they are really expesive as of now as market is evolving, but this does not stop people who are enthusiastic about the new technology from buying it. While V1 is more enthusiast friendly, J1 is consumer friendly.
As usual J2, from Nikon features the same 10 MP sensor in a CX format. The thing which is new in this camera is a new higher resolution LCD at 921 K dots and scene modes which was missing from the earlier launched J1.
Sensor : 10.1MP, 13.2 mm x 8.8 mm CMOS sensor, Nikon CX format
Effective Angle of View: Approx. 2.7 x lens focal length (35 mm format equivalent);
Focus System: Hybrid AF, (mix of contrast detect and phase detect), AF assist Illuminator.
Image Processor: Expeed 3
AF Area: Single-point (135 points), Auto-area (41 points), Subject tracking
Continuous Shooting: Electronic shutter (Hi) 60fps, 30fps and 10fps at full resolution
Mechanical: Up to 5fps depending upon the modes.
Video: 1080/60i video, slow motion
Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible
Battery: Li-ion Rechargeable Battery (EN-EL20), offer 230 shots at max.
Body Material: Aluminum alloy
Flash Range: Approx. 5/16 m/ft @ ISO 100
LCD Monitor: 3”, 961K dots
Sensor and Lens System:
The sensor is at 1”; bigger than the compact cameras but is smaller than four thirds and dSLR’s APS-C, which is in fact smaller then what other competitor is offering in their mirror less cameras except Pentax Q. Also this results in 2.7X multiplier in the focal length. So a 10-30 mm lens is practically a 27 – 81 mm.
For the System 1, Nikon has created the new format which is called as CX format and lenses for the format is designated by 1 NIKKOR. Small sensor means small lenses and light weight optics, which in turn means faster focusing time as motor has to do less work. Because of the shallow depth of field at wide angle ( which means without zoom ) the camera takes AF really fast, which in turn makes photography a pleasure.
The sensor use 73 AF points with the hybrid AF system which makes the AF so fast and successful in whole Nikon 1 series.
The new feature is when you unlock your lens ( either 10-30mm or 30-110 or 10-110 telephoto lens) you switch on the camera as well automatically which was missing from J1 and has been implemented by its competitor.
Body is sleek and stylish, with rounded edges and aluminum surface, which is certainly eye catcher when put in between the compact cameras. The curved lines in the front help to minimize the counter cosmetic effect of the box type rear plate.
The whole body measures 106 x 61 x 30 mm (4.17 x 2.4 x 1.18″) and mere 238 gms which is quite light and can he handled with a single hand.
Camera is made for right hand people and the position of the control is optimal for the thumb to do the job
The combination with the 10-30 mm kit is good and somewhat less bulky than 10-110 mm kit. When used with the 10-110 mm kit the camera need both hands to operate as the system begun to misbalance.
Buttons are flushed in the body to minimize the damage in case of accidental fall which is same as in J1 and V1 but also they feel flimsy. On the Top plate there are three buttons; Power on, Shutter release and Movie Record. At the bottom, integrated control dial sits with four dedicated buttons.
In front of the camera there is a infrared receiver for the remote release. Camera lack a optical view finder which makes sure that camera remain slim and trim as in V1 it( OVF) is protruding from the body.
It has a L shaped pop-up flash at the edge of the camera that rises about 3.5cm from the lens. Flash rating is 5m at ISO 100. Also to note that there are multiple flash modes as well as Slow Sync, Rear curtain and Red Eye, in which red Eye is most useful when clicking the humans while rear curtain is helpful when taking portraits which have homogenous background.
Battery pack is EN-EL20 battery with a CIPA rating of approximately 230 still images; which is same as in Nikon 1, J1; in fact is disappointing that battery is not upgraded ,but in case of day light without flash photography it can go as far as around 400 shots per recharge. Battery compartment also host the Memory card compartment which support SDXC/SDHC/SD card formats.
System is really fast; which is a characteristic of the camera or the whole NIKON 1 Series. A boot up in below 2 second and snap to snap time of 1.5 second is good, what makes people really feel good is the AF system which locks the focus in less than half second all thanks to its sensor based hybrid autofocus system . Depending upon if phase or contrast detection is working, AF lock time varies.
This performance is matched with the J1, and no considerable change has been seen.
The only change has been seen in the modes of the scenes which was missing from the J1, Panorama stitching is back in the model. Other modes including Selective Color, Miniature, Soft, Night Landscape, Backlighting, and Night Portraits are there as well, which makes the photography, more fun to deal with. To do this a new creative mode is put on the dial at the back.
In low light conditions the system uses the its own brain hence number varies, as it chooses the phase detection, focus is less than second but in case of contrast detection it is more than a second.
Electronic shutter also gives it a unique advantage of getting 60fps that to at fill resolution.
There is also regular continuous drive with mechanical shutter as well which can deliver 5 and 10 fps and with continuous focus in the case.
Camera is basically meant to used in automatic mode, where a lots of parameters is decided by the system for the optimal photo graphs but you can get to the core setting and play around a bit if you like.
One great feature of the NIKON 1 System is the Motion Snapshot, as it gives a 1 second long slow motion video and still images to produce a living image which is quite fun , but no sound is brought on.
User can het High Definition which is 1080p or 1060i from the camera at the effective rate of 60 fps which is really awesome and 30fps which is normal. Other shooting modes includes 720p, 640X 240 (400) and 320P (1200). This can enable you to take slow motion video which is a great feature and fun to play with
The camera is basically same as J1 its predecessor, so no need to upgrade from J1, also it is good for someone who want to buy their first compact system camera but other competitor also gives nice option so check them out, but still the great features ( read: 60fps video, 60 fps picture, various modes) and not to forget good ready to print photos with great color reproduction.
So it you already do not own this but own a dSLR, you can purchase for a second camera.