Nikon J1 Review


Review posted 5/04/2012

Quick Take
  • Stylish exterior that's available in five colors combinations (lenses match the body)
  • Captures pleasing images both indoors and out
  • Records high-quality HD video
  • Extremely easy to use with Scene Auto selector and Smart Photo selector
  • Plenty of advanced exposure options
  • High-quality 3.0-inch LCD
  • Good shooting performance
  • Cool slow-motion video modes
  • High-quality 1 Nikkor lens options
  • Produces usable photos throughout the ISO range
  • Fast AF system that works well in various conditions
  • Mode dial is limited, forcing you to use the menu to change between the advanced exposure options
  • Weak built-in flash
  • No hot shoe
  • Visible noise even at lower ISO settings
  • Poor battery life compared to competition
  • We did not see 5fps in burst mode; only 3.6fps using Program mode
Bottom Line
Nikon's J1 is a stylish and easy to use EVIL camera. It boasts a powerful 10-metapixel CX-format CMOS image sensor, good shooting performance, and a plethora of exposure options. Like all cameras the J1 has its downfalls (battery life for example), however it is a very competitive model in the EVIL or ILC category. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
nikon_J1_silver_550.jpgNikon has finally joined the EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) world with the introduction of their first mirror-less cameras. Nikon unveiled two new "Nikon 1" models, the V1 and the J1.

The J1 is a compact interchangeable lens camera that encompasses speed and ease of use with powerful specifications, which combined give you the opportunity to capture amazing photos from such a compact package. On top of a fast 10-megapixel CX-format CMOS image sensor, the J1 boasts Nikon's all new EXPEED 3 dual core processor, with allows you to capture full resolution images up to 5 frames per second. It also allows for high-speed continuous shooting at lower resolutions, at up to 60fps.

Other important features include a 73-point Hybrid AF system, Full 1080p or 1080i HD video options, new Nikon 1 lens mount system, broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 - 6400 (with expansion), and a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen.

Nikon J1 Key Features:
  • New CX-format CMOS image sensor (13.2x8.8mm, 2.7x crop factor)
  • EXPEED 3 dual core processor 
  • 5fps burst mode shooting at full resolution
  • Hi-speed continuous shooting from 10fps up to 60fps at lower resolution
  • High-Speed 73-point Hybrid AF system (combines Phase Detection and Contrast Detect AF)
  • Sensitivity range from ISO 100 - 3200 (up to 6400 in Hi-1 mode)
  • Full 1080p (30fps) or 1080i (60fps) HD video
  • High-speed video at 30, 60, 400, or 1200 fps
  • 3.0-inch LCD with 460K pixels
  • JPEG + RAW (NEF) file formats; NEF+JPEG available
  • Scene Auto Selector for simple point-n-shoot operation
  • Program Auto, Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority, and full Manual exposure control
  • Five Scene modes
  • Smart Photo Selector, uses in-camera "pre-cache" to help ensure you don't miss a shot
  • Built-in flash
  • Li-ion battery pack (good for up to 230 photos using CIPA standards)
  • Memory slot accepts SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
The Nikon J1 is shipping now, with five color choices to choose from; White, Black, Red, Silver, and Pink.

The J1 comes in the following kit configurations:
  • J1 + 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens = $649.95 USD
  • J1 + 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR and 1 NIKKOR 10mm f/2.8 lenses = $899.95 USD
  • J1 + 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR and 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR lenses = $899.95 USD
What's in the box?:
  • Nikon J1 camera body
  • EN-EL20 rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • MH-27 battery charger
  • UC-E15 USB cable, AN-N1000 strap
  • BF-N1000 body cap
  • ViewNX 2/Short Movie Creator CD

Additional Product Photos


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.