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Ilse Jurriën : January 1st 2012 - 18:30 CET

Nikon 1 J1 review

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NikonNikon 1 J1 review : Previously, the consumer could choose from two camera categories: a digital compact camera (for the amateur photographer) and a digital SLR camera (for the professional photographer). In 2008, Panasonic together with Olympus introduced the Micro Four Thirds concept, which resulted in the Panasonic Lumix G1 system camera. The system camera became the ideal combination of a compact camera with professional image quality. For a long time, the camera giants Nikon and Canon held off, however, in September of this year Nikon finally introduced their system camera series, the Nikon 1. The Nikon 1 system camera series is currently made up of two cameras, the Nikon 1 V1 and the beginner-level model the Nikon 1 J1.
Nikon 1 J1 review

Nikon 1 J1 review
In September most of us thought, finally, Nikon has taken another route and has applied their extensive knowledge in professional photography to the new Nikon 1 camera system. We are extremely curious about its performance, so we examined the Nikon 1 J1 more carefully during a trip through Tunisia. Right before even holding the camera, the old Nikon feeling surfaced. The Nikon 1 J1 is a compact yet robust camera with comfortable hand placement. The sleek lines and beautiful shiny coating give the Nikon 1 J1 a stylish appearance.

Nikon J1 review

Review Nikon 1 J1 camera
Next to a lightweight aluminum body, the Nikon 1 J1 has a superfast processor and a 10.1 megapixel CMOS-sensor with an incredibly fast autofocus. One concession made for most system cameras is leaving out a built-in flash. This is understandable in the interest of keeping the camera as compact as possible, without making concessions in the size of the sensor, leaving out the flash instead. Nikon, however, has managed to make the Nikon 1 J1 a super compact camera with a built-in flash. Another concession that is often made is the lack of an electronic viewfinder. This is also the case for the Nikon 1 J1. Its bigger brother, the Nikon 1 V1, does come equipped with a 1.4 megapixel electronic viewfinder.

Nikon 1 review

Nikon 1 J1 operation
The Nikon 1 J1, such as Nikon promises, is easy to operate. The camera has a comfortable hand placement and few buttons. The menu is clear and simple, which is ideal for beginner photographers. Immediately noticeable is that the lighting settings cannot be adjusted via the dial; the P, S, A, M settings can only be adjusted via the menu. However, I do not expect that the target group has a problem with it. Additionally, there is a separate video recording button available for recording Full HD videos and reviewing them, and if desired, deleting them.

Nikon J1

Nikon 1 J1 camera functions
The Nikon 1 J1 is equipped with several unique photo functions. For example, think of the Movement snapshot function. While taking a photo with the Nikon 1 J1, a short video is saved in slow motion so that it looks as if the photo comes alive for a second. This requires a bit of practice, however, it is a very fun extra function that we had not seen before. Additionally, the Nikon 1 J1 has a smart photo selection. The camera takes 20 high-resolution photos at lightning speed and then chooses the 5 best shots, based on facial expressions, composition and sharpness. Both functions can be easily selected via the dial.

Nikon 1 J1 gallery

Nikon 1 J1 gallery - Image Quality
The Nikon 1 J1 has the same processor and sensor as its larger brother the Nikon 1 V1. The fast autofocus is available for both cameras. The Nikon 1 J1 was able to do continuous shooting with 10, 30 and 60 shots per second. Further, next to JPEG, the trusted NEF (a.k.a. RAW) format is available. The Nikon 1 J1 has an ISO range from 100 to 3200. The image quality is good up to ISO 3200. Noise only becomes visible at ISO 3200. The colors appear natural and the photos are usually sharp.

Review Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 J1 lenses
At the same time as the two system cameras, Nikon has also introduced four accompanying lenses. There are several kit forms available. We tested two of the four lenses, the compact 10-30mm lens with 3x zoom and the thin and fast 10 mm pancake lens. Additionally, there is also a 30-110 telezoom lens and a 10-100 mm PD-Zoom lens available, the latter is ideal for recording videos. The lenses are good quality and have an excellent grip. Nor are you limited to these four lenses, as there is also an FT1 mount adapter available, so that you can attach any Nikon SLR lens onto the Nikon 1 camera.


Nikon 1 J1 conclusion
The 10.1 megapixel Nikon 1 J1 system camera is a compact, stylish and robust camera with good hand placement. The camera has an internal flash and a fast processor and autofocus system. The image quality is good and there are several unique functions available such as the Movement snapshot function and the Smart photo selection. It is clear that it is a camera for beginners, which is especially clear in the menu. The more advanced photographer that likes to play with settings has to go into the menu too often. Just as for every camera, there are also a few points of critique. For example, there is no panorama function available, nor the Art filters that the competition offers. Additionally, the Nikon 1 J1 is relatively pricey. The more advanced users might look at the Nikon 1 V1, which has an optical viewfinder, a better display and a hot-shoe; however, for the amateur photographer who enjoys taking high quality photos easily, the Nikon 1 J1 is a fun system camera, available in five different colors; matte black, shiny white, silver, shiny red and pink.

Nikon 1 J1 review rating
• User-friendliness : 80
• Features : 75
• Image quality : 85
• Design : 90
• Price : 70
• Rating : 80 out of 100

Nikon 1 J1 review
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Nikon 1 J1 test photos

Photo Nikon 1 J1

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Picture Nikon 1 J1

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Nikon J1 photo

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Nikon J1 picture

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Nikon J1 sample photo

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Nikon J1 sample picture

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Nikon 1 photo

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Nikon 1 picture

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