Nikon 1 J2 With Stylish Design And Dependable Image And Video Quality

2/23/2013 2:59:40 AM

Canon’s latest SLR at mid-price has all attractive things.

Description: Nikon 1 J2

Nikon 1 J2

In the era of personal electronic devices, it is great to find a real diversity among those compact system cameras (CSCs). That is, the Nikon 1’s system’s position is hard to define. As the Nikon J1 from 2012, J2 receives a high score about the style and it keeps the controls simple so as to avoid frightening normal users, but these are not its unique things. Meanwhile, Nikon has done quite much to boost the performance of these cameras, but the 1.4-second shot-to-shot time is not special at all.

The continuous mode proves to be more unusual, shooting at up to 60fps, and there are several tricks to make the most of this fast performance. It is even more unusual that Nikon has these performance-improved shooting modes in the middle of the stage by including them on the mode dial with the sacrifice of traditional exposure modes and scene presets. They are present, along with ISO speed, white balance and other controls that we expected, but through tiring menu searching.

The Smart Photo Selector mode takes 20 continuous photos and saves what it thinks are the five most beautiful ones, based on facial expressions, composition and focus. It can even start buffering photos while the shutter button is half pressed, decreasing the possibility of missing any important moment. It is so hard to judge how successfully these criteria become without looking at those photos it has thrown away, but it is an excellent idea that will work well in reality. The fact that it leaves 5 photos to select increases the chance to have an attractive photo. This camera uses ISO speed and fast shutter to allow shooting frames at a fast rate. This can lead to noisier photos than shooting in Auto mode, though it can reduce any chances of motion blur.

Motion Snapshot records a 1080p slow-motion video in two seconds followed by an 8MP image. They play back in the camera with sweet music that Nikon describes as “living images”. The files, however, are silent and there is no obvious way to share living images. Longer slow-motion video clips are available through the Movie mode, recorded at 400fps or 1200fps in order to have the 1/13 or 1/40 speed playback, but they stop recording after five seconds and the resolution is low.

The main video mode is more successful, recording at 1080p in the maximum of 20 minutes. Image and sound quality are both excellent, autofocus is fast and completely silent, whereas priority and manual exposure modes are available.

The J2 did a great job in image quality tests, with beautiful colors and well-judged automatic exposures. The Auto ISO mode doesn’t limit itself to ISO 800 as it does in the J1, reducing the possibility of camera shake in poor light.

Nikon has resisted the temptation of increasing the resolution. The sensors used in Nikon 1 are smaller than those used in almost all the other CSCs, but Nikon uses a quite modest 10MP resolution to achieve a perfect balance of detail and noise level. This helps it to produce smooth colors that come closer to the SLR’s output than those from a normal compact camera. However, it can’t beat Sony NEX cameras, which use SLR-size sensors that can capture significantly sharper details and less noise.



Description: The J2 did a great job in image quality tests

The J2 did a great job in image quality tests.

The 60fps top speed lasts only in 12 frames, so just in 1/5 second. However, reducing to 10fps prolongs these shots with one second, and also allows the camera to update the autofocus between each shot. Reducing the speed to 4.4fps means that it can keep capturing within 28 images before getting slow. The autofocus is more successful at tracking moving subjects when they are moving closer to the camera rather than move farther away.

The new features in the J2 are quite small. The screen resolution has doubled to 921,000 dots. There is also a new thing which is а Creative mode on the mode dial, but in reality this doesn’t make traditional photographic controls become quicker at all to access than on the previous J1. The Automatic panorama stitching is currently included, but the images that result are just two megapixels.

The selection of lenses has grown since last year, but still is at only six. That's less than most other СSС systems – Sony NEX has 10 and Micro Four Thirds has 35. There's no macro lens in this series, although the kit lens made good effort at macro photography. The small sensor won’t also bring the shallow depth-of-field effects when used with wide-aperture lenses as you would get from cameras with larger sensors. The small sensor helps Nikon keep its lenses small and light. It’s not quite clear with the 3х zoom kit lens, but the 30-110mm telephoto lens (bringing an 84-297mm focal length range) is slimmer than other similar lenses of opponents’ systems. Typical J2 users may not want а lot of lenses, but it's worth considering the dual lens kit.

The J2 costs $157.5 less than the J1 did when it was released, making it one of the most affordably priced CSCs available.

lf the J2 has а good position, it's as а fashionable point-and-shoot camera for those who want СSС quality but just don’t want manual controls or high prices. The J2 just meets those requirements admirably. However, the J1 does, too, which is now at $428 from Amazon, or as а dual lens kit at $550 from Jessops. The $78.5 discount offer also applies to the J1, making it а good buy.

At last, we prefer Sony’s NEX-FЗ with its excellent image quality, diagonal screen and more accessible controls. However, the J2 is the stable choice for normal users who require high quality.


·         Price: $608 incl. VAT

·         Website:

·         Ranking: 4/5



·         Sensor size: 10MP (3,872x2,595)

·         Zoom: 3x optical (27-81mm)

·         LCD: 3 inches (921,000 pixels)

·         Storage (internal): SDXC card (none)

·         Battery: Li-ion

·         Size: 62x107x77mm, 395g

·         Warranty: one-year RTB

·         Battery life: 230 photos

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