With the announcement of the Nikon 1 series of cameras, Nikon had stepped into a segment of cameras they had not ventured in before, the compact system camera range of cameras. This segment had been dominated by the likes of Olympus, Panasonic and a small handful of other manufacturers who were looking to change the game as far as photography is concerned. So when Nikon introduced their 1 series of interchangeable lens cameras, the brand did not just unveil one model, but instead released two compact system cameras, the Nikon 1 V1 and the Nikon 1 J1. We had recently reviewed the V1, and now we take a look at the J1, the more budget friendly option. Here is a look at how it did.
Additional lens can be bought with the main unit
Design and Build Quality
The Nikon 1 V1, the superior model amongst the two, had kept up the retro design that is popular with these type of cameras. However, as opposed to the V1, the J1 adopts a rather chic modern design in comparison. This modern styling is not really associated with these kind of cameras but having it is a very refreshing look and hence it manages to distinguish itself from the others. The V1 is available in only two colours but with this model, Nikon have unleashed a range of colours that can appeal to different audiences. The camera is available in traditional camera colours such as black, silver and red and also in funky options such as white and baby pink. These cameras really stand out and can really appeal to the audience because of its looks. All the J1 cameras have a glossy front while the back has a black finish making it one classy camera.
The V1 is the bigger brother not only because it is costlier in comparison but also because it is larger as well. The J1 loses the electronic viewfinder which is found on the V1 and in the process, makes it a lot slimmer. Where the J1 loses the EVF, it gains a flash, something that was not found on the V1. While one needed to attach an external flash on the V1, the J1 comes with a pop up flash that is housed nicely within the body of the camera itself. The J1 is a lot slimmer overall as compared to the J1 and it measures roughly the size of a bar of soap without the lens. This is roughly the size of most other standard compact cameras available in the market. Though the camera is quite small when attached to a lens, it is by no means pocketable. However, if one would like to carry it around, then they can easily do so by attaching the neck strap or the lanyard that comes as part of the packaging contents. If one is still not satisfied with the portability options, then Nikon does bundle a carry bag along with the camera as well. The camera is pretty lightweight as well in comparison to other compact system cameras. However, the weight does change a lot depending on the lens used with the camera.
10-30mm lens attached to the body
The Nikon 1 J1 has a black back and the layout of the controls are similar to that of the V1. The only difference here is the camera does not feature the EVF, otherwise one would have difficulty telling the difference between the two options when viewed from the rear. The resolution of the display of the V1 is not that impressive as it features a 4,20,000 dot screen as compared to the 9,60,000 dot resolution found on the V1. If one is worried about the difference in image quality on screen, then they need not worry too much as the display offers decent quality. The buttons at the back are made well and one would expect it to be the case as this is an expensive camera and more importantly so coming from a brand as reputed as Nikon. The flash that is located on the top is spring loaded and the build quality of it is good as well. One can deploy the flash by pressing the toggle switch at the back above the display.
The side of the camera features a bay which houses the connectivity options such as HDMI and USB. The battery bay located underneath the camera houses the memory card slot as well. The flap of the bay is built well and it comes with a locking mechanism allowing one to be assured that the battery will not slip out by accident.
The flash deployed
One can purchase lens to match the body of the camera. There are lens available in different colour options thus giving it a modern look. The build quality of the lens is really good and it feels sturdy too.