On August 9th, Nikon announced a mild refresh to the popular entry level Nikon 1 J1 camera – the J2. While it doesn’t seem to improve much on the camera it replaces, Nikon made a smart move by lowering the initial price by $100 compared to J1. It makes for a very sensible choice for those who were thinking of buying the “older” camera.
Along with the new compact system camera, Nikon also introduced an underwater housing for Nikon 1 J1 and J2 cameras, and a new zoom lens.
1) The Underwater Case
The new underwater case WP-N1 is suitable for both J1 and J2 and will house one of these cameras with a 10-30mm VR lens attached (read review). The case is waterproof up to 40m (approximately 131 feet), which is likely enough for any kind of vacation you may take your J1/J2 to.
2) The Lens
While it’s hard to say what advantages the new 11-27.5mm F/3.5-5.6 lens may have over the basic 10-30mm VR kit lens without properly testing it first, Nikon wouldn’t have released it just for the fun of it. The lens, being equivalent to 30-75mm (in 35mm format), is very small (3cm/1.22″) and lightweight, and thus would suit your J1/J2 camera very well. It features one aspherical element and internal focusing.
3) The Camera
Likely the biggest change J2 brings us is the higher resolution screen (921k dots versus J1’s 460k dots) previously used in the higher-end V1. Hopefully, these sharp screens will now be default choice even for low-end devices. Also, the J2 is built around a metal body (J1 has an aluminum front panel), so it should be ever so slightly tougher than its predecessor. While other changes, like the Creative Mode (artistic filters) and more body color options (now available in orange, too) make it a nicer camera on paper for some, the biggest omission still is the lack of EVF – a potential deal-breaker for many buyers. But then, there has to be something to separate the J2 from V1, and EVF is one of such features.
Here is the list of specifications of the Nikon 1 J2:
- Suggested retail price: $549.95
- Body type: Rangefinder-style mirrorless
- Body material: Metallic body
- Full resolution: 3872 x 2592
- Other resolutions: 3840 x 2160, 2896 x 1944, 1936 x 1296
- Image ratio (w:h): 3:2, 16:9
- Effective pixels: 10.1 megapixels
- Sensor photo detectors: 12.0 megapixels
- Sensor size: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
- Sensor type: CMOS
- Processor: Expeed 3
- White balance presets: 6
- Custom white balance: Yes
- Image stabilization: Lens-based
- Uncompressed format: RAW (NEF)
- Autofocus systems: Contrast Detect (sensor), Phase Detect (traditional DSLR design)
- Autofocus modes: Multi-area, Selective single-point
- Continuous AF: Yes
- Manual focus: Yes
- Number of focus points: 135 (the center 73 areas support phase-detection AF; 41 points for Auto-area AF)
- Lens mount: Nikon 1 mount
- Focal length multiplier: 2.7×
- Screen size: 3″
- Screen dots: 921,000
- Screen type: TFT LCD
- Live view : Yes
- Minimum shutter speed: 30 sec
- Maximum shutter speed: 1/16000 sec
- Exposure modes: Program (P), Shutter-priority (S), Aperture priority (A), Manual (M), Creative Mode
- Scene modes: Panorama, Selective Color, Miniature, Soft, Night Landscape, Backlighting, Night Portraits
- Built-in flash: Yes (pop-up)
- Flash range: 5 m
- Flash modes: Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
- Continuous drive: Yes (10 fps)
- Self-timer: Yes
- Metering modes: Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
- Exposure compensation: -3–5 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
- Format: MPEG-4 (H.264)
- Microphone: Stereo
- Speaker: Mono
- Video resolutions: 1920 x 1080 (60, 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60 fps), 1072 x 720 (60 fps) 640 x 240 (400), 320 x 120 (1200)
- Storage types: SD/SDHC/SDXC card
- Connectivity: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec), HDMI (Type C)
- Remote control: Yes (Optional ML-L3)
- Battery: Lithium-Ion EN-EL20 rechargeable battery & charger
- Weight (inc. batteries): 238 g (0.52 lb / 8.40 oz)
- Dimensions: 106 x 61 x 30 mm (4.17 x 2.4 x 1.18″)
- Timelapse recording: Yes
Official Press Release
Here is the official Nikon press release for J2, WP-N1 underwater housing and 11-27.5mm lens:
NIKON EXPANDS ITS POPULAR NIKON 1 SYSTEM WITH THE ADDITION OF THE NEW NIKON 1 J2 CAMERA AND 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5MM F/3.5-5.6 LENS
MELVILLE, N.Y. (August 9, 2012) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the expansion of the popular Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System with the addition of the Nikon 1 J2 camera and the 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens to provide users with amazing image quality and stunning 1080p HD video in a portable, powerful package. The Nikon 1 System, including the new Nikon 1 J2 and the 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm lens, is engineered from the ground up to give users the freedom to capture and connect with others to share life experiences.
The Nikon 1 J2 improves upon the Nikon 1 J1 with new features such as a Creative Mode that provides a variety of photo effects to users, a metallic body, a higher resolution LCD screen and the addition of stylish new color offerings. Made for those seeking portability without compromising stunning image quality and quick performance, the J2 is the camera designed to empower users to capture their world like never before with stunning and sharp image and HD video quality. In addition to the camera, the 11-27.5mm lens is a super-compact zoom lens that offers a helpful 2.5x zoom range in an easily pocketable size.
“Building on the success and popularity of the Nikon 1 cameras and lenses, the new J2 and 11-27.5mm lens are welcomed additions to the ever growing Nikon 1 System,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “Expanding the Nikon 1 System demonstrates Nikon’s continued dedication to creating compact and portable advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses that are easy-to-use and allow users to explore and redefine their creativity.”
Expanding the Nikon 1 System: The New Nikon 1 J2 Camera
The new Nikon 1 J2 offers a new Creative Mode accessible from the Mode Dial of the camera to let users express themselves in new creative ways. When in Creative Mode, photographers will be able to take advantage of several shooting modes including Panorama, Selective Color, Miniature, Soft, Night Landscape, Backlighting and Night Portraits. By selecting these modes, the camera will automatically adjust the settings for optimal results when capturing an image, yielding fun photos for a variety of conditions. The Creative Mode will also provide fast access to manual exposure controls (P,S,A,M), similar to those found on Nikon D-SLR cameras, for the ultimate in creative control and flexibility.
In addition to the new Creative Mode, the J2 will sport a metallic camera body and Mode Dial giving the camera a sharp look and comfortable feel in hand. To match users’ varying styles and color preferences, the camera will come in a variety of fashionable colors including White, Black, Silver and Pink, as well as two new colors, a deep Red and Orange. The Red and Pink varieties of the J2 will have a textured grip to complement their vibrant color schemes. What’s more, the camera’s new high-resolution 3.0-inch, 921,000 dot LCD monitor provides sharper detail when sharing and composing images and HD videos.
True to the Nikon 1 promise, the J2 is the ultimate marriage of performance and ease-of-use wrapped in an attractive package. The new Nikon 1 J2 features a 10.1-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor and the EXPEED 3 image processing engine to give users images and HD video with amazing fidelity and color, along with the ability to capture images in challenging lighting situations. The highly responsive Advanced Hybrid Autofocus (AF) system gives users a superfast shooting speed, allowing them to capture fast action with stunning clarity while the camera’s 73 point AF array will ensure accuracy and super precise focus, even on moving subjects.
The Nikon 1 J2 retains user-friendly features such as Full HD video recording, and a reputation for blazing fast speed with the ability to capture rapidly moving subjects at an astounding 10 frames-per-second (fps) with AF, or up to 60 fps with AF locked on the first frame. For even more creative freedom and to capture fleeting moments, Motion Snapshot Mode gives the ability to capture a spontaneous moment as a still image and combines it with a slow motion movie vignette. To help ensure the best shot every time, Smart Photo Selector captures multiple shots and lets the camera select the best one automatically.
Expanding the 1 NIKKOR Lens Lineup: The New 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
Alongside the new Nikon 1 J2, the versatile 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm lens will inspire shooters to take their creative expression on-the-go with an extremely versatile yet compact and lightweight lens. With a 2.5x zoom (30-74mm equivalent), this is an ideal lens for general shooting including landscapes, portraiture or even as the go-to lens on the next family vacation. The 11-27.5mm lens will be offered in Black and White, and will be compatible with the Nikon J2 as well as the Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 J1.
New Underwater Case for the Nikon 1 J2 and J1
Nikon has also announced the addition of a new accessory to the Nikon 1 System, one that will allow users to use their Nikon 1 cameras during water-based adventures and vacations for even more creative freedom and expression. The new WP-N1 is an underwater case that can house either the Nikon 1 J1 or new J2 in addition to the versatile 1 NIKKOR 10-30mm lens. The WP-N1 is ideal for users that enjoy the versatility of their Nikon 1 cameras but seek a way to protect their camera during their active lifestyle. The WP-N1 will allow users to bring their Nikon 1 camera on a beach vacation or water sport adventure like kayaking, jet skiing, snorkeling and surfing without having to worry about damage from the water. The case is waterproof up to 40 meters (approx. 131 feet), allowing consumers to enjoy the sun and surf while bringing back stunning photos and HD videos to share with their family and friends.
Price and Availability
The Nikon 1 J2 camera with the 10-30mm lens will be available in September 2012 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $549.95*. The 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens will also be available in late September 2012 and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $189.95*. Additionally, the new WP-N1, the underwater case for either the Nikon 1 J1 or the Nikon 1 J2, will be available in September 2012 and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $749.95*. For more information on these new Nikon 1 series products and other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.
*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time. Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.
The “Is It Worth It?” Question and Purchanse Links
It’s a matter of opinion, of course, but if you own a J1, a mild refresh like the J2 is unlikely to draw your attention too much – after all, it’s much the same camera with only a few changes added. Also, V1 is still a better camera overall for those needing the ever-important EVF, thus J2 is unlikely to steal any of the higher-end body sales. However, if you were on a lookout for a brand new J1, J2 makes just as much sense with its lower initial price, comparable to current J1 offerings, especially if instant savings are unavailable. In either case, it makes for a great travel camera coupled to the WP-N1 underwater housing.