Nikon 1 J2 review: All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Monday October 29 2012

Camera Review
Introduction | Nikon 1 J2 sensor performance | Nikon 1 J2 versus competition | Conclusion
Nikon 1 J2 review: All Quiet on the Eastern Front

The Nikon 1 J2 retains many of the same characteristics of its older brother, the J1, including its 1", 10-Mpix CMOS sensor. Other than its new 3", 921,000-point screen, the new version of Nikon’s compact hybrid puts particular emphasis on creative modes. How does the Nikon 1 J2’s sensor perform with respect to its predecessor, to its direct competitors, and to expert-level hybrids and compacts? Some answers from DxOMark.

Launched in September 2011, the Nikon 1 system is based on a CX sensor (harkening back to the Nikon DX and FX DSLR sensors). Its 13.2 x 8.8mm size is smaller than micro 4:3 and APS-C sensors, however, the J1’s DxOMark scores were surprisingly honorable for a sensor of this size. With a DxOMark overall score of 56, the Nikon compact managed to compete with larger sensors, including 4:3 formats. Its good performance in terms of color depth and dynamic range at its lowest ISO was likewise surprising. Nevertheless, it was penalized in terms of low-light sensitivity because of its small sensor size.

Unsurprisingly, the Nikon 1 J2 doesn’t show significant progress over the Nikon 1 J1, given that they share the same sensor — one that doesn’t seem to have changed at all between the two generations.

 Strengths of the Nikon 1 J2:

  • Color depth.
  • Good dynamic range at its lowest ISO.

 Weaknesses of the Nikon 1 J2:

  • No improvement in image quality compared to its predecessor.
  • Low-light performance is penalized by the sensor size.

Nikon 1 J2 sensor performance

Nikon 1 J2 versus competition

Conclusion