Nikon 1 J2 review: All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Monday October 29 2012

Sensor Review
Introduction | Nikon 1 J2 sensor performance | Nikon 1 J2 versus competition | Conclusion

In terms of image quality, the Nikon 1 J2 doesn’t show a whole lot of progress with respect to its predecessor, the J1. We would have preferred to see the J2 benefit from a redesigned sensor, but it appears that Nikon has chosen instead to reserve its latest 1" sensor technology for its expert-level camera, the Nikon 1 V2.

With respect to a conventional expert-level digital compact with a 1/1.7" sensor, the Nikon 1 J2 stands out with its much higher sensitivity. But this advantage may well shatter once the new generation of 1/1.7" sensors come on the scene — moving from CCD to backlit CMOS technology.

Compared to the Sony RX100, with which it shares the same size sensor and a similar footprint, the Nikon J2 lags behind primarily in dynamic range. The low-light results for the two cameras are very close.

As far as the micro 4:3 compact hybrid market goes, the Nikon 1 J2 has some seriously good points in its favor, but even so, the situation may radically change with the upcoming generation of Olympus Pen cameras that benefit from the OM-D E-M5’s new 16-Mpix sensor.

So it’s in the areas of features and ergonomics that users will find the strengths of the new generation of Nikon compact hybrids. And they are numerous: with its different creative modes, Full HD 60p video, 10 fps burst shooting, and speedy autofocus, the Nikon 1 J2 is a compact for the general public that will really shine in family and action photography.