Nikon J2

Estimated Street Price: $549 (with 10-30mm VR zoom)

INTRODUCED 8/2012

Nikon entered the mirrorless interchangeable-lens marketplace last year with the Nikon 1 J1 and Nikon 1 V1 models, very compact cameras built around the same 10-megapixel CMOS sensor in a new CX format (with sensor dimensions of 13.2×8.8mm and a focal-length magnification factor of 2.7x). These cameras were the first to feature Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 processing.

Now comes the first of the second-generation Nikon 1 cameras, the Nikon I J2. It’s very similar to the J1, but features a higher-resolution, 3-inch LCD monitor, adds a Creative Mode to the Mode dial, adds two more color options (deep red and orange) and costs $100 less.

Like all Nikon 1 models, the J2 features a hybrid phase-detection/contrast-detect AF system with phase-detection sensors right in the image sensor. And like all Nikon 1 models, the J2 can shoot full-resolution images at 10 fps with autofocusing and 60 fps with focus locked. Motion Snapshot mode yields a frozen still image with a slow-motion movement sequence, with built-in audio soundtrack. All three cameras feature electronic shutters with a top speed of 1?16,000 sec. (the V1 also has a mechanical shutter).

All Nikon 1 cameras can do 1920×1080 full HD at 60i and 30p, and 1280×720 HD video at 60p, with level-adjustable stereo sound via built-in microphones. (Only the V1 accepts an external mic, too.) There are also two slow-motion video modes: 640×240 at 400 fps and 320×120 at 1200 fps.

A new and very compact 11-27mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 lens was introduced with the J2, bringing the Nikon 1 lens line to five, with focal lengths ranging from 10mm to 110mm (equivalent to 27mm to 297mm on a 35mm camera).

STANDOUT FEATURE: Very quick hybrid phase-detection/contrast AF.

1. The Mode dial adds a new Creative Mode.

2. Also introduced with the J2 is a new underwater housing, which is waterproof down to 40 feet.

3. The only button on the front of the camera is the lens-mount release.

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