Nikon bets smaller is better in ILC sensors
One of the more innovative things Nikon did with the J1 and V1 is to embed phase-detection AF points in the CMOS imaging sensor. Based on lighting conditions, the camera chooses whether to use phase- or contrast-detection AF. In bright light, the J1 focuses as fast as we’ve seen any ILC lock onto a subject—although not significantly faster. In low light, it proved a bit faster than most other ILCs we have used. The only ILCs that beat it are Sony’s NEX cameras, but only if they’re using the cumbersome A-mount adapter that adds phase-detection AF.
We haven’t yet warmed up to Nikon’s System 1. We think the target audience will more likely want robust image-sharing options than a collection of lenses. Will these buyers spring for a 10–100mm (27–270mm equivalent) f/4.5–5.6 that costs $750, street? We doubt they will.
Even more perplexing, its smaller sensor has yet to give System 1 any size advantage over other ILCs. If you’re a casual shooter who doesn’t print large and you like the J1’s style, you might be happy with it. But if you’re looking for an ILC that’s more powerful than a compact, and you like seamless control over aperture and shutter speed, then this probably isn’t the camera for you.
IMAGING: 10.1MP effective CX format CMOS sensor captures images at 3872x2592 pixels each, with 12 bits/color in RAW capture.
STORAGE: SD, SDHC, or SDXC stores JPEG, NEF RAW, RAW + JPEG, or MOV files.
VIDEO: Up to 1920x1080i60 or 1280x720p60 H.264/MPEG-4; built-in stereo mic; contrast/phase AF with continuous AF in video mode.
BURST RATE: Full-sized JPEGs up to 28 frame at 5 fps; RAW up to 19 frames at 5 fps.
AF SYSTEM: TTL hybrid contrast/phase detection with 41-area Auto-area-AF, or single-point selectable AF from 135 areas.
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/16,000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments).
METERING: TTL metering with unspecified-area Matrix, centerweighted, and spot (2mm circle centered on focus area).
ISO RANGE: ISO 100–3200, expandable to ISO 6400 (in 1-EV increments).
FLASH: Built-in pop-up with TTL autoflash; GN 16 (feet, ISO 100), covers 27mm angle of view. Flash sync to 1/60 sec.
MONITOR: 3-inch TFT LCD with 460,000-dot resolution.
OUTPUT: Hi-Speed USB 2.0; mini-HDMI video.
BATTERY: Rechargeable EN-EL20 Li-ion, CIPA rating 230 shots.
SIZE/WEIGHT: 4.2x2.4x1.2 in., 0.7 lb with an SD card and battery.
STREET PRICE: $650 with 10–30mm f/3.5–5.6 lens or $900 with 10–30mm and 30–110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens.