The Nikon 1 J1 may be an entry-level model but there is more to it than just good looks.
The camera has rounded contours and is roughly about the same size as other MILCs (mirroless interchangeable-lens cameras) such as the Panasonic GF3 and Olympus Pen E-PM1. It comes in five distinct colours: white, grey, black, red and white.
A portable camera that still offers the option to switch lenses is always welcome. And if you couple the J1 with a 10mm pancake lens, it will easily fit inside your pocket.
The J1 is also more compact than its higher-end sibling, the V1. Part of the reason why the J1 is so small is because it lacks the V1's electronic viewfinder. This trade off comes at a price - the J1 isn't great for shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day.
Also, the J1's 3in screen which is the same size as the V1 has a lower resolution but works just as fine.
Due to its size, the camera also has a smaller battery but that didn't stop it from serving us a whole day of photo shooting and video recording.
A built-in flash is also present so you aren't left in the dark when you need to snap pictures in low light conditions.
If you are new to photography and can't tell the difference between ISO and aperture then the J1 might just be the one for you.
It'll serve you well with tons of automatic modes like Smart Photo Selector and Motionsnap which will add extra variety to your photos.
For serious shooting it still has the regular PASM exposure modes although you need to search through the menus, just like with the V1, to find them.
We used the camera for a family gathering and found that it has a pretty good face detection system that properly exposes and focuses on people's faces. Suffice to say, you need not worry about out of focus shots with the J1.
In terms of photo and video quality, it should come as no surprise that the J1 performed as well as the V1 as both share the same type of CX sensor.
The camera's autofocus speed, which is on par with some of the higher-end models, is great for tracking moving subjects and the fast continuous shooting speed will be a boon for those looking to snap pictures of their kids.
The Nikon J1 is in many ways like the V1. It boasts the same shooting and fast autofocus performance but comes in a more compact form factor.
The J1 will fit the need of a novice shooter - it's an easy-to-use camera and in some areas it performs as well as a mid-range DSLR.
Strangely, it lacks the usual in-camera filter modes found on other MILC which would appeal to beginners.
Regardless, the Nikon J1 has what it takes to ease compact users in to the realm of interchangeable-lens cameras. - CHONG JINN XIUNG
Pros: Portable; fast autofocus and burst shooting; good image quality.
Cons: No EVF; shorter battery life; LCD has lower resolution.
Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera
SENSOR: 10.1-megapixels CMOS
VIEWFINDER: 3in LCD (421,000-dots)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/16,000sec -30sec (electronic)
ISO RANGE: 100 to 3,200
SHOOTING MODES: Still Image (PASM modes located within menu), Smart Photo selector, Movie, Motion Snapshot
VIDEO MODE: Full HD at 60i/30 fps for MOV; 640 x 240-pixels at 400fps or 320 x 120-pixels at 1,200fps for slow motion videos
BATTERY: Lithium-ion EN-EL20
STORAGE: SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
INTERFACE: USB 2.0, HDMI
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 106 x 61 x 29.8mm
PRICE: RM1,998 (with 10-30mm kit); RM2,258 (with 10mm kit); RM2,458 (with 10mm and 10-30mm kit); RM2,558 (with 10-30mm and 30-110mm kit)
Review unit courtesy of Nikon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, (03) 7809-3688
Sizing up V1