The second generation of the Nikon 1 brings a higher-resolution screen and a new creative mode. Mat Gallagher finds out what the changes mean for the J2. Read the Nikon 1 J2 review...
Build and handling
Apart from the new creative setting on the dial, the Nikon 1 J2 looks and feels identical to the J1, with only the name badge and a slight redesign of the multifunction dial to distinguish it. However, it comes in a number of new bright colours, including a bright orange, a more vibrant pink and a darker red.
While most users are likely to choose the more traditional colours, I did find the orange appealing and it certainly got the camera noticed when I was out testing it. What is nice with these coloured finishes is that they extend to the lens, with both 10-30mm and 30-110mm lenses and lens caps colour-matched to the body.
Compared to other compact system cameras, the J2 is noticeably smaller, especially when it comes to the lenses. The build feels weighty thanks to its aluminium construction and it sits nicely in the hand, despite offering little in the way of grip.
Although the Creative mode on the dial is an improvement, it seems a shame the manual modes weren’t included directly. When shooting in the priority modes, the top zoom rocker takes control of the adjustment rather than the rear wheel, which would be the more obvious choice. Having options to customise the buttons in the menu would solve this.
The F button works as a form of quick menu, allowing access to the theme for the music in Motion Snapshot and the scene mode in Creative mode, and the choice between regular and slow motion in movie mode. Everything else requires the main menu, which forms long scrolling lists rather than a colourful icon-based menu.