A 14.2-million-pixel sensor without an anti-aliasing filter is promising to those who want good-quality images, so can the compact and powerful Nikon 1 J3 deliver? Read the Nikon 1 J3 review...
Nikon 1 J3 review – Features
All the cameras in the Nikon 1 range feature a CX-format sensor, which at 13.2×8.8mm (or 1in) is the same size as the sensor found in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. The CX sensor is small when compared to those used in most other CSCs, being roughly half the surface area of a four thirds-sized sensor and less than one third the size of an APS-C sensor. A CX-sensor has a crop factor (focal length magnification) of 2.7x, which means that the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens available with the J3 is equivalent to a 27-81mm on a 35mm camera.
A smaller sensor means the Nikon 1 body and lens system can be made more compact than other CSCs. Also, with a focal length magnification of 2.7x, Nikon SLR users can fit their F-mount lenses to Nikon 1 cameras via the F-to-1-mount FT1 mount adapter. In this instance, a low-cost 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DX lens would, for example, become a 190-810mm lens.
The main concern with a small sensor is the impact it has on image quality. In this third-generation Nikon 1 camera, the company has introduced a new 14.2-million-pixel sensor, which is also used in the V2. Interestingly, in both cameras Nikon has opted not to include an anti-aliasing filter. Nikon must believe that any effects from not including the filter, such as moiré patterning, are acceptable in order to achieve sharper images.
Although the J3 is not classed as an entry-level model, it is still targeted at the casual user rather than the enthusiast, with auto modes aplenty for no-fuss shooting. Many of the shooting modes make use of the fast processing power of the Expeed 3A processor. Nikon claims this processor is capable of processing up to 850MB/s, which is more than three times the speed of a top DSLR, such as Nikon’s D4. The result is an impressive array of high-speed shooting modes, including standard drive modes of up to 15fps with continuous AF for up to 22 frames, or up to 60fps without continuous AF for up to 20 frames. There are other less common shooting modes, too, such as the ‘best moment capture’ modes of slow view and smart photo selector. Both are designed to make picking out the best shot from a 20-frame sequence easier.
There is also a degree of manual control possible. This is mostly found through the ‘creative’ menu, where modes such as manual, aperture and shutter priority can be found, as well as modes such as Easy Panorama. All in all, the camera is geared for point-and-shoot photographers.
Image: The Easy Panorama mode is silent in operation and consistently easy to use, which is more than can be said for this type of mode in other systems