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Nikon 1 J4

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Price as Reviewed:


Featuring a revamped 1-inch CX-format 18.4-million-pixel CMOS sensor with fast read out the new Nikon 1 J4 delivers continuous full resolution shooting up to 20 frames per second. But can its performance match its speed? Jon Devo finds out.

Nikon 1 J4 pros

  • 20 frames-per-second continuous shooting with continuous AF
  • Modern and stylish design with metal chassis
  • Responsive and bright touchscreen

Nikon 1 J4  cons

  • Only indication of frames captured is an unpleasant electronic shutter noise
  • Kit lens zoom audible during video
  • Kit lens is a touch soft particularly when zoomed

Nikon 1 J4 review – introduction

Nikon’s latest compact system camera looks impressive on paper and makes an equally stunning impression at first sight.

Following on from the popular J3, Nikon has given the new J4 a more refined and classier finish, as well as packing in feature improvements. These improvements include better battery life, CIPA rated to 300 shots from a single charge, touchscreen control, more megapixels, up from 14.2-million-pixels to 18.4MP, and an ISO sensitivity range of 160-12800, twice that of its predecessor. Nikon has also opted for a microSD slot rather than SD, perhaps to make room for some of the above.

The J4 is available as part of a kit including one of the latest Nikkor 1 mount lenses to be released, the VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom, which costs approximately half the price of the J4 on its own, so it’s good value in that respect. Measuring only 28mm in length, the compact kit lens offers a 27-81mm equivalent range, which isn’t quite wide enough in my opinion, but for an everyday walkabout lens it’s a decent range. Certainly good enough to get you started.

Nikon 1 J4 review – Features

Featuring an intelligent hybrid AF system made up of 171 contrast-detection areas, 105 of which support phase detection, and combined with Nikon’s EXPEED 4A image processor, the J4 is capable of continuous autofocus during 20 fps burst mode which is undoubtedly its most impressive feature. However, it can also shoot up to 60 frames per second with fixed AF.

Image: Being able to shoot 20-frames-per-second it is easy to stop time with the J4, making it easy to take great shots captured in the moment

Given its compact size and blistering burst mode speed there aren’t many other system cameras that can be directly compared to the J4. Instead you’re looking across Nikon’s own Nikon 1 range and then over to the micro four thirds camera class and above to cameras such as the Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2, Samsung’s NX mini and NX3000, the Panasonic GM1 or Sony’s Alpha A5000.

All are great alternatives in terms of lens range, sensor size and features, but none can keep up with 20 frames per second continuous shooting, which gives the Nikon 1 J4 the edge if speed is at the top of your priority list.

  • Video: 1080p at 60fps, built-in stereo mic
  • Memory Card: microSD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: None
  • Output Size: 5232 x 3488
  • LCD: 3inch 1,037k dot resolution
  • AF Points: Hybrid autofocus 171 focus areas, 105 centre areas have phase detection support
  • Sensor: 18.4-million-pixel CX CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 192g Body Only
  • Focal Length Mag: 2.7x
  • Power: EN-EL22 Rechargeable Lithium Ion
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/16000th - 30 sec
  • Exposure Comp: -3EV - +3EV in steps of 1/3EV
  • Drive Mode: 20fps or 60fps with fixed AF
  • Lens Mount: Nikon 1 mount
  • Dimensions: 99.5 x 60 x 28.5mm
  • ISO: 200-12,800, ISO 160; 6400(NR); 12800 (NR)
  • Metering System: TTL exposure metering from main image sensor

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