The entry-level J1 compact system camera has fewer features than its V1 sibling, but is around £270 cheaper. We find out whether the J1 is, pound for pound, the better camera

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Nikon 1 J1

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Nikon 1 J1 review


Price as reviewed:


Our Verdict

The Nikon 1 system feels very different to the other compact system cameras, and although the J1 and V1 are undoubtedly sophisticated cameras that will have their place in the market, neither model really seems to meet the demands of the advanced photographer.

While the J1, as the entry-level version, can be forgiven for its lack of direct access to functions such as exposure modes, it could still be made more adaptable by including the regular PASM settings on the mode dial and providing a custom button for other functions.

While the differences in features between the J1 and V1 appear subtle, they do add up and the V1 is clearly the better camera. The battery life is perhaps the J1’s biggest disappointment, but, for the small body and the rather large price saving I would choose the J1 over the V1.



LCD:3in, 460,000 dot
Output Size:3872x2592 pixels
AF Points:135-area, face detection, AF tracking, select, spot
Focal Length Mag:2.7x
Sensor:10.1-million pixel, 13.2x8.8mm (2.7x crop factor)
Exposure Modes:Still (PASM, auto scene selector), motion snapshot, best-shot selector, movie
Weight:277g (with battery and card) 234g (body only)
Power:Rechargeable Li-Ion EN-EL20
Shutter Speeds:30-1/16,000sec
Metering System:TTL multi-segment, spot, centre
Lens Mount:Nikon 1
ISO:100-3200 (6400 expanded)
Tested as:Compact system camera
White Balance:Auto, 6 presets, custom
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC
  1. 1. Nikon 1 J1 review - Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. White Balance and Colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Noise, Resolution and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
  10. 10. Our Verdict
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