Nikon J2

The Nikon J2 had a run-in with a rainbow.

Nikon 1 J2
Release Date: September 2012
$550 USD With Lens

This Nikon 1 camera body comes in a wide variety of colors to suit either your mood or your sense of fashion.

Of course, there's something to be said for having a cherry red camera – you'll never misplace it and you'll definitely stand out in a crowd.

If the only notable thing about the J2 was its colors (which have zero impact on its ability to capture photos) then there would not be much to say about this camera. However, the J2 does offer some slight upgrades over its predecessor the J1.

First, there's the addition of a new Creative Mode. Really, this is the same thing as "scene" mode on a DSLR and it lets you select the type of picture you're trying to capture: night landscape, backlighting, easy panorama, etc.

Second, the rear LCD screen on this camera has been upgraded: the higher resolution screen makes displayed photos look sharper and more colorful.

Finally, the size and layout of the controls has been modified to improve useability. You probably won't notice this last one all that much unless you've had a chance to use a J1 with its different controls.

The Good

  • High Speed Autofocus – the autofocus on the Nikon 1 cameras is exceptionally fast: not quite as fast as a Nikon DSLR, but WAY faster than any compact digital camera you can buy.
  • High Speed Capture – at 60 images per second you might as well just shoot a video, but if you really want to capture bursts of images at an absurdly high speed, then the Nikon J2 is just what you need.
  • Built-in Flash – the built-in flash on the J2 won't light up a room, but it will help if you need to fill in shadows on a bright sunny day or when you're out at night and have no other choice.
  • Best Shot Selector – the J2 (like the other Nikon 1 cameras) can capture a burst of images of a subject and then selects the sharpest and best exposed from the bunch. This feature is most useful for capturing portraits of kids and pets who don't sit still long.
  • Compatible With Nikon Lenses – with the optional Nikon FT1 mount adapter you can use any Nikon lens with the J2. Yes, it makes the camera less portable but expands the range of what you can capture.

The Not So Good

  • No Mode Dial – if you want to use any manual mode with the Nikon J2 you have to select it from a menu. There's no easy access to anything beyond the basic automatic modes. Good for beginners, not so good for more advanced photographers.
  • Fixed LCD – the LCD screen on the back of the camera isn't flexible. While not a total deal-breaker, I've found that flexible LCD screens are useful more often than you'd expect, especially on a small-sized camera.
  • Smaller Sensor – as I discuss on the main Nikon 1 page, these cameras all have sensors that are smaller than the standard APS-C. This means more noise at high ISO settings and less ability to blur the background in portraits.

Nikon J2 Features

Image StabilizationNone
Memory CardSD / SDHC / SDXC
Max. Shutter Speed1/4000
Max. Photo Capture10 per second
LCD3 inch (921,000 dots)
Flexible LCDNo
AutofocusContrast AF (73 multi-point)
Face Detect AFYes
Aspect Ratios3:2 and 16:9
Sensor Dimensions13.2 x 8.8mm
ISO Range100 to 6400
Movie ModesH.264: 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Movie SoundAAC Audio
HDMI PortYes
Accessory PortNo
Built-in FlashYes
Compatible LensesNikon 1
BatteryEN-EL20 LiIon
Dimensions4.2 x 2.4 x 1.2in
106 x 61 x 29.8mm
Weight8.4oz (238g)