In the last article on this blog, I looked at the new Nikon J2 camera. My thoughts on the J2 can basically be described by the following:
The J2 improves on the J1 in terms of build, handling, and usability. But only very slightly.
Nothing about the J2 moves the Nikon 1 system forward.
When Sony released the RX100 Advanced Compact with the same size sensor as the Nikon 1 cameras, comparisons were inevitable. In an article called Nikon 1 Vs. Sony RX100 I compared the Nikon 1 system to the RX100 and found the 1 system lacking in all areas except autofocus performance.
That led to another entry: What Now For The Nikon 1? In that piece, I advocated some simple additions and changes that would make the 1 system a much more attractive proposition.
In terms of cameras, I had 3 recommendations:
- Better quality buttons and rear plates
- A body with decent manual controls for enthusiasts
- Fully finished design concepts
It’s pretty clear that the J2 isn’t designed to be a camera for enthusiasts, so it would be unfair to judge it in that way. However we still have the backplate that doesn’t match any of the non-black versions (incomplete concept), and the buttons are basically identical to those on the J1 & V1.
As I said at the start of this article, the J2 isn’t the camera to move the 1 system to the next level. I still find very little to recommend in the J2 as compared to the RX100.
I proposed a couple of lenses that would be very popular with potential users, and would give the Nikon 1 system clear selling points over the RX100.
- Fast Aperture (f/1.4 or better) Normal Lens
- Macro Lens
Either of these would have increased the creative options available to Nikon 1 users. (For more information follow the What Now For The Nikon 1 link earlier in this article.)
Nikon have released a new lens alongside the J2. It’s an 11-27mm Compact Zoom Lens.
The standard kit lens sold with the J1, V1, and now J2, is the 10-30mm Zoom Lens (with image stabilization).
The new lens is a little smaller and lighter than the old lens, but has a narrower focal length range (30-73mm vs. 27-81mm) and is not stabilized. Old and new lenses feature the same maximum Apertures.
The new lens is not available as a kit option in the UK (or US) at the moment either.
So in short, Nikon has produced a less flexible, unstabilized, version of a lens almost all Nikon 1 users will already own. There’s nothing you can do with the new lens that you couldn’t do with the existing lens.
Where’s The Nikon 1 System At Now?
Exactly where it was before the announcements of the J2 and the 11-27mm lens.
(Okay they also released a probably expensive underwater housing for the cameras that won’t work with the new lens.)
The Sony RX100 has not had any of its advantages eroded by as much as a grain of sand.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The fact that only the J2 has been upgraded now may well indicate that something more substantial is forthcoming when the V1 is refreshed. I’m an eternal optimist!
Get in touch with your questions, comments, and blog ideas using firstname.lastname@example.org or using the contact form. You can also join our community on our Facebook Page or our Google+ Page, as well as by following me on Twitter using @DerekIdealFocus.