Nikon outs the mirrorless J4 and Android-powered S810c
By Simon Crisp
April 12, 2014
Nikon has added two new cameras to its 2014 line-up. The J4 is the new mid-range 1 Series camera, which inherits a lot of tech and features from its higher-end V3 sibling, while the Coolpix S810c is the company's latest attempt at an S800cAndroid-powered compact camera and boasts an increased focal range and a bigger rear touchscreen than its predecessor.
Nikon 1 J4
As its name suggests, the Nikon 1 J4 is a follow-up to last year's J3. However, it arguably has more in common with its recently announced big brother, the Nikon 1 V3, as it shares a lot of new tech with the higher-end model. The most important of the shared features is the pairing of an optical low-pass filter free 18.4 megapixel CX-format (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS image sensor and Nikon's new EXPEED 4A image processor.
This combo allows the J4 to shoot detailed images even in lower-light situations (it has an ISO range of 160–12,800), as well as share the impressive continuous shooting speeds we saw with the V3. That's a blisteringly fast 20 frames per second with continuous autofocus. The new camera is also capable of recording Full HD 1080p video at up to 60 fps, or HD 720p at 120 fps, for producing slow motion footage.
Autofocus performance also promises to be speedy with Nikon’s hybrid AF system using 171 autofocus points – 105 of these are phase-detection and spaced across the middle of the frame for quick focusing and sharp movie shooting. Contrast-detect AF points extend to the edge of the frame and allow sharp focus of subjects even in difficult lighting situations.
Measuring 99.5 x 60.0 x 28.5 mm (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.1 in) and weighing 232 g (8.2 oz) the J4 isn't quite as trim as the Samsung NX mini. Its lightweight aluminum body is more angular than the J3, and makes the camera look more modern. Around the back there's a three-inch LCD touchscreen with 1,037k dots – like the one the V3 brought to the 1 Series – though in this case it's of the fixed, not tilting variety. The J4 also boasts built-in Wi-Fi for instant sharing.
The new camera will be bundled with a new 1 Nikkor VR 10–30mm F3.5–F5.6 kit lens. This offers a 35-mm-format focal length equivalent of 27-81 mm lens, making it good for general and portrait shooting, and it's the first interchangeable lens with an electronically controlled lens cover.
The Nikon 1 J4 will be available in four colors (orange, black, white and silver) when it goes on sale later this year. Pricing and precise availability is yet to be confirmed.
Nikon Coolpix S810c
The Coolpix S810c is Nikon's follow-up to the Android-powered S800c, and one of its main upgrades is the version of Android it runs. The S810c uses Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean over the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread of the original, which means the new camera should run faster and smoother. Nikon has also addressed limitations of the original by making a number of things about the camera bigger.
The S810c now features a 12x optical zoom (which gives a 35 mm-format focal length equivalent of 25-300 mm) compared to the 10x zoom of the original. The battery has received a boost to a 1850 mAh Li-Ion, and is now good for 270 shots, rather than the measly 140 which the S800c could muster.
Also increased on the Coolpix S810c is the size of the rear screen, which jumps to a 3.7-inch LCD touchscreen with 1,229k dots, from a 3.5 inch OLED with 819k dots. Nikon says this will make the camera better for browsing social media, playing games, or watching media. The camera also features a headphone socket for such media use.
Inside, there's a 16 megapixel 1/2.3-inch-type CMOS sensor and Nikon's EXPEED C2 processor. The Coolpix S810c is capable of continuous shooting at 8.1 fps, can record Full HD 1080p video at 30 fps and has 4GB of internal memory. Access to Google Play means there are plenty of apps which can be installed via the camera's built-in Wi-Fi.
The Nikon Coolpix S810c will be available in May in black or white for a price of US$350.