Nikon has announced a new entry-level addition to its 1 range of interchangeable lens, mirrorless compact cameras. The J2 represents a rather modest upgrade to the specs on last year's J1 model, and is joined by a new 2.5x zoom lens and an underwater case.
The Nikon 1 J2 has been given the same 10.1-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 3 dual-core image processing engine and ISO range as the J1 before it, along with a subject tracking hybrid contrast/phase detection autofocus system and continuous shooting of ten frames-per-second with autofocus or up to 60 fps with the AF locked on the first frame. There's a built-in flash, SD/SDHC/SDXC media card support and USB 2.0 and mini-HDMI out.
Motion Snapshot Mode and Smart Photo Selector have also made it through from the J1, along with the same impressive HD video recording capabilities with built-in, sensitivity adjustable stereo microphones. Budding movie directors will appreciate the 400 fps slo-mo mode at a reduced video resolution of 640 x 240, and dropping further to 320 x 120 opens up super slow motion possibilities at 1200 fps.
New to the J2 is a higher resolution 3.0-inch, 921,000 dot LCD monitor with brightness adjustment, and a metallic body with textured grip. A Creative Mode is accessed via the command dial and automatically adjusts camera settings for scene and shooting modes like Panorama, Selective Color, Miniature, Soft, Night Landscape, Backlighting and Night Portraits. Users can also get to DSLR-like PASM controls with this dial.
New color finishes of deep Red and Orange have been added, the camera's Li-ion battery is claimed to offer 220 shots between charges and it's capable of shooting stills in RAW, JPEG or a single photograph recorded in both formats. The J2 has slightly different dimensions of 4.2 x 2.4 x 1.2-inches (106 x 61 x 29.8 mm) and is also slightly heavier, with a body-only weight of 8.4 ounces (238g).
Nikon 1 J2 will come bundled with a 10-30mm lens, and is available from September for a suggested retail price of US$$549.95 (which is a hundred bucks cheaper than the launch price of the J1).
It should be noted, however, that the specs of the new J2 are still lagging behind similarly priced compact-sized, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras like Panasonic's 12.1 megapixel LUMIX DMC-GF5 and Samsung's 20.3 megapixel NX1000.
Nikon has also unveiled a new 30-74mm equivalent zoom lens in the shape of the 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, which has been given a late September availability slot at $189.95. Both the J1 and the J2 also benefit from the release of the WP-N1 underwater case, which is waterproof up to 40 meters (131 feet). Swimming with your 1 System cameras won't be cheap though, the case gets released next month for $749.95.