Nikon 1 J5 + 10-30mm PD
It’s pretty small compared to its bigger cousins, but perhaps it’s also a little small-minded for a serious system camera
Compact Syst em Camera £300, $495 www.nikon.com
Even with its 10-30mm kit lens fitted, the travelfriendly J5 is slimmer than any of the D-SLR bodies on their own. It’s very light too, at just 265g for the body, plus 85g for the lens. And it’s not just the physical size that’s small. Like other Nikon 1 series cameras, the J5 has a CX-format image sensor that’s much smaller than a DX (APS-C) sensor. As such, it has a 2.7x crop factor rather than 1.5x crop factor. Handling is very good for such a small body and, unlike on some previous 1 series designs, there’s a smattering of dials and buttons for direct access to shooting settings. The electronic shutter enables superfast 1/16000 sec exposures, and the maximum drive rate is even more impressive, at 60 frames per second. However, the buffer can only hold 20 shots, so you’re limited to top-speed shooting for just a third of a second, and the shot-to-shot speed in Single drive mode is shockingly slow (see ‘Need to know’, left).
Despite its small size, the 20.8-megapixel image sensor captures good levels of fine detail. Even so, it’s not quite a match for the D-SLRs on test. Autofocus is agile, and typical 1 series trick modes like Best Moment Capture and Motion Snapshot are available. As a system camera, however, limitations include the lack of a hotshoe for adding a flashgun; the fact there’s no provision for an optional viewfinder; and the lens choice, which is limited. For example, there are no Nikon 1 macro or fisheye lenses.
Landscape shots are certainly vivid, but can be slightly on the cool side