NIKON 1 J4
Fastest continous shooting at 60 frames per second. Noise reduction is too aggressive, leading to smudging at high ISOs.
The Nikon 1 system is fairly mature by now, and the J4 is the latest iteration of Nikon’s mirrorless series, and again the focus is on making key shooting situations easier via the use of presets. With eight filter options like HDR, Creative Palette, Panorama, and Soft focus available under the Creative mode, and Nikon’s own helper functions like Best Moment Capture and Smart Photo Selector, it’s obvious Nikon is trying to bridge the gap between cameras with interchangeable lenses and simple point-and-shoot compacts with this one.
Buttons and controls are pared down to a minimum with the J4, but once you get used to the menu system and where the options are, you’ll find that all the necessary camera settings are easily accessible. I must say that having a touch LCD screen helps dramatically with this, as does realizing that all the regular shooting modes (P,S,A,M) are housed under the function button (F) in all modes except for Auto.
A dedicated record button is placed next to the shutter button, letting you start recording movie with just a press, and we think it’s probably the easiest to access of the three cameras, as the equivalent buttons are a little too flush with the bodies on the NX Mini and the DMC-GM1. On the J4, it’s a nice solid ridged button that pops up enough for you to reach by feel. The small plastic ridge on the right of the camera acts as a nice thumb grip, and the metallic finish gives the camera a nice, modern feel.
Then, there is the 1030mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens which features an integrated lens cap that opens when the camera is powered on, and closes at shutdown. We really do like this small feature as it means you’re ready to start shooting pretty much immediately after hitting the on/off button. No lens caps to fuss with, and no need to rotate the lens to extend it before you can start taking pictures.
The lens also features zoom by wire, which we don’t like so much as there isn’t as much feel to it. There is a little too much give, and there are no indications as to which focal length you’re at, so you really have to go by what you see on the LCD.