Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM, 1/1000, F7.1, ISO160, Photo by Z II

Nikon Nikon 1 J5 / SHOOTING REPORT

Time has passed and the new Nikon 1 J5 has been released as the fifth generation of the Nikon 1 J series. The Nikon 1 series is a mirrorless line from Nikon, but I feel that their concept is slightly different from conventional mirrorless cameras and it has created its unique market because of its solid operation feel, fast AF and burst speed, and the interchangeable lenses supporting all kinds of creative needs. The high performance is surprising enough for compact camera users and convincing enough for those who users a SLR camera mainly. And, because the appeals of this series aren't always tangible on the spec sheet, I think the users of the system are the experts. Anyway, I went out to see what this new J5, released before the older brother V body, has to offer.

( Photography : Z II / Text : Serow48 )

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM, 1/500, F6.3, ISO160, Photo by Z II

To be honest, after looking at the outputs, I couldn't believe they were shot with a camera with the 1-inch sensor. The combination of the new 20-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and the latest imaging processor dramatically improved the image quality. All shots on this report are original JPEG images generated by the camera. The quiet water surface has a great tonal gradation and it adds to the presence of the swan, while the color tone is very natural.

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM, 1/125, F5.6, ISO200, Photo by Z II

The resolution is high enough and I have no complaints. When I can get this image quality with this tiny camera, what's the point of holding a hefty camera? Of course, on enlarged images, larger sensors outdo. But, for general purpose...? As a user of the hefty camera, I feel like I'm a loser...

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM, 1/100, F4.5, ISO200, Photo by Z II

The texture reproduction is great, too. The lightweight and the tilting LCD facilitate shooting from a lower angle by stretching hands. I could request an EVF, but it's a specialty of the V series, I guess.

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8, 1/200, F1.8, ISO 160, Photo by Z II

If anything, this camera works best at smaller aperture. But, depending on the lens and the distance to the subject, it generates unexpectedly large and natural bokeh. And, I believe this kit prime lens 18.5mm F1.8 was designed for such use. Yet, don't expect a massive bokeh like the one of larger sensors. Instead, use like when you choose the F3.5 lens purposefully.

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8, 1/16000, F1.8, ISO 160, Photo by Z II

The brisk response of the Nikon 1 is something I cannot demonstrate here and I urge you to try and feel it. With the lightening fast AF and the movie-like burst speed, the Nikon 1 series enables easy shooting. And, I think the best way of using this camera is to focus and compose, leaving everything else to the camera's performance. Count on the 1/16000 shutter speed and keep pressing the shutter for a while. All you have to do next is choose the best shot from the continuous shots.

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8, 1/1000, F2, ISO 160, Photo by Z II

And, this means it's an ideal camera for walking. And, with the prime lens, you don't even need time to zoom. So, I strongly recommend the combination with the prime lens. And, it's this decisiveness that will improve skills.

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8, 1/200, F1.8, ISO 160, Photo by Z II

I believe the peak time for photo walking is the break time. You can take a rest and share images with people via the built-in Wi-Fi. The tilting LCD also helps selfies. And, the Glamour Retouch functions include "skin softening," "small face," "white teeth, " and so on. I regret I cannot report about them because I'm not handsome enough to expose my face here.

Nikon 1 J5, 1 NIKKOR 18.5mm f/1.8, 1/1600, F1.8, ISO 3200, Photo by Z II

The back--illuminated sensor demonstrated its improved high sensitivity performance. I felt I could use up to ISO3200 regularly. Or, I even use higher sensitivity when I need to because I prefer shake-free images even if they had more noises. Plus, the F1.8 lens is highly valuable in dark situation and you don7t even need to stop down because of the 1-inch sensor's deep depth of field.

Small but exceptionally serious. The J5.

To be brutally honest, every camera, regardless of brand, takes great pictures. And, if your priority is compactness, the J5 is definitely your top candidate

A decade ago, people's first camera was a compact point-and-shoot camera. Now, the start from a smartphone and they buy a real camera if they want higher usability and image quality. Although some high-end compact cameras meet their expectations, they don7t beat the speed and performance of the Nikon 1. Nikon has been an expert in designing cameras for a long time, and because of that, I think they have higher standards. In other words, the Nikon 1 is a compact system seriously designed by the world's leading camera company. And, by releasing the J5, the identity of the Nikon 1 system has become clearer than even before.

If you know someone who says they cannot take good shots with their cellular phones or smartphones, you can recommend this camera because it enables everyone to take great shots without fail.
And, I even wonder if the J5 can be one of the ideal forms of a camera that has been explored for decades.

( 01.05.2015 )