Nikon 1 J3 Review

by Reads (449)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Image/Video Quality
      • 9
      • Features
      • 8
      • Design / Ease of Use
      • 6
      • Performance
      • 8
      • Expandability
      • 7
      • Total Score:
      • 7.60
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Small size, attractive appearance
    • Reliably quick performer
    • Very good image and movie quality
    • Many interesting features as well as manual controls
  • Cons

    • Requires frequent access to the menu
    • Fair battery life
    • Fragile pop-up flash

Quick Take

The Nikon 1 J3 is a slick little camera with plenty of features and a couple of upgrades. It has a 14.1 MP CMOS sensor and hybrid AF.


The Nikon 1 J3 improves on its predecessors, Nikon\’s mirrorless interchangeable lens lineup, with greater resolution, 14.2 megapixels vs. 10.1. As with the previous versions, the J3 can shoot in uncompressed (RAW) format as well as JPEGs. The camera has a 13.2mm x 8.8mm CMOS sensor (a 2.7 crop factor), a 921,000 dot, three-inch diagonal LCD monitor and 1080 HD video capability, along with the ability to record slow motion video.

\"NikonThe camera uses Nikon\’s \”hybrid\” autofocus system, which uses a combination of phase detection and contrast detection to achieve quick and accurate focus under varied conditions. The J3 has several continuous shooting options.  It can record up to five frames per second with the flash enabled and either 15, 30 or 60 frames per second for recording without the flash. The camera can be used in manual, shutter priority and aperture priority modes, though functions such as shutter speed and aperture can be set only by delving deep into the camera\’s menu. In addition to its manual modes the camera has some interesting creative shooting modes.  It uses standard SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.

The experts at DigitalCameraReview found the Nikon 1 J3 to be an enjoyable camera to shoot with. It is small in size, light weight in feel and has a modern, sleek appearance. The camera\’s buttons and controls, while small, work well and the dedicated movie button is much appreciated.

DCR was not not fond of the camera\’s fragile pop-up flash, which could be a problem if used frequently, however.

Performance is a strong point, as the J3 is reliably quick in all respects. It has very good image quality, even in low light, and excellent movie ability. The camera has quite a few advanced features, including a Motion Snapshot mode that combines movies and photos, and its innovative Slow View mode that lets the user select the best photo taken by the camera. It also has a broad array of settings that appeal to the more advanced user, such as manual exposure, shutter priority and aperture priority. However, advanced users may become frustrated by the need to constantly access the camera\’s menu, as there are few functions that can be enabled by buttons or dials. Also, since the camera\’s battery life is rather short, users should consider purchasing a back-up battery.

By Andy Stanton


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