Customer Review

45 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars IDENTICAL horrible ergonomics that make the J1 worthless!, September 21, 2012
This review is from: Nikon 1 J2 10.1 MP HD Digital Camera with 10-30mm and 30-110mm VR Lenses (Red) (Electronics)
Look... The thing JUST came out and it's ALREADY discounted by over $100. What else do you need to know??? Geez...

Nikon has not learned its lesson AT ALL! The J1 is a horrible camera primarily because the ergonomics are truly so god awfully poor that the camera is truly relegated to point-and-shoot (PNS) status and the autofocus simply doesn't work in dim or dark lighting even with the AF assist illuminator on. The upgrade to a legitimate mode dial with real modes would have made a HUGE difference and would have been a really really easy fix. But no. No update to the useless mode dial that lets you choose between crappy mode and movie mode. It's a horrible PNS camera and it's a huge PNS camera, in relative terms. The J2 ignored those GLARING flaws, and instead gave it more garbage modes. And now it's also available in orange... in addition to pink, red, white silver and black. What, no blue and/or green, tiger stripes or leopard spots??? Obviously, you can see where their sole priority is with this premium-PRICED camera line... If not, I'll spell it out for you: It's a fashion accessory disguised as a camera.

Nikon, Nikon, Nikon... My D800E is the most amazing camera I've ever used (though the ergonomics could be more like, well, the D600's) and I just ordered my D600 today, so you're clearly doing something right. But WHY in the world are you wasting time on this piece of junk Nikon 1 line??? They are embarrassingly poor cameras that merely look pretty. Only thing that makes sense to me is that they are VERY high margin cameras that suckers do occasionally fall for. And I gotta admit, that candy red is GORGEOUS! And I noticed that the D3200 is available in that red... Could it be because I previously gushed about the color in my harsh criticism of the J1? ;)

Look, the Canon S100 makes better-looking images, has WORLDS better ergonomics, catches MANY MANY more images that the Nikon 1 line would miss, is about half the price and fits in a jeans pocket. Don't take my word, look at the customer images on those respective cameras' Amazon pages and you'll see CLEARLY what I'm talking about in regards to the S100's images looking better! Aside from the candy red color of the J1, and I'm dead serious here, I see NO reason to use a J1, J2 or V1, never mind spend money on one. They are truly terrible and the S100 is truly awesome.

Lol, this awful Nikon 1 line is such a thorn in my side because it makes sense for NOBODY. PNS seekers can get MUCH better cameras like the Canon S100 (which is actually better than its successor the S110) or the Lumix ZS20 (if you don't need RAW) for MUCH less money and that actually fit in a jeans pocket. More serious photographers willing to opt for larger-than-pocket-cameras can get a Canon T3i or Nikon D3200 or D5100 for less or the same money as a J2. You barely save size/weight with a J1, J2 or V1 over a D3200, D5100 or T3i with an 18-55mm kit lens and you get a WWWAAAYYY better camera. Or if you want something smaller than a DSLR and actually smaller than a J2 but still not pocketable, with WAY better ergonomics and actually is less expensive, get a Nikon P7700.

Come on, Nikon. Save face. Dump the line and put it behind you. Stop "chasing" this lost bet. Seriously. Take the J1/J2/V1 sensor (which is a really nice sensor), image processor, Live View and monitor and put them in a new body that's JUST like the Canon S100's or Sony RX100's with the menus of the D800E's or D5100's. For those considering the overpriced Sony RX100, I don't think its images look nearly as good as the S100's. Again, check the customer photos on their Amazon pages. Yes, Nikon just released the P7700. Pretty nice and smart camera, particularly considering Canon TOTALLY dropped the ball with the G15 and took a giant leap backwards in abandoning the articulating screen. However, neither the P7700 nor the G15 will fit in a pocket like the S100 will. Come on, Nikon. Start a new "C" line and start it with a model called the "C100" that harvests all the good parts of the Nikon 1 and puts them in a TRULY POCKETABLE (think EXACTLY Canon S100 dimensions) and give it the S100's or P7700's ergonomics, including mode ring around the lens, give it a NON-CHANGEABLE 24-120mm F1.8-2.8 lens with low distortion, Nikon DSLR menus and you will become a REAL player in the high-end PNS market instead of perpetually playing catch-up with Canon, and then embarrassing yourself so completely with something like the Nikon 1 line. Do it right once and for all. Clean slate. That's what Sony did. Look, the Canon S line defined the pocket camera genre, a genre in which you have no respectable representation. Accept that. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Now, you have the tools to at least compete with them, if not possibly beat them. SO DO IT!
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 23, 2012 2:57:04 PM PDT
Adam Miarka says:
So have you used the J2, or are you just babbling?

Posted on Sep 23, 2012 4:48:39 PM PDT
Antonpd says:
What a troll, you don't even own the camera. If you did you would know it's worlds better than the s100. Everyone, avoid this moronic troll. The J2 is a step up from a point and shoot like s100 but not up to m4/3 cameras unless you need fast af for kids and such. If you do, go with the J2.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2012 11:32:40 AM PDT
7 says:
@ Adam - I used to own one. It is called the J1. They are IDENTICAL aside from the J2 having more effects modes. The ergonomics have not changed AT ALL. The J1/J2 have the second worst ergonomics of ANY camera I have EVER used. Read my extremely thorough J1 review to understand.

For the record, Adam, I never babble. Are you just a very rude person, or was this just an isolated incident?

@ Antonpd - I have owned the J1, and as I just told Adam above, it is identical to the J2 aside from new effects modes. And I also presently own an S100. If you have ever used the S100 alongside a J1 you would have NEVER made the statement you did. Nor would you have made the statement that the J1 is "not up to m4/3 cameras" as in ways the Nikon 1's IMAGE QUALITY is better than 4/3. Nikon 1 vs. 4/3 image quality can only be judged on a camera by camera basis and not format vs. format. ISO performance is very comparable between 4/3 and Nikon 1.

What will amount to nothing more than a pedantic argument is moot anyway. My MAIN argument against the Nikon 1 line is not that it is not capable of producing beautiful images. To the contrary, it can produce very beautiful images. My argument is that getting those results take a LOT of work and time due to the HORRIBLE ergonomics and menus and using fully automatic modes will NOT yield those very beautiful images often. My other major argument against the Nikon 1 is that it simply cannot focus in anything other than bright light. Post-sunset natural light shooting just won't happen.

That said, the S100 is not a PNS. It can be used in that capacity, sure. But so can my D800E in P mode with AF on, auto ISO and auto WB. Surely you won't call my D800E a PNS, will you? The S100 can be shot in full M mode with total control of nearly everything a DSLR allows and it can capture 12MP RAW images and its ergonomics, once gotten used to, are very near DSLR level. Though FAR more compact than a Nikon 1, its ergonomics are FAR superior in EVERY exposure mode than the Nikon 1's. This is all very important because this means you will capture the image WAY more often with an S100 than with a Nikon 1. More than that, you will capture the image BETTER with the S100 than the Nikon 1 because controls are WAY more accessible. Still more than that, the S100's image feel (color, contrast, saturation) is just worlds better than the Nikon 1's. Don't take my word for it, check the product pages here on Amazon and view the customer images. The S100 simply takes gorgeous-looking images. The Nikon 1 does not. Certainly not very consistently anyway.

Listen, and this goes for EVERYONE. If you only care about stat sheet numbers, then the Nikon 1 looks great. I personally don't care at all about stats if I miss images. The Nikon 1 is terrible in a PNS capacity and even worse when trying to take control away from the camera.

Yes, the S100 is better than the Nikon 1 in almost every way. The S100 WILL consistently produce more great images than the Nikon 1 simply because it is a tool to take photos instead of an obstacle like the Nikon 1. Then there is the image quality of the S100 which I like better than any camera next to the D800/D800E. If you laugh at that, then you laugh at the D800/D800E as these 3 cameras share very very similar image feel (color, contrast, saturation). I own these cameras. And many more. If you insist on clinging to prejudices/pre-judgment, you'll never understand or appreciate what I'm saying. And that's your prerogative. And your loss.

Just look at the customer images and let them do the talking. The photos don't lie and they confirm everything I've stated.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2012 5:04:51 PM PDT
I agree with the OP. I would not rate 2 stars, but 3. I have used a j1 and it's not worth it. I ended up purchasing a Nex-5n which is much much better. And t3i would have been my 2nd choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012 4:18:50 AM PDT
Adam Miarka says:
So you didn't even notice that the screen resolution on the LCD increased from 460k to 921k? Or the fact that you can actually get to some of the custom modes with the function button when in Creative mode? Again, you HAVE NOT used this particular camera and are just rehashing your feelings for the J1.

And usually I'm not rude, only when people "review" a product they have never used.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 7:19:01 AM PDT
wkh says:
I own and use a V1, similar UI to the J1/2. While not perfect, your rant here and cut and pasted rants for the J1/V1, indicate someone who appears to have another agenda. I like my V1... just like I like my D800 and D700. They each have a place in what I shoot. When I'm just snapping family or friend pix and don't want to carry a lot, the V1 is perfect. When I want to mess with ridiculously long tele shots, I can slap the FT-1 on the camera and get shots I couldn't otherwise get. As I said initially, this isn't a perfect camera. No camera is.... It's just not 1/10 as bad as you make it out to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 10:25:41 AM PDT
7 says:
If I'm not mistaken, the V1 now sells for less than the J1 at about $400 with 10-30mm lens. That represents about a 50% discount from its release price about a year or so ago. That kind of discounting is indicative of huge failure. I said it back then that the J1 though a very poor camera is better than the V1 simply because it has a built-in flash. Though the J1 wasn't discounted as drastically, it still indicates failure.

I said it back then and I'll say it again now; the Nikon 1 has THE worst ergonomics that I've EVER used in any camera regardless of price save for the NEX-5n. I'll also repeat that the Nikon 1 simply can't focus in dim or dark lighting even with AF assist illuminator. I'll say it again, many smaller less-expensive cameras , like the Canon S100, take equally as good photos, often BETTER (Canon S100) photos, MUCH easier and quicker, focus just fine in dim and dark lighting and are FAR more portable and as a result will capture many many more wonderful images and that is a fact you can take to the bank.

What's my hidden agenda? That I work for Canon? I have shot professional Nikon gear since the mid 1980's and presently still do. I don't hide the fact that I've MANY times lamented Nikon's shortcomings and wanted to jump ship to Canon but didn't because I was bound by my extensive lens collection. Now, with my D800E and D600, I'm finally satisfied with Nikon DSLRs.

I have no brand loyalty. All that matters to me is features and performance. That's why I now shoot a Nikon D600 as my primary DSLR, a Canon S100 as my primary pocket camera and a Lumix TS3 as my tough camera.

I'm glad you are happy with your V1 but I just want to inform readers about the poor choice I believe the Nikon 1 series is and more importantly, WHY. I hope you can respect my findings. If you care to challenge any of my specifics, I am happy to discuss them with you.

Aloha. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 10:03:25 PM PDT
Not always indicative of huge failure...often indicative of new model about to be released.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2012 1:05:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 24, 2012 1:13:28 AM PDT
7 says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 10:03:31 AM PST
Mike Gorecki says:
hahahahahahahahahahaha.........hahahahaha........the j1 is an excellent small interchangeable lens camera. I bought mine the first week it was out...and have used it for hours and hours as a take along camera on the motorcycle or in the car. I will say it took me some time to warm up to its menu options....but with a little practice...its easy. Sure, I wish the ISO were a bit more accessible....and maybe lose the moving snapshot feature, but all in all it has been and continues to be a really fun camera. Its not a turn key really does take owning and using it to realize its potential. Is it for every possible photo I can say what i consider failings in every camera I have ever owned. Its a blast on a tripod with SLR or DSLR nikon lenses......Saying all that...I will say...when it is time to look at a new PS type camera...I probably wont buy another..Its fun to try all you can. Maybe someday, one of them will be "perfect"
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