Nikon's 1 series cameras, named for the 1-inch sensor all of them use, has always been about maximizing size and convenience in an interchangeable-lens body. The new J5 brings several features that serious photographers could find useful — though the new 4K video mode leaves something to be desired. Right off the bat it's clear that the appearance and feel have changed, providing more of the retro look so prized right now. It's not just for looks, though — the faux leather and raised grips should make the camera easier to hold. The touch-enabled tilting LCD is far from retro, of course, and flips up for selfies.
Up top there's now a dial to control exposure without going into a menu, and built-in Wi-Fi means you can operate the camera remotely with your phone. The sensor itself has also gotten an upgrade to 20.8 megapixels, and it still uses the super-fast autofocus system the 1 series has been lauded for over the years. Burst shooting and video are improved: You can shoot 1080p at a lifelike 60 frames per second, or 720p at 120 FPS, creating a slow-motion effect. 4K video, however, chugs along at 15 FPS, which pretty much makes it unusable.
Still, the J5 is a significant improvement on its predecessor and may be a great choice for someone looking for an ultra-compact camera body. Camera and lens kits start at $500, and should be shipping at the end of the month.
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