In spite of a dubiously expensive and underwhelming start, mirrorless cameras are now beginning to impress. Thus far, the big two of Canon and Nikon haven’t quite latched onto this trend, but that might be about to change. Nikon’s latest release, the 1-Series J5, is a compact interchangeable lens camera that offers a 20.8 megapixel CMOS sensor, the option to shoot 4K video, and a burst mode which sees it take 20 images per second.
While a sensor of this resolution is still relatively uncommon in a camera of this size, it is the J5’s other attributes that make it noteworthy. Sony has led the way in bringing 4K recording to compact devices, but now Nikon has joined the party, albeit at the relatively jerky frame rate of 15fps. But the option is nice to have, and considering that Nikon has included a new form of backside-illumination behind the sensor, it should be safe to assume that image quality will be more than decent.
The real killer feature, however, is the burst mode. Mirrorless cameras have always had the potential for such speediness — the lack of mirror means there is no mechanical impediment slowing things down. But without a mirror, and therefore without DSLR-style phase-detection autofocus, some mirrorless models have struggled to focus on fast-moving (or even static) subjects. Nikon claims that its new model suffers no such issues, with 105 out of 171 autofocus points using phase detection. As a result, the J5 is capable of firing 20 in-focus shots per second, which is quite an achievement.
The new Nikon also sports Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, a tiltable LCD screen, an ISO range of 160 to 12800, and a new Fn button which allows users to program in their favorite control for quick access. There’s no word on when the camera will hit the shelves, but prices will start at $499.50 for the J5 with a NIKKOR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.
See Nikon’s website for more info.