Nikon Mirrorless J1 Digital Camera Review$649.99
The J1's motion performance had some very good highs with its excellent clarity and smooth footage, but it also had some significant lows. There was some prominent interference in our rotating pinwheels, particularly in the red portion of our colored wheel. Lines looked jagged and rough, instead of straight and smooth like they should. This interference was less of an issue in the J1's 30p record mode, but the 60i mode produced smoother, less blurry video. We like that Nikon offers both 60i and 30p recording on the J1, as it gives users two distinctly different options when recording video. Both modes capture motion well, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. So, you can pick the shooting mode based on what kind of scene you're planning to shoot. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
The J1 did well in our sharpness test, but its results weren't at the same level as today's best HD camcorders. In our testing, the J1 managed a horizontal sharpness of 750 lw/ph and a vertical sharpness of 600 lw/ph. These numbers are better than most of the mirrorless camera competition, although the Sony NEX-5 was able to match the J1's sharpness results. Both the 60i and 30p record mode on the J1 record Full HD video at a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and we saw little difference in the sharpness results for each mode. The 30p mode wasn't quite as crisp as the 60i setting, but its video was smoother overall, which made the sharpness levels look nearly identical. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
Low Light Sensitivity
We tested the Nikon J1's low light sensitivity using the camera's 10-30mm f/3.5 kit lens. The results of this test weren't pretty, as the J1 needed 25 lux of light to record an image that would pass broadcast standards. That's more than three times the amount of light the Panasonic GF3 needed, and twice the amount of light that the Sony NEX-5 needed in this same test. We tested the J1's sensitivity using both its 60i and 30p record mode, but found no significant differences with either mode. We also did this test with the ISO set to auto (with a a max of 3200) and the exposure set to program (the shutter speed minimum was 1/60 of a second).