Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon 1 J4
The Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon 1 J4 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2014 and April 2014. The X30 is a fixed lens compact, while the J4 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X30) and an one-inch (J4) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 18.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon 1 J4? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon 1 J4 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X30 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the J4 is available in four color-versions (black, silver, orange, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon 1 J4 is considerably smaller (30 percent) than the Fujifilm X30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X30 nor the J4 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X30 has a lens built in, whereas the J4 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the X30 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm XQ2||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon 1 V2||109 mm||82 mm||46 mm||278 g||310||n||Oct 2012||799||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||450||n||Apr 2015||699||ebay.com|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X30 features a 2/3 sensor and the Nikon 1 J4 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the J4 is 100 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 2.7. The sensor in the X30 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the J4 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 18.2MP, the J4 offers a higher resolution than the X30 (12MP), but the J4 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.52μm versus 2.20μm for the X30) due to its larger sensor. However, the X30 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the J4, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon 1 J4 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the J4 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 26.2 x 17.4 inches or 66.4 x 44.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.9 x 14 inches or 53.2 x 35.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.4 x 11.6 inches or 44.3 x 29.5 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X30 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm X30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon 1 J4 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. The X30 uses Fujifilm's X-Trans layout of photosites, while the J4 employs the more common Bayer array.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|2.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|3.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|12.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|13.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|15.||Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.2||11.3||-111||47|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X30 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the J4 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X30 and Nikon 1 J4 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Fujifilm X30||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0 / 1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SL1||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm XQ2||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm XQ1||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The J4 has a touchscreen, while the X30 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the J4 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The X30 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the J4 uses micro SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X30 and Nikon 1 J4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Canon SL1||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm XQ2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm XQ1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the X30 has a hotshoe, while the J4 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the X30 and the J4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The J4 was replaced by the Nikon 1 J5, while the X30 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the X30 and J4 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X30 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon 1 J4 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon 1 J4? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X30:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the J4 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the J4).
Advantages of the Nikon 1 J4:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18.2 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (60 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (100x60mm vs 119x72mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2014).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the J4 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon 1 J4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X30 and the J4 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||..||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm XQ2||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon 1 V2||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2012||799||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||..||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2015||699||ebay.com|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 10D vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon 1D C vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon 20D vs Nikon 1 J4
- Canon 5D Mark II vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon 800D vs Nikon 1 J4
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon G5 X vs Fujifilm X30
- Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon D90
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Nikon 1 J4
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Sony A7R
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Sony NEX-F3
Specifications: Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon 1 J4
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X30||Nikon 1 J4|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8||Nikon 1 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2014||April 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon 1 J4|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||18.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5232 x 3488 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||2.52 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||15.71 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||EXPEED 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||53|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||426|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon 1 J4|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon 1 J4|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||60 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||mSDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon 1 J4|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon 1 J4|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
119 x 72 x 60 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 2.4 in)
100 x 60 x 29 mm
(3.9 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
|Camera Weight||423 g (14.9 oz)||232 g (8.2 oz)|
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