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Nikon 1 J4 Comparison Review

The Nikon 1 J4 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in April 2014 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 18.2 megapixel.

camera

Is the Nikon 1 J4 a good camera? The J4 has a Camera Elo of 2061. This rating puts the J4 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the J4 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon 1 J4 is more than 5 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2014.

Headline Specifications
Nikon 1 J4
Mirrorless system camera
Nikon 1 mount lenses
18.2 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 160-12800
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Swivel touchscreen
60 shutter flaps per second
300 shots per battery charge
100 x 60 x 29 mm, 232 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon 1 J4 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon 1 J4 vs credit card front
J4 versus credit card top view
J4 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon 1 J4 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 J4 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
 
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon 100D« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Nikon P900« » 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
 
Nikon 1 J5« » 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399- i Nikon 1 J5
 
Nikon 1 V3« » 111 mm 65 mm 33 mm 381 g 310 n Mar 2014 799- i Nikon 1 V3
 
Panasonic GF7« » 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 266 g 230 n Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« » 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon 1 J4 was launched in the US market at a price of $549. 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.

Nikon 1 J4:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Nikon 1 J4 features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon 1 J4 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Nikon 1 J4 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653Nikon 1 J4
 
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
 
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Nikon P900« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Nikon P900
 
Nikon 1 J5« » 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965Nikon 1 J5
 
Nikon 1 V3« » 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452Nikon 1 V3
 
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The J4 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the J4 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon 1 J4 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 J4- n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 J4
 
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
 
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Nikon P900« »921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
 
Nikon 1 J5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 J5
 
Nikon 1 V3« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 V3
 
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N

One convenient feature of the J4 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

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 Nikon 1 J4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Nikon 1 J4
 
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
 
Canon 100D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Nikon P900« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Nikon 1 J5« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon 1 J5
 
Nikon 1 V3« »-stereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon 1 V3
 
Panasonic GF7« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N

It is notable that the J4 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon 1 J4--4.5/5-4/5 Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
 
Canon G9 X« »+ +-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon 100D« »+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Nikon P900« »-77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
 
Nikon 1 J5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399- i Nikon 1 J5
 
Nikon 1 V3« »-76/1004.5/53/54/5 Mar 2014 799- i Nikon 1 V3
 
Panasonic GF7« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« »+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon 1 J4 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the J4.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the J4?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Nikon equipped the J4 with the Expeed 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the J4?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon 1 J4?

Nikon does not publish a shutter rating for the J4. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon 1 J4?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Does the Nikon 1 J4 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Nikon 1 J4 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the J4 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL22, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon 1 J4
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon 1 mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2014
    Launch Price USD 549
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 18.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5232 x 3488 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.52 μm
    Pixel Density 15.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 160-12800 ISO
    Image Processor 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
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 60 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium micro or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EN-EL22 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 100 x 60 x 29 mm
    (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
    Camera Weight 232 g (8.2 oz)

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