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Nikon 1 J5 Comparison Review

The Nikon 1 J5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in April 2015 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.7 megapixel.

camera

Is the Nikon 1 J5 a good camera? The J5 has a Camera Elo of 2199. This rating puts the J5 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the J5 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon 1 J5 is more than 6 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2015.

Headline Specifications
Nikon 1 J5
Mirrorless system camera
Nikon 1 mount lenses
20.7 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/15p Video
ISO 160 - 12 800
no viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting touchscreen
60 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge
98 x 60 x 32 mm, 231 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

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon 1 J5 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon 1 J5 vs credit card front
J5 versus credit card top view
J5 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon 1 J5 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon 1 J5 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399i
2.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
3.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
4.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
5.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Nikon 1 V3 111 mm 65 mm 33 mm 381 g 310 n Mar 2014 799i
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549i
8.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
9.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
10.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
11.
 
YI M1 114 mm 64 mm 34 mm 281 g 450 n Sep 2016 349 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 J5 was launched in the US market at a price of $399. 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 J5:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Nikon 1 J5 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 J5 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Nikon 1 J5 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
2.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
3.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
4.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
5.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Nikon 1 V3 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653
8.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
9.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
10.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
11.
 
YI M1 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The J5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the J5 can use is 4K/15p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon 1 J5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Nikon 1 J5none n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
5.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon 1 V3optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4none n3.0 / 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
8.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
9.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
10.
 
Sony A5000none n3.0 / 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
YI M1none n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n

The LCD screen on the Nikon 1 J5 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the J5

One convenient feature of the J5 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 J5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 1200DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon 1 V3-stereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony A5000-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
YI M1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y

It is notable that the J5 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the J5 handle or perform in practice. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon 1 J5........4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399i
2.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
3.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
4.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
5.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Nikon 1 V33/5....76/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2014 799i
7.
 
Nikon 1 J43/5......4.5/54/5 Apr 2014 549i
8.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 349 i
9.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
10.
 
Sony A50003/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
11.
 
YI M1......69/100.... Sep 2016 349 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

Nikon 1 J5 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the J5.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the J5?

The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated 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 J5 with the EXPEED 5 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the J5?

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

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the J5 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon 1 J5?

Nikon does not publish a shutter rating for the J5. 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.

How do I find the shutter count on my J5?

Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your J5 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the free online shutter count finder app.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon 1 J5?

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

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Nikon 1 J5 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Does the Nikon 1 J5 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 J5 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 J5 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL24, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. 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 J5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon 1 mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2015
    Launch Price USD 399
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 568 x 3 712 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.37 μm
    Pixel Density 17.79 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/15p Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 479
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus 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 PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium 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 micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EN-EL24 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 98 x 60 x 32 mm
    (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 231 g (8.1 oz)

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