J3 Review - One step forward one step back

Started Aug 8, 2014 | User reviews thread
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JanMatthys Contributing Member • Posts: 697
J3 Review - One step forward one step back

I bought the J3 as an upgrade to the J1, my guess is that there are other people who are considering the same, so I'll start this review by listing the pros vs cons of J1 vs J3 and then I'll type up my conclusion.

J3 pros vs J1

- Better Screen

- Higher resolution sensor

- Tighter build quality

- Multi-selector dial is now stiffer

- Image review can be turned off

- Wi-Fi capable

- History Menu includes last settings used

- Better flash mechanism

- shooting modes for backlighting and night landscape are useful in a pinch

J3 cons vs J1

- Interval timer - Gone

- ML-3 IR remote control - Gone

- Toggle lever - Gone

- Dedicated motion snapshot function - still there

- User Inerface even worse than J1

- Shooting menu broken down into 3 sub menus

- Image review zoom disabled if "detailed info display" is selected in the set-up menu

- Base ISO 160

- Slightly noisier than J1

- Same weak flash output

- No option for Manual flash output to trigger remote units

When it comes to IQ, focusing, AWB, Metering, and handling, both are basically identical.

The only reason to choose the J3 is for the better screen and extra 4MP resolution, which I find to be very helpful. I used the J1 as my daylight all auto P&S camera for fast action, when capturing the moment was more important than overall IQ. Since these shots happened so quickly there was very little time for proper framing so I usually cropped the 10MP image and ended up with an 8mp or 6mp output, this makes the noise and lack of detail more noticeable. The advantage of the J3 is that I can now crop the 14mp down to 10MP and maintain more detail, same noise.

Would I recommend someone with a J1 upgrading to a J3? no

if someone is trying to decide between a J1 and a J3? get the J3 if the price difference is no greater than $100

*Note- I've upgraded the rating of studio/still life to great, if you have a constant light source, if you need strobes the rating is awful since this camera can not take pocket wizzards or fire the flash in M mode to trigger remote strobes opticcally.

Nikon 1 J3
14 megapixels • 3 screen • 1″ sensor
Announced: Jan 8, 2013
JanMatthys's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 J3
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