Unveiled: Nikon 1 J4 & S2 Mirrorless Cameras and Underwater Accessories

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Following the release of the V3 just two months ago, the new J4 and S2 mirrorless cameras are here to update the oldest models in the Nikon 1 lineup. Not content with just updating these cameras, Nikon has announced the WP-N3 underwater housing, helping you take these new cameras to new depths. Also, there is now the SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight to light up those once-dim underwater scenes.

These new additions to the Nikon 1 series give photographers plenty of options for finding the perfect compact kit with speed, versatility, and image quality.

Nikon 1 J4 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Following the last year’s J3, the Nikon 1 J4 mirrorless camera makes significant strides in speed and performance, perhaps the most important of which is the inclusion of the latest EXPEED 4A image processor. But, without the new 1" CX-format sensor, the camera wouldn’t be able to do much. This sensor features 18.4 megapixels, getting a notable bump up from the 14.2 megapixel sensor of the J3. These core parts of the camera result in greater enhanced image quality, even allowing for an expanded ISO range from 160 all the way up to 12800.

A major addition to this camera is a high-resolution 3.0" 1,037k-dot LCD touchscreen for more natural and intuitive control over the camera. This allows for more features, such as touch-to focus and touch-shutter, both of which take advantage of the updated focusing system with 171 points (up from 135) and center 105 (up from 73) areas that support phase-detection for even faster autofocus.

The Nikon 1 system is known for its speed and the J4 follows in this tradition with 60 fps continuous shooting with fixed focus and 20 fps continuous shooting with full autofocus, including touch-to-focus. Even video has been made faster, with the ability to record full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 60p and HD 1280 x 720 video at up to 120 fps, for slow motion. Also, the 400 fps and 1,200 fps modes have received small increases in resolution, of 768 x 288 and 416 x 144, respectively.

Of course, even with all of these features, what good are your images if you can't share them with others? The J4 is now the first camera in the Nikon 1 lineup that has built-in Wi-Fi, making it quick and easy to share images with your friends and family. Of note, this camera now takes microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards, in place of the standard SD cards used by the previous models.

This camera comes in multiple variations. It is available with the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM lens in BlackOrangeSilver, or White. There is also a two-lens kit with the 10-30mm and 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lenses in Black or White, as well as a kit with the 1 NIKKOR 10-100mm f/4.0-5.6 VR lens in Black or White.

  Nikon 1 J4 Mirrorless Camera Nikon 1 J3 Mirrorless Camera
Image Processing Engine EXPEED 4A EXPEED 3A
Sensor 1" CX-format CMOS sensor 1" CX-format CMOS sensor
Resolution 18.4 MP 14.2 MP
ISO Range 160, 200-12800 in 1 EV steps 160-6400 in 1 EV steps
File Format NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG
Metering Modes Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot
White Balance Modes Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Underwater, Preset Manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Underwater, Preset Manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning
Shooting Speeds Approx. 5, 10, 20, 30, or 60 fps Approx. 5, 15, 30, or 60 fps
AF Modes Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Full-time AF (AF-F), Manual Focus (MF) Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Full-time AF (AF-F), Manual Focus (MF)
AF Points Single-Point AF: 171 focus areas, center 105 areas support phase-detection AF
Auto-Area AF: 41 focus areas
Single-Point AF: 135 focus areas, center 73 areas support phase-detection AF
Auto-Area AF: 41 focus areas
Video Recording 1920 x 1080/60p, 30p, 1280 x 720/60p, 30p 1920 x 1080/60i, 30p, 1280 x 720/60p, 30p
Slow Motion Video 1280 x 720/120 fps, 768 x 288/400 fps, 416 x 144/1200 fps 640 x 480/400 fps, 320 x 120/1200 fps
Simultaneous Stills During Video Yes, up to 20 images Yes, up to 20 images
Wi-Fi Connectivity Yes, built-in Via WU-1b adapter
LCD 3.0" 1,037k-dot LCD touchscreen 3.0" 921k-dot LCD screen
Memory Card microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC
Weight 8.2 oz (232 g) with battery and memory card 8.6 oz (244 g) with battery and memory card
Dimensions 3.9 x 2.4 x 1.1" (99.5 x 60.0 x 28.5mm) 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.1" (101.0 x 60.5 x 28.8 mm)


Nikon 1 S2 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Rounding out the lineup is the Nikon 1 S2 mirrorless camera, featuring the same EXPEED 4A image processor as the J4 and V3. The S2 is designed to be a nimble, yet affordable, digital camera. Compared to its predecessor, this camera receives a 1" CX-format image sensor with a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, up from the 10.1 megapixels of the S1. It also has an increased ISO range of 200 to 12800 for better low-light capabilities.

The S2 does make sure to keep up with the larger J4 and V3 models with the same shooting rates of up to 60 frames per second with fixed focus, and up to 20 frames per second with continuous focus, due to an AF system that has 135 focus areas with the center 73 areas offering phase-detection support. It also receives a video update by being able record full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 60p with the ability to shoot 10 still images during recording. Minor changes to the S2 include Wi-Fi connectivity through the use of the WU-1a adapter and the use of microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards.

This camera comes in a kit with the 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens in BlackWhiteRed, or Yellow, as well as a two-lens kit with the 11-27.5mm and 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lenses in Red.

  Nikon 1 S2 Mirrorless Camera Nikon 1 S1 Mirrorless Camera
Image Processing Engine EXPEED 4A EXPEED 3A
Sensor 1" CX-format CMOS sensor 1" CX-format CMOS sensor
Resolution 14.2MP 10.1MP
ISO Range 200-12800 in 1 EV steps 100-6400 in 1 EV steps
File Format NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG
Metering Modes Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot
White Balance Modes Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Underwater, Preset Manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Underwater, Preset Manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning
Shooting Speeds Approx. 5, 10, 20, 30, or 60 fps Approx. 5, 15, 30, or 60 fps
AF Modes Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Full-time AF (AF-F), Manual Focus (MF) Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Full-time AF (AF-F), Manual Focus (MF)
AF Points Single-Point AF: 135 focus areas, center 73 areas support phase-detection AF
Auto-Area AF: 41 focus areas
Single-Point AF: 135 focus areas, center 73 areas support phase-detection AF
Auto-Area AF: 41 focus areas
Video Recording 1920 x 1080/60p, 30p, 1280 x 720/60p, 30p 1920 x 1080/60i, 30p, 1280 x 720/60p, 30p
Slow Motion Video 640 x 480/400 fps, 320 x 120/1200 fps 640 x 480/400 fps, 320 x 120/1200 fps
Simultaneous Stills During Video Yes, up to 10 images Yes, up to 18 images
Wi-Fi Connectivity Via WU-1a adapter Via WU-1b adapter
LCD 3.0" 460k-dot LCD screen 3.0" 460k-dot LCD screen
Memory Card microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC
Weight 8.1 oz (230 g) with battery and memory card 8.5 oz (240 g) with battery and memory card
Dimensions 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.2" (101.0 x 60.8 x 29.4 mm) 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.2" (102.0 x 60.5 x 29.7 mm)


SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight

For those craving TTL flash during a dive, the SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight is the answer. Capable of withstanding depths of 328', you shouldn’t have any worry about bringing this on your next expedition. It is quite powerful, with a guide number of 92' at ISO 100, ensuring you will get proper exposures in the dimmest lighting conditions. It can even work in tandem with the AW1’s pop-up flash when a little extra light is needed.

A targeting lamp assists with focusing by helping you to aim the flash and autofocus before you take a photo. There is a wide-angle adapter for spreading the illumination coverage to 120°, making this speedlight just as versatile as are the cameras. Additionally, this flash unit is compatible with all of the Nikon 1 underwater equipment, including brackets and fiber optic cables.

WP-N3 Underwater Housing

Photographers who commonly take their cameras diving, fishing, boating, or even just around the beach or pool in the summer, should consider the fully waterproof WP-N3 Underwater Housing for the Nikon 1 J4 and S2 mirrorless digital cameras. Capable of reaching depths of 147', you can feel comfortable taking high-resolution photographs and full high-definition video while exploring the underwater world. It ensures full tactile control over your camera, including the mode dial, multi-selector, movie recording, and menu buttons. It will work with the 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm and 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm PD-ZOOM lenses, even allowing access to the zoom ring.