Unveiled: The Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Camera with Selfie-Ready Screen


Just about a year after the release of the J4, Nikon has announced an update to its 1 line with the J5. Improving on its predecessor, the J5 has a 20.8MP back side illuminated CX-format CMOS sensor, up from 18.4MP, and a new EXPEED 5A image-processing engine to allow for improved imagery at up to ISO 12800. The overall body has been considerably changed to include an ergonomic grip, raised controls, and a textured exterior. The J5’s 1,037k-dot LCD touchscreen is now fully tiltable to 180°, for easy selfies.

Also new to the J5 is the introduction of UHD 2160p/15 video recording, an interval timer, active D-lighting, and Electronic Vibration Reduction at both 30p and 60p. New additions to the creative modes have been added to the J5 that can now be used during video.

Carried over from the J4 is fixed-focus, 60 fps continuous shooting (with a 20-frame buffer), and 20 fps continuous shooting with full autofocus. There are 171 focus areas, with 105 that support phase detection AF in single-point AF, and 41 focus areas in auto-area AF.  

In addition to the UHD video, the J5 also records full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 60p and HD 1280 x 720 video at up to 120 fps, for slow motion. The 400 fps and 1,200 fps modes have also received small changes in resolution, of 800 x 296 and 400 x 144, respectively. A new interval timer enables time-lapse videos, and Active D-lighting delivers well-exposed videos.

The J5 now has a dedicated PSAM dial, allowing you to choose the mode, including the new sports mode for shooting fast action. Like the J4, the J5 has Wi-Fi connectivity; however, it also sees the addition of NFC capabilities, as well.

The camera is available in kits with the 10-100mm VR Lens in silver or white; with the 10-30mm PD-ZOOM lens in black, silver, or white; and with the 10-30mm PD-ZOOM and 30-110mm VR lenses in silver or white. Three accessories are also available with the cameras: an EN-EL 24 rechargeable battery, an MH-31 battery charger, a dedicated Body Case, and an EP-5F Power Connector for connecting to the EH-5b AC Adapter.

                  1 J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera                 1 J4 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Lens Mount Nikon 1 Nikon 1
Image Sensor BSI CMOS; CX-Format (13.2 x 8.8mm) BSI CMOS; CX-Format (13.2 x 8.8mm)
Effective Pixels 20.8 MP 18.4 MP
Image Processor EXPEED 5A EXPEED 4A
Still Image File Format NEF (RAW): 12-bit, compressed
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine, normal compression
NEF (RAW): 12-bit, compressed
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine, normal compression
Storage Media microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC
Card Slot 1 x microSD 1 x microSD
Viewfinder Type None None
Shutter Type Electronic Electronic
Shutter Speed 30-1/16000 second 30-1/16000 second
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 60 fps (fixed focus), 20 fps (continuous AF) 60 fps (fixed focus), 20 fps (continuous AF)
Self-Timer 10, 2 seconds 10, 2 seconds
Metering Method Matrix
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 160; 200-12800 in 1 EV steps Auto, 160; 200-12800 in 1 EV steps
Number of Focus Points Single-Point AF: 171 focus areas, center 105 support phase-detection
Auto-Area AF: 41 focus areas
Single-Point AF: 171 focus areas, center 105 support phase-detection
Auto-Area AF: 41 focus areas
Focus Modes Single AF, continuous AF, auto AF-S/AF-C selection, full-time AF, manual Single AF, continuous AF, auto AF-S/AF-C selection, full-time AF, manual
Image Stabilization Electronic VR (during video at 30 & 60p) Electronic VR (during video at 30p)
Built-In Flash Yes Yes
Flash Control i-TTL i-TTL
External Flash Interface None None
White Balance Modes Auto, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, fine tuning Auto, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, underwater, preset manual, fine tuning
Movie File Format  MOV  MOV 
Movie Recording 3840 x 2160p/15
1920 x 1080p/60, 30
1280 x 720p/120, 60, 30
800 x 296/400 fps
400 x 144/1200 fps
1920 x 1080p/60, 30
1280 x 720p/120, 60, 30
768 x 288/400 fps
416 x 144/1200 fps
Audio Recording Yes, Built-in stereo microphone Yes, built-in stereo microphone
Audio File Format ACC ACC
External Microphone Input None None
Headphone Jack None None
Monitor 3.0" 1037k-dot 180° tilting LCD touchscreen 3.0" 1037k-dot LCD touchscreen
Interface 1 x microHDMI
1 x microUSB
1 x microHDMI
1 x microUSB
Wi-Fi Yes, built-in with NFC Yes, built-in
GPS None None
Power Source 1 x EN-EL24 rechargeable Li-ion battery pack 1 x EN-EL22 rechargeable Li-ion battery pack
Dimensions 3.9 x 2.4 x 1.3" / 98.3 x 59.7 x 31.5mm 3.9 x 2.4 x 1.1" / 99.5 x 60.0 x 28.5mm
Weight 9.4 oz / 265 g 8.2 oz / 232 g


When presenting a new camera, particularly one with a wide variety of lenses available, you owe your (potential) customers a bit of translation. Most of us need the 35mm equivalents when judging the gears' suitability for our various usages -- e.g. portraiture, macro, low light etc. As it is, I don't know whether this product interests me. I do know that you aren't very interested in selling it to me. Weird, perhaps even arrogant outfit.


Like others, no viewfinder no purchase.



Just that simple.


Hope Nikon are monitoring this site.



No viewfinder is a deal breaker. I guess this was designed without the professional photographer in mind. 

50 years of photographing through a viewfinder, I am looking for a mirrorless system for my business. thought this might be the one, but no viewfinder ends that thought.

Love how they leave the size of the sensor (crop factor) out of the specs..  No View finder and No External Flash control is a deal breaker for me..However;  I do love the sound of the 20 FPS...

I wish it had a Viewfinder. Will not  consider it without a viewfinder.  That is why I have the Fuji x100s.  And loving it.

As with all Nikon 1 series cameras, the Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera has a 2.7x crop factor.

For me a viewfinder is essential. There is a connection that eventually develops from the viewfinder to the eye to the minds eye. The camera becomes an extension of the minds eye through the eye. I am isolated from the suroundings and only see what is in the viewfinder. The minds eye the eye and the camera function as a single unit. Good composititon comes fast. This does not happen with a TLR or view camera. View cameras do provide isolation with the cloth but speed is not an issue. 

I would also need a viewfinder as others have said. I had a Nikon without one and would not do that again. A larger assortment of lenses would make me consider this camera.

Nikon, you do make good quality products but you also need to listen to your customers, or potential customers, put the viewfinder on this thing. All pro photographers are looking to find a product that is light and portable but need a viewfinder to compose their pictures. While you're at it please add a mic input. Then, we'll talk about this seemingly nice new camera.

Agree, no viewfinder. real hard to frame subject when the sun is behind you glaring across the screen!

DEAL BREAKER for me, too!

Without a viewfinder -- I'm not interested.

I have been looking at sony but hoping nikon would come out with one

BUT no viewfinder Deal Breaker

When shooting with  strong sunlight  at your back, it is difficult to see details of the image on a screen...that's why the viewfinder is most important..

Pretty disappointed no viewfinder. It appears to me that this model is more for video, and can take stills, following the lead we have in smart phones. The tilt screen offers a live view head up display for the movie maker but very inconvenient for us who shoot more stills. Wonder what it will be like in bright sun? Not a purchase option for me as I was looking into mirrorless as I get older. Nikon 1 V2 still looks like the champ here for us street shooters.

no viewfinder - no thank you.... 

20.8 mp = great!

no viewfinder = deal breaker

holding out for the V4.

hope it's announced soon!

I suppose a viewfinder would be nice, but I'm not that worried about losing the viewfinder, as long as the monitor is bright and sharp.  Perhaps some one can tell me why they will miss the viewfinder.  Just asking...

A view finder allows you to hold and control the camera with much more precision. Particularly in low light, when the camera is held correctly, your body can act like a tripod to help prevent camera motion. VR reduction is nice, but it doesn't replace good, ergonomic techniques. There is nothing less steady then holding a camera at arms length. A view finder is also superior when photographing action, when you want to really concentrate on composition, etc.. No matter how bright the monitor is, it is not as useful in bright sunlight as a view finder. I too bought a mirrorless camera without a view finder and will never do so again. Try it, you'll like it!!!

[quote]There is nothing less steady then holding a camera at arms length[/quote]

So don't.

Shooting with the camera just below chest hight and elbows tucked in is every bit as stable as with the camera to your face.

This position is also much more comfortable.

Maybe you've got the "camera to face" technique down pat, but that doesn't mean it's the only good way to do things.

Good point. I always preferred a viewfinder. I have been shooting with a J1 for a little over three years now. Holding the camera as you suggest works perfectly fine. For me the issue is portability. I really like the small size of the J1's body. I opted for the J1 over the V1 because of the protruding viewfinder on the V1. I found that I was able to adapt to using the screen with little difficulty. BTW I am 51 years of age and very myopic. Homo sapiens are adaptive. tNvviewfinder

I agree with Mark. My wife and  daughter got me 1J1 kit for my birthday. My eyes- Im 69- arent what they were- I dont  reall ymiss the the DSLR  view finder at all; 1J1 screen is very bright. I esp like street photography- dancers, parades, and the auto focus is actually great - fully  5x faster than my old Canon camera (and much lighter) I esp like 10mm lens- which is one of the best lenses Ive ever owned  apparently, camera didnt sell esp well- we got it on sale at B&H - very happy (despite its only 10 MP, my own quibble is menu is slow to navigate I have injury to my left leg (fell on the ice) Can no longer carry  heavy Canon DSLR all day without pain  This ;camera is small but all metal,, and well made


I own a PENTAX K-01 Mirrorless camera and although overall its a very nice camera, I do get disappointing results when I need to manually focus and have only the screen to rely upon for focus feedback; I am far-sighted and it is difficult to discern correct focusing on the screen.  I also have a PENTAX K2000 which has a traditional mirror system with a viewfinder and I have no problems using it but it lacks features the K-01 has.  I find myself using the older K2000 with the viewfinder when I am photographing outside in bright sunshine, long-distance (including Astro-photography) and I also find it very useful to use the K2000 with its viewfinder when I'm extremely up-close with my Macro lens as I can not seam to keep my hands steady enough without using my face as an additional support for the camera.

For us 'older' folks that can't see "up close" anymore, a viewfinder is required!  I do wear progressive lenses and can see the back of the camera out of the bottom of my glasses, but that means I have to be basically looking up at the sky to flcus on the screen.

I think you need new glasses. I have the same type with no issues. The sky ? Really.

No external, no viewfinder, no bracketing or other HDR support, it seems.

Lack of a viewfinder is a deal killer for me too.  Of course, the header on this should have warned us.  Kinda' hard to use a viewfinder when you're doing "selfies."

I also find the lack of a viewfinder a deal breaker for me. I currently own 2 V2 cameras and five lenses. I will be looking at other manufacturers for my next mirrorless system purchase. 

I would be all over this if it had the same viewfinder as the V1. I'll never buy another camera without one. 

I agree, no viewfinder is a deal breaker for me as well.

That looks really good, and at a nice price point.  I just wish it had a viewfinder. 

Same thoughts here. That's why I went with the Sony RX100m3. The price is good but it needs a viewfinder. As for big cameras I'm waiting for the D5. 

Agreed! No viewfinder, no Nion for me. This pains me, my Nikormat still in my storage room, I forsaked my Nikon D90 for a Lumix a couple of years ago. NEVER thought I would own a camera made by Panasonic, they seem to listen.....