The new Nikon 1 J5 blends high-tech features with old-school looks

Nikon 1 J5

Nikon has announced the arrival of the Nikon 1 J5, the latest J-Series camera that's packing some serious style.

The Nikon 1 compact system cameras use a 1-inch sensor around half the size of Micro Four Thirds but still four times larger than the sensor in a typical point and shoot compact camera.

They come in three types: the entry-level Nikon 1 S2, the more powerful J-series models, the high-end V3 and the waterproof and shockproof AW1. All use Nikon 1 (CX format) interchangeable lenses (though the AW1 has dedicated waterproof lenses too).

It's the J-series that's been updated here, but the new J5 is much more than simple revamp of the old J4. It's had a complete restyle to give it a cute retro look and a lot more hands-on control.

You can get the full story in our hands-on review, but here are the highlights:

  • New 20.8Mp back-illuminated sensor
  • 4K movies – a first for Nikon – though only at 15fps
  • Full HD at up to 60fps
  • In-camera time-lapse movie mode in full HD
  • Super-fast hybrid AF using 171 AF points, including 105 phase-detection AF points
  • 60fps burst mode with AF fixed at first shot, or 20fps with continuous AF
  • Tilting touch-screen display with selfie mode
  • Mode dial with PASM settings
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • 10-30mm PD (power zoom) kit lens (27-81mm equivalent)
  • ISO 160-12,800

Critics of the Nikon 1 system point to the 1-inch sensor format, which is small compared to those in other compact system cameras, but still offers a major step up in quality compared to regular compact cameras.

But this smaller format means the cameras, and the lenses, are small too. Not only that, they bring super-high shooting speeds and a very fast hybrid AF system.

Nikon 1 J5

The Nikon 1 J5 uses a 1-inch sensor. It's smaller than those in other CSCs, but it allows smaller bodies and smaller lenses too.

The new Nikon 1 J5 doesn't just compete with other, larger compact system cameras. Its price and size put it up against high-end compacts too, like the Fuji X30.

The Nikon 1 J5 goes on sale on April 30 and will cost £429.99/US$499.95 with the 10-30mm lens, £349.99 body-only in the UK (handy if you're upgrading and you already have lenses) and £559.99/US$749.95 for a twin-lens kit with a 30-110mm zoom.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.