Nikon today announced two new, higher-resolution versions of its starter and mid-range mirrorless compact cameras, as well as a lightweight pro-level 400mm telephoto lens and a teleconverter for its DSLRs, and new underwater photography gear for the Nikon 1 series of cameras.
The Nikon 1 J4, Nikon 1 S2, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens, Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, Nikon WP-N3 and Nikon 1 SB-N10 can all be pre-ordered through Adorama, and will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders are shipped.
Two Mirrorless Cameras Get Upgrades
Nikon 1 J4
The mid-range Nikon 1 J4 replaces the J3 as the beginner-enthusiast-level compact interchangeable-lens offering from Nikon. The new camera has a new, higher-resolution sensor and faster image processing engine, more AF focusing points for faster focus, a high-resolution touchscreen LCD monitor, and for the first time, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. It is also slightly lighter and smaller than its predecessor.
What's new/updated at a glance:
- 18.4MP sensor (J3 had 14.2MP resolution)
- Expeed 4A image processing engine (J3 had a 3A)
- 171 focus areas with 105 center areas supporting phase detection (J3 had 135 focus areas an 73 center areas supporting phase detection)
- Slow motion video up to 120fps at 720p (J3 had up to 400fps at 240p)
- Built-In Wi-Fi (J3 required an adapter)
- 3-inch, 1037k dot touchscreen LCD (J3 had 3-inch, 921k dot non-touchscreen LCD)
The biggest change? Nikon has switched from SD memory card to microSD, MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC formats, so if you're upgrading cameras, you'll need new cards.
Other key features:
- 1" CX-format CMOS sensor
- ISO range 160-12800
- NEF (RAW), JPEG
- Matrix, center-weighted and spot meterign
- Up to 60fps burst rate
- Manual and multiple autofocus modes
- HD video up to 1080/60p
New features also include a new touchscreen interface, so you can touch to focus or to activate the shutter. This works in both still mode and while recording video. Electronic vibration reduction reduces camera shake, and you can simultaneously capture video and still images.
The camera also offers a number of creative filter modes: Easy Panorama, Selective Color, Miniature Effect, Creative Palette, Cross Process, and Toy Camera. For video, there's fast motion, jump cut, and 4-second video clips, ready to be shared on Vine and other social media.
The Nikon 1 J4 is available in Black, Orange, Silver, and White for $596.95 with the 10-30mm kit lens; it is also available in kits with the 30-110mm and/or the 10-100mm zoom lens for $846-1,046.95.
Nikon 1 S2
Nikon is boasting that the Nikon 1 S2, its second generation interchangeable-lens compact aimed a beginners, is a fast-reacting camera that will capture the action. While it looks nearly identical to the S1, there are several subtle and significant changes. Upgrades over the S1 include a higher resolution sensor, faster image processing engine, an expanded ISO range, and a switch from full-sized SD memory cards to the microSD format.
- 14.2MP, 1-inch CX Foramat CMOS sensor
- Expeed 4A image processing engine
- ISO range 200-12,800
- RAW and JPEG still image capture
- Matrix, Center-weighted and spot metering
- Up to 60fps burst rate
- Video up to 1080/60p
- Up to 10 still images while recording video
- Wi-Fi via WU-1a adapter
- 3-inch, 460k dot resolution LCD monitor
Nikon claims that users "won't miss the perfect moment due to shutter lag or blurred focus" thanks to the camera's high-performance specs. Electronic Vibration Reduction is available to reduce shaky shots and video.
The Nikon 1 S2 is available in Black, Red, White, and Yellow with the 11-27.5mm kit lens for $445.95 at Adorama.
Pro 400mm Tele Lens, Tele Extender Launch
For its professional sports photography users, Nikon announced the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, which Nikon says is lighter but more rugged than its predecessor. It offers a fast maximum aperture that they say delivers pleasing Bokeh, and its low-light capabilities are claimed to be increased by four stops thanks to an advanced Nikon VR technology. Yes, you can actually hand-hold this lens in some situations, although we always recommend a monopod or tripod for long lenses.
Nikon has added a new mode specifically for shooting Sports and Action, while a specialized electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism achieves consistent exposures when shooting at high frame rates. The lens's autofocus can be seamlessly overridden by spinning the lens barrel to change focus manually.
The lens is constructed of lightweight fluorite lens elements (as well as two Extra-Low Dispersion glass elements) and a magnesium alloy die-cast lens barrel, making the new lens about two pounds lighter than its predecessor, the AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR—and when shooting sports or wildlife, pros know that every pound counts. Since wildlife and action often mean harsh conditions, the lens also features professional grade dust- and moisture-resistant sealing and a fluorine coated meniscus protective glass element at the lens front. Nikon says the lens's elements are engineered to nearly eliminate chromatic aberration even at f/2.8.
If 400mm isn't enough, Nikon has introduced the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, a 1.4x teleconverter with a 1-stop loss of light. Fluorine coatings protect the front and rear surfaces of the lens while the lens has been ruggedized to withstand the rigors of professional use in extreme conditions. It turns the 400mm f/2.8 lens into a 560mm f/4, and the 70-200mm becomes a 98-280mm. Nikon says the lens is an ideal companion for sports, action and wildlife photographers.
Underwater Flash, Housing for Nikon 1 Cameras
After seeing the successful launch of the underwater Nikon 1 AW1 late last year, Nikon has added underwater capabilities to its two lower-end cameras. The Nikon WP-N3 is an underwater housing for scuba diving with the Nikon 1 J4 or Nikon 1 S2, taking it down to a depth of 147 feet (the AW1 can be submerged to 49 feet). The housing can accommodate the 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM lenses, and allows users to capture underwater stills and videos.
Nikon also offers the new Nikon 1 SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight, an underwater flash that can be taken as deep as 328 feet. It has a guide number of 92 feet at ISO 100, making it very powerful for deep dives. A new underwater bracket (SK-N10A) and fiber-optic cable let you work with camera and flash as a single unit.