Nikon 1 J5 Digital Camera Offers Big DSLR Alternative

The digital camera market has been in free fall for a while now. “Et tu, smartphone?” has been the last cry of many product lines no longer able to find demand in a world populated by phones with ever-more powerful cameras and photo-syncing capabilities. What’s a cameramaker to do? Well, picks like the Pentax K-S2 8211 DSLR are under $500.

What Nikon has done is put more focus on high-end digital cameras with lots of extras that professional and semi-professional photographers will be interested in. Prime example: The Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Camera, set to be released at the end of April.

A “mirrorless” camera is term used to describe an advanced digital camera that offers DSLR-like features without actually being a DSLR. Mirrorless cameras tend to be smaller than their mirror-lens counterparts, but they also offer interchangeable digital lenses and other customizable features for those serious about their photos.

The J5 basic package offers a 20.8MP CMOS image sensors, an ISO range of 160 to 12,800, and a 60 fps burst rate as well as 4k video capabilities. It also boasts the “world’s fastest continuous shooting” with 20 fps AF. In addition to classic modes, there are also seven new creative settings like Glamour for snapping pics of faces. The style is also worth noting, because it tries to mimic the look and feel of traditional DSLR cameras as closely as possible while still fitting in a smaller space. The touchscreen, however, offers the unique capability to pop out and tilt on a 180-degree axis for more professional viewing and easier photo-snapping angles.


When it comes to software, the J5 includes an EXPEED 5A processing engine and NFC capabilities with a dedicated Wi-Fi button for connecting quickly to smartphones and tablets for quick photo transfer (most ideal for preview results on a tablet instead of the 3-inch touchscreen on the digital camera).

Prices will depend on what lens you want to start with, but the base package starts at $499.95. A better lens will cost you up to a few hundred dollars more, which definitely puts the digital camera closer to DSLR costs than the cheap, slim cameras at the other end of the market.

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Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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