Nikon's update to its 1-series J1 compact system camera has finally surfaced, and it's available in not only black, white, silver and red, but also fetching orange or pink shades for those more adventurous buyers.
The Nikon 1 J2 isn't wholly different from its J1 predecessor, though there are a number of changes to take note of. The 3-inch LCD is a higher resolution 921k-dot version; extra "creative" options have been added such as miniature, soft filter, HDR and more; and there's a new 11-27.5mm kit lens that will ship exclusively through DSGI (that's Dixons Group, which includes Currys, PC World and more outlets).
The J2 body is almost the same as its predecessor, although there's a super-fine textured finish to the front of the latest model.
When it comes to controls we had a fair few moans regarding the J1 model that the J2 has, in part, attempted to solve. The P, S, A, M settings - that's Programme Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual just in case you were wondering; the choice to describe the modes in their short forms is the way the camera presents the option, an oddity considering its consumer audience - are now available at the top of the menu which can be accessed with a single click to the F button on the rear of the camera.
Problem is, if you're in Aperture Priority and want to shift to Shutter Priority you'll still have to dig right through the menus just as with the previous model... so it doesn't necessarily solve the issue. Saying that, if you stick to one mode at all times then the camera will remember your preference, even after turning it off and back on again.
Other new modes include panorma modes and a night landscape mode, which takes three snaps in succession and uses their information to produce a clear, low-noise shot. There's also a night portrait version which does the same but also fires the flash for a fourth shot to create a more balanced exposure with a detailed background.
All the staple J1 features also remain: the J2 continues with the 10-megapixel hybrid autofocus CX (1-inch) sensor and can snap away at 60 frames per second (60fps). Other staples include motion snapshot, smart photo selector and full HD movie capture.
We've got a final firmware Nikon 1 J2 in hand and will be using it over the coming weeks to bring a full, in-depth review with all detail.