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on Oct 25, 2012 in Field Reports

Field Report – Nikon J2

I’ve shot with the Nikon 1 J2 for a month now and I can say, it’s fun to shoot with and delivers sharp files! I can also say it’s not for me. Prints are just now coming out of the Epson 4900 and they look great, so image quality is not an issue. I have my latest video shot with the J2 playing on another machine and it’s clean and crisp. And the J2 has some cool innovations like turning itself on when you simply unlock the lens to shoot. The two lenses, 10-30 and 30-110 work effortlessly and for some photographers, I can see this being the perfect camera and have no problem recommending it to them.

“But Moose, you can attach your 600 to it and shoot” was one comment I received when I said previously it’s not for me. Really, you would attach this to a $10k lens and go shooting? Isn’t the point of mirrorless is having more lens for less? The 30-110 when zoomed out is about the same as a 300mm on the D4. But 30-110 weighs nothin, it fits in your shirt pocket. So why would you mount a DSLR lens on this little wonder?

“The sensor is so small, the images must suck” is another comment I received. The prints coming out of the 4900 don’t suck by any stretch of the imagination. I would not hesitate sending them to a client (keep in mind, I don’t shoot at ISO 5mil, that feature in any camera is not what I test for). Even with that knowledge, I would be really hard pressed to walk into a client’s office with this as my camera and believe they would take me seriously. I mean, I can’t even attach a SB-900 to the J2.

I can’t say this is the best mirrorless camera on the market, I’ve only shot with one. I can say though I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot with it and put the images out in a 13×19 print and dare any to know it was taken with a mirrroless camera. It is a ton of fun and that’s where in my mind I fill this camera. While shooting with it, I did run into some other mirrorless camera owners shooting with different brands. While their mirrorless cameras had some great features and a bag full of lenses, after spending a couple grand, you’d best have that! But I also saw all these other mirrorless camera owners with big smiles when shooting and even bigger ones when they shared their images. And to me, that’s the best thing about the mirrorless.

I’m not looking at mirrorless. The new V2 has been announced and I’l looking forward to it reaching my desk and shooting with it. You want a fun, easy to use, light, sharp, well built mirrorless camera, you’ll find that and more in the J2.