“Camera Purchase Nikon 1 J” – Don Charisma’s Opinion

I can’t promise I’ll take any advice given so please bear that in mind prior to commenting, it’s an gathering of ideas.

I’m considering purchasing a new camera. My iPhone 4s produces some lovely photos, which I’m pretty happy with. However it’s come to my attention that compact DSLRs are available. Don’t try to persuade me to buy a full size DSLR, it’ll never happen, I want light and compact. The only reason I take as many photos as I do is that the iPhone is always with me, and NO EXTRA BAGGAGE TO CARRY.

Also I’m never likely to buy anything camera wise that doesn’t have a Nikon, Canon or Apple badge on it.

My overriding thoughts on buying any technology are – very/extremely portable as I do travel quite a bit, and prefer to travel as light as I possibly can.

I don’t have a lot of money, have to be careful what I spend on, so it may end up being the cheapest sensible option I can make.


The camera I think I saw on sale locally is a Nikon 1 J1 or J2 with dual lens kit. I noticed it in passing, can’t confirm which model. The Nikon J series has a full size screen on the back, I have no interest in looking through a viewfinder, I want to see what the camera is going to take and like the big screen. Price I think is around £220-240 (USD to GBP is around 1.7 dollars to the pound) with a dual lens kit (I think!). I’ve priced the lenses separately and they would be around £310 in UK. So it seems it might be worth the purchase just for the lenses (a 10-30mm and a 30-110mm both zoom). The Nikon J1 and J2 both have 10megapixel sensors.

Second option would be to look around for a Nikon J3 or J4 (14 and 18 megapixel respectively), but price wise it’s pushing to be more than I want to spend, I think £400 and £600 for a single lens kit (10-30mm). The J4 isn’t in shops yet in UK, June is the release date, although it may already be available here in Thailand.

Third option would be to put the money towards an iPhone 5s and forget about separate camera. My speakerphone on my iPhone 4s stopped working and the headphone socket is a bit temperamental. This is quite expensive option as sim free iPhone 5s 16gb would be around £550 in UK, possibly a little cheaper here in Thailand. As anyone with an iPhone knows and is probably frustrated with there is no option to use SD cards for additional storage. Basically Apple wants more money for a higher capacity iPhone, an iPhone 5s with 64gb would be over £700 in UK, so I almost certainly wouldn’t buy.

Fourth option do nothing and continue as I was. Cheapest option obviously.

I guess I’m asking the question because I don’t have any way of knowing how well the Nikon J cameras work. The dual lens kit seems like it would cover most photographic situations I’m likely to encounter. Only downside is the not being able to do a whole panorama in one shot, which I could do with a fisheye and a little fiddling in photoshop. For the Nikon 1 lenses Nikon don’t do a fisheye, closest is a 6.7-13mm, widest angle 100 degrees, at a cost of £425. Or an adapter and a DSLR fisheye, which would be £800 or more. However the 10-30mm lens which comes with the Nikon J cameras will do up to 77 degree angle which is pretty wide, and would probably capture most sunsets for instance.

A don’t do much night/low light, but would like to be able to. Also probably want to have a fairly decent video facility which the Nikon J cameras offer, although I’m not doing much with video at the moment.

Last consideration would be sale of photos, I don’t know what expected resolution is for people wanting to purchase photos. I’ve done a little research on stock sites, seems to be around 10-20megapixels. So Nikon J series fits that criteria too.

So over to you guys …

Warm regards

Don Charisma

PS (Charlize Theron is my celeb name for this post … for fun you may think up a tenuous connection if you like, please keep it clean and respectful, otherwise I may not be able to post)

Resources & Sources

J1 Camera – Nikon.com

Notes for commenters:

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Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma


DonCharisma.org Opinion Graphic

35 thoughts on ““Camera Purchase Nikon 1 J” – Don Charisma’s Opinion

    1. Thanks, I’m hoping to incorporate this into my “me time” today for May as my birthday month … I’ve looked since at nikon, canon and sony. As far as I can see Nikon has the best system for compact-DSLR, most lenses, underwater kit etc … prices add up quickly though …

      I looked at iphone 5s today and resolution same as 4s, so there would be some benefits in improvements they’ve made, but not much …

      So I go off today have a look around at what’s actually available, possibly hold a J2, J3, J4 and see how it looks and feels …



  1. I have no knowledge on this camera having a DSLR with three lenses myself but I must say I absolutely adore my little pocket Canon (and it takes great photos too). I used it for my last
    Through my Lens post.
    Let me know how you get on with it all though. I would love to see how these new compacts work.

    1. I’ll have to do some more in the field research on what I can buy here in Thailand … I’ve been looking at the specs on Nikon site and gleaned some more factors … The photos I’ve seen out of the iPhone 5 are pretty impressive … but having that 10-30 mm lens would probably cover most of the photographic situations it’s 77 – 35 degrees, where iPhone is fixed at 55 … anyway, I’ll look around take my time, my money in short supply, so I’ll do what’s best for me 🙂

      1. What hot and sticky ? that’s the weather we have here in Thailand LOL … if you’re talking about weather in UK, which is “changeable” then you might be more on the money !

      2. LOL… was far too hot yesterday, but one does get used to it after walking around for a while … exhausted in the evening though, the heat really does take it out of one !

  2. Nikon makes a good camera. Canon make a superior camera, with price to match. I’ve used Sony, inexpensive and wonderful photos, Kodak, same as Sony. Just make sure you have a polarized lens and a glare free screen on the back, or you will never see the photo you are trying to take. That is the huge mistake I made with mine.

  3. Hi Friend
    If you buy the/any of the above mentioned cameras, you will regret not having the iPhone. Right?
    If you had one of these cameras and an iPhone you would still probably use the phone for most of your stuff anyway. right?

    My opinion/question to you – What is the point of carting another camera around if you are not going to plug a 300+ piece of glass on the front of it?

    What fun!!!

    1. Well I will still keep the iPhone and continue to take photos with that, so haven’t lost anything …

      I’m thinking largely about saving time (the wider angle lens) and better quality (a dedicated Nikon camera) …

      With the iPhone I can see much more detail with my eye, but it’s lost in the photographing … so I could make my sunsets even more stunning with better equipment … drawbacks are price and bulk/weight … looking at the cheap Nikon J1 or J2 then I may have solved both, which is why I started looking into it …

      After more research and money being no object I would probably get the Nikon J4 and just use the 10-30mm lens that comes with it to start with (£500-£600) … then maybe possibly later buy the extra wide angle lens which is another £400 taking me up to 100 degree photo angle …

      So look I will go today or tomorrow and have a look around the respectable camera shops here, so what’s available, cost etc … If the camera I saw for £220-£240 has the two lenses and is a Nikon J2 then it’s probably a reasonable deal, and might be a good starter mini-DSLR for me …

      Hope I didn’t baffle you with jargon, but essentially as I said at the start of the post I haven’t decided anything and want to look around choose what I think is best for me … was kinda hoping I had a reader that had a J series Nikon or such a person tracks me down, but I reckon most semi-pro/pro photographers have full size DSLR …



      1. No you didn’t baffle me at all. I am very interested in your findings and have a similar if not identical view as you regarding the big kit. Such a mission!

        I recently sowed my D90 to a friend because it actually turned out to be quite a pain. I came to the conclusion that I only want to shoot on the go. To live life and capture cool things on the way. With the D90 I found that I had to “do photography” and seemed to miss out on life because of that.

        KenRoclwell.com is always a great place to stop by if looking for info about Nikon. Great “quick user guides” I ma sure he will have done some stuff on the cameras you are looking for.

        Looking forward to seeing how this pans out for you.

        Stay on brights…

      2. My birthday soon, so I’m having some chillaxing time … I want to go look at the respectable camera shops see what’s available and also check the model number on the camera I saw … the J4 with the 10-30mm lens would probably do everything I want, I can still do stitched panos for extra wide shots, or if I come into some money buy a wide angle lens later … but it’s £500 … if the camera I saw is J2 for £220 might be worth purchasing, although not sure 10.1 megapixels is much of an improvement on what I currently have !

        As for the portability it’s not as portable as iphone, but the image quality should be better with better detail and probably better night shots … I’ve had the possibility of selling photos discussed so best quality is best …

        And agreed I don’t want to “do photography” either … the Nikon J system looks pretty straightforward, I think aimed to impress the point and shoot market … which is what I’m interested in doing, point and shoot …



  4. We were lucky to get a Nikon DSLR for the teen for a VERY reasonable price – £49 – (very lucky)
    We won’t discuss the cost of lenses right! Still waiting to try get her one!
    About the DSLR: They ARE nice. They take good pics. Personally I do not see THAT much difference between pics taken with a normal happy snappy run of the mill and – these.
    It is a pain to carry around (as ultra cool and touristy as it makes one look – LOL!)

    Resolution – definitely the higher the better. BUT they DO have issues with size of file sometimes – but the higher the res the better it is for enlarging. So depends where you would be uploading them for sale too. I use Fine Art America for my art. Not sure if that is the BEST deal to get. Guess it depends.

    1. Thanks Belinda, please obviously don’t disclose the details (your business is your business), but do you actually find that you sell anything on the art site ?

      1. Nothing. Still very new there though and have not marketed it much. I know some folk do…but it is like everything – especially the arts – HUGE competition so the key is in the promotion I think.
        I only have a few works up at this time too.
        I used to use redbubble – which is another similar site – but I did not have much up there either AND also again – marketing was non-existent.
        and again – some folk DID sell.
        Pricing on both are similar – the pros and cons of each weigh each other out. But FAA I think is more reliable – particularly with being based in the states. (redbubble is in Australia)
        Rankings and SEO are also VERY important (which folk do not realise really). If you can whip that…then oysters become your world. (that is not how that saying goes is it??! 😉 )
        I can tell you more if you like Don. Just give me a shout right 😉

      2. Thanks for info, I think you’re world oyster is dyslexic !

        And have an idea in mind, we might go the DIY route for pics and art, looking into it at the moment – we’ll chat on email …

      3. This IS the problem – but we manage somehow 😉
        Have no choice occasionally you see. You try making dinner and doing homework reading and bath time and mending a booboo and wiping a tear and – and – ALL – AT the same time. May not be the best dinner – but at least the tear turns to a smile – so BOO! 😛

      4. The bane of life I think 😉 Would be wonderous if we could just do one thing at a time – how great we could be able to get at that one thing yeah 😀

  5. Few years ago I used the resolution at 600 dpi, which is the size used for magazines with high resolution print.

    If your mobile is a little broken too, I would advice you to buy a new. If you will need to buy both, it might be expensive.

    Otherwise search online for both Nikon and Canon and see what comes up.
    If you are receiving news mail from Canon, you will often receive good offers too. I do 🙂

    Good luck Don 😉

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