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Nikon launches 1 J2, a $549.95 mirrorless camera with a new screen and new features

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Nikon announced new cameras and lenses today, including the mirrorless 1 J2.

Gallery Photo: Nikon 1 J2 and accessories pictures
Gallery Photo: Nikon 1 J2 and accessories pictures

Nikon's 1 system of mirrorless cameras has sold well despite our lukewarm opinion of the shooters, and today the company has announced the latest model in the line, the J2. The new model has a few key upgrades over the J1: the J2's 3-inch LCD is now filled with 921,000 dots, it has a new metallic body, and there's now a Creative Mode stop on the mode dial offering the scene modes and filters that were previously (and oddly) absent from the camera.

Still, the J2 is mostly unchanged from the J1. It has the same 10.1-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor, which is unfortunately closer in size to a point-and-shoot than a DSLR or even a Micro Four Thirds camera — the small sensor was one of our biggest issues with the J1, and we would have liked to see an upgrade. It's powered by Nikon's Expeed 3 processor, which lets you shoot photos up to ten frames per second. The overwhelming similarities mean that the J2's most compelling new feature might be its price: at $549.95 with a kit lens, it's $100 cheaper than the J1 and considerably cheaper than most other mirrorless cameras.

Speaking of the kit lens, Nikon announced a new 1 Nikkor lens for the series today as well: an 11-27.5mm (30-74mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6 lens that is far smaller than the 10-30mm kit lens and only costs $189.95. The company also announced an underwater case for the J2 and J1 — the WP-N1 allows you to take your camera down 131 feet without worrying about damaging the camera. You'll pay for it, though: at $749.95 it's more expensive than the J2 itself.

If you'd rather skip the hybrid route and go full point-and-shoot, Nikon's new Coolpix L610 might be more your speed. The new 16-megapixel compact camera has a 14x zoom lens extending from 25-350mm, and is powered by two AA batteries. It shoots 1080p video, and comes with plenty of scene modes and filters for the novice shooter. Nikon's billing it as a great travel camera, and at $249.95 it sounds like a pretty good shooter to toss in your bag.

The Nikon J2 will be available in white, black, silver, pink, red, and orange. The camera, along with the new 1 Nikkor lens and WP-N1 case, will be available in late September. Of course, that's right around Photokina time, so we're expecting plenty more from Nikon and other manufacturers this fall.