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Nikon's J3 and S1 interchangeable lens cameras offer the V2's power for less

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nikon j3 s1
nikon j3 s1

It’s less than six months since Nikon announced its J2 compact interchangeable lens camera, and the company is already announcing a follow-up — the J3. At $649.99 with Nikon's kit lens, you get two big improvements for the extra $50 over Nikon’s last J: a higher-resolution 14.2-megapixel CX format sensor and the new Expeed 3A processor, both of which are found in Nikon’s higher-end V2. And the combination will pull off the same tricks on Nikon’s newest, namely shooting 15 frames per second with continuous autofocus, and something called Slow View. The feature lets you capture 40 frames in a second or so, then play them back in a slow-mo animation loop; once you have the clip, you can "shoot" your keeper frames from it, letting you worry less about nailing the perfect shot the first time around.

For $100 less, Nikon is also announcing the S1 — the first entrant in Nikon’s new lower-priced S series. The specs are almost identical — same processing engine, 73-point AF array, 15 fps continuous shooting, hybrid autofocus, and middling ISO 6400 maximum light sensitivity. What you’ll be sacrifiicing is megapixels — 10.1 compared to 14.2 on the J3 — and a physical mode selector dial. Both cameras are slated for release sometime in February.

Timed to coincide with the new cameras, Nikon is also unveiling a pair of new 1 mount lenses. The first is the company's widest lens for the platform, a $499.95 6.7–13mm f/3.5–5.6; the equivalent of 18–35mm on a full-frame body. The second is a $549.95 all-in-one 10–100mm f/4–5.6 (27–270mm equivalent) — $200 cheaper than Nikon’s existing 10–100. Both are significant additions given how few lenses Nikon currently has available.

Last but not least, Nikon’s D5200 DSLR is also finally on its way to the US. Originally slated for a worldwide December release, the camera will be going on sale in late January for $899.95 with the company’s 18–55 f/3.5–5.6 kit lens.