Nikon announces its first 4K camera, the Nikon 1 J5

4K cameras

The Nikon 1 J5
4K ready: Nikon’s Nikon 1 J5. Image: Nikon
Nikon has announced its first camera capable of 4K video recording, and the new model may surprise film makers and photographers.

Rather than build 4K video into its flagship D4 series, or a high-resolution full-frame camera, Nikon’s first camera range to gain the new feature is its Nikon 1 compact systems camera line.

The new Nikon 1 J5 is based around a 1-inch sensor, which Nikon calls CX. The J5 uses either dedicated Nikon 1 lenses, or via an adapter, lenses designed for the Nikon F mount. This positions the camera as a competitor to Canon’s EOS M, albeit with a significantly smaller sensor than Canon’s APS-C imager.

The Nikon 1 J5 is a rangefinder-type design with an LCD screen but no separate optical or electronic viewfinder. The camera has an ISO range of 160-12800, and uses an EXPEED 5A processor.

The sensor is rated at 20.8 megapixels and the J5 has 171 AF points, including 105 phase-detection points, and supports both single shot and continuous AF. Of interest to action photographers but also potentially for video, the J5 can shoot at 20fps whilst using continuous AF, or can shoot a full 60fps by holding the focus set at the start of the series. The J5 also has vibration reduction.

For video, the J5 shoots timelapse movies, with up to 600 frames, and HD video at 60fps. Unusually for this type of camera, the J5 has both slow motion and 4K support. Slow motion is up to 120fps, and 4K video, in UHD format, is 15fps. It is not yet clear, though, whether Nikon will support native PAL framerates such as 25 and 50p, rather than NTSC formats.

The new camera has built in WiFi and can be controlled via a smartphone app; it will go on sale in late April starting at £350, or $499, body only.