Nikon 1 J3 Mirrorless Camera

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Key Features

  • 14.2MP 1"-type CMOS sensor
  • 15 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Hybrid phase and contrast detect AF system
  • ISO 160-6400
  • 1080 HD video
  • 3.0 inch LCD with 921,000 dots
  • Built-in stereo microphone
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • Pop-up flash
  • Creative Mode in-camera filter effects
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot

Product Description

The Nikon 1 J3 is the successor to that manufacturer's series of entry-level mirrorless cameras. It employs a CX-format 1" 14.2MP sensor capable of full 1080 HD video. The J3 boasts an impressive 30 or 60 fps continuous shooting capability with focus locked on a single AF point, and with continuous AF burst shooting is available at 15 fps. The Nikon J3 is able to capture HD video and full resolution stills simultaneously, and offers a number of photo features including Smart Photo Selector, a shooting mode that captures 20 frames in succession and presents the shooter with the top five images. The J3 looks a lot like the previous 1 Js but sees the mode dial moved to the camera's top plate. It also has the ability to wirelessly share and transfer images when paired with the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter.


Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 4608 x 3072
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 14 megapixels
Sensor size 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Unknown
Uncompressed format RAW
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 135
Lens mount Nikon 1
Focal length multiplier 2.7×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD No
Screen size 3
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/16000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes (pop-up)
Flash range 5.00 m
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
Continuous drive 15.0 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation -3–5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60 fps), 1072 x 720 (60 fps) 640 x 240 (400), 320 x 120 (1200)
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Type C)
Wireless Optional
Wireless notes WU-1bb mobile adapter
Remote control Yes (Optional ML-L3)
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion EN-EL20 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 220
Weight (inc. batteries) 201 g (0.44 lb / 7.09 oz)
Dimensions 101 x 61 x 29 mm (3.98 x 2.4 x 1.14)
Other features
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None


User Reviews

  • Lupti, Feb 15, 2013 GMT:

    Have tested this camera for some days. It´s a big disappointment. Pics are lacking details and aren´t crisp. Same thing regardless if JPEG or RAW. Noise performance is a shame for Nikon. Controls are frustrating as there are not enough buttons, e.g. there is no ISO button, you have to change ISO in the awkward menu. The 1 system is a joke, the price-tag just outrageous. You can get a decent DSLR for this price, a good mirrorless cam from other brands or a high-end-compact if you want small ...

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  • Alejandro G, Oct 17, 2013 GMT:
    Great Little Camera

    I have owned a couple of DSLRs, like Nikons D40X, Sony Alpha 230 and Canons EOS 70D. They're awesome, but bulky, and hard to have around at any given time. I bought this camera in order to have the option of switching lenses and still have a compact camera. Happily, this camera has delivered on my expectations. I bought an 1.8f lens, which is pretty awesome for night pictures. I won't bore anyone with talk, since we all want to see pictures, so let me share my results. Hope this is helpful!

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  • retro76, Nov 20, 2013 GMT:
    Best Mirrorless Camera on the Market ? Yes

    A few years back if someone wrote that the Nikon 1 represents one of the best mirrorless camera's on the market I probably would have laughed:  I mean a 1 inch sensor ?  Small bodies with minimalist looks ?  No retro styling ?  Well times have changed and I have been fortunate (or stupid depending on your perspective) enough over the last few years to have owned quite a few bodies (the Olympus OMD EM5, The Sony NEX 3N, Fuji X100 to name a few).  I have tried and tried, but nothing gave me ...

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  • Phoebe Lee, Dec 17, 2013 GMT:
    J3 compatible with ML-L3 or not

    Dpreview says this camera compatible with ML-L3 INFRARED remote, however NIKON website does not say this camera compatible with ML-L3. Hope someone confirm this for me. Many thanks with your help.

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers


Quadcopter carrying a Nikon J3 with 10mm lens?

Do you have any experience, or do you have recommendation which quadrocopter or quadcopter can carry a Nikon J3 (244g) with 10mm lens (77g)? The total weight including battery and lens is less than 330g. The J1 (277g) + 10mm would be around 360g. S1 (240) + 10mm is the same as J3 + 10mm. V1 (383g) + 10mm would be 460g, which might be too heavy. Thank You, Miki PS: Starting at 4:00 in the vimeo video (How of Why) of gave me the idea, that a Nikon 1 camera might be easier to lift with a less expensive quadcopter than lifting a 1340g body + a heavy FF lens.

Miki Nemeth asked
1 year ago


Hi Miki, This video might show an option. See a short section starting at about 3:58. Continue Reading

DaveR43 answered
1 year ago

No experience, but send an email to Thom Hogan as an article on his site mentions using that exact same body and lens with a quadcopter: " I continue to marvel at the things I can sometimes do with the V2 that I can't with other cameras (e.g. it's not much of a payload for my quadcopter, at least the J1 with the 10mm" Continue Reading

FKS answered
1 year ago

Some recent videos of using quad copters with Go Pros got me enthused about purchasing one of the stronger quad copters. So I began reading about the experiences of many using them. Not entirely unusual for the copter to all of a sudden take off into the wild blue yonder or the deep blue. Many are blaming the manufacturers for product defects while the manufacturers are claiming user error. (sounds just like some of the forums on this site). Many setups are never found again. I did not like the image of my copter and video camera sailing away. My final decision is to stick to my earth based photographic endeavors. Continue Reading

digital ed answered
1 year ago


Is J2 enough for me or should I go for J3/S2?

Currently I have the Olympus XZ-1 which I find very slow in focus tracking. Nights of research have pointed me to the Nikon 1 when it comes to focus tracking speed. Despite the smaller sensor size compared to the m43 or APS-C, seems like its still the king of focus tracking, is that true? So I will be mainly taking pictures of my son who is now 15 months old, he is very active. Occasional nice portrait will be nice as well. I found the J2 for around 300USD, and J3 and S2 goes for 450USD. Is J2 enough for my usage, so I can spend the additional money on lens? Or I should go for J3 or S2? I can't seem to find much comparison between J2 vs J3 vs S2. Thanks in advance!

ykphuah asked
1 month ago


One of the biggest differences between the J2 and J3 is the number of pixels for the sensor, 10 MP versus 14 MP.  The 14 MP of the J3 will allow for more cropping, etc.  Their performance and picture quality are very similar. If you want WiFi in order to send photos from your camera to your phone/tablet, the J3 is your best choice.  Neither camera has integrated WiFi but the J3 supports Nikon's optional Wu-1b WiFi adapter.  I have one on my V2 and it is an ok, but not spectacular solution.  Both cameras do support Eye-Fi SD memory cards which is a different way of sending your photos by WiFi, but that requires you to buy a specific memory card that isn't as fast as some solutions (which may matter if you are "machine gunning" shots of your kid in action). If I remember correctly, the J3's integrated flash can actually do bounce flash which I think is missing from the J2.  It's not a very powerful flash, so I think the places where it would be useful are limited, but it might be nice ... Continue Reading

DesertCat answered
1 month ago

Fast tracking and insanely high burst speed is the thing the 1 series does well.  In most other respects it's inferior to  micro 4/3, which has much better image quality.  Still, the 1 should be fine for your purposes and is great for those fast action in good light events, which is where it shines, so you will undoubtedly find other uses for it. By all means, go for the refurbished units, save a bundle of money. I'd get the j3, the later unit, for the extra $50 or so. Check buydig, ebay (some vendors actually offer the same merchandise on eBay at a better price.  Really), and refurb store. If if you don't want to spend much money, pm me for a killer deal on a J1. Continue Reading

Sam in Hawaii answered
1 month ago

It is a good choice of camera for your intended purpose, though not so good indoors -the best lens would be the 18.5mm f1.8 for kid portraits and lower light. All the nikon 1 cameras are fast and the newer ones almost have no improvment in image quality, I think the 14m pix sensor models are the best value for money at moment V2 or J3 S2 etc or the older ones -I don't see much value for money in the newer ones. Also look at Sony A6000 or A5100 also fast, better image Q alround better cameras but maybe a bit more $ and bit bigger! Continue Reading

MFiftysomething answered
1 month ago


Is the J1 slightly sharper than the J3?

I take a lot of sideline sports photos, and recently got the J3 (bundled with the 10-100). When I took it out with the 30-110 yesterday, the shots did not seem as sharp as the ones I was getting from the older J1. Is this normal, or is there some way to set up the J3 for better sports shooting? These were shot S priority (400) continuous AF, just the same way I set up the J1.

rube39 asked
7 months ago


Hi, pictures seem softer because of relatively high-density of the pixels in combination with a small Nikon CX sensor. My opinion is that 14 MPix is too high for such a small sensor. Shoot and don't bother with a sharpness. By the way, at first, you should resize images from 14Mpix to 10MPix and than compare their sharpness with images from J1. Continue Reading

kelav answered
3 months ago

I see a couple of issues here. (1) One is your shutter speed of 1/400 sec is a bit slow for action sports, resulting in subject motion blur. I suggest you use 1/500 sec a a bare minimum shutter speed and higher if the light allows. (2) Noticeable image softening from diffraction is often noticeable at apertures smaller than f5.6 with the 1" sensor so avoid going beyond f5.6. When shooting action sports in broad daylight, I suggest the following camera settings: (1) Manual Mode (This is usually the preferred mode with pro sports photographers) (2) Auto ISO set to 100-3200 to ... Continue Reading

jonikon answered
7 months ago

Jon, thanks a lot. I have bookmarked your response. I always shot the J1 at 400 (which is what I shoot my EM5 and 75-300 zoom at when I am in the stands) but have no trouble moving it up to 500. I usually keep the ISO at 100-800, but will give 100-3200 a try. And I will give M a shot. If I am not happy with the results, I can always go back to shooting sideline sports with the J1, >grin<. Continue Reading

rube39 answered
7 months ago

Warranty Information

"No registration or "warranty" card is included or needed with a Nikon D-SLR or Coolpix camera. Keep your original, dated proof of purchase from the Authorized Nikon Inc. dealer in case warranty service is ever needed. These products do include either a mail-in form or a paper with a web link to our registration page:
It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.

Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."

Read the full warranty.

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