The Nikon 1 line uses smaller sensors then the competitors, but what the camera giant offers that others do not is speed, and lots of it. The Nikon 1 S2 is the more budget-friendly model over the sleeker 1 J4 and faster 1 V3, but it's still got quite a bit of speed to it. The maximum shutter speed tops out at 1/16,000, which bests even some DSLRs. Add that to a 10 fps burst speed (or even 30 fps if the autofocus is locked on the first frame) and the Nikon 1 S2 is clearly all about speed. The only thing that isn't fast is the flash sync speed, which is 1/60 (DSLRs get around 1/250 while still using flash).
The Nikon 1 S2 uses a hybrid autofocusing system with both types (contrast detection and phase detection). The 41 autofocus points look pretty solid, plus there's 135 points in the single-point autofocus mode. With RAW shooting and manual modes, the 1 S2 is aimed at budget enthusiasts and those looking to learn.
The biggest downside of the 1 line is the smaller sensors--but without those smaller sensors, they wouldn't be able to achieve such impressive top speeds. It all comes down to the individual consumer--which is more important to you, speed or resolution? If the answer is resolution, then look at the Fujifilm X-M1 or Sony a5000, both which are similarly priced. But if the answer is speed, you're on the right track. You can also consider the fancier 1 J4 or even faster V3, but the Nikon 1 line is leading the specs for speed all around.
Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.
It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.
Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.
Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.
Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.
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