Nikon 1 J3 Review: Capturing Life's Moments with Precision and Style

This blog post explores the features and capabilities of the Nikon 1 J3 camera, a must-have for photography enthusiasts who crave speed, precision and style. With its fast autofocus system, easy-to-use interface and sleek design, the Nikon 1 J3 is the perfect camera for capturing life's most precious moments with ease and accuracy.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Nikon 1 J3 article cover photo

Key Features

Nov 30 2013


14 megapixels


Sensor Type1-inch

Other similar cameras

Nikon 1 J1 thumbnail

Nikon 1 J1

Released Jan 20 2012 | 10MP resolution

Nikon 1 J2 thumbnail

Nikon 1 J2

Released Aug 09 2012 | 10MP resolution

Nikon 1 J4 thumbnail

Nikon 1 J4

Released Apr 10 2014 | 18MP resolution

Overview of the 1 J3

In today's fast-paced world, we don't want to miss a thing, and that's where the Nikon 1 J3 comes in. This high-quality camera is designed with the modern photographer in mind, providing advanced features and intuitive controls that make capturing stunning photos and videos a breeze. Whether you are taking pictures of your family, traveling, or pursuing your passion for photography, the Nikon 1 J3 has everything you need to capture life's special moments with precision and style. In this post, we'll take a closer look at what makes this camera so great, including its autofocus system, image quality, and durability. We'll also explore its design and talk about how it can enhance and simplify your photography experience. Get ready to capture life's moments like never before with the Nikon 1 J3!

Nikon 1 J3 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Nikon 1 J3 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Fast autofocus
14.2-megapixel resolution
Compact and portable size
Great low-light performance
Easy to use
Wide range of lenses available
Good image quality
Various shooting modes and options
Built-in Wi-Fi


Small sensor size
Limited ISO range
No viewfinder
Short battery life
Limited lens selection compared to other brands
No built-in flash
No external mic input
No manual exposure control
Not great for professional use

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Nikon 1 J3

Weather sealed
Dimensions101 x 61 x 29mm

Weather Sealing

The Nikon 1 J3 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution921k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 921k dots. This makes the Nikon 1 J3 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Nikon 1 J3 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the 1 J3 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Nikon 1 J3 has a 14MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 14 pixels. Nikon 1 J3 has a native ISO range of 160 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Nov 30 2013


160 - 6400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4608 x 3072 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


52 / 102

Color Depth

20.4 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

11 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

420 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Nikon 1 J3 camera has average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the 1 J3 is below average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC card
Battery Life220 shots
Battery ModelEN-EL20
Wireless Connectivity


The Nikon 1 J3 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC card with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Nikon 1 J3 uses the EN-EL20 model of battery pack. This is rated for 220 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Nikon 1 J3 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Nikon 1 J3 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Nikon 1 J3 includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 135 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

View on Amazon


What is the sensor size of the Nikon 1 J3?

The Nikon 1 J3 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Nikon 1 J3 weather sealed?

No the 1 J3 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Nikon 1 J3 announced?

The Nikon 1 J3 was announced on Nov 30 2013

Does the Nikon 1 J3 have in-body image stabilization?

No the 1 J3 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Nikon 1 J3?

The 1 J3 has a native ISO range of 160-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

View on Amazon

Similar Camera Reviews

Nikon 1 J1 article cover photo

Nikon 1 J1: The Ultimate Compact Camera for Everyone

The Nikon 1 J1 is a versatile camera that blends high-speed performance, outstanding image quality, and ease of use. With its compact design and interchangeable lenses, the Nikon 1 J1 is a perfect camera for travel, family events, and everyday photography. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the features that make the Nikon 1 J1 a top camera and why it’s worth adding to your gear collection.

Nikon 1 J2 article cover photo

The Best Features of Nikon 1 J2: The Compact Camera That Delivers Exceptional Quality

In this blog post, we will explore the features of the Nikon 1 J2 - a compact camera that packs a punch when it comes to image quality. Whether you're a professional photographer or a hobbyist, the Nikon 1 J2 is a reliable and easy-to-use camera, perfect for capturing life's precious moments. We will dive into the lens and image quality, portability, and other features that make this camera a must-have for visual storytellers.