Next to the pop up flash is a focal plane mark – the circle with a line through it. Generally this is used for precise focusing in macro photography, it may be of little use for the cameras target market, but may provide a talking point when showing off the camera to your mates.
Looking at the front of the camera, the stereo microphone is located in two small holes either side of the lens. The microphone is adequate for ambient sound tracks but shouldn’t be relied on for capturing a hi-fi quality recording of the London Symphony Orchestra or those all important wedding vows. Unfortunately the J1 camera does not have a separate input for an external mike, the Nikon V1 does. To the right is an autofocus assist green light which illuminates your subject, this also doubles as a Red Eye reduction light, the beam can be annoying especially if you are trying to catch a candid moment at a party, it can be turned off via the camera menu. At the base is the infra red sensor which requires the optional ML-L3 remote controller.
The interchangeable lens can be removed by the lens release button which is in the same place as on all Nikon cameras since 1959. Nikon SLR/DSLR cameras mount their lenses with the index mark set at “2 o’clock” , The J1 has the index mark set at “12 o’clock” Not that this causes any great concern, but if you are a loyal Nikon user then you may be wondering why the change. The lens cap is not attached via a cord, nor is there any storage point for it other than your pocket or gadget bag, I suspect it will be the first item to become mislaid or lost.
The Nikon 1 lenses do not have power zooms which makes for awkward zooming whilst shooting a movie, professional videographers very rarely use zooming whilst shooting a movie. However, if power zooming is an important feature then Nikon has the lens just for you, the Nikon VR 10 – 110mm PD zoom lens. This lens has a Wide to Telephoto rocker switch on the lens barrel. All Nikon 1 lenses, have electronic apertures which are set using the cameras rear multi selector. One accessory that looks interesting is the Nikon FT1 Mount adaptor which enables you to use any Nikon SLR lens.