Updated (August, 2012): Compare the Nikon 1 J2 vs Pentax Q

Nikon 1 J1

Winner
Nikon 1 J1

45

vs

Pentax Q

39

Pentax Q

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

High speed movies
High-speed framerate
1,200 fps
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
60 fps
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
1400 ms startup delay
Phase detection video autofocus
Badge
fast and accurate
 

Reasons to buy the Pentax Q

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Weight
Light-weight
200 g
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
94 ms vs 706 ms
Help
7.5x less delay when taking photos
Autofocus
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
60 fps vs 5 fps
Help
12x faster continuous shooting
High-speed framerate
Records high-speed movies
1,200 fps vs None
Help
Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
1400 ms vs 3700 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when turning on
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Color depth
Better color depth
21.5 bits vs 20.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Better image quality
56.0 vs 47.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
135 vs 25
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
372 ISO vs 189 ISO
Help
The J1 has a slight edge (1 f-stop) in low noise, high ISO performance
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 360k dots
Help
Around 30% higher resolution screen
Fastest shutter speed
Faster max shutter speed
1/16000s vs 1/8000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Pentax Q

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.1 EV vs 11 EV
Help
0.1 f-stops more dynamic range
Weight
Lighter
200 g vs 277 g
Help
Around 30% lighter
Pentax Q Learn more about
the Pentax Q
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent mirrorless cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 J1 45
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        39 Pentax Q Pentax Q
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Size Fairly small Help
              J1:106x61x29 mm
              Q:98x57x31 mm
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1:$228.98
              Q:$214.69
              Thickness Thin Help
              1.2"
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              J1:1/16000s
              Q:1/8000s
              Common Weaknesses
              Longest exposure Short max exposure time Help
              30 seconds
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J1:10 MP
              Q:9.7 MP
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              230 shots
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Lens availability Few lenses available Help
              J1:8 lenses
              Q:7 lenses
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J1:11 EV
              Q:11.1 EV
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              J1:460k dots
              Q:360k dots
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              J1:21.5 bits
              Q:20.2 bits
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              3D Neither camera can take 3D photos Help
              No 3d support
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J1:56.0
              Q:47.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1:372 ISO
              Q:189 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $410 body only

              $490 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $236 body only

              $324 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $498

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Interchangeable lenses Has a built-in lens
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $473 body only

              $398 - $475 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $286 body only

              $373 - $420 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $133 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $675 - $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 S1

              Nikon 1 S1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $170 with 11-2mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon 1 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $389 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Autofocus Slower video autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $254 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Color depth Worse color depth

              Pentax Q Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Pentax Q10

              Pentax Q10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $160 body only

              $745 with 5-15mm, 15-45mm lenses

              Color depth Better color depth
              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Size Slightly larger
              Pentax Q7

              Pentax Q7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $229 body only

              $220 - $269 with 5-15mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously recording movies
              Size Slightly larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $319 body only

              $520 - $750 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Samsung NX300

              Samsung NX300

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $498 - $569 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Much better image quality
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Size Larger
              Fujifilm X-E2

              Fujifilm X-E2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $799 body only

              $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Pentax Q
              Nikon 1 J1 Pentax Q
              Nikon 1 J1

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
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              Pentax Q
              Q
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