You forget, Abrams has no such control over the new Star Wars film. So you can only judge him by his cinematography.
his directing isnt all that great either. and directing isnt just about cimematography. even the first 5 minutes of the movie was poorly done and made little to no sense at all.
just because many of the previous star trek movies were really poorly done, doesnt mean JJ should get tones of credit for making a movie that wasnt as bad as other trek movies. did any of the ship interiors actually feel like star trek at all? nope. how did you like the engine room? looked like a beer distilery. probably because it was an actual beer distilery. scotty and mccoy were just charactatures of the originals. spock was nothing how spock was in the oringinal series. he didnt really even seem like a vulcan. even it some of the poorly done movies, spock never came across as a totally nieve whinny brat. def the worst vulcan portrayal of any of the movies or TV series. even kirsty was a more believable vulcan.
and how do you know how much control he has or doesnt have with the star wars movie? even if he is just the director... many times directors are given ALOT of control over story/content. hopfully he has next to no control at all and is really just a token name to drive up hype and buzz. at the very least, we all should pray that whats left of lucasfilm will be in charge of set design. ideally JJ has zero say in script changes or story changes.