Nikon's new 1 compact system cameras rated well by DxOMark
Nikon's sensors used in the new V1 and J1 compact system cameras have been rated by DxO Labs and the news must be welcomed by Nikon and 1-system fans as despite the worryingly small dimensions of the sensor, the DxoMark ratings are positive.
Both the J1 and V1 use the same 13.2 x 8.8mm 10 megapixel CMOS sensor, which is virtually half the area of Four Thirds sensors used by Micro Four Thirds compact system rivals Panasonic and Olympus, and under a third of the area of APS-C sensors used by Samsung and Sony in their NX and NEX compact system cameras.
Sensor sizes compared:
||Pixel pitch (µm and megapixels)
|A. Full frame
|C. Four Thirds
Compared to the new Olympus E-P3 Micro Four Thirds model, the Nikon J1 and V1 actually marginally out-scored their rival, with an overall DxOMark rating of 56 and 54, respectively, compared to 51 for the E-P3. The E-P3 lost out in colour depth and dynamic range, although was rated better for usable noise ceiling.
However, the new CX-mount Nikons are in a lower league compared to the Sony NEX-C3, with its excellent APS-C sensor, which scores a DxoMark of 73. Compared to the Canon Powershot G12 high end compact, the new Nikons comfortably, if not dramatically, rate better with the Canon scoring 47. Here, the Nikons have a much better noise ceiling, but rate marginally lower for dynamic range. DxO hasn't yet rated Nikon's own high-end compact, the P7100, but their rating for the older P7000 is 39, making the new 1-series Nikons significantly superior.
It ought to be emphasised that DxOMark sensor ratings don't measure the ability of the cameras to produce JPEG images. The tests only measure the RAW data from the sensor in terms of colour depth, ISO sensitivity accuracy, dynamic range, and noise. We hope to be getting a production sample of one of the new Nikon 1 models in due course and will be running our own tests to evaluate performance. Another point is that with a comparatively small sensor, it will be harder for Nikon 1 photographers to get low depth of field effects where the background is deliberately blurred for 'bokeh'. And diffraction softening will started at brighter aperture settings. We'll be evaluating all these factors in due course.
And just for a little fun, consider the Nikon D2X, Nikon's flagship professional DSLR until they introduced the full-frame D3 at the end of 2007 - the APS-C sensored 12MP D2X only rates marginally better in DxoMark than the new Nikon 1s.
Discuss this story:
Positive DxOMark sensor ratings for Nikon 1 V1 and J1 compact system cameras
DPNow Positive DxOMark sensor ratings for Nikon 1 V1 and J1 compact system cameras
Here is a summary or excerpt from an article that has just been published on DPNow:
Nikon's sensors... (more)
Bob Ross Re: Positive DxOMark sensor ratings for Nikon 1 V1 and J1 compact system cameras
One comparison that you could make is that the CX sensor is twice the area of the 5MP 2/3" ... (more)