We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using the DXO Analyzer software to give noise and dynamic range measurements at every sensitivity (ISO) setting.
Signal to noise ratio
The Nikon 1 V1 uses a smaller sensor than APS-C or Micro Four Thirds cameras. This means that the V1's 10.1 million effective photosites (pixels) are likely to be smaller, which could be a challenge for image quality.
Our lab tests indicate that the V1 produces JPEG images that have a comparatively low signal to noise ratio.
Although the values are still lower, the raw files (after conversion to TIFF) are much closer in performance to that of the other cameras in this test. This significantly better raw file performance indicates that Nikon has chosen to process out the noise from the JPEGs at the expense of the image signal more than the other manufacturers.
JPEG signal to noise ratio
A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.
JPEG images from the Nikon V1 show lower scores for signal to noise ratio than the Olympus PEN E-P3, Sony NEX-5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2. This means that images will show a greater amount of noise especially at the higher end of the sensitivity range.
RAW signal to noise ratio
For a full explanation of what our resolution charts mean, and how to read them please click here to read the full article.
Interestingly, our dynamic range measurements show that the Nikon V1 raw files compare favourably with the files from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and Olympus PEN E-P3 and Sony NEX-5. Between ISO 100 and 800 it is only beaten by the Sony camera, and above ISO 800 it leads the way.
It's JPEG dynamic range performance is a little lower. It is generally on a par with, or a little better than the Panasonic GH2.
JPEG dynamic range
This chart indicates that the Nikon V1's JPEGs dynamic range compares well against the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and Olympus PEN E-P3, showing that it can resolve a good amount of shadow and highlight detail across the sensitivity range.
RAW dynamic range
This chart indicates that the Nikon V1's JPEGs dynamic range compares well against the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and Olympus PEN E-P3 and Sony NEX-5. From a sensitivity of ISO 1600 the Nikon V1 beats the dynamic range performance of thecomparisoncameras.
For a full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests, please click here to read the full article.