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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.
A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.
For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.
JPEG signal to noise ratio
These results show that the Sony NEX-3N's JPEG files have a stronger signal to noise ratio than those from the Nikon 1 S1 and Panasonic GX1 at every sensitivity, and stronger than those from the Olympus E-PM2 at every setting but ISO 6400. The NEX-3N's JPEG files have a weaker SNR than those from the Sony NEX-F3 at every sensitivity but ISO 200, 12800 and 16000.
Raw signal to noise ratio
The signal to noise ratios of the TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Sony NEX-3N are stronger than those from the Nikon 1 S1, Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-PM2 at every sensitivity setting, but weaker than TIFF images from the Sony NEX-F3, except at ISO 200.
JPEG dynamic range
JPEG images from the Sony NEX-3N show greater dynamic range than JPEGs from the Nikon 1 S1 at every sensitivity setting but ISO 200, the Panasonic GX1 at every ISO but ISO 6400, and the Sony NEX-F3 at every ISO but ISO 200-400, where the CSCs tie. The NEX-3N's JPEG images show weaker dynamic range than the Olympus E-PM2 at every sensitivity setting.
Raw dynamic range
This chart indicates that TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Sony NEX-3N show stronger dynamic range than the Nikon 1 S1 and Panasonic GX1 at every sensitivity setting. The NEX-3N's TIFFs show weaker dynamic range than the Olympus E-PM2 and Sony NEX-F3 at every ISO but ISO 6400.
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Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.