Nikon 1 J1 and V1 CX sensor – Quick ISO and DoF Tests

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Now that we have settled in with Nikon’s most significant announcement since Nikon first introduced digital camera 14 years ago – Nikon 1 J1 and V1. There are already a lot of testing and reviews all over the web; What are your thoughts? You can check out all the reviews on the Nikon 1 system here.

On my previous post Nikon 1 J1 and V1 – What’s missing?, I have mentioned that the Nikon J1 and V1 could possibly matching the ISO performance of the m4/3s despite the Nikon 1 system is equipped with a smaller sensor. Just within a week of the announcement, there are already articles comparing the ISO noise with their counterparts. You can read the full articles here and here.

Without getting into too detail, we compare the Nikon V1 ISO performance with Panasonic GF3, Sony NEX 5 and Olympus EP3. You can be the judge after seeing the comparison at ISO 800.

Test Sample from

Nikon J1 ISO 800

Sony NEX5 ISO 800

Olympus E-P3 ISO 800

Panasonic GF3 ISO 800

Personally, I would be happy to use the Nikon V1 on ISO 800 just like with the Olympus EP3. With the Sony NEX5, I would be happy to use it up to ISO 1600, but expect some presence of noise.

I have also mentioned in the post that what’s missing in the Nikon J1 and V1 is the ability to create shallow DoF that you would normally see even on entry level DSLR like the D3100 and D5000. From the example I gave in the post, the DoF with the Nikon J1 is twice of the Olympus E-P3 and three times as much on Sony NEX5 or entry level of DSLR. The example considered using a f/2.8 lens already, so if one is using the kit lens 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6, you are likely going to get a wider DoF.

Camera Focal Length 35mm Focal Length Aperture Subject Distance DoF
Nikon J1/V1 13mm 35mm f/2.8 4m 12.7m
Olympus E-P3 17.5mm 35mm f/2.8 4m 6.48m
Nikon D7000 23.3mm 35mm f/2.8 4m 3.95m
Nikon D3s 35mm 35mm f/2.8 4m 2.38m


The following sample photos from have pretty much confirmed the lack of DoF with the Nikon CX sensor, despite having a fast AF and decent ISO performance. Having said that, sometimes it is not just all about DoF.


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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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