Interesting Nikon 1 J5 camera review (comparison with Panasonic GM5, Samsung NX Mini and Sony RX100 III)

TechRadar posted an interesting Nikon 1 J5 camera review where they compare the resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio with three other cameras (Panasonic GM5, Samsung NX Mini and Sony RX100 III):

Nikon 1 J5 resolution

Nikon 1 J5 resolution
Nikon 1 J5 resolution 2

Nikon 1 J5 dynamic range


Nikon 1 J5 signal to noise ratio

Wat TechRadar liked:

Nikon's engineers have done a cracking job with the redesign of the J5. Its retro look and feel, coupled with an improvement to some of the dials and controls, give it a more serious and classy look, as well as improving the usability and functionality of the camera. Those who are Nikon fans may finally have a Nikon 1 camera to get excited about.

What TechRadar disliked:

Despite the fact that the J5 has the latest image processing engine, operational speeds could be better. Shot to shot times are a little slow, which can be frustrating at times, and it's worth considering that despite an advertised 60fps shooting speed, the camera's buffer can only hold 20 frames before you need to wait for that to clear, making it a little less impressive than it sounds.

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  • SteveHood

    A more reliable DR comparison can be found here.

  • Iliah Borg

    What a joke.

  • KT

    It seems to hold pretty well against the Sony RX100m3, the class leader in this category. Perhaps that’s why Sony is upgrading the RX100 to m43 sensor in the upcoming release. Waiting for word from DXO, but considering how poorly the previous Nikon 1 cameras fared against the Sony RX100s, that’s a step in the right direction.

  • Thom Hogan

    You only have to look at one chart to know that this is not valid information as presented: dynamic range in JPEG is essentially flat as you increase ISO? Methinks someone doesn’t know what they’re testing.

    FWIW, I’ll take Bill Claff’s tests as better indicators. They do indeed show that the J5 has improved, and even manages to squeeze a bit more out of the sensor than Sony managed with the RX100III.

    • El Aura

      But Bill Claff plots his numbers over nominal ISO which can bias comparisons between two cameras if one doesn’t mentally account for it.

      • SteveHood

        That only shift the line to the left or right (up or down ISO). The DR at base ISO doesn’t change and that is where the J5 has significantly improved and now at least matches the RX100 base DR.

      • Thom Hogan

        True, but if you understand what’s being shown you can easily understand the shifts involved. And I wrote “better indicators,” not “best indicators.”

    • Oleg Metelitsa

      JPEG DR chart is always not very representative.

      At low ISO a camera image processor avoids to create a high DR jpegs because it would lead to low contrast pictures. On the contrary, at high ISO an image processor applies noise reduction and that increases DR.

      As a result DR chart for JPEG is usually significantly flatter than for RAW.

  • I’ve been shooting my J5 a lot. It’s actually pretty good.

    Here’s one at ISO 6400:
    (Apologies in advance for the downsizing needed for Disqus).

    • marsbomber

      That looks really good!

      • James Donahue

        I need to set my watch, Thanks

  • Richy

    When they test resolution.. surely that is going to be a sensor and lens combination result. Is this with the cheap kit 10-30mm, the 18mm 1.8. the 32mm 1.2? Would expect pretty dramatic differences, but the point is it is more testing the lens than the camera. Without explaining it is a meaningless chart, and when people put meaningless charts into a review and draw meaningful conclusions about them, this is where you can safely ignore the rest of the review.

    • Iliah Borg

      You do not even need to start, there are too many banal mistakes in the review. I have no idea what is “interesting” in it, unless NR were sarcastic.

      • HF

        Tech radar is not what I would call “reliable”. Often many weird and totally counter-intuitive results.

        • Iliah Borg

          That I understand. What I do not understand is why NR promotes this junk. It is obvious it is junk from the first glance, as Thom rightfully mentioned.

          • El Aura

            The only interesting thing is the choice of cameras, ie, three different 1″ sensors plus a very compact m43 as the closest competition.

            • Iliah Borg

              2 1″ sensors. Nikon 1 J5 is using the same sensor as Sony RX100 III

          • neversink

            I don’t feel that “NR promotes this junk” but rather just reports the recent news pertaining to Nikon. It is up to you and me to decide if these tests are decent tests or junk, or something in between.

            • Iliah Borg

              You do not feel it, and that is sad. No, it is not up to me or to you to decide if the Earth is flat or not. If the methodic of the experiment strongly contradicts basic principles, and if the results are unrealistic, it is junk.

            • neversink

              But NR still isn’t promoting junk. It is up to you to decide whether it is junk or not.
              PS- You are speaking in the junk language of “Pompous Jargon.” And if you wish the world to be flat, be my guest. However you will probably be the only one with such beliefs. And what does the world being flat have to do with whether NR is promoting junk or not? Keep putting your foot in your mouth Good Day!!!! ;-}

    • Thom Hogan

      Actually, if they’re testing with Imatest or something similar, they’re testing far more than the lens and sensor. They’re testing their chart, their support, their lighting, and their distance assumptions.

      • Iliah Borg

        And their knowledge of how to use Imatest too. There is a reason why Mr. Koren offers classes on testing cameras and sensors 🙂

  • Pankaj

    Thanks, just checked and found that my Nikon Df is not that bad at all.

  • Captain Megaton

    Look, when you are talking cameras of a similar sensor size and generation there is no sense squinting over charts like this. It’s all gonna be about the same. The lens selection/quality and camera design/features are what’s important.

  • waterengineer

    I didn’t know Nikon 1 cameras had a base ISO of 200.

    • PhotoAl

      They don’t. 1st generations had a base ISO of 100 and all the others have a base of 160.

  • Nice charts. I wonder what actual photographs look like. Oh, right, silly me.

    • Pretty good, actually, for such a tiny little thing.

      I got it for street but the weekend was all about extreme sports and I just couldn’t leave it at home.

      • Exactly. That’s a perfectly great shot and all the more amazing considering the camera that made it. Goes to show that looking at charts and graphs can give a false negative sense about camera performance. I’m sure you’re not going to make a 30X40 print out of that, but SO WHAT?

        • tharealmb

          I actually have a 4MP print at home… which is 2 meters wide, and 1.5 high. It was shot on a Nikon D7000 but JPG quality was set to Small and no RAW file….

          But the image looks amazing because of the DOF, Lighting and dynamic range. It’s a lot more important what is in the picture…. And the J5 seems to capture the images well enough for most.

  • Nimloth

    Regardless of these graphs, the J5 looks a great little thing. Small, decent IQ, easy to use, flexible. Seems perfect for it’s purpose to me. If the price for the J5 + 10-30 mm can just go down from the ridiculous $695 (today’s rates) in Norway, I’ll buy it for sure. 🙂

  • AlphaTed

    Whoa. New site layout?

    • Yes, for mobile only – Google asked for it 🙂

      I still have to do some adjustments

      • Jeff Curtner

        The mobile version is very nice when browsing on an iPhone.

        • Thanks, I still have to fix/adjust the layout.

      • AlphaTed

        OT: Admin, the desktop version of the site is not working on my phone using Safari.

        • yes, I am aware of this problem – still don’t have a solution but I am working on it

  • Carleton Foxx

    When I see charts and graphs like this I always wonder whether we’re seeing a significant difference or just the expected variation. Unfortunately, most journalists don’t have the training or intellectual horsepower to even imagine what that means. Most of them see two numbers that are different and immediately jump to the conclusion that they’re seeing a real difference. Has anyone gone back and analyzed the numbers?

  • Tharaphita

    Just make sure you dont look TechRadar DR graphs, they are bollocks. =)

  • bgbs

    looks like a solid camera

  • Chester

    Nikon 1 system is totally rubbish comparing to M43 either in sensor or body size.

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