Tuesday . 21 September . 2021

One of the most comtháng knocks against the Nikon 1 product line has been its small CX sensor và its somewhat underwhelming dynamic range and colour depth performance. I wasn’t evenmildly interested when I first read aboutthe introduction of theNikon 1 J5 as I initially assumed the camera would be using yet another Aptina sensor. Based on past experiencethis meant very little, if any,improvement interms of sensor performance và image unique. After all, that had been the case with each successive S-series, J-series & V-series Mã Sản Phẩm that hadbeen introduced. Since I don’t lượt thích using cameras without a viewfinder I just shrugged.

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Then I found outthat the J5 wasthe first camera in the Nikon 1 line up to feature a new 20.8MP BSI CX-sized sensor. I knew that BSIcông nghệ had the potential to lớn improve sầu sensor performance significantly so I waited eagerly for DxO testing lớn come out on the J5.

As I had hoped the DxO sensor testing of the Nikon 1 J5 showed significant improvement in both dynamic range & colour depth with the new BSI sensor. Even though I would not normally have sầu any interest in doing a review of any camera without a viewfinder I really wanted to get my hands on a Nikon 1 J5 khổng lồ experience first h& what the new sensor could produce. Having captured over 80,000 images with my Nikon 1 V2’s over the past couple of years I figured I had a reasonable experience base with which to lớn comparethe J5.

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The Nikon 1 J5 with the 10-30milimet PD zoom kit lens when combined with 1 Nikon 6.7-13mm & 30-110milimet zoom lenses makes a great, lightweight system, especially for travel.

The folks at Nikon Canada were kind enough to lớn provide me with a reviews sample và I spent a couple of weeks with the J5. I ended upshooting a fewthousand images with it,covering arange of different subjects.As you can see from the photograph the Nikon 1 J5 is quite small with the 10-30mm PD zoom kit lens attached. When combined with the 1 Nikon 6.7-13mm và 30-110 zoom lenses it makes for a very lightweight và portable system with an equivalent field of view of 18mm – 297mm, weighing less than many DSLR bodies alone.

Before I show you some of these thử nghiệm images, let’s briefly go over the DxO sensor scores to lớn put things in perspective sầu.

DxO considers a dynamic range score of 12EV or higher khổng lồ be in the ‘excellent’ range, with a difference of 0.5 EV khổng lồ be noticeable for most people. On this dimensionmy Nikon 1 V2’s score a modest 10.8EV, compared to 12 EV for the Nikon 1 J5. This is still less than top tier M4/3 cameras lượt thích the Panasonic GH4 which scores 12.8EV & the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II which comes in at12.4EV. Nikon APS and full sensor DSLR’s are head and shoulders above these dynamic range ratings, but many Canon DSLRs are in thisrange. For example, DxO rates the dynamic range of the Canon 7D Mark II at 11.8EV.


In terms of colour depth, DxO considers a score of 22-bits or higher lớn be in the ‘excellent’ range with a difference of 1.0-bits to be noticeable for most people.My Nikon 1 V2’s are rated at 20.2-bits compared to lớn 22.1-bits with the J5.The Olympus M5 Mark 11 scores 23-bits,the GH4 comes in at 23.2-bits, & theCanon 7D Mark II is rated at22.4-bits.

So, while the new sensor in the Nikon 1 J5 is still somewhat behind top tier M4/3 cameras & some AP-S DSLRs, the gap has narrowed considerably.Thishelps lớn significantly reduce one of the biggest knocks against the Nikon 1 system…image quality.

I started my Nikon 1 J5 testing with some flower images captured with the Nikon 1 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 zoom lens và some extension tubes. I almost always shoot my Nikon 1 V2’s using single point AF và I used this same approach with theNikon 1 J5. It has 171 auto-focus points with the 105 centre points supporting phase detection which makes shooting with single point AF simple and precise. I captured a range of flower images including somein dark shade andothers that were in direct, harsh sunlight. Through it all the J5’s new BSI sensor performed quite well và easily outclassed the performance of my Nikon 1 V2.

This first image is an out-of-camera jpeg of two flowers taken in very harsh, direct sunlight with very dark shadows in the background.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM
30mm, ISO 450, 10/8000, f/5.6

Here is the same image but this time processed using the corresponding RAW tệp tin. You can clearly see how much highlight detail that I was able lớn recover, as well as some of the shadow details. I found that the amount of colour differentiation that I was able khổng lồ bring back in the image was quite good.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6
30milimet, ISO 450, 1/800, f/5.6

Here are a few sample flower images…

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NIKON 1 J5 + 30-110milimet f/3.8-5.6
110milimet, ISO 560, 1/1000, f/5.6
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NIKON 1 J5 + 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6
110mm, ISO 4500, 1/1000, f/6.3
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NIKON 1 J5 + 30-110milimet f/3.8-5.6
110milimet, ISO 3200, 1/1000, f/6.3
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NIKON 1 J5 + 30-110milimet f/3.8-5.6
110mm, ISO 360, 1/400, f/5.6

Next I decided to use the same set-up with extension tubes to lớn capture some images of bees. While I don’t normally like lớn compose images from the rear screen of a camera some subjects lkết thúc themselves khổng lồ this approach! I didn’t have sầu any difficulty getting good framing on various subject bees và was able to lớn capture a number of useable images as seenbelow…


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NIKON 1 J5 + 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6
110milimet, ISO 720, 1/1000, f/5.6
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NIKON 1 J5 + 30-110milimet f/3.8-5.6
110mm, ISO 720, 1/1000, f/5.6

The Nikon 1 J5 doesn’t have sầu a viewfinder so capturing images of birds in flight does represent a bit of a challenge. I was feeling a bit experimental one day and used some elastic bands to lớn attach my Zacuto Z-Finder khổng lồ the baông xã of the Nikon 1 J5. As you can see from the image below, this approach was far from elegant…but it did work.

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Zaculớn Z-Finder attached khổng lồ baông xã of Nikon 1 J5 with elastic bands.

I was able khổng lồ capture a number of decent images of cormorants in flight using this phối up including the three sample images below that were taken from the same AF-C run captured at 20fps in AF-C.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 70-300milimet f/4.5-5.6
149.4milimet, ISO 160, 1/1250, f/5.6

I noticed a little bit of a focusing lag as the Nikon 1 J5 tried khổng lồ loông xã on lớn the subject when shooting at 20fps in AF-C. From a practical standpoint that meant allowing a bit more panning time for the J5 khổng lồ loông chồng onto a subject. The biggest issue I found was the very slow thẻ writing tốc độ when shooting at 20fps, especially once the buffer filled. Bringing a good book can help make the wait more tolerable.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6
17.2mm, ISO 1600, 1/60, f/5.6

Another morning I went out khổng lồ shoot some landscape images and found that, once again, the J5’s new sensor easily outclassed my Nikon 1 V2 especially in high contrast situations.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6
10.2milimet, ISO 800, 1/800, f/5.6

Then I made the trek out to the Mountsberg Conservation Area to get a few raptor images and anything else that caught my eye. Since the J5’s new sensor does not have sầu a low pass filter I wanted to see how much extra detail it could capture compared khổng lồ my Nikon 1 V2. I was quite pleased with the results và also found that activating the rear touch screen was very useful for these types of images in terms of selecting the key focusing point and activating the shutter release from the touch screen.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
72.1mm, ISO 1400, 1/400, f/5.6

I also visited Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, one of my favourite spots to practice takingimages of stationary birds và reptiles, and captured a few images…many of them at high ISOs.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
300mm, ISO 2800, 1/160, f/5.6

Here are a few additional sample images showing the detail that is possible lớn capture with theNikon 1 J5. As noted earlier, itdoes not have a low pass filter.

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NIKON 1 J5 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
215.5milimet, ISO 4000, 1/125, f/5.6

Overall I was quite impressed with the image quality of the Nikon 1 J5 when compared toNikon 1 Aptina sensor models lượt thích my V2.I think this change khổng lồ the new đôi mươi.8MP BSI sensor is a bit of a game changer for Nikon. It moves the hàng hóa line into lớn a much more competitive position in terms of image unique when compared khổng lồ some M4/3 models and some Canon AP-S DSLRs.

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Quite often I haveheard Nikon 1 owners almost apologetically state that their Nikon 1 gear is ‘good enough for my needs’. I think the image unique has improved significantly with the J5 andas these new BSI sensors find their way into more future Nikon 1 models (lượt thích the V4)many Nikon 1 owners may begin toconfidently state that their Nikon 1 gear is ‘the best format for my photography needs’. I know that I’ve sầu felt this way for quite a while…và the new BSI sensor just takes it up another notch for me.


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