Nikon 1v vs. Olympus Pen EP-2

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jack flannery, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. I have an EP-2 that is my little, walkaround camera. I don't have any complaints except the AF is slow. For stills it is very good. Anyway, I'm sort of a Nikon guy and was wondering if anybody has handled the 1v and what did they think. I suppose I would just keep the Olympus as it is only a couple years old and works fine. But I am curious how well the viewfinder works, especially when compared with the Pen's. Thanks for any opinion.
    Jack
     
  2. I briefly handled a 1V at a camera shop last night, it felt okay in the hand, and I liked the placement and position of the EVF. I do have an E-P2 with the VF-2 EVF, but did not have it with me to compare side by side. I don't recall the specs, but I suspect that the VF-2 may be better than the EVF on the 1V. If you don't have the (absurdly expensive IMO) VF-2, and just use the rear LCD on your E-P2, then there is a point in favor of the 1V. I like the ability to articulate the EWVF on the Olympus, but that thing does kind of sit up on top of the camera in an odd way. My only lens is the 17/2.8, and the balance of the whole package is just odd somehow. Isn't the sensor on the 1V supposed to be a lot smaller than the Micro 4/3? That would be a point against the 1V.
     
  3. Isn't the sensor on the 1V supposed to be a lot smaller than the Micro 4/3?
    Well, the relative crop is 1.35 so it's not an Earth-shattering difference. It seems that Nikon's better handling of noise partially compensates for the smaller sensor at high ISO whereas at base ISO the MFT has an edge in detail, but some of this may be due to differences in lenses. I think the Nikon product is clearly aimed for a lower image quality expectation but on the other hand at least some of the lenses are very small to compensate for that. The 10-30 and the 10mm are certainly very small.
    I find I prefer the EVF of the V1 (1V is a Canon film SLR) compared to the accessory of the E-PL3. Both have a delay though so it may be difficult to time the shots.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Concerning sensor size, I have posted this area comparison a few times. The Nikon One CX format has a 13.2x8.8mm = 116.16 square mm sensor while 4/3 is 18x13.5mm = 243 square mm. In other words, CX is about 47.8% of the area of 4/3, less than half. However, the aspect ratio is different. For comparison, DX is about 44.4% of the FX area.
    I have never used the V1, but I have some experience with the J1 now. Overall it is a nice camera, but the lack of convenient controls really bothers me, but as Nikon keeps on telling me, I am not among their targeted market for the Nikon One series. AF on the J1 is certainly quite fast for contrast-detect AF. I would say you can safely use the J1 for up to ISO 800. Above that, it is kind of iffy.
    Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to check out the V1 soon. If there is any significant EVF viewfinder delay, I am sure it will be very annoying for any action photography.
    00ZWVS-410005584.jpg
     
  5. No matter how they spin it, size counts. That is why the $100 Yashicamat I bought at a garage sale took far superior photographs to my Leica M6. You would be taking a step down with the Nikon if final results is the most important thing to you.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Size certainly matters, but it is more a high-ISO issue and lens availability issue. Achieving shallow depth of field can also be an issue. Otherwise, I have printed a few images from the J1 at/near its base ISO 100 to 8.5x11 on my Epson 3880 and they look quite good.
    I don't know about the Olympus EP-2, but it is much harder to control the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on the J1, and the lack of good external flashes with some power to bounce, etc. that makes it much harder to capture excellent images in the first place. The Nikon One series is intended to be improved point and shoots. To that end I think they are fine cameras, but they simply cannot replace my DSLRs.
     
  7. I was watching someone shop at Wal Mart for a new camera recently, they were moving up from Point and Shoot, and all the control that people on forums like this love is totally lost on them. They want flexibility, they want ease of use, they want small, and they don't want to mess with exposure much. They are shooting their kid playing soccer, they want some video and stills, and they are viewing on YouTube or posting on facebook or maybe printing the odd 4 x 6, and occasionally larger.
    It made me realize that Nikon's "1" is a genius move for those people. They buy it and they are going to be totally delighted.
     
  8. Thanks for the responses. I suppose I need to reiterate a bit. I am a motorcyclist and storage space is a bit limited sometimes. The EP-2 is great but the EVF gets in the way sometimes. The battery life on that camera is also frustrating, due to the EVF. I think I will just let this ruminate for a while, or just stick with the micro 4/3's stuff.
     
  9. Sanford Edelstein said: "No matter how they spin it, size counts. That is why the $100 Yashicamat I bought at a garage sale took far superior photographs to my Leica M6."
    Because whilst they both use film with the same grain size, the Yashicamat takes larger format film, so at a given print size the Yashicamat print will have smoother tones, as the grain will be less evident. Digital is not comparable.
     
  10. the Yashicamat takes larger format film, so at a given print size the Yashicamat print will have smoother tones, as the grain will be less evident. Digital is not comparable.
    But this is exactly what is seen with different digital sensor sizes.
     
  11. but it is much harder to control the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO​
    Shun, I think with the Nikon 1, we are asked to forget about all of these and just point and shoot and either trust the camera or latter select the best shots from the many that are captured by the camera. We perhaps should judge the camera based on how well it delivers on this idea. Furthermore, with a smaller-ish sensor and slowish lens, there is very little to gain by having control for the aperture control.
     
  12. Ilkka Nissila said "But this is exactly what is seen with different digital sensor sizes."
    Not so, assuming the same pixel count. Can you really tell apart two identically composed images taken with FX and DX cameras, each with a 12MP sensor, assuming base ISO, a good lens, well stopped down, and ignoring depth of field and perspective issues?
     
  13. "EVF gets in the way sometimes" Leave the EVF at home when you think it is going to get in the way. The camera works fine without it.
     
  14. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    "Not so, assuming the same pixel count."

    It is so, even with the same pixel count. If sensor size didn't impact image quality, a 12MP point'n'shoot would provide images that looked as good as shots from a Canon 5Dmk1 or a D700. If you do a comparison, you will see that this is very clearly not the case.
     
  15. The impact on the sensor size becomes a factor typically when making enlargements or pixel peeping, not so much for other IQ concerns (aside from high ISO). It would be difficult to see any difference in a shot between a good P&S and an expensive DSLR when looking at a low ISO 4 x 6/5 x 7 and perhaps even 8 x 10 uncropped prints.
    Olympus 4/3 and micro 4/3 cameras produce DSLR quality images. The new Nikon's will probably give excellent IQ as well. But because of the sensor size, you may not be able to make huge enlargements and maintain that quality.
     
  16. Let us not forget also that sensor technology advances... which is why a 12MP D90 and a 12MP D2X might look very different, especially at higher ISO...
    The sensor tech of the Nikon 1 seems to be impressive.
     
  17. Not so, assuming the same pixel count.
    First of all, that is an unusual situation where one would have the same pixel counts in every format (we are looking at trends here; special cases don't represent the big picture). Top of the line 645 digital cameras have 60-80 MP (200MP with sensor shifting), top-of-the-line FX is 21-24 MP depending on brand, DX is 16-18MP for Nikon & Canon; Sony has a 24MP but I'm not sure if the additional value has been established; MFT is mostly 12 MP (one 16MP); CX 10 MP, top compact cameras from both Nikon and Canon have 10MP.
    There is an obvious tendency for pixel count to increase as a function of sensor area, although partly because of workflow reasons and operational speed Nikon make a 12 MP sports, PJ and low light camera. When computers get faster there is less need to make artificially low resolution cameras. Although the D3s doesn't excel in resolution (especially in the conditions you mentioned) the additional image area does show as higher SNR across the whole ISO range; dxomark show this clearly. (Dxomark does not show medium format camera results correctly as these cameras do not remove pattern noise from the images in the camera before writing out the RAW files, whereas small-format cameras always do. This means the MF plots on this site are pretty much worthless.) Whether you see this in print depends on how the image is processed; but the information is there and you can take advantage of it.
    Can you really tell apart two identically composed images taken with FX and DX cameras, each with a 12MP sensor, assuming base ISO, a good lens, well stopped down, and ignoring depth of field and perspective issues?
    It is easy to tell D700 and D300 images apart at ISO 200 because of differences in tonality and colours; FX images are smoother and while this might not be that obvious in a straight print at neutral picture control, when you start making high-contrast prints in low-contrast light, the extra SNR does snow up. At higher ISO the difference between 12 MP DX vs. FX cameras becomes more clear. If you're going to compare base ISO tonality then you should pick the best camera for that kind of a comparison i.e. D7000 and D3X, both of which support ISO 100. To illustrate a principle (we are talking about CX vs. MFT here in this thread) it is not a good idea to pick your comparison example in such a way that it illustrates an anomaly rather than a trend.
    Anyway, Bjorn Rorslett posted a comparison between Coolpix AW100, V1, GF1, D3s, and D3X at ISO 100 (at nikongear.com) and the difference in sensor size was strikingly obvious in the images and was clearly the dominant factor in determining picture quality (though again the D3s is not really the camera to use at ISO 100).
    Olympus 4/3 and micro 4/3 cameras produce DSLR quality images.
    It would depend on which DSLR you're comparing to, but generally the MFT images will be more noisy than images from Nikon DX or FX cameras. There is some very nice lenses available for MFT but again the MTF figures at e.g. photozone.de even with their expensive primes are not really comparable with Nikon DX or FX results.The small size comes with it a penalty. But I do think MFT is a good compromise between size and image quality especially with its lineup of dedicated lenses.
     
  18. Mike Dixon said "If sensor size didn't impact image quality, a 12MP point'n'shoot would provide images that looked as good as shots from a Canon 5Dmk1 or a D700."
    You are comparing extremes, and the fact that the D700 cost 10 times as much as a 12MP P&S might enter into the equation. There are too many additional variables such as optics.You cannot expect much from a consumer P&S.
    Ilkka Nissila said: "First of all, that is an unusual situation where one would have the same pixel counts in every format ..."
    I want to eliminate other variables and consider one i.e. sensor size. I cannot see Rorslett's comparison, but the cameras you list are very different, with different lenses, and processing engines. Even lenses from different manufacturers on the same camera can have significantly different tonal rendition. If I recall correctly Michael Reichmann did a comparison including medium format and compact cameras, and the results were surprising.
    Ilkka Nissila said: "At higher ISO the difference between 12 MP DX vs. FX cameras becomes more clear."
    Of course. :)
    Ilkka Nissila said: "There is some very nice lenses available for MFT but again the MTF figures at e.g. photozone.de even with their expensive primes are not really comparable with Nikon DX or FX results"
    I am sure you would agree that MTF plots need to be interpreted with care, and not taken at face value. However, there are some nice lenses for MFT. And for many the whole point of MFT is small size, and some wide angle MFT pancake lenses have excellent performance, with nothing comparable from Nikon. Most Nikon small wide angle primes are iffy. My opinion is that MFT beats the Nikon 1 simply because several manufacturers are making lenses and bodies, which gives the user more choice. I am sure others will disagree.
     
  19. I had a mini-epiphany the other day. Up until that moment I thought "why CX in a compact body when you could have DX?" Now I think "why 2/3" in a compact body when you could have CX?"
    I think now that the 1 series is a /downwardly mobile platform for a compact camera/. The price of making the electronic core of the 1 series camera will go down. I think this is being positioned as the future of the upper tier of compact cameras. With an innovative sensor, it appears to exceed all 2/3" models and stands alone in offering PDAF. It brings system-camera thinking to the compact market for the first time. And interchangeable lenses. If the price comes down sufficiently with a budget model and the same imager, it will beat out the compact camera competition.
    In general, I don't think there are as many upward ambitions for the series 1. If Nikon produces state of the art CX sensors, it will challenge MFT manufacturers to keep up. Also, Nikon may take what it learns here and apply in the APS-c and up market. The system architecture is probably extensible.
    After seeing a few samples posted at DPR, I was convinced that this was a serious imager that produces polished results in its class and has a basic system-wide "competency".
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1058&message=39658660
     
  20. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    "There are too many additional variables such as optics. . . . I want to eliminate other variables and consider one i.e. sensor size."
    You don't simply get to ignore other variables--those variable will ALWAYS come into play when actually making photos. Images shot with a smaller sensor will always require more magnification than images shot with a larger sensor when making prints of the same size.
    If the sensors are similar in size, and you cherry pick conditions to minimize the differences in quality, it may be difficult to tell apart the results at the most-commonly used magnifications. However, that does not mean sensor size doesn't matter as long as the pixel count is the same.
     

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