Comparing ISO 3200 - Panasonic GH2 & Nikon J1

Started Sep 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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D200_4me
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Comparing ISO 3200 - Panasonic GH2 & Nikon J1
Sep 30, 2011

Since I've owned a GH2 (just sold it) and now am interested in the Nikon 1 (V1 is what I'd buy, not J1), I thought I'd compare the ISO 3200 shots just for the heck of it. It seems like a lot of GH2/micro 4/3 users get offended if you say the new Nikon 1 is pretty close to the micro 4/3 sensors in terms of image quality and I don't know why anyone would be offended. It's not personal, is it? It's a camera....it is what it is. It performs how it does and that shouldn't bother anyone, unless you take this stuff personally.

Anyway, to ME, I'm surprised just how well the Nikon 1 holds up to its larger sensor competitors, even the GH2 which everyone claims is the best 4/3 sensor in the micro 4/3 cameras at this moment. I went to Imaging Resource's web site and downloaded the first ISO 3200 show (RAW files) I saw for that scene they always use. To be sure the raw conversion is not favoring one camera over the other by using Lightroom for the GH2 file and Raw Therapee for the J1 file, I used Raw Therapee (latest version) to convert both files using the default settings in Raw Therapee to a JPG file. I opened both JPG files and zoomed in 100%. Below is the result. I don't think any reasonable person could say the GH2 is FAR ahead of the J1 while looking at this example (you can download the files and convert them the same way I did if you're skeptical). The GH2 is ahead, yes....but the difference I see is not at all drastic. I am not a Nikon 'fan boy' by any stretch of the imagination. Again, I don't know how or why people get offended if you say the Nikon 1 is very close in image quality to its larger sensor competitors. It is what it is....and to me, it looks very competitive indeed. I'm anxious to see how the GH2 and J1 files compare when using Lightroom to do the conversion. I can't open the J1 raw file in LR yet, so that's why I used Raw Therapee for both the GH2 and J1 files.

For me, using higher ISO on a Nikon 1 would be more than acceptable for what I would use this camera for, which is family trips/vacation and things like that.

To avoid the conspiracy theories up front, yes, I did open the JPG files in Capture NX (if you see that NX symbol in the examples below). That was only to make it easy to have both images open at the same time for easy comparison and a screenshot.

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