V1, J1, OMD and NEX7, RX100...

Started Jul 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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V1, J1, OMD and NEX7, RX100...
Jul 17, 2012

Today I had about two hours to kill and decided to play with the V1, J1, OMD, NEX7 and the RX100 in a shop. Same conditions, identical light, identical targets and similar lenses.

The order of my preference is:

1st: V1
2nd: J1
3rd: OMD
4th: NEX7
5th: RX100

The winner is the V1 because of the snappy, fast and accurate AF, the inability to take OOF images ( YES I mean it, no focus no image, I like that), the quick LCD update basically without lag (extremely little) and because of the excellent EVF and the fast EVF image update, also practically without lag.

A close second is the J1, cannot win because of the lack of EVF and the poorer LCD quality and weaker battery. Otherwise it felt the same in terms of focus speed and accuracy and of course, also very little display lag.

The OMD came third in my quick evaluation. Surprisingly disappointing because I actually wanted it to win. The 12-50 feels real poor in terms of quality. Yes, feels metal, but the zoom sounds like forcing my electric drill machine to turn manually if you know what I mean... the gear box sound is really loud, as well as the shutter. It really felt in my hands, like if a hammer hit it. I remember the feeling and the sound of my E-3 shutter, the OMD felt almost the same, very loud and distinct hit, clearly the loudest of all four cameras with mechanical shutter. I also disliked the LCD and the VF. Terrible things, very "shaky" image when I moved the camera left and right to simulate panning or following a randomly moving target. Anyway, I was about to get sea sick. Then I thought about raising the EVF fps, which I did and that improved things a little bit, but the lag and the "shaky image" was still much worse than the V1 EVF and at the same time the IQ in the EVF got really bad due to the lost resolution. I also thought that the cause of this "seasickness" was the IS, so I switched it off completely but that made no difference at all. Focus speed was not great at all, also very typical Olympus, first missing focus (passing by the right point) and then micro adjust backwards. This happens not just occasionally, but almost all the time if the focus had to move a lot, like several meters. But... I loved the ability to take pictures using the touch screen. It's a pity the V1 does not have that feature because it is really useful. I also found the camera huge and heavy compared with the V1 + 10-30, though the 12-50 is a bit longer and wider in terms of FL and the lens also has a zoom motor which adds to the weight, so that's understandable, but in any case the camera felt much bigger, yet the buttons are stupidly small and difficult to operate.

The NEX 7 came fourth, but far behind the OMD for two reasons. The user interface is really wicked in my opinion. If anyone is complaining about the needs of menu deep diving in the Nikon 1 system I have to say that the N1 is nowhere near the NEX 7, and those who complain about the N1 should use the NEX 7 to understand what deep diving in menus means. I mean really, that menu system is horrible. But... the worst is the AF. The 18-55 refused to focus on targets the other cameras had no problem with at all. Not just once or twice but on some targets I had to give up completely because the camera just did not want to lock.

Fifth is the RX100. This P&S has received a lot of praise on this forum, so I wanted to see what all the fuzz is about. I will not hold the lack of EVF against this camera since I placed the J1 as second in this ghetto review, but the camera is a clear loser of the five because of the AF and the fact that the camera takes OOF images if you push the release button too fast or you are outside the lens focus ability. This is a terrible behavior for a P&S in my opinion. The AF is also very slow and unsure. The buttons are hard to find and especially for the shutter release button, that is a real negative point. The camera is very small, but the only advantage I can see it has, compared with the J1, is the megapixel if that matters for anyone here. As a matter of fact, if I wanted a small P&S, this camera would not be it at all.

OK, tell me I am a biased Nikon fanboy, I don't mind, but I know what I did and why, and I know that my results are valid as well as the fact that the Nikon 1 is still the winner in terms of focus speed and accuracy among these cameras. The reason why I selected these cameras was that these are all followers of the N1 and these are the cameras mostly praised on this Nikon forum and because I never really had an opportunity to test all the five at the same time under identical conditions with similar lenses before.

So, what's missing from the N1 is faster primes and better flash for the V1. Those are still the most important for the future of this system and I hope we will see some new N1 lenses under my X-mas tree...

Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 V1 Olympus E-3 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony RX100
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