V1 Disappointing

Started Mar 24, 2012 | Discussions
Jonathan Robson
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V1 Disappointing
Mar 24, 2012

Hi There,

Maybe I am expecting too much from the V1, heres some context... I mainly shoot a 5DmkII and also have a Panasonic GF1 which the wife predominantly shoots. We're looking to upgrade the GF1 for something with a bit better low light capabilities, faster than 1fps when shooting RAW and about the same size or smaller, preferably with a EVF, the V1 seemed like it might fit the bill, the other I am considering is a Panny G3, but the V1 is smaller and faster. Its mainly used to take shots of the kids.

The speed of the V1 is great, but the image quality seems to be as bad or worse than the GF1, maybe I am doing something wrong. I haven't bought the V1 yet, we just rented one for a week to see what it was like, we're on day 2 of the rental period.

Below is a shot I took of the kids outside, now its at ISO1600, it doesn't need to be at ISO1600, but I accidentally left it on that ISO setting from the evening before, still I figured it was a good image to show the issue I'm having with the image quality, at ISO1600 in reasonable light and 1/1600 f10, I'd have expected a bit better from this camera, any thoughts, maybe I have something set incorrectly on the camera given I've only used it for a couple of days, his shot is mainly on auto, the camera handled the exposure excellently. I put it in program mode because thats how my wife would use it and I'd read that it is the best way to use the V1...

100% crop...

Cheers
Jonathan

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ChristianHass
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 24, 2012

I don't think it's entirely fair to judge the V1 on an image taken at ISO1600 when ISO200 would have done perfectly fine.

Noise reduction will make the image softer and at F10 I think you'll lose quality to diffraction as well.

P mode should go hand in hand with auto ISO if you want the camera set up for "point and shoot".
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Jonathan Robson
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to ChristianHass, Mar 24, 2012

The image isn't anything special, I was just interested in seeing how the camera would perform at ISO1600, I would have thought ISO1600 in good light would have helped it in the performance category.

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Jonathan

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dareka
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 24, 2012

On a sensor of the size of the V1 anything beyond f5.6 is going to hurt sharpness (like > f8 on m4/3, or > f11 on aps-c, or > f16 on FF).

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DaiG
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 24, 2012

What did the print look like? I can find 'noise' by looking at 100% screen crops but my printed photographs look really good and that's all I'm interested in.

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Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 24, 2012

Try scene mode and you will not disappointed it, you'll happy and fun.

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chimphappyhour
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to dareka, Mar 24, 2012

dareka wrote:

On a sensor of the size of the V1 anything beyond f5.6 is going to hurt sharpness (like > f8 on m4/3, or > f11 on aps-c, or > f16 on FF).

Bingo! We have a winner! Well, a couple here actually. Two issues with this photo, the use of too high of an ISO when it isn't needed and diffraction.

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Paul Pasco
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 24, 2012

Jonathan Robson wrote:

The image isn't anything special, I was just interested in seeing how the camera would perform at ISO1600, I would have thought ISO1600 in good light would have helped it in the performance category

Why would you think that? How many cameras have better IQ at ISO 1600 than ISO 200? The V1 has a relatively small sensor that works quite well up to ISO 400 and acceptably to 1600, but the noise is definitely visible. In broad daylight like your example, set it back to 200 and then do your pixel peeping. Also, the kit lenses are at their best wide open, as others have pointed out you won't get the best sharpness stopped down to f10
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Jonathan Robson
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Paul Pasco, Mar 24, 2012

I didn't expect it to have better IQ at 1600 than 200, but I expected better IQ than you see above.

That said, thanks for the tips I'll keep it to f5.6 or below and see how it fairs.

I wouldn't shoot this shot at ISO1600 normally, but I am interested in seeing what it can do if I'm gonna buy one.

Again, I don't expect 5DmkII IQ, but I am hoping for better than the GF1.

Thanks for the help!

Cheers
Jonathan

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D200_4me
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 24, 2012

Was that a jpg or from raw? I have a sample at 1600 here and the grain is more fine in my example...but I shot it in raw and used Lightroom with the default conversion to export to jpg.

http://www.openbloom.com/Other/Nikon-V1-ISO-Test/19658418_fpQQ6w

You can expand that photo of mine to 100% for a close view.

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jim yeats
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to D200_4me, Mar 24, 2012

Jonathan,

1600 may be pushing the V1 too much. I have a V1 and like you I'm a little disappointed in the IQ. There is a lot to like about it, but it's not as sharp as I had hoped.

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Michael Klein
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to jim yeats, Mar 24, 2012

Jonathan,

no offense but, putting the camera on iso 1600 in broad daylight? Why...sounds like your looking for an excuse not to like the camera...try putting it on auto iso, P mode...and then look at your pics...I can understand in a dark indoor shot maybe putting it on 1600, otherwise play around with it..listen, there isnt a perfect camera, never will be. If your not happy with it go for something else...

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Photo Pete
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Michael Klein, Mar 24, 2012

I don't think the OP was looking for any excuses to not like the camera. They are also fully aware that it would have performed better if they'd set the ISO to 200 rather than 1600.

The point that is being made is that ISO 1600 is not very good quality on the V1, even in daylight, and when compared to current DSLRs or many of the more recent mirrorless cameras I don't think I would disagree with that.

If low noise at high ISO is the most important purchase criteria then the V1 is not the correct choice and a Micro 4/3 might be better.... however.... the kids will not always be standing, waiting for their photo to be taken. When they're moving or when you need ot react quickly with a spur of the moment shot it is likely that all the micro 4/3 cameras will fail to perform (either sluggish focus acquisition, failed focus tracking or slow frame rate).

Personally I would take the V1 over any mirrorless camera as the damage done to picture quality by failed focus or by missing 'the moment' due to slow frame rates will be significantly greater than is done by a bit of noise at ISO 1600 when viewed at 100% on your monitor.

Also the comment about trying to print the image is important. I assume you won't be viewing your photos zoomed in at 100%. The noise you show in this picture is unlikely to be visible in print at anything less than A3 size. What the V1 does seem to do well at ISO 1600 is maintain colour balance and saturation and that is likely to be a much more important factor than small scale noise when the photos are printed.

Test the camera for its purpose of taking photos and displaying them. The V1 is not for pixel peepers... it is a practical camera that is ideal for actually taking images quickly, taking them when YOU want to (not when the camera decides it wants to respond), capturing the moment and displaying the images in the real world.... and IMHO it does that better than any other compact camera.

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Jonathan Robson
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to D200_4me, Mar 25, 2012

Hi There,

It was RAW processed in LR4 but no adjustments made.

Cheers
Jonathan

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Jonathan Robson
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Michael Klein, Mar 25, 2012

To be honest I wanted to see how bad the camera would perform, normally it would be used at lower ISO, but on occasion as was the case with the GF1, I have a need to shoot ISO1600 & ISO3200, so I really wanted to see if the V1 was better than the GF1 in this regard, I was expecting it to be better, but as far as I can see it is not, so figured I may have been missing something, someone mentioned making sure its no higher than f5.6 when at ISO 1600 may be the issue, so I'll try that.

I am starting to think something like an X10 may be better which I would guess has similar hi ISO performance, but has a faster lens so may negate the need to use ISO1600 more.

That said the speed of the V1 and the AF is excellent and a definite draw to this camera for my wife shooting kids.

Cheers
Jonathan

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Jonathan Robson
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Photo Pete, Mar 25, 2012

Thank you Pete, this is the sort of advice I was looking for. My dilemma now is V! which has excellent AF & Speed or Fuji X10 which is slightly smaller for my wife, about the same at ISO1600 maybe not as good as the V1, but has a much faster lens so may negate the need to ever go to ISO1600.

Thanks again Pete!

Cheers
Jonathan

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jim yeats
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 25, 2012

I would think long and hard before getting the X10. I spend a lot of time on the Fuji forum and the X10 has it's share of problems.

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mosswings
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to jim yeats, Mar 25, 2012

jim yeats wrote:

I would think long and hard before getting the X10. I spend a lot of time on the Fuji forum and the X10 has it's share of problems.

I'd agree. If all you're missing is a fast lens, wait a few months if you can. Nikon supposedly has some faster Series 1 lenses in the pipeline. But if you really need quality ISO 1600 or 3200 with f2.8 or wider, then nothing but a DSLR is gonna get you there.

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chimphappyhour
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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 25, 2012

Jonathan Robson wrote:

someone mentioned making sure its no higher than f5.6 when at ISO 1600 may be the issue, so I'll try that.

It isn't an issue of f5.6 at ISO 1600, it's an issue of reaching your diffraction limit with any camera at any ISO. With the N1 series cameras, you can safely go to f5.6 w/o noticing diffraction too much. Past that and you have to start thinking about it. I would even have to consider diffraction at f10 on m4/3 frankly. The X10 will definitely be no better when it comes to diffraction.

Also of note with the X10, you're stuck with that lens. If you don't like it, you have to change the whole camera. Another thing I'll say about the X10, I've done beta testing before and one of the best things you can do as a beta tester is pick-up a product and use it without consulting the manual. The X10 is a sit down with the manual and fiddle with the camera for a while kind of product. Trying to set it up for a coworker of mine was a nightmare. (And I've owned other Fuji cameras before! So it wasn't like I was walking into this brand blindly.)

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Re: V1 Disappointing
In reply to Jonathan Robson, Mar 25, 2012

It appears you are trying to use it at the settings you would use your 5D2. Remember that this sensor has tiny photo sites, and for that reason small apertures will get you. I recommend you stay at f8 or larger. You are going to get a lot of DOF anyway, so stopping down to f11 is overkill. Beyond that the kit lenses are excellent wide open.

Good luck.

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