Lab Report - Studio Comparison

By Kelcey Smith

Our latest test scene is designed to simulate both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget allows you to switch between the two. The daylight scene is shot with manually set white balance, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests.

Note: this page features our new interactive studio scene. Click here for instuctions on the widget.

The Nikon 1 V3 has the same sized sensor as the Sony RX100 III. And, as such we would expect to see similar results in terms of overall image quality. The first thing you may notice is that the Nikon V3 appears to be softer and less detailed in JPEG even at base ISO settings. However, when we look at the Raw files of both it's easy to see that the Nikon, with its premium priced 32mm lens is actually capturing much more detail than the RX100 III's built-in lens. Although when you compare it to the images captured with the V3's kit lens the results are much more comparable.

Where you can see the biggest difference between the two is in their JPEG output. Sony is actually doing an impressive job of creating a much more pleasing looking JPEG from a less detailed Raw file. The Nikon on the other hand is taking a very agressive and global approach to its noise reduction, effictively removing any of the benefit that expensive 32mm lens brings. At base ISO settings in Raw, the RX100 III has a clear advantage over the Nikon in terms of noise but that margin decreases as you go up the ISO range.

If you're making a transition to a camera like the V3 from a compact you'll quickly notice the advantages a 1" sensor brings. But, if you compare it to a Micro Four Thirds camera like the Panasonic GM1, which is about the same size as the V3 or even a bit smaller, you can see where the noise preformance is lacking against its larger sensor competitors.