Nikon 1 V2 review: Evolution, stasis or regression?

By David Newton - Thursday December 20 2012

Sensor Review
Introduction | Nikon 1 V2 sensor performance | Nikon 1 V2 versus competition | Conclusion

Sensor Performance

The previous version of this camera, the Nikon 1 V1 is ranked 137th in our sensor rating database, with a DxOMark score of 54. Interestingly, in straight overall scores, the Nikon 1 V2 actually loses ground to its predecessor, only scoring 50 for a ranking of 150th. To put this into perspective and show how technology has progressed over the last few years, a score of 50 places this hybrid camera level with the Nikon D70s, a previously popular DSLR from Nikon, launched in 2005.

The Sensor scores for the Nikon 1 V2 show it does not excel in any one area, with the results for all three metrics being at the low end of the scale.

It seems strange for a newer camera to perform worse in overall score than its predecessor, as we usually assume that new products bring advancements, not regression. However, if we look in detail at the results and the specifications of the camera, the reasons become a little clearer. The V2 scores 20.2bits for colour depth, 10.8Evs for Dynamic Range and 403 ISO for low-light performance. Compared to the V1, both the Colour Depth and the Dynamic Range scores are lower, while the low-light ISO score shows a slight improvement. Given that the overall DxOMark score is made up of all three of these scores combined, the relatively lower scores in both Colour Depth and Dynamic Range have had a detrimental impact despite the acceptable low-light score and the extra 4megapixel resolution.

If we look at the scores from the V2 in isolation, the scores for all three metrics are at the low end of the scale. Even the improved ISO score sees the camera lose ground to competitor cameras from a range of manufacturers including the some Sony NEX models, the Canon EOS M and cameras featuring micro 4/3rds sensors – all of which perform as much as 1-stop better. Partly this could be due to the size of the sensor – the Nikon CX format being smaller than micro 4/3rds, which is, in turn, smaller than APS-C.