Nikon V3 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance for a compact system camera, though startup time is a bit sluggish and buffer clearing can be lengthy.

Startup/Play to Record/Buffer Clearing

Power on
to first shot

~2.0 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Buffer clearing time
12 seconds after 40 large/fine JPEGs*

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.

20 seconds after 40 RAW files*
46 seconds after 40 RAW+ LF JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I 95MB/s microSDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was a bit sluggish for a compact system camera, though switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was quick. Buffer clearing time depends on the quality and number of shots, and on the speed of the memory card. With a fast, 95MB/s UHS-I microSDHC card, the Nikon V3's buffer clearing times were fairly quick for JPEGs, but slow for RAW files, though buffers were quite deep.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-point AF mode

0.073 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All timing performed with the new Nikon 1 10-30mm kit lens at medium focal length.)

Full Autofocus,
Auto-area AF mode

0.120 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto flash enabled

0.336 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. Built-in flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.049 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.047 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon V3's full-autofocus shutter lag in single-point AF mode (center AF position) was incredibly fast, at only 0.072 second with the 10-30mm kit lens. That's faster than most professional DSLRs we've tested! In auto-area AF mode, lag increased to 0.120 second, though that's still very fast for a CSC and faster than most DSLRs. Enabling the flash added some delay for preflash metering, however lag was still quite good at 0.336 second. When manually focused, the V3's lag time was 0.049 second, also very fast. The Nikon V3's prefocused lag time of 0.047 second was quite fast as well, faster than most DSLRs and CSCs, though many point & shoots are still faster in this regard.

Overall, Nikon 1's hybrid AF system offers outstanding AF speeds and the V3's iteration has set yet another benchmark for CSCs and DSLRs alike with slightly faster AF and shutter lag compared to the V2.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over 110 shots, 14 seconds to clear.*

Single Shot mode
RAW

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over 70 shots, 22 seconds to clear.*

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over 48 shots, 44 seconds to clear.*

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous 60fps mode
Large/fine JPEG

0.02 second (60.0 frames per second);
40 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous 60fps mode
RAW

0.02 second (60.0 frames per second);
40 frames total;
20 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous 60fps mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.02 second (58.7 frames per second);
40 frames total;
46 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous 20fps mode
Large/fine JPEG

0.05 second (20.0 frames per second);
40 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous 20fps mode
RAW

0.05 second (20.0 frames per second);
40 frames total;
20 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Continuous 20fps mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.05 second (20.1 frames per second);
40 frames total;
46 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 40 shots.

Flash Recycling

1.9 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I 95MB/s microSDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very fast at under 0.3 second no matter the file type, which is much faster than average for a CSC and an improvement over the V2.

The Nikon V3 offers full-resolution continuous mode speeds up to 60 fps when using the electronic shutter with AF locked, and up to 20 fps with continuous AF. We tested a number of continuous modes, and the V3 met expectations in each of them, delivering up to approximately 60 full-resolution frames per second with any file type -- outstanding!

Buffer depths were very good at 40 frames for any file type, though keep in mind that's less than a one-second burst at highest speed. Buffer clearing times ranged from a reasonable 12 seconds after a 40-frame burst of JPEGs, to a lengthy 46 seconds after a 40-frame burst of RAW+JPEG files. Be sure to use the fastest card you can if buffer clearing time after long bursts is important to you, as we measured 111 seconds after a 40-frame burst of RAW+JPEG files with a run-of-the-mill 30MB/s card.

The built-in flash recycled after full-power discharges in an average of 1.9 seconds, which is fast.


Bottom line, the Nikon V3's overall performance was generally outstanding. Autofocus speeds, cycle times and burst speeds were all exceptional. The only sluggish performance results we got were startup time and lengthy buffer clearing with RAW files, though the later is mostly due to generous buffer depths. Again, the Nikon 1 system truly raises the bar for CSCs in most performance metrics.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a CSC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, LCD Monitor)
310

The Nikon V3 uses a custom EN-EL20a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and dedicated charger. The rated 310 shots per charge is somewhat below average for a compact system camera, so we strongly recommend getting a second battery for your V3 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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