A 2.7x crop factor for your FX & DX lenses, but how’s the image quality? We post Nikon V3 First Shots


posted Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 1:15 PM EST


Debuting in March of this year and offering some serious DSLR-like features such as 20fps with full-time autofocus even when shooting in RAW, the Nikon V3 is looking to make a big splash with the enthusiast photographer crowd. And yet Nikon is also interested in bending the ear of a few pros who may appreciate the 2.7x crop factor they can achieve for certain shooting situations as needed to accompany their primary rigs in the bag.

But that's all coffee-house chatter, what about the image quality? The unique and modular Nikon V3 has just made the first round through our test laboratory and we've just posted our First Shots, a Still Life test series we shoot across the ISO range that allows you to compare the Nikon V3 to its predecessor or any other camera we've ever tested in our Comparometer.

To get you started, below is a comparison against the V3's predecessor, the Nikon V2, at ISO 160. The V3 sports 4.2 more megapixels resolution, which is why these 100% crops differ in apparent size, but even with the size difference there is clearly a marked increase in fine detail performance in the V3. But are there also default JPEG sharpening artifacts in some areas? You be the judge.

Nikon V3                  ISO 160 / 100%                    Nikon V2


Want more? Peruse our Nikon V3 Overview, pixel-peep our test lab First Shots and compare to the competitors across the ISO spectrum in our Comparometer.

Stay tuned for more to come, and should you find any particularly interesting comparisons in the Comparometer, please feel free to report them in the comments section below.

(As anonymous reader "Oops" pointed out in the comments below, there's a difference in the lenses used in the two shots above; the V3 was shot with the 18.5mm f/1.8, while the V2 image was captured by the 10-30mm zoom. The 18.5mm is somewhat sharper than the zoom, but the zoom is in fact surprisingly good. We think that at least some of the difference in sharpness has to do not only with the V3's resolution, but it's much cleaner images, thanks to the new sensor.) At the time we shot the V2, the 18.5mm wasn't available to us; now that we have one, we'll use it for future 1-series models going forward. Thanks for the note, "Oops" :-)