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Nikon Mirrorless J1 Digital Camera Review$649.99
Given that Nikon is employing an entirely new sensor size that is smaller than most of its competitors in this market space, it's perhaps unfair to expect miracles out of the first batch of CX 1-system cameras. That being said, we were hardly blown away by the dynamic range performance of the J1. In our testing, which emphasizes the ability of the camera to preserve exposure value gradation through both its entire ISO range and the kit lens' full aperture range, the J1 did not do superbly well, able to preserve just 5.2 stops of clean dynamic range that didn't get clipped or poisoned by image noise. This fell off gradually though, only dropping below 3.4 stops at ISO 3200. In general, the J1's biggest issue was clipped highlights, as it produced a very weak shoulder through most of the ISO range. More on how we test dynamic range.
Given that all the other cameras in this comparison group offer a larger image sensor, this isn't exactly a fair fight, but the Nikon comes out ahead of only the Samsung NX100 in this group, and is beaten handily by the others. While the differences in scoring in our test are exacerbated by the likely presence of mandatory noise reduction imposed by the Panasonic GF3 and Sony NEX-5, the Nikon J1 still comes out lacking in terms of dynamic range free of noise through its ISO and f-stop range.