Nikon 1 V1 vs Panasonic GF2
The Nikon 1 V1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2011 and November 2010. Both the V1 and the GF2 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an one-inch (V1) and a Four Thirds (GF2) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Nikon 1 mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|10 MP, 1" Sensor||12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-3200 (100-6400)||ISO 100-6400|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||2.6 shutter flaps per second|
|350 shots per battery charge||300 shots per battery charge|
|113 x 76 x 44 mm, 383 g||113 x 68 x 33 mm, 310 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 V1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon 1 V1 and the Panasonic GF2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GF2 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the V1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF2 is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Nikon 1 V1. Moreover, the GF2 is markedly lighter (19 percent) than the V1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V1 nor the GF2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Nikon 1 V1»||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||13.5 oz||350||n||Sep 2011||799||Nikon 1 V1|
|Panasonic GF2«||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||10.9 oz||300||n||Nov 2010||549||Panasonic GF2|
|Canon G15« »||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499||Canon G15|
|Fujifilm X10« »||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon 1 J5« »||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||8.1 oz||250||n||Apr 2015||399||Nikon 1 J5|
|Nikon 1 V3« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||13.4 oz||310||n||Mar 2014||799||Nikon 1 V3|
|Nikon 1 J4« »||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.1 in||8.2 oz||300||n||Apr 2014||549||Nikon 1 J4|
|Nikon 1 V2« »||4.3 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||9.8 oz||310||n||Oct 2012||799||Nikon 1 V2|
|Olympus E-P3« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799||Olympus E-P3|
|Panasonic G3« »||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||549||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||699||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||13.7 oz||380||n||Mar 2010||499||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic G2« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||15.1 oz||360||n||Mar 2010||599||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1« »||4.7 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||13.6 oz||380||n||Sep 2009||749||Panasonic GF1|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GF2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the V1, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon 1 V1 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic GF2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF2 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the V1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF2 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 12MP, the GF2 offers a higher resolution than the V1 (10MP), but the GF2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 3.41μm for the V1) due to its larger sensor. However, the V1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the GF2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GF2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon 1 V1 are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inch or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inch or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon 1 V1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon 1 V1||1-inch||10.0||3872||2592||1080/60i||21.3||11||346||54||Nikon 1 V1|
|Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54||Panasonic GF2|
|Canon G15||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||19.9||11.5||165||46||Canon G15|
|Fujifilm X10||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65||Nikon 1 J5|
|Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52||Nikon 1 V3|
|Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53||Nikon 1 J4|
|Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50||Nikon 1 V2|
|Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51||Olympus E-P3|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54||Panasonic GF1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon 1 V1 and Panasonic GF2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon 1 V1||1440||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Nikon 1 V1|
|Panasonic GF2||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic GF2|
|Canon G15||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y||Canon G15|
|Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n||Nikon 1 J5|
|Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n||Nikon 1 V3|
|Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0||1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n||Nikon 1 J4|
|Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0||Y||n||Nikon 1 V2|
|Olympus E-P3||optional||n||3.0||614||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P3|
|Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.2||Y||n||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic GF1|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF2 has a touchscreen, while the V1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V1 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon 1 V1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the V1 and the GF2 write their files to SDXC cards. The V1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GF2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon 1 V1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon 1 V1||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon 1 V1|
|Panasonic GF2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF2|
|Canon G15||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G15|
|Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon 1 J5|
|Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon 1 V3|
|Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon 1 J4|
|Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon 1 V2|
|Olympus E-P3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Panasonic G3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GF3||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF3|
|Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic G10||Y||mono||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic G2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G2|
|Panasonic GF1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF1|
It is notable that the GF2 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The V1 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the V1 and the GF2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF2 was replaced by the Panasonic GF3, while the V1 was followed by the Nikon 1 V2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon 1 V1 or the Panasonic GF2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon 1 V1:
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the GF2).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x68mm vs 113x76mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 73g or 19 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (9 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 V1 and the Panasonic GF2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V1 or the GF2. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D C vs Nikon 1 V1
- Canon T7 vs Nikon 1 V1
- Canon XTi vs Panasonic GF2
- Epson R-D1 vs Nikon 1 V1
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Panasonic GF2
- Leica CL vs Panasonic GF2
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic GF2
- Nikon 1 V1 vs Panasonic GF1
- Nikon 1 V1 vs Ricoh GR
- Nikon D7000 vs Panasonic GF2
- Nikon D850 vs Panasonic GF2
- Olympus E-M5 vs Panasonic GF2
Specifications: Nikon 1 V1 vs Panasonic GF2
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon 1 mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2011||November 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3872 x 2592 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.41 μm||4.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||8.64 MP/cm2||5.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-3200 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-6400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||54|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.3||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||346||506|
|Screen Specs||Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||2.6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon 1 V1||Panasonic GF2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
113 x 76 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.7 in)
113 x 68 x 33 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||383 g (13.5 oz)||310 g (10.9 oz)|
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