Friday, March 2, 2012

Nikon V1 and Coolpix P6000 Comparison - Magnification - 01 Mar 2012

I spent some time this morning testing both the Nikon V1 and Coolpix P6000 cameras w/ the Zeiss 85T*Fl and 20-60X and 40X W eyepieces. I focused the scope on a flowering tree approximately 100' away. The Coolpix P6000 was shot at ISO 100, while the V1 was shot at Auto ISO (100-400).  This comparison is meant just to see how the two cameras compare in terms of magnification and field of view.

Coolpix P6000 and 20-60X eyepiece (at 20X)

The camera has a zoom lens (4X) that ranges between 6mm - 24mm (35mm equivalent is 28mm - 112mm).  Vignetting is visible w/ the 20-60X zoom eyepiece, at 20X, until you zoom the camera to about 18mm (or 72mm in terms of 35mm equivalent). Using Mike McDowell's equation the Effective Focal Length of the digiscoping rig is 800 - 3200mm.

Nikon V1 and 20-60X eyepiece (at 20X)

The Nikon V1 has a 10 - 30 (35mm equivalent is 30 - 90mm) zoom lens with focal length markings at 10, 14, 18, 24 and 30mm.  I took photos at each of these markings.  Vignetting disappears at about 18 mm w/ the 20X eyepiece. Effective focal length for the digiscoping rig is ~ 850 - 2600mm.

Although this lens does not get the magnification of the P6000, at 90 mm focus remains sharp.  On the P6000 focus is soft at 112 mm because the lens / eyepiece separation is too large to maintain correct focal length.

P6000 and 40X W eyepiece

With the 40X W eyepiece the effective focal length of this digiscoping rig is ~1800 - 7200mm.  Vignetting disappears with just a short click of the zoom.

Nikon V1 and 40X W eyepiece

The effective focal length of this digiscoping rig is ~1900 - 5800 mm.  Vignetting is eliminated at about 18 mm zoom on the 10-30 mm lens.

The image quality is really good from both cameras, but the V1 really shines in terms of being able to autofocus and capture 10 fps (RAW + Jpg) compared to the 0.7 fps of the Coolpix P6000.  I'm losing a touch of magnification w/ the V1, but that's ok.  The tube adaptor I've been able to create provides for faster setup and camera alignment, and provides a stable setup for hands-free operation.  If I can get the scope on the bird, chances are good that I can get a photo or two before it takes off. 

But just like any rig, image quality will degrade exponentially with distance, so make sure that the subject is in the optimal range of 20 - 100'.  My next test will compare how the cameras handle exposure under the same lighting conditions: the smaller sensor of the P6000 gathers more light and subsequently will provide a faster shutter speed compared to the V1 at the same aperture.  But how much? Stay tuned...


JRandSue said...

I Digiscope with the nikon P6000,and i'm always on the lookout for a more improved camera.
nikon p7000and Nikon p7100,did not cut the cake.
So will stay put.

Sjerp Weima said...

This is a very interesting comparison: your statement on shutter speeds in relation to sensor size really intriguing. How does this effect results with M4/3 sensors?
Looking forward to more of these posts,
Regards, Sjerp

Lloyd said...

Jerry: I really appreciate your post. I am looking forward to your future posts on this comparison. I just recently purchased the V1 and am experimenting with it myself. I have been using the P6000 for 3+ years. I plan to do some comparison testing of the two cameras myself. I am not certain at this point that the V1 is taking better photos. I will let you know what I decide and why. Thanks, Lloyd Cripe