5D-II vs D800E test - with SAME lens.

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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davexl
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5D-II vs D800E test - with SAME lens.
May 14, 2012

Bookshelf Test.

Having just upgraded from the 5D-II to the D800E, I have been running some tests I thought I would share. Lots of tests are floating about, but I have not seen any like this - done with the exact same lens . Apples to Apples.

This test is with a older 50mm lens that is still outresolving the sensor, but unlike recent Nikon lenses has a manual aperture ring - so f8 is as consistent on both cameras as we can get.

I have tried to make things as equal as possible. Same lens, shot a few minutes apart using an adapter to fit it on the Canon, with aperture and focus manually set, and checked with live view, and the best one used. As it happens I did manage to swap lenses without bumping anything.

In Lightroom 4 RC2 - Colour Calibration Profiles are custom made using the Xrite Colorchecker passport - works very well, I have never had colour as consistent between brands before.

Slight lighting change outside due to clouds.

Sharpening is 150, radius 0.9, detail 0. Not my personal preference, but I have found the detail slider can give very different effects on these cameras, (5DII is way more sensitive) so I wanted to eliminate sharpening differences.

100% Crops - but both uprezzed to 10,000 pixels, so that the 5D-II is not disadvantaged by being the only one resampled. (click to see all of image)

The black Cinefex magazines show the most difference - the spine text is mostly illegible on the 5D-II, and legible on the D800E.

Crops at 100%:

Thoughts:

Resolution

An easy win to the D800E, as you would expect, but as the uprez test shows, it is not as large as 22 vs 36 sounds (of course - area vs linear). Nothing the Canon has to be too ashamed of I think.

My Mum could probably not tell the difference, but then, she is not the one paying me to do great work and print it big either.

The D800e seems to me to be somewhere in between cameras lacking an AA filter and ones with. You do not seem to get shocking moire surprises, and the extra detail is worthwhile. (But the D800 can be sharpened up into something very, very close)

I think AA filters are becoming less relevant. On a 6MP sensor, removing it makes a big deal. On 36MP, not so much.

The moire in these images is surprisingly comparable - not a big deal, and it cleans up perfectly in Lightroom with the brush.

Worth switching brands over?

For me, yes - the MP plus the DR plus the world class high ISO plus incredibly robust files for heavy PP - but that hardly counts, as it is a switch back to Nikon - my 5D-II was a stopgap to give me high MP for a reasonable price while Nikon was asleep. I had decided to hold off on selling the rest of my Nikon glass (except the 14-24) until I saw the 5D-III and the D800, and thankfully Nikon decided to really swing for the fences. I had resigned myself to Nikon ignoring me again, and was mucho surprised.

If you have a bunch of Canon glass then the decision is much harder, and I would think for the vast majority the sensible answer would be no. But hey, this is the DPR forums... sensible discussion left the building long ago

I am working on the really interesting test - the Nikon 14-24 to follow, when I can work out how to keep the adapted aperture consistent.

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Things I have clicked with: Agfa 110, Minolta X-300, X700, Nikon F3, F4, Hassleblad 500C/M, 4x5", D70, D200, Canon 1Ds, II, D2x, D3, Canon 5D-II, D800E

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