So, I have a 6D and a D600 in hand right now...

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
whyamihere
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Re: So, I have a 6D and a D600 in hand right now...
In reply to whyamihere, Dec 20, 2012

Hello again,

I suppose now is as good a time as any to look at image detail and white balance control.

I have a few photos here of of my cats (because the internet needs more pictures of cats, right?). Again, a few disclaimers: While some of the parameters have been kept the same for comparative purposes, this is not a scientific test. Also, while there may be better formats for portraying the qualities that I wish to point out, I chose to import the RAW files from each camera into Lightroom and immediately export them as JPEG's. The final images get the point across, I feel.

The following two photos were shot at f/4 and ISO 6400. All other parameters were left to their 'normal' or 'auto' values, with the exception of the Nikon D600 which required a -0.3EV adjustment to produce a similar exposure (the Canon 6D was left at "0"). The lighting is a very un-ideal pair of overhead 60 watt equivalent fluorescent light bulbs. A very challenging situation for most cameras.

Nikon D600

Canon 6D

I think the results here are pretty obvious. Aside from the stereotypical orange cast that we see in most cameras under crappy indoor lighting rearing its ugly head in the Canon image (I was able to get rid of it in Lightroom), we can see that both images retain a lot of detail, though Nikon gives you 4MP more... detail. Unless your prints are poster-sized huge, I don't think anyone will notice the difference. You can also see some differences in the dynamic range where Nikon edges out the Canon, although this difference is largely moot if you plan on shooting RAW and doing post-processing (again, I was able to compensate using Lightroom to the point where the two images were nearly indistinguishable from one another). There's some difference in the noise levels, but not enough for me to declare a 'winner' because it's closer to 'grain' more than 'distracting bits of discoloration'.

Here are two images of my other cat. These were taken at dawn on a couch near a window that does not face the Sun (effectively, low ambient but naturally occurring light). These were shot at f/2.8 and ISO 6400. I'm going to crop her face because there are a lot of out of focus elements (which is partly my fault... but it didn't help that she turned her head, either). For the sake of reference, I'm also going to use the same pixel dimensions.

Nikon D600

Close up, you can see the texture of the skin on her nose, individual hairs, and a reflection of me in the dark bits of her eyes. I see grain, not noise. Any minor color differences can be corrected in any RAW editor, but the white balance looks awesome to me in both.

So, minor [and correctable] differences aside, the Nikon produces a little more detail based on it's slightly higher resolution alone. After that, it's players' choice in my opinion.

 whyamihere's gear list:whyamihere's gear list
Nikon D7000 NEX5R Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +2 more
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