D5200 vs D7000 at 6400 LR4/Topaz

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Reilly Diefenbach
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D5200 vs D7000 at 6400 LR4/Topaz
Jan 31, 2013

I've downloaded the Imaging Resource 6400 raws with no NR and put them through my usual processing for high ISO.  A lot of you use LR 4/ACR for your post, as do I, so I thought I'd give it a whack:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51747496@N08/sets/72157632037385165/

LR4.3, Color noise 25, sharpening 10, no luma NR.  Sharpening needs to be mostly off for best results with Topaz.

Topaz Denoise 5, settings on request. Varies with body.

LR Sharpening about 25, radius .05, detail 50

Save full size jpg.

I added the D600 and D800e just for comparison.

The D5200 produces a noticeably more detailed pic, but the reds are washed out and blotching into the gray.  "Fiddler's Elbow" is a mess.  The white scale is no longer white regardless of WB. Increasing saturation makes the blotching worse.

The D7000 has much better retention of color accuracy and contrast. "Fiddler's Elbow" is the proper shade of red and the color chart next to it looks squared away.  No need at all to goose color.  Very impressive. The noise from the D7000 sensor is of coarser quality than the D5200 and therefore needs heavier NR to achieve my personal threshold of reasonable smoothness, at the cost of some detail. Reasonable NR vs detail varies by individual sensitivity/requirements, of course.

Some might have been thinking they could get a D5200 that would hang with the D600 at high ISO. Forget about it.  The D600 has better color retention by a wide margin, as well as a ton of immaculate detail.  Shadow NR with Topaz is a sight to behold. The pic is flat out beautiful to see. It might bring a tear to the eye of anyone who goes back to the film days :^)  The D800e is even more detailed, requiring very little denoising, but a shade lower contrast.

Another raw conversion may yield better 6400 from the D5200, as might a different, deeper shadowed test shot, and I'll be trying CNX2 for sure.

At no point would this outcome affect any potential D5200 purchasing decision of mine, as I shoot at ISO 100 about 90% of the time, but once in a while...

Nikon D5200 Nikon D600 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800E
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