D800E vs. 5D3: Diminishing Returns or Reversal of Returns?

Started Jul 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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TOF guy
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The art of comparing cameras
In reply to Rick Knepper, Jul 19, 2013

The images are not processed the same. The foliage in the D800 image is clearly brighter while it is more in the mid tones in the 5d3 image. Which mean that the D800 foliage ends up where the gamma curve is less steep - making details harder to discern - and where human visions requires larger differences to get the same impression of details (Weber's law ). Foliage is pretty much devoid of fine details - but it has with a lot of subtle differences in greens in particular because the leaves are not uniformly illuminated. The foliage looses its 3D aspects if these differences are washed out as it is the case here in the D800 image due to poor image processing.

So the 1st step is to normalize levels. The exposure may not be the same (differences in camera settings or true ISO values ?) and / or curves need to be applied

There are some more subtle differences. A breeze is creating wavelets in part of the water surface in the 5D3 image, but other parts of the water surface are still and the trees reflections are sharp. The wavelets also contributes to make the scene less monotonous. By contrast there is not a clear indication of wind on the D800 image, no wavelets on the surface, but the water surface must be moving where the tree reflections are because these reflections are blurred. This gives the false impression that the D800 may not capture the details in the reflections because there is no obvious clue in that shot that the wind is blowing (we know it from the 5d3 image).

Even if everything were equal this is not a good scene to compare how details fare after downsizing. For this purpose you need a picture with lots of finer details.

But thank you for sharing the images and starting a good discussion.

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Thierry - posted as regular forum member

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