D700 Review up...

Started Oct 7, 2008 | Discussions
Contributing MemberPosts: 997
Re: Dynamic range
In reply to Ken_5D, Oct 10, 2008

I want to know what the real-life usable DR is because colour accuracy goes at the extremes. So the A900 might have a wide range but is it just showing light greys at the top end or is there accurate colour in there?

The DPR reviews needs to show what the range is where colour is accurate and not just the theoretical range (which will always be much higher).


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Senior MemberPosts: 2,753
Re: Dynamic range
In reply to Ken_5D, Oct 10, 2008

Ken_5D wrote:

12 vs 14 bit has little to with DR.. just how many steps between top
and bottom

That is true only if the sensor doesn't offer more dynamic range than you can capture with 12 bits (which, to be fair, seems to be the case for most sensors today).

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Senior MemberPosts: 2,102Gear list
Aarif: I changed my mind - hence ordered the A900
In reply to aarif, Oct 10, 2008

I was also wanting a 14MP FF rather than the 25MP FF that they came out with. I felt (and still do) that a 14MP FF can be wondrous in terms of being able to push the ISO envelope upward and have reasonable resolution, while being able to have manageable file sizes - a better all-rounder so to say.

But to be quite frank, the later images from the A900 have been just stunning, which has bought me over to the A900 camp. I know that the file sizes will be massive (I only shoot RAW and hence JPEG performance is irrelevant to me) but I guess that is something I have to live with.

Also, when you say "exactly the same as the A700, just more resolution", I think you are wrong. The EXMOR sensor design is essentially the same as the A700, but shooting FF and shooting APS-C are entirely different, since the format is different. An identically framed image will have a whole different "look", when shot FF vs APS-C, even if the perspective is the same - the resolution difference being just a secondary factor. Similar to saying that a 24mm (equivalent) shot with a 2/3" sensor and a 24mm equivalent (real 16mm) shot with a 1.5x APS-c sensor, will have a different "look". To reiterate, unlike what many people think, an APS-C product and a FF product are 2 entirely different formats, even if you are able to interchangeably use lenses.

My A900 should be coming in today. My 5-month old mint A700 + 3-month old mint 16-80, are on sale on Dyxum.

Bottomline, the A900 and the D700 are both Full-frames but the A900 is a resolution beast, while the D700 is a high-ISO champ. 2 entirely different purposes and hence you cannot say one is better or worser than the other. They both just happen to be Full-frame cameras. The A900's architecture, with its 100% VF with 0.74x mag and 5FPS at 24.6MP resolution, is similar to the 1DSMKIII than either the D700 or 5DII, even though it does not come with LV.

Also, the A900's 100% viewfinder is larger than the Nikon D3 or the Canon 1DSMKII. Only the Canon 1DSMKIII has a slightly larger VF than the A900 and no other dSLR EVER had a larger VF. The Canon 5D (I and II) and the D700 are obviously sub-100% and thus smaller and provides less precision. Note that providing a 100% VF will involve extremely precise manufacturing tolerances that a sub-100% VF does not have to contend with.

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Dave Oddie
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,731
Re: D700 Review up...
In reply to lock, Oct 10, 2008

I am going to make a prediction about the reviews of the A900 and Canon 5dMkii.

IMO the stage is set for the following dpr conclusions:

The D700 review we have already and its the master of high ISO - but is only 12 mpix

The A900 will be out next and will blow the D700 away resolution-wise but isn't so good at high ISO.

Finally out will come the 5DMkII review. It will be tad lower resolution than the Sony (but you won't notice) and a tad nosier than the D700 (but you won't notice).

Ta-da - Canon will be crowned the king.

Me, paranoid?


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sandy b
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,055Gear list
Not quite
In reply to Alphaville, Oct 10, 2008

From the review;

"As usual the default Adobe Camera RAW conversion delivers less dynamic range than JPEG from the camera (a more contrasty tone curve and very little noise reduction in shadows). But only when you make an effort and play with ACR's conversion parameters the sensor reveals its true capabilities. The best result we could achieve was 11.6 EV which is almost 5 (!) stops more than the default JPG output. It's no surprise then that in our real world tests we managed to recover highlights that had been hopelessly blown out (see below)."

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Veteran MemberPosts: 5,721
No, you've simply been here too long :----)))
In reply to Dave Oddie, Oct 10, 2008

Don't bother the conclusions. Read the lines, and read between the lines and draw your own conclusions.
Happy shooting.


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Veteran MemberPosts: 8,014
Re: Not quite
In reply to sandy b, Oct 10, 2008

sandy b wrote:

From the review;

"As usual the default Adobe Camera RAW conversion delivers less
dynamic range than JPEG from the camera (a more contrasty tone curve
and very little noise reduction in shadows). But only when you make
an effort and play with ACR's conversion parameters the sensor
reveals its true capabilities.

But even that measure is not an accurate representation of the
camera's DR:


Just my two oere
Erik from Sweden

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Regular MemberPosts: 447
cheap lenses for gil...
In reply to gil, Oct 10, 2008

I just acquired a Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f:2.5, I figure the build quality is pretty close to the ZA135/1.8 so I can pretend... when it's on my A900
18-70 kit lens
28-85 Macro 1st Gen Metal Body
70-210 f:4 (Killer Lens!)
Minolta 50mm f:1.4 + Kenko macro tube set (Shweeeeet!)
ProOptic 500mm f:5.6 Mirror Lens (Don't I Feel Special!)
Minolta 3600HS-d
Minolta Xt-Si
Olympus XA
1953 Minolta 35 Model II (Leica M39 mount) w/ Coated Super Rokkor 45mm f:2.8
Jupiter-9 85mm f:2 (Russian Sonnar Clone) in M39
Rochester 5x7 plate camera

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John McMillin
Regular MemberPosts: 432Gear list
And as for DR tricks...
In reply to JawzX, Oct 10, 2008

Was it just me, or did the Nikon D700 show a pretty unimpressive performance in the DR department? Their Active D-lighting was less than delightful, showing very little improvement in the high-contrast scene. I don't have a Sony with DRO yet, but I've seen some very impressive tests of that feature. Working as I do in stark Western sunlight, that's the key feature tugging me away from my beloved KM 7D.

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José B
Forum ProPosts: 16,888Gear list
Re: Hi Jose - Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta
In reply to Matt Cham, Oct 15, 2008

Hi Matt,

Didn't get the chance to reply to your post as I was preparing for my LA trip. I had an all-pinoy shoot last weekend:


Congrats again with the new cam.



Matt Cham wrote:

José B wrote:

I was tempted by the D700 as well and I know a few Canonites added a
second system by purchasing it. You took the words from my
mouth----indeed the D700 is by far the best all-around FF. Portraits,
sports (VR is a must for me anyways and that comes with 8fps!) and
you have pretty clean high ISO.

Just for kicks I added the 14-24, the grip, the 24-70 and the 70-200
VR in an online store cart and immediately got a reality
check-----way too expensive!!! Heck, I am better off with the
insanely priced 200/2 L IS

Hi Jose, I'm pretty happy with the D3 so far, although it's only
been 3 days. Most Nikon lenses are definitely more expensive
than Canon's and even more disappointing is that most of
the fast Nikon primes have no USM/SSM.

The auto-ISO of my D3 is so much better (more intelligent,
more useful) than the auto-ISO of my 40D.

I have been looking very closely at the Canon and Nikon
200mm/f2 lenses. Nikon version is cheaper by $1,000 but
Canon version is lighter by 1 pound (5.5 vs 6.5 lbs). I am not
sure what application the 200/f2 will have, considering
it is too short for wildlife (unless 1.6x crop is used) and too
heavy for wedding candids.

As some of you may know, I switched from Minolta
to Canon, and now have both Canon and Nikon.
One of the things I like most about the D3 is that it
reminds me of the spectacular Minolta 7D ergonimics.
The D3 has very many buttons and knobs instead of
Canon's deep menus and Canon's functions that
require two bottons to be pressed simultaneously
while the wheel is being turned (3-finger operation).
I do not think there is a Nikon feature that needs
3 fingers to operate, and neither did my old Minolta 7D.

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Matt Cham

My Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/mattcham/

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