I Rented One to Compare -Part 1

Started May 2, 2012 | Discussions
RichardTrueman
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I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
May 2, 2012

If you don’t like D800 to Canon comparisons, please read no further.

Myself, I felt the best way to find out about the D800 compared to my Canon was to rent one and put it through my typical subjects and work flow using the 5DII and the D800 side by side. I also rented the 50 f1.4 nikkor as I have the Canon equivalent.

I’m primarily interested in FX image quality and dynamic range. Using the D800 in DX mode, I will also be able to compare my 7D with my 50mm mounted, but this is secondary to my main goal.

I’ve rented for 1 week from Lens Rental Canada and the package came yesterday. I spent the first night reading the manual and setting up the options for the Nikon.

Camera Settings:
Aperture Priority, mostly f8,
single point autofocus
Matrix, Evaluative Metering
Raw 14 bit, lossless compressed, Full Size Raw on the Canon

Processing:
Adobe LR 4.1 RC2, default settings,
Adobe Standard Profile
Sharpness: 60, 08, 70, 50

The sun came out and I went to one of my favorite haunts for testing lenses or cameras, the dock and boats. All pictures were hand held and center point focused. Then brought into LR.

5DII = 1:38s to download and create previews
D800 = 2.33s to download and create previews

40 to 50 MB each for the NEFs
25 to 35 MB each for the CR2s

In most of the pictures, the Canon exposed the scenes about 1/3 brighter than the Nikon pictures, making Nikon’s darker and more saturated . However when the exposure and ISO were identical, Nikon’s files were still a little darker, more saturated. Perhaps its Adobe’s Standard Profile processing of the NEFs or the difference in the 50mm lenses, the nikkor being much more recent.

I’m posting these as I usually view them, screen size on my 17” MacBook Pro. the Canon file is first, the Nikon second.

Canon exposure brought down by .30

(100% crops) notice the license plate is readable in the Nikon file

At home afterwards, I tried a bounce flash picture of our Teddys. The Nikon came out at 4350 and the Canon at 5250. The flashes were not of equal power. I brought them closer by raising the Nikon and lowering the Canon temperature. They were both 1/60s at f8

100% crops

I will continue and refine this process of comparing as well as put the 50mm on my 7D and compare it to the DX mode. I will also report back on printing a 15 by 22 on my Epson 3800 when the right picture comes along. Stay tuned for “I Rented One to Compare -Part 2”

OTHER CONCERNS

As I used to be a Nikon owner, D70, D2x, I have no problem switching between the two company’s interfaces. Below are some of the noted differences, not related to my test for IQ and DR.

First day out: D800 viewfinder seems brighter and shutter quieter with a metallic clink, 5DII sounds like clapboard doors opening and closing. The D800 shutter release is far more touchy than what I’m used to, often I took a picture before I was ready. The Nikon body felt “crowded” and I have medium sized hands. It seems a bit button crazy too.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 7D Nikon D2X Nikon D70 Nikon D800
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69chevy
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Re: I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Did you use the new lens correction function of the latest DPP update on the 5dII images?

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Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
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Re: I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
In reply to 69chevy, May 2, 2012

I use photographs of multiple whiskey bottles (and other bottles) for the same purpose.

I think that the photo of the boat is actually a lovely shot.

Without being able to read the number of the car though, it's just nothing... ;> )

Level of detail such as this is just another form of noise. It has nothing to do with good photography.

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fujiar
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Re: I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
In reply to Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee, May 2, 2012

Great comparison, I am surprised that the images are very similar apart from the crops. I was expecting to see a huge difference but there is not.

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RichardTrueman
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69chevy
In reply to 69chevy, May 2, 2012

69chevy
I used the lens corrections in LR, I did not use the Canon software

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RichardTrueman
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fujiar
In reply to fujiar, May 2, 2012

for my general screen use, I noticed too that there was little difference. The added detail when looking at the 100% crops is slight and just seems as if I used a moderate telephoto lens.

That level of sharpening I used, mentioned above in my article, may have been too much for the Mark II and not enough for the D800, experience and testing will show me more in the next week.

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69chevy
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Re: 69chevy
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Thanks.

I was curious as to the benefit of the DPP corrections.

I read somewhere that the lens software added to DPP is the same as the onboard correction software in the 5D3.

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shawn in ak
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Re: fujiar
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Both deliver great images as expected.

The D800 might have a slight edge in tonal range, but maybe it's because I'm looking for it.

Not to mention the 5DII can be had for about half the price.

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Jasper in SF
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Re: I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Nice shots and comparison, thanks. Is it me (or my monitor) but does the ramp in the left hand side exhibit some chroma noise/abberation in the Nikon pic (the 100% Crop)? If it's there, it's insignificant, really, and as another poster has suggested with regard to the license plates has nothing to do with good photography.

Cheers,

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'There is no un-suck filter.'

  • David duChemin

Which is too bad, because I could sure use one.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasper_rubin/

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RichardTrueman
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Jasper
In reply to Jasper in SF, May 2, 2012

Yes, you are correct, especially visible in the 100% crops. LR 4.1 chromatic correction for the nikkor was not as good as the correction for the Canon, but it was checked to be applied for both pictures in the post processing.

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wkay
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Re: I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Hard to make any IQ comparison when different lenses are used. Nikon image seems more 'delicate' but CA/fringing seems to be a plague.. surprising. Need to get an adaptor and use the same lens on both cameras.

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Jasper in SF
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Re: Jasper
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Ah. Thanks for your reply. After a fashion this seems to jibe with other recent threads regarding differing effects on images from different cams generated by software. Another moving piece in a complex puzzle. Sometime I just want to grab my dad's old Yashica TLR....

Best Regards,

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  • David duChemin

Which is too bad, because I could sure use one.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasper_rubin/

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jsmiller
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Many thanks- helped with my decision.
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

Try to decide between the 5D III and the D800, I have been looking at lots of images, and I appreciate the ones you have posted. Leaving aside the CA in the Nikon exposures, I find the overall feel of the images in the 100% view to be rather different. It's hard to describe, but somehow the Canon shots look more realistic, natural. For example, the posts holding up the railing on the boat look rather different, and to my eyes the Nikon image looks a bit artifical (this could be CA in play). It would have been nice if the 5D III were used for this, but I suspect it whould have been even better. The license plate readibility is not a resolution issue. It is darker in the Canon shot, which makes it harder to read. If you look at the sign to the left, you get a better idea of the resolution difference. But in the end, both of these cameras are superb, and the photographer, not the camera choice, will determine how good the images are.

What has finally decided things for me are the lenses (though there several other factors as well). Canon simply has the lenses of that I want without Nikon equivalents. If I fold in lens costs, then the difference in body costs virtually goes away when I buy what I want, picking the compromises I have to make with Nikon and the exact lenses I want with Canon.

(I own both Nikon and Canon cameras and have no particular brand loyalty other that after decdes of using both I tend to be more satisfied with Canons.)

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RichardTrueman
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JSmiller
In reply to jsmiller, May 2, 2012

Thanks for your reasoned response. I too have owned both and will probably own both again is I can swing it (afford it)

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GaryJP
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Is it just me?
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 2, 2012

To my eyes, the Canon lens slays the Nikon lens, particularly on the number plate crop.

The chromatic aberration is the only artifact in either of these images that really bugs me.

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RichardTrueman
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garyJP
In reply to GaryJP, May 2, 2012

The top one is Canon, the bottom is Nikon, if you still insist then mybe my eyes should be checked LOL

I know the license plate is not the subject of the other wise, nice picture, but I thought it would give some resolving power credence to the 36 vs 22 MP, -slight but there.

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GaryJP
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Re: garyJP
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 3, 2012

RichardTrueman wrote:

The top one is Canon, the bottom is Nikon, if you still insist then mybe my eyes should be checked LOL

I know that. I'm not talking about resolution.

It's the bottom one that seems to have the less good lens and more fringing.

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whitehat
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Re: I Rented One to Compare -Part 1
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 3, 2012

At first I thought this was an MK3 vs. D800 comparison - but it's an MK2 - nice.
Same conclusion in my book.

Each camera off the line is not going to be the same, neither is every lens.

Actually given everything a 2K MK2 vs. 3K+ D800 - MK2 is looking mighty nice. I sold 2 a month back as trade-in for my MK3's. Great cameras.

For a first time buyer either one would be fine. If you are with one vendor don't switch - not worth it. If you buying fresh - your choice, either is fine. Each has advantages and disadvantages from a technical or operational standpoint.

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SubPrime
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Re: Is it just me?
In reply to GaryJP, May 3, 2012

GaryJP wrote:

To my eyes, the Canon lens slays the Nikon lens, particularly on the number plate crop.

Slays? Hmm, a bit over the top don't you think?

Actually, neitehr lens is doing a great job. The Canon has ghosting (a noticeable white outline) and the Nikon has CA.

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Horshack
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Here's a comp I did last night
In reply to RichardTrueman, May 3, 2012

D800 + 50mm f/1.4G and 5DM2 50mm f/1.4, both at f/5.6, equal exposures, tripod+timer release/MLUP/exposure delay, distance to subject about 10 feet, manual focus, ACR 6.7beta all defaults, both downsized to 12MP via bicubic sharper:

100% center crop, D800 on left, 5DM2 on right:

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