High ISO - D4 better than D800?

Started Jul 14, 2012 | Discussions
Wolfgang1756
Regular MemberPosts: 205
Like?
High ISO - D4 better than D800?
Jul 14, 2012

I love my D800. I can take hand held shots at night like the one below.

However I am curious, how much better is the D4 when it comes to > 3200 ISO? How many stops?

Please bear in mind that if one resizes the D800's 36MP image to 16MP, one would gain 1-2 stops (I assume).

So what is the "net" advantage of the D4 over the D800?

Also, while I am asking this question, can I also throw in the Canon EOS-5D Mark III and the EOS-1D X?

I assume that the EOS-1D X will be about one stop better than the EOS-5D Mark III? Being at 18MP instead of 22MP?

Thanks!

Nikon D4 Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
jroyer
Forum MemberPosts: 67
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

You ask a lot of good questions. I have both the D4 and D800. The D800 is very impressive in terms of its ISO performance, however I found in general when shooting portraits in natural light ISO 1600 is as far as I will go, even there, while the file look fine, the skin does not look natural to me.

On the contrary, when I shoot wit hthe D4, the skin for portrait at ISO 1600 is almost as smooth as ISO 100! No NR needed where for the D800 you do need quite a bit of NR at ISO 1600. With the D4 depending on lighting I find all the way to 6400 can look great! At first I thought I would sell the D4 when I got the D800, but for shooting inside without flash, there is no equivalent.

As for the 1DX, well I am getting one next week, so I will be able to compare first hand (Have lots of Canon lens as well...). Finally personally I did not like the 5D mkIII. I have the 5D mkII and did not find IQ to be that much better. Yes ISO performance was improved with the mkIII, but I would prefer living with the D800 if I only had one camera and the D4 kiils the 5D mkIII.

They are all great camera however and anyone of them would make most poeple very happy.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wolfgang1756
Regular MemberPosts: 205
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to jroyer, Jul 14, 2012

Thanks for the input.

So you reckon the D4 has a two stop advantage over the D800? Really? Even when downsizing? That is significant.

What was the EOS-5D Mark III like compared to the D4? You say it was killed by the D4. High ISO wise was it in the middle between the D4 and D800?

Lucky you getting the EOS-1D X and D4 both!

jroyer wrote:

You ask a lot of good questions. I have both the D4 and D800. The D800 is very impressive in terms of its ISO performance, however I found in general when shooting portraits in natural light ISO 1600 is as far as I will go, even there, while the file look fine, the skin does not look natural to me.

On the contrary, when I shoot wit hthe D4, the skin for portrait at ISO 1600 is almost as smooth as ISO 100! No NR needed where for the D800 you do need quite a bit of NR at ISO 1600. With the D4 depending on lighting I find all the way to 6400 can look great! At first I thought I would sell the D4 when I got the D800, but for shooting inside without flash, there is no equivalent.

As for the 1DX, well I am getting one next week, so I will be able to compare first hand (Have lots of Canon lens as well...). Finally personally I did not like the 5D mkIII. I have the 5D mkII and did not find IQ to be that much better. Yes ISO performance was improved with the mkIII, but I would prefer living with the D800 if I only had one camera and the D4 kiils the 5D mkIII.

They are all great camera however and anyone of them would make most poeple very happy.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
m_appeal
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,434
Like?
I don't find that ISO 1600 needs NR on for portraits
In reply to jroyer, Jul 14, 2012

Here is a crop from a shot taken at ISO 1600...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
wasserball
Senior MemberPosts: 2,331
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

Wolfgang1756 wrote:
Thanks for the input.

So you reckon the D4 has a two stop advantage over the D800? Really? Even when downsizing? That is significant.

What was the EOS-5D Mark III like compared to the D4? You say it was killed by the D4. High ISO wise was it in the middle between the D4 and D800?

Lucky you getting the EOS-1D X and D4 both!

jroyer wrote:

You ask a lot of good questions. I have both the D4 and D800. The D800 is very impressive in terms of its ISO performance, however I found in general when shooting portraits in natural light ISO 1600 is as far as I will go, even there, while the file look fine, the skin does not look natural to me.

On the contrary, when I shoot wit hthe D4, the skin for portrait at ISO 1600 is almost as smooth as ISO 100! No NR needed where for the D800 you do need quite a bit of NR at ISO 1600. With the D4 depending on lighting I find all the way to 6400 can look great! At first I thought I would sell the D4 when I got the D800, but for shooting inside without flash, there is no equivalent.

As for the 1DX, well I am getting one next week, so I will be able to compare first hand (Have lots of Canon lens as well...). Finally personally I did not like the 5D mkIII. I have the 5D mkII and did not find IQ to be that much better. Yes ISO performance was improved with the mkIII, but I would prefer living with the D800 if I only had one camera and the D4 kiils the 5D mkIII.

They are all great camera however and anyone of them would make most poeple very happy.

I missed out. Where did jroyer write that the D4 is 2 stops better (800 to 1600 is 1 stop), and I didn't see anything about cropping (downsizing) either.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
wasserball
Senior MemberPosts: 2,331
Like?
Re: I don't find that ISO 1600 needs NR on for portraits
In reply to m_appeal, Jul 14, 2012

very cute, maybe NR is not required, but removing blemishes will make this image perfect.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jroyer
Forum MemberPosts: 67
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

I dont really look at it in terms of "stops" performance. Yes I did get great shots with the D800 at ISO 1600, dont get me wrong, but taking the same shot with the D4 will yield a more natural skin tone and skin composition (just my preference) under the same condition. For portrait, you I also find the longer your focal lenght and more zoomed your subject is on your shot, the more you can get away with shooting at high ISO.

Could I make a great shot at ISO 2500 with the D800 using the 70-200mm for example? Of course we can, but taking the same shot with the D4 will yield better result in my humble personal experience with both cameras.

So it is not so much a noise thing (maybe I dont describe it well). So it is not the D800 is not good at ISO 1600 and above, just that beyond ISO 1600, the difference with the D4 gets bigger, in my personal opinion. Again I am not a pro reviewer, or pro-photographer earning a living with this, I just use them. My comments are based on my observations for my shooting conditions...

Hope this helps.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Guidenet
Forum ProPosts: 12,436Gear list
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

I'm just curious. Why would resizing the 36 mp image to 16 mp gain me ISO performance? How do we know a particular 18 mp camera is better at ISO capability than a 22 mp camera?

Furthermore, wouldn't each image be a little different. One low light scene might be different from another but be the same exposure. One might produce more noise and require more invasive post production work though the same camera and exposure was used.

This ranking of the cameras by stops of ISO seems to be self defeating at best. They are all very good in this area.

-- hide signature --

Cheers, Craig

Follow me on Twitter @craighardingsr : Equipment in Profile

 Guidenet's gear list:Guidenet's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D3S Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF +24 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Luke Kaven
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,081
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

The only issue with the D800 in low light is thermal noise, and this can be addressed with a simple black-frame subtraction, and is only necessary above ISO6400. In my experience, with this relatively simple treatment, the D800 is the equal of the D4 in low light response.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Luke Kaven
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,081
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

Wolfgang1756 wrote:

Thanks for the input.

So you reckon the D4 has a two stop advantage over the D800? Really? Even when downsizing? That is significant.

Not so. The D800 is equivalent in low light response. There is only one extra consideration, and that is for thermal noise above ISO6400. But the thermal noise can be eliminated with a dark frame subtraction.

Given that doing dark frame subtraction is a bit of a chore, for a good fast workflow, I'd choose the D4 over ISO6400. But for quality results, I'd use the D800 and a dark frame subtraction without hesitating at ISO25600 and even ISO51200.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Luke Kaven
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,081
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Guidenet, Jul 14, 2012

Guidenet wrote:

I'm just curious. Why would resizing the 36 mp image to 16 mp gain me ISO performance? How do we know a particular 18 mp camera is better at ISO capability than a 22 mp camera?

We measure the performance of a sensor per unit area of the sensor no matter how many pixels are recorded. So for this, we place two images for comparison into equal size containers.

The effect of downsampling is to eliminate high frequency noise. Downsampling is just a low-pass filter, so eliminating high frequencies is what it is designed to do. In cases such as this, where most of the noise produced at high ISO is high frequency noise, it gives us the benefit where we most want it.

Furthermore, wouldn't each image be a little different. One low light scene might be different from another but be the same exposure. One might produce more noise and require more invasive post production work though the same camera and exposure was used.

True! Response in noise terms is not entirely even across the signal range.

This ranking of the cameras by stops of ISO seems to be self defeating at best. They are all very good in this area.

Agreed, and measuring in stops ignores the real qualitative differences.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
InTheMist
Senior MemberPosts: 2,268Gear list
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Guidenet, Jul 14, 2012

Guidenet wrote:

I'm just curious. Why would resizing the 36 mp image to 16 mp gain me ISO performance?

That's kinda the secret with the D800. There are so many pixels and you're averaging pixels when you downsize.

This picture, for example, looks like pounded crap at 100%, but not half bad at this res.:

-- hide signature --

Ridicule is not C&C nor is it being helpful nor "stating your opinion"
http://www.flickr.com/InTheMist

 InTheMist's gear list:InTheMist's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon 1 AW1 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RicksAstro
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,297Gear list
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 14, 2012

If you want quantitative answers, you can look at DXOMark(cut-n-paste it in):

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/ (appareil1) 795%7C0 (brand) Canon (appareil2) 792%7C0 (brand2) Nikon (appareil3) 767%7C0 (brand3) Nikon

If you go to the measuremens tab and click on SNR 18%, making sure "print" is selected, it will give you the info you desire. The andwer there is, when viewed at the same size, the D4, D800 and 5DIII are basically the same at high ISOs.

The biggest differentiation between them is Dynamic range, where the D800 is kind at low ISOs and the D4 excels at high ISOs. Above ISO 1600, the D800 and 5DIII are about the same with the 5DIII slightly ahead as they increase.

Wolfgang1756 wrote:

I love my D800. I can take hand held shots at night like the one below.

However I am curious, how much better is the D4 when it comes to > 3200 ISO? How many stops?

Please bear in mind that if one resizes the D800's 36MP image to 16MP, one would gain 1-2 stops (I assume).

So what is the "net" advantage of the D4 over the D800?

Also, while I am asking this question, can I also throw in the Canon EOS-5D Mark III and the EOS-1D X?

I assume that the EOS-1D X will be about one stop better than the EOS-5D Mark III? Being at 18MP instead of 22MP?

Thanks!

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Guidenet
Forum ProPosts: 12,436Gear list
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Luke Kaven, Jul 14, 2012

I appreciate your help a lot. Thanks
--
Cheers, Craig

Follow me on Twitter @craighardingsr : Equipment in Profile

 Guidenet's gear list:Guidenet's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D3S Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF +24 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Guidenet
Forum ProPosts: 12,436Gear list
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to InTheMist, Jul 14, 2012

Thank you so much. That image helped a lot.
--
Cheers, Craig

Follow me on Twitter @craighardingsr : Equipment in Profile

 Guidenet's gear list:Guidenet's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D3S Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF +24 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Horshack
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,923
Like?
Here...
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 15, 2012
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nikhgan
Senior MemberPosts: 1,551
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to jroyer, Jul 15, 2012

You have a lot of canon stuff, but it seems that you only post in the nikon forum...

jroyer wrote:

As for the 1DX, well I am getting one next week, so I will be able to compare first hand (Have lots of Canon lens as well...). Finally personally I did not like the 5D mkIII. I have the 5D mkII and did not find IQ to be that much better. Yes ISO performance was improved with the mkIII, but I would prefer living with the D800 if I only had one camera and the D4 kiils the 5D mkIII.

They are all great camera however and anyone of them would make most poeple very happy.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wolfgang1756
Regular MemberPosts: 205
Like?
Re: Here...
In reply to Horshack, Jul 15, 2012

Very useful link. Thanks.

A shame it doesn't have the D4 and/or 1D X.

At 6400 ISO they all look very close. At 25,600 ISO to me the D3s has a slight edge.

Horshack wrote:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=41811001

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
studio460
Contributing MemberPosts: 666Gear list
Like?
Re: Here...
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 15, 2012

Interesting thread!

 studio460's gear list:studio460's gear list
Kodak EasyShare C300 +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Motts
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,993
Like?
Re: High ISO - D4 better than D800?
In reply to Wolfgang1756, Jul 15, 2012

Wolfgang1756 wrote:

Please bear in mind that if one resizes the D800's 36MP image to 16MP, one would gain 1-2 stops (I assume).

So you reckon the D4 has a two stop advantage over the D800? Really? Even when downsizing? That is significant.

Downsampling doesn't give you any high ISO advantage, it just means that you aren't enlarging the file so much when you look at it at 100%.

Downsizing or upsampling, it doesn't make any difference: you compare the output of the two cameras at the same size, not at a percentage like 100%. Otherwise comparisons are meaningless.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads