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Canon EOS 5D Mark III studio samples published

By dpreview staff on Mar 28, 2012 at 13:00 GMT
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Just posted: Canon EOS 5D Mark III studio samples. We've borrowed a production 5D Mark 3 and have been painstakingly shooting our standard test scene with it. Although they're very different cameras, we suspect some people will want to compare the 5D3 to Nikon's D800, which you'll now be able to do from any version of the comparison tool. You can also download the Raw files to process, print or examine in minute detail.

These test shots are also available from other reviews and the standalone tool, which can be accessed via the 'Review Comparison Tool' link in the Reviews menu on any page of the site.

 Click here to see the samples as part of our preview
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Comments

Total comments: 287
123
Alejandro del Pielago
By Alejandro del Pielago (Apr 6, 2012)

The worst blind is the one who doesn´t want to see (the rival victory... And should be taking great photos...).

0 upvotes
Bodhi Dharma Zen
By Bodhi Dharma Zen (Apr 5, 2012)

beyond fanboyism (for any side) there is something tangible, objective, its called reality, and we humans when we want to go beyond theories and beliefs (or fanboyism) need to see at the objective data, which speaks on its own... here is another proof about Canon's problems with DR: http://home.comcast.net/~NikonD70/Charts/PDR.htm#EOS%205D%20Mark%20II,D800,EOS%205D%20Mark%20III,D4

1 upvote
dspphotos
By dspphotos (Apr 5, 2012)

Here are some full-sized samples in 'typical' poor light.

http://www.iphotocourse.com/canon-eos-5d-mark-iii-review-iso-image-samples-full-size/

0 upvotes
ursamajorRO
By ursamajorRO (Apr 3, 2012)

Better than D4 and D3s. Canon must improve the APS-C sensors too.

0 upvotes
Torstein Wold
By Torstein Wold (Apr 3, 2012)

From these samples, it seems like Nikon D3S and D4 is still a step ahead concerning noise. However, the MK III in-camera noise reduction to JPG has been improved a lot and looks like top of the line. I wish there was a way to save RAW files with noise reduction applied.

0 upvotes
Salviche
By Salviche (Apr 2, 2012)

Hey Guys, I just did some tests of the HDR mode. Pretty impressed!. No color correction, straight from the camera.

Enjoy. Great for quick good looking photos.

justpressrec.com/photography

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Apr 2, 2012)

While the 5D3 and D800 have great IQ, I find the studio comparison tool really makes it clear just how good the smaller sensor options are these days. The differences are clearly there, but I wonder how many see a difference in their final output?

0 upvotes
Balooziggy
By Balooziggy (Apr 2, 2012)

Does anyone have an idea when both new Canon DSLR's will make the mainstream? I heard end of March but still no sign of either????

0 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (Apr 2, 2012)

The 5D MKIII is in the window of my local camera dealer, the Nikon D800 and D4 too - all 3 without price for some reason (sticker shock? :-)

(Berne, Switzerland BTW)

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Javier CR
By Javier CR (Apr 1, 2012)

I do not consider myself a fanboy, I have both Canon and Nikon gear and love them all, but using the Studio Scene Comparison feature of this web, I find RAWS coming out from 5D3 are slightly better than D800. Not good news for Nikon as everybody was expecting D800 to perform, at least, a bit better than 5D3.

2 upvotes
Oleg Rostovtsev
By Oleg Rostovtsev (Mar 31, 2012)

I did iso comparison of 5d mark 3 with raw files to download.
This is not a professional test, but I can say for me personally, it's two stops iso difference.
http://www.rostovtsev.de/de/blog/canon-5d-mark-3-iso-test-und-raw-files.html

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 1, 2012)

There are lots of professional test in the web. In English.

0 upvotes
Milimike
By Milimike (Mar 31, 2012)

IMHO, the 5D MKIII has the best colors and contrast overall.

2 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 1, 2012)

Canon always much more realistic in colors.

1 upvote
kanaddict
By kanaddict (Apr 2, 2012)

To your eyes !

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (Mar 31, 2012)

Hi,

I have done thoroughly examined the Camera quality test in RAW file. I download some RAW file off the studio one and put in light room 4. I used default lightroom setting with noise reduction of colour noise and detail. And I compared with them. Canon still have beat others in noise control is the prize winner. Nikon came 2nd, Olympus is 3rd and Sony is 4th. The rest are runner up as well. Sony noise reduction in Nex 7 with JPEG is impressive but sadly in much higher iso looks terrible and RAW file with lightroom noise reduction does not meet the satisfactory of it especially in higher iso. But remember, most of us are pixel peepers and iso peepers. So we have to be fussy about it. Although I prefer lower iso to take pic between 100 to 800 is safest area for large prints. So there you go thats the result.

I forgot one more thing...its normal for images to be soft in Digital slr due to colour filters in CMOS sensor to cut down on moire effects.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
George Veltchev
By George Veltchev (Mar 30, 2012)

D800 reminds me of the automaker Audi ! Desperately trying to convince the audience how their cars are better than the competition from Bavaria ! Unnecessary surgery, shark attack, scrofula. These are just some of things I would rather endure than a D800! This is a camera for the kind of chap who takes his wife for a dinner and then flirts with the waitress all night. Good! Ha ha ha ..remember the time not long ago when the Nikon users desperately tried to persuade us that a 12MP camera is all we need ! Now a 22 MP Canon seems lost in time ...Right ...he he...OK...OK if you do not believe on those samples as part of the DP preview go and find solace at some Nikon lovers club .... share your pain...you'll feel better!

2 upvotes
Sonnyphoto
By Sonnyphoto (Mar 31, 2012)

I bet you drive a Honda... No? 5dm3 looks impressive, however...

2 upvotes
splinter77
By splinter77 (Apr 1, 2012)

actually he sounds like he takes the bus and still lives with his parents.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Leoking
By Leoking (Apr 3, 2012)

If D800 is as good as Audi, I want it :)

1 upvote
Digit Logic
By Digit Logic (Mar 30, 2012)

I can't understand why DPR does not make the test between these cameras with the same camera settings. Here they insist in setting up the Canon cameras with 'manual mode' instead of Nikon D800, that they set up in 'Shoot mode'. From here, there is a disadvantage for the D800 results. Please be fair...

1 upvote
John P.
By John P. (Mar 30, 2012)

D800 is the winner here....time to move over.

5 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 30, 2012)

Pray tell us exactly how the D800 became the self-proclaimed winner in a Canon 5D III discussion thread...?!

Face facts... the D800 is a grossly exaggerated camera...

Other than its class leading resolution, there is nothing really impressive about it...

2 upvotes
John P.
By John P. (Mar 30, 2012)

C'mon now...you know it's always been Canon against Nikon...or should I say Nikon against Canon?? :) :)

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 30, 2012)

@lensberg

But you forgot 2.5 stops wider DR at ISO100, faster flash sync (1/250s) and USB 3.0. All important features for pro users.

4 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 30, 2012)

I have a hard time believing that the D800 enjoys a 2½ stop DR advantage, even at base ISO... At least based upon DPR's sample test images i cannot reach that same conclusion...

Okay i conceed flash sync is marginally better... but come on... this is literally nitpicking... In turn i could say that the 5D III has an expandable ISO range till 102,800... and that it captures full rez images at 6 fps... etc... but honestly both of us are getting carried away with only the positive aspects of both these amazing camera's...

But look at it like this... the D800 will primarily be used for studio work... in an extremely controlled environment... thats what it is basically made for...

On the other hand the 5D III is an all-rounder... which is ideal for a broad range of requirements on the field and in the studio... parties, concerts, sporting events, fashion shows & corporate functions etc...

2 upvotes
kimsch
By kimsch (Mar 30, 2012)

As a Canon user I will have to give this one to Nikon

I think that the Canon philosophy of crippling functionality is going to backfire this time. The 5D classic was a game changer with a FF 12MP sensor. The 5D M2 was a game changer with 21MP and video
The 5D M3 is ...hm...it can now focus but really:
USB2 in 2012!
Flash sync is 1/200 sec - even the 20D had 1/250 sec
SD with only class 10 speed supported
No wifi, no GPS, no wireless flash integrated
No clean HDMI output and no 1080/60fps - obviously because will come out with another product soon
ISO is no better than a 36MP camera (D800) and marginally better than MK2 - obviously detail is worse than D800
Price is higher than the D800!!!! It is even more expensive than the D800E which is going to be another Canon nightmare!!

Furthermore Canon never adds functionality in firmware like updates from Sony, Pentax etc. And so the list continues....

12 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 30, 2012)

That was the dxomark figure. After looking at the shadows (spools) and highlights (fake diamond) between these two cameras I think its quite right.

I really wish I could have the same kind of IQ to use with my TS-E 24 II. Would save some need for exposure bracketing & post processing. I would happily upgrade to 5DIII if it would have delivered real improvement in these areas.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Stanley zheng
By Stanley zheng (Mar 30, 2012)

@DArkshift, ok Nikon is slightly better than Canon mk3, but can you please point out to me, which part of the samples image that proves nikon has 2.5 stops wider dynamic range?

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 30, 2012)

Shadow quality at ISO100, be sure to look at 100% size.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=41049871

For highlights process raw with -4EV and examine highlights on the "diamond" over string spools. I would say D800 has atleast 1 stop more details. Same with Imaging Review raw samples, take a look at highlights on beer bottle label. 5D mkIII clips much sooner.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 31, 2012)

@ kimsch - I feel the need to strongly disagree with your statement about the ISO being no better than the D800...

You can see the marked difference between the 5D III & D800 both in RAW & JPEG here in DPR's sample comparison tool...

The 5D III is outstanding at JPEG reproduction... Anyone will tell you that... it clearly outperforms both the D4 & D800 here...

In RAW they are all pretty much equal until ISO 800... after which the 5D III & D4 begin to take the lead... The D4 RAW looks marginally cleaner at the expense of fine detail suffering... The 5D III maintains slightly more chroma noise but details are preserved exceptionally well.

Examples of the 5D III rendering better RAW results... look at the text on the globe... the fine hair fibres on the patch of tiger skin... the coloured squares on the Kodak colour chat... the white-grey-black spectrum on top (below the Kodak Grey Scale) & beneath the chart... the brush beside the Martini bottle... & label under the red bottle cap.

0 upvotes
Sonnyphoto
By Sonnyphoto (Apr 2, 2012)

Agree with kimsh. No real innovation from Cannon. D3S pushed the limits for low light photography and D800 is now challenging medium formats with incredible resolution (with competent ISO performance)... 5DM3 is a repackaging of existing Cannon harware with minimal improvements...

I do believe that 5dm3 and canon overall renders more realistic colors but overall a disappointing release from an innovation perspective...

1 upvote
Xonotron
By Xonotron (Mar 29, 2012)

Anyone saying there's not much difference between MK2 and MK3 using RAW, consider these two points:

- look at the RAW files in Adobe Lightroom (4.1 RC supports MK3) instead of the dpreview comparsion tool. Reset the development settings and set noise reduction to zero. I don't know why, but there's a much bigger difference there, to my eyes.

- all MK3 shots are taken with shorter exposure time than MK2 at the same ISO. That means a valid comparison would be e.g. MK2 ISO 3200 versus MK3 ISO 2500.

Add both points together and there's a good amount of more real-life difference between MK2 and MK3 RAWs than this comparison suggests.

2 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 30, 2012)

I can't see any difference with shadow noise between ACR 6.7 and Lightroom 4.1. I think the engines (2003, 2010, 2012) are same for both.

The mkIII has less gridded noise, but chroma noise level and dynamic range isn't much better at all.

DPR has stated that the lighting setup has changed lately, so 1/3 stop difference in speed might be because of that.

1 upvote
Vamp898
By Vamp898 (Mar 29, 2012)

Lol Canon told something about 75% less noise? A bad joke

really guys, 3500 € for a "slightly improvement"? A slightly improvement is a free firmware upgrade but not a new camera for 3500 €

The Nikon noises the same, have 36MP and cost less xD that is just bad at all..

4 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 29, 2012)

What Canon stated was that the Digic 5 processor produces 75% less noise at all sensitivities compared to the Digic 4...

This outstanding level of noise control can primarily be seen in JPEG's... Thats the reason why the 5D III's JPEG's are so much better compared to the Nikon D4 & D800...

It is not a "slight improvement" by any stretch of imagination... Its got pro-grade autofocus... superior IQ to the 5D II... shoots full res at 6 FPS... and produces much cleaner & sharper video compared to the D800... Plus noise doesn't even begin to show in the 5D III's video's until ISO 3200... and that too just as faint traces of film grain...

Yes... there is no doubt that the asking price is too high... blame Canon's marketing department for that...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 29, 2012)

in short
75% less noise in JPEG mode, price hike is for video

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Xonotron
By Xonotron (Mar 29, 2012)

...read my posting one post up, there's more difference as it seems in this comparison.

0 upvotes
Adler1970
By Adler1970 (Mar 29, 2012)

75% less noise? Ha ha ha ha! ridiculous!
1/4 stop more sensitive (high iso) and finally.... an autofocus. That's all. And this difference costs 3400 euros. Unacceptable.
This time, Canon has done EVERYTHING wrong.

5 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 30, 2012)

Superior IQ?

If IQ alone is important it doesn't make much sense to upgrade from mkII. The difference is minimal, unless 2/3 stop better high ISO is paramount.

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 31, 2012)

I really don't see how jpeg improvements matter much. The majority of people shooting a camera at this price level are enthusiast and pros most of whom prefer to shoot raw most of the time.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Mar 29, 2012)

Geez, this is not about Ford vs. Chevy anymore.

When I put Olys E-M5 and PM1 into the comparo and set the playing field to JPEG and ISO 400, as I visit the various places (checkerboard corner ref, blue VW, blue clock, pretty lady's face, QofHearts, hair), I pause admiring the way these two Olys handle the last two Canon MIII and Nikon D800 arrivals: with the ease of superb and even superior resolution and color.

And then I get this funny feeling that Oly could've been #2 or #1 cam people if their money went back to R&D. With PM1 at $450 street, this whole thing is getting absurd.

0 upvotes
Durandalfr
By Durandalfr (Mar 29, 2012)

In term of pure noise, there is an improvement over 5DMk2, but against the D800... reduced at the same size, the D800 has in overall better noise than the 5D3 and we shouldn't talk about the monstruous D4.... I'm a canon fan but how the hell canon isn't able to equal nikon which, as I read somewhere on DPR, isn't manufacturing his own sensors (Sony)?

3 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Mar 29, 2012)

If you downscale any camera to Nikon D700 size, you would see that they are the same. It is not about noise only.
Canon can do 6fps - fps alone is a strong reason to leave 22Mpx against pixel boost. Not everyone need 36Mpx. And those, who needs great resolution actually use Large Format cameras, as I do (160Mpx equav). We need digital for speed! So, 5Dm3 is appeared to be greatly balanced camera!

2 upvotes
pbs13
By pbs13 (Mar 29, 2012)

I understand that resolution or 2fps difference would attract slightly different kind of photographers, but I just don't see how both cameras can be classified as "VERY different".

Hmm.

1 upvote
Mikael Risedal
By Mikael Risedal (Mar 29, 2012)

1.I'm surprised by the quality of the SONY NEX-7. It beats the D800 in jpg high iso. WRONG

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
canon6188
By canon6188 (Mar 29, 2012)

Do not need to over analyse the sample. In general 5D mark III is good improvement over 5D mark II. Stop slicing the tiny winy different and get yourself a unit and you know it is a great camera (I just bought one and it has very good real life picture quality). I think underlying problem is the camera is a bit high on pricing. If money is not the main issue, I can't find any major fault with this camera.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 29, 2012)

what is a good camera? it's all relative...

1 upvote
canon6188
By canon6188 (Mar 29, 2012)

If your are a canon user get 5D Mark III; If your are Nikon user get D800 and you can't get wrong about picture quality 99% of the time... With recent advance in technology, even micro 4/3 like Olympus OMD-E produces amazing result with a tiny sensor. Life is too short to woory about the 1% deficiency.

5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 30, 2012)

Digilloyd did not like the placement of the controls on the 5D mkIII. Somebody emailed him that many of his complaints could be addressed by re-assigning the buttons and setting the LCD brightness to manual. He agreed, then started complaining that the instruction book was 400 pages (as are most Nikon manuals) so how was he to know about making these settings.

0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Mar 29, 2012)

Some comments suggest that it's not worth upgrading to the M3 because sensor performance and MP are too close to the M2. I, for one, am very interested in the updated, high-performance AF. That alone would be a compelling enough reason to upgrade.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
etid
By etid (Mar 29, 2012)

I've noticed the aperture was f/11. At that aperture the lenses have some diffraction so the details are not at their maximum in both cameras. Specially the d800 is penalized but still wins over 5d in detail and noise.

1 upvote
Souheil
By Souheil (Mar 29, 2012)

I'm surprised by the quality of the SONY NEX-7. It beats the D800 in jpg high iso

1 upvote
pc168
By pc168 (Mar 29, 2012)

Having reviewed numerous 5DIII and D800 images, while not referring to any particular low/high ISO or camera settings, I've an impression that the D800 images are more 'pleasing' in general.

4 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Mar 29, 2012)

They buy the awesome Pentax K-5
and let the D800 and the 5D III in the shops - it's not worth it

4 upvotes
nunatak
By nunatak (Mar 29, 2012)

fictitious gear author KR beats DPR to a full 5D Mark III review:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/5d-mk-iii.htm

check out the box the 5D mark III comes in. the colors are much nicer than the D800's box, and the D800's box has too many atoms. it doesn't matter though, as neither are near as sharp as KR's Leica M9 box. but that may change quickly because soon he'll show the world how sharp his D800E's box is — even when downsized to the 5D mark III's quantity of fluffed atoms.

please continue to help ken measurebate his growing family of boxes. :)

2 upvotes
kimsch
By kimsch (Mar 29, 2012)

lol
Yes KR is hilarious. As he says on his website:
"6 Megapixels is all anyone needs for anything" ;-)

0 upvotes
balico
By balico (Mar 29, 2012)

Always take KR with a pinch of salt. I read his articles regularly but they mainly reflect his own thoughts, not necessarily the truth!

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 29, 2012)

always wonder who would do a monthly subscription..

0 upvotes
pc168
By pc168 (Mar 29, 2012)

Well, KR is hilarious for sure. However, it might be more interesting to read someone's own thoughts rather than standard commercial reviews.

4 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Mar 29, 2012)

the more views on the same subject the better ;)
I like the contradictions, cockiness, the subjectivity, the humor of KR... then I also read his stuff very lightly.
If you like this maybe you would want to contribute to support my family... of cats :P

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 30, 2012)

What makes Ken's comments so frustrating is that there is often a grain of truth, however miniscule, mixed in with other stuff that is obviously false. Despite this, I plan on supporting his family at least until his children are in their late eighties.

1 upvote
flstf
By flstf (Mar 29, 2012)

Well it doesn't matter. It was a painful process just trying to get my hands on a 5D-II with 24-105 F4L lens. The 5D-III is out of my reach, even just the body only. I'd rather invest in more glass as money becomes available rather than to decide between the older 5D-II vs the 5D-III differences. When the 5D-II breaks, then I will think about replacing it. So far it has treated me well.

2 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Mar 29, 2012)

Tne 5DIII jpeg samples seem VERY over-sharpened - were these taken at a different setting than the D800 and 5DII?

Brian

1 upvote
plasnu
By plasnu (Mar 29, 2012)

The difference between body jpeg engine. 5D3 is much more artificial, I agree with you. Some people would prefer it, though.

1 upvote
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Mar 29, 2012)

True. On my Oly E-1, I set sharpening to the lowest setting the day I bought it, and have short JPGs at that setting ever since. I did spend some time trying to better my results using the RAW format, but actually, found that on this camera at least, JPGs gave me better results, albeit with fewer post-exposure processing options.

0 upvotes
rb67
By rb67 (Mar 29, 2012)

Some even call Canon Jpegs as ... life like, like film, like MF , etc. Maybe they are not used to grainy, washed-out, watercolor like pics.

0 upvotes
petr marek
By petr marek (Mar 29, 2012)

Look at the raw samples and video quality (eoshd.com)... After 4 years since 5D Mark II it´s a big frustration, 5D Mark III should be named 5D Mark IIb...

1 upvote
plasnu
By plasnu (Mar 29, 2012)

Rolling shutter is still horrible, but moire is better.

1 upvote
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Mar 29, 2012)

The market has gotten quite boring in the last years and so has dpr. Only previews, studio samples and such.

1 upvote
philo123
By philo123 (Mar 29, 2012)

The way I see it is in this new battle between Canon/Nikon with the 5dMkII and D800. If you had the latest Megabucks titanium head carbon shafted golf clubs it ain't going turn you into the next Tiger Woods. A craftsman has to learn their art with the basic tools. Just use you current DSLR's whatever brand they may be, invest in some decent glass and just get out and practice your technique. You'll be surprised in a year's time that you've produced some pretty good work WITHOUT the latest gear!

4 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Mar 29, 2012)

mm..Carbon shafted....That is very close to how Nikon buyers feel in the UK.

10 upvotes
infiniti55
By infiniti55 (Mar 29, 2012)

Absolutely true philo123. I get sick and tired of these amatuers that are more concerned with MP's and in camera HDR processing and so on and when these people complain about why there photos are not turning out like they want them too they are quick to blame the camera and automaticly feel the need to upgrade in wich that is not the solution. I always teach that it is the person behind the viewfinder that creates a powerful image and the camera just takes the picture.

3 upvotes
Michaelr205
By Michaelr205 (Mar 29, 2012)

I thought this is about the camera and it's capabilities rather than the people who use it. If someone can legitimately buy a camera like this then that's fine,what else matters?

2 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Mar 29, 2012)

The battle between 5dMkIII and D800 was over. It is only Canon camp who thinks the battle is still going on. Nikon side is ready to battle with MF.

7 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Mar 29, 2012)

Hey Philo123 & Infinti55, Suggest you find a Photography forum and not a GEAR forum to whine in. Driving a sports car won't make you Mario Andretti either.

3 upvotes
philo123
By philo123 (Mar 29, 2012)

@ sandy b: So are you saying that most people who post on here aren't into photography? Hmmmm......ok then :-)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tampadave
By tampadave (Mar 29, 2012)

Agreed... Some of the best shots I've ever taken were done with a Canon G-6--which I still have. I got some good ones with the 7D too which I am still learning to use.

0 upvotes
lemon_juice
By lemon_juice (Mar 29, 2012)

D800 is better at high iso than 5D Mark III - am I the only one seeing this? You can't objectively compare noise looking at 100% samples of different sizes.

Try this simple thing: load the 25600 ISO RAW samples in photoshop, downsize the D800 image to match Mark III's resolution and put these two images as saparate layers into one image then toggle the top layer on and off to see instant comparison at 100%.

I did this and what I saw:
- detail is about the same - in some areas D800 is very slightly better while in others Mark III
- noise is substantially stronger in Mark III, escpecially in dark areas - looks like a full stop worse than D800

I don't know why everyone says Mark III is better at high ISO while I see quite the opposite. D800 may not look better at 100% but in print it will for sure.

10 upvotes
seta666
By seta666 (Mar 29, 2012)

I also see it, we have to wait for DXO mark to test it to see if there is a improvement in DR and color depth. The RAW iso improvement over the 5D mkII is going to be 1/2 stop or so while the D800 is nearly a full stop better than the 5D mkII

3 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 29, 2012)

the D800 maybe ½ stop better than the 5D II ... but beyond ISO 1600 it pales in comparison to the 5D III by about ½ stop till 6400... and 1 stop from 12800 in RAW. Which is pretty much in line with early reports... that the D4 is ½ a stop better than the 5D III in RAW & 1 stop better than the D800...

Bet the D800E minus the AA filter will have inferior noise levels compared the current crop of full frame sensors...

2 upvotes
Stanley zheng
By Stanley zheng (Mar 29, 2012)

Of course, if you down sample the image to match the 5d mark III, you will be seeing a cleaner file, and they are about the same, 1 stop difference would be too optimistic, I would say they are about the same, yes at some part of the pic, d800 looks better but only by bit, and at higher iso, d800 is also losing quite a bit of detail, thus both camera roughly performs almost in the same manner. But why do u wanna downsize the image, if you have 36 meg, you want to use it at a full capacity, so to me there is nothing wrong with comparing the file at its original size. yes d800 has a slight advantage in the noise and in the resolution department, but I doubt it will makes much of a difference on the final, normal magazine page size print. But these advantage also come with some expense, you have to be more precise in focusing and use a lot faster shutter speed at wide open with d800 to get a very sharp image at 100 percent view, due to its massive pixel.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Stanley zheng
By Stanley zheng (Mar 29, 2012)

thus, in my opinion, maybe, there is a big chance, that you will be using a higher iso level to gain decent shutter speed to get a tack sharp image viewed at 100 percent. Unless, if you carry a tripod with you. But I could be wrong....

0 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 29, 2012)

@ Stanley zheng - yes, you are basically right with everything you've said...

Regarding the downsizing of the D800 image... why do people want to reduce the resolution in the first place...?! Why don't they just invest in a 16 or 22 MP sensor in the first place...?

Personally i don't see much difference in the levels of noise even in the D800's downsized samples... Noise is pretty much the same...

I would rather preserve the original 36 MP files are selectively crop them according to my clients needs... rather than entirely lose that resolution advantage...

0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Mar 29, 2012)

No way D800 half a stop behind 5D3 up to 6400 in raw. After 6400, yes. And why not reduce the D800 to 22 if you feel the need, its 500.00 cheaper than the 5D3, so you can have a superior 22 meg camera and a 36 mp.

0 upvotes
Gary M L
By Gary M L (Mar 29, 2012)

Can't see the point of down-sampling, really? This maybe just because I'm an amateur, without a bucket load of cash and an explicit shot I’m after before I go on location. The D800 (which I intend to buy), would allow me to crop heavily for taking wildlife photos, where I just can’t get close enough to fill the frame with the shot I’m after. Then using the same camera, maybe on the same trip, take photos indoors or at dusk, then down sample them to produce 10 by 8s up to A3, of a high quality.

Could I do the former with a cropped sensor, yes but the full sensor gives me more idea of what is going on around the target, more chance of the subject not leaving the frame if it is erratic, and better post production cropping, as I can keep the subject in the centre of the frame (usually best IQ and best chance of accurate tracking) and then position the subject in the final print wherever I want.

0 upvotes
Gary M L
By Gary M L (Mar 29, 2012)

For latter could I use camera with less pixels, yes, this would be a good decision, the files will take up less room on memory card and I’ll be able to edit them in LR without a slight stutter I get with D800 RAWs.

However this would involve buying two cameras costing about 15% more than D800, having to take both cameras with me ‘just in case’, be aware of two slightly different behaviours and be conscious which ‘set’ apply to the camera that’s in my hand at a ‘critical’ moment. And then there is the middle ground where I would need to consciously decide which camera is ‘best’. Now having the D800, removes the need for this, yes files are slightly unwieldy, burst rate is only 4FPS (or in 1.5x crop mode, small files and 6FPS), it doesn’t leave me with a backup camera if it fails. And I’m only probably going to print out half a dozen photos that are A2 and viewable from under a metre away (or equivalent), i.e. the vast majority of my output files will be closer to 16MP than to 36MP.

0 upvotes
Gary M L
By Gary M L (Mar 29, 2012)

In Short 36MP = flexibility (but also has it's down sides namely file size, FPS, extra post-processing compared to visibly cleaner photo on lower MP)

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
lemon_juice
By lemon_juice (Mar 29, 2012)

To those saying why would anyone want to downsize 36MP image when having D800 - you've missed the point. It's not that I advise downsampling when using the camera but in order to compare ISO performance of two cameras with different resolutions you need to downsample because you need to have equal resolution pictures in order to compare noise.

The reason is noise increases with resolution (upsampling) and decreases with resolution (downsampling). In other words a 36MP camera CAN exhibit much more noise at full resolution than a 22MP camera in order to keep the SAME iso performance. Without equal resolutions it's like comparing apples to oranges.

What I saw was clear - if a 22MP image from D800 is less noisy than a 22MP image from Mark III then it means D800's iso performance is better and it will show in prints or any other real-world usage.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 31, 2012)

Actually the best way to compare noise would be to make same sized prints of the same scene with both cameras and compare those.

0 upvotes
hrl
By hrl (Mar 29, 2012)

Looks like this new MKIII offers nothing new. I'm pretty amazed why Canon couldn't offer something considerably better than the old one. Is Canon R&D run out of ideas? Perhaps they should learn a thing or two from their competitors on making great sensors. Nikon are now able to design sensors on their own, thanks to Sony factories, they don't need to worry about cost of maintain fabrication facilities. That gives them the flexibility and opportunity to maximize R&D budgets for their sensor design team.

2 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 29, 2012)

Canon was too busy designing sensor for C300 and 4K DSLR?
maybe one day Canon will also be sourcing sensor from others..

0 upvotes
healer81
By healer81 (Mar 29, 2012)

based on these studio samples the MIII performed better than its counterparts. would like to see some real work comparisons with the same shots.

1 upvote
naththo
By naththo (Mar 29, 2012)

Hi,

So far I had examined the studio very carefully with each model like Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, Sony Nex 7 and Nikon D800. They were close to each other. Although I noticed that Canon 5D Mark III made a huge improvement in noise being a lot less in higher iso than Mark II and colour is much better in Mark III with more of faithfully produced colours, 5D Mark II show very poor white balance performance (but it doesn't always happen, it depends if it taken indoor or outdoor, etc). Nikon is pretty close but sharpness is a bit soft probably due to filter to stop the moire which is normal to me and white balance is somewhat a bit inaccurate for my liking. The Sony Nex 7 is pretty outstanding in sharpness but smaller sensor and higher resolution tends to show a bit of pixelate effect that I noticed, the noise control is pretty impressive but a rather put down for me in RAW file that shows a lot more noise than the rest of camera. Although its close to each other in competition

0 upvotes
MPLIEW
By MPLIEW (Mar 29, 2012)

So the 5D Mark III studio comparison scene was taken in "self timer + mirror lock up" mode, and the 5D Mark II, Nikon D800, Alpha DSLR-A900, D4 etc just "self timer" and not in "mirror lock up" mode? Are we really comparing the same thing or are we "cheating" a little? Maybe a non-issue, and if so, then I have to admit the 5D Mk III samples are very good.

0 upvotes
NDT0001
By NDT0001 (Mar 29, 2012)

Your joking, right?

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (Mar 29, 2012)

I tend to disagree with you MPLIEW sorry. Having shutter open and shut will still shake camera at slighest even with mirror up. It won't make any difference between mirror being up or down. I never bother with mirror up at all. It won't make any difference. Its not cheating so far.

0 upvotes
MPLIEW
By MPLIEW (Mar 29, 2012)

Ok then.

0 upvotes
MPLIEW
By MPLIEW (Jul 20, 2012)

Nah, I don't buy it... Comparisons must be exactly the same. Why have mirror lockup mode then. Naththo, you're wrong.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Mar 29, 2012)

regarding reduced moire... and other low light improvements...
and interesting pp 'sharpening filter' effect for Cine Video...

http://vimeo.com/39292404

nice... really really nice

ooo, bclaff shared some of his findings on Canon forums:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=41049769

and other interesting data...

http://home.comcast.net/~NikonD70/Charts/PDR_ISO.htm

and

http://home.comcast.net/~NikonD70/Charts/PDR_Shadow.htm#EOS%205D%20Mark%20II,D800,D800E,D3S,EOS%205D%20Mark%20III,D4

which you can compare different models (turn graph on/off for each)

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cherry890120
By cherry890120 (Mar 29, 2012)

so beautiful color,i like them,

0 upvotes
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (Mar 29, 2012)

Interestingly the Mark III shows color moire in the same place as did Mark II, indicating that both share the same weak AA filter.

D800 does not show any moire. Looking forward to D800e to see how it compares to the other weak/no AA filters.

2 upvotes
l i j
By l i j (Mar 29, 2012)

I have done Some ISO(upto 102400) Test and HDR test.
The samples are available.
ISO Test
http://www.ishootmoments.com/blog/?p=21
HDR Test
http://www.ishootmoments.com/blog/?p=16

0 upvotes
sotirius
By sotirius (Mar 29, 2012)

the HDR images are sooo crappy...

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (Mar 29, 2012)

I prefer to set colour mode to neutral to widen the dynamic range cos contrast setting is bullseye on 0 without any change, no change in other like sharpness, brightness, saturation at all. Having more contrast will lose some wide dynamic range and causes to narrow it down a lot. Its like on slide film with high contrast with narrow wide dynamic range. If you want take HDR picture (3 picture or more combined together) it would be a lot more sensible and wiser way to use is neutral to retain highlight and shadow details. Then you can fix up later after applying HDR to bring more contrast/colours. That way you will successfully create a correct HDR.

0 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (Mar 29, 2012)

At wide open all cameras end up equal go figure! http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/03/d-resolution-tests
except the D700

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (Mar 29, 2012)

that is because the lens is soft wide open and has become the limiting factor.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
1 upvote
SDPharm
By SDPharm (Mar 28, 2012)

Now we know why Michael Reichmann is not selling prints on his site anymore. Those beautiful landscape prints that he made with his whatever cameras two years ago all look like doodoo now (I used a different word that starts with an s but DPR would not let me post), now that we have the D800 and 5D3.

(Duck and run. I think he's coming to me with a shot gun...)

0 upvotes
Lu Heng
By Lu Heng (Mar 28, 2012)

this is funny how many people are concern about pixels, high ISO etc., making a war between canon, nikon, sony.. name it. as if it is a substitute of actual photography. as if the one and only available light is a candlelight and they "desperately must" print huge billboards from every shot they take.
supposed to be that way?
boring.

25 upvotes
Tomas Cermak
By Tomas Cermak (Mar 28, 2012)

100% agree. But sadly it was this way and it will be. To be honest, I also complain sometimes. It`s natural, people wants best for the money, even if it`s not logical anymore....

1 upvote
ttnewton
By ttnewton (Mar 28, 2012)

I regularly shoot my daughter's soccer games at a poorly lit full-size indoor field w/ my 5d2. I use the 100-400 f/4-5.6 for reach and flexibility. Higher than 6400 even web-size views are really bad, so I keep it at 6400. But then I have to lower the shutter to 1/125 to even approach a decent exposure, so I get lots of subject motion blur. For me, the promised two-stop noise improvement was enough to put a 5d3 on order. The apparent actual 1/2 stop improvement is giving me second thoughts. Frankly, I could really use MUCH more than a two stop improvement. If I could just get two more stops, I could approach decent 4x6 or 5x7 prints from that venue. Until then, I'm stuck with web only, or else very grainy/blurry prints.

0 upvotes
Slatan
By Slatan (Mar 28, 2012)

forget the flexibility, get a 200mm f/2.8L (cheap and great) or a 300mm f/2.8L IS and continue shooting with your 5d2. I believe it would be a MUCH better investment.
In my view, neither 5D3 nor D800 are worth it.

9 upvotes
NDT0001
By NDT0001 (Mar 29, 2012)

your slow lens is your weak point, not your camera. If you had a 2.8 zoom, you instantly have the 2 stops you crave. If i were you id get a 7d and fast tele.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
adenbley
By adenbley (Mar 29, 2012)

we've been having the same MP conversation since dslrs were 6MP (you're never going to blow up past 8x10, so what's the point of an 8MP camera).

0 upvotes
balico
By balico (Mar 29, 2012)

High iso performance IS important to some people for shooting indoor moving (action) subjects and makes shooting more flexible in low light (even with $10k fast lenses).

0 upvotes
clickpix
By clickpix (Mar 28, 2012)

I have also bought a 5DMark III (before i had a 5D MKII)> and i am very happy with them!
Here some sample pics (out of the cam, raw):
ISO12800
http://www.clickpix.eu/diverses/zug_12800_klein1.jpg

ISO125 / 100% View
http://www.clickpix.eu/diverses/out_cam.jpg

1 upvote
Mannypr
By Mannypr (Mar 29, 2012)

Saw both pics. Seems to be an excellent camera.

1 upvote
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 28, 2012)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you couldn't do it with the last generation and you're still blaming the gear, this latest round will leave you naked and cold. The excuses are all gone.

And they look pretty comparable. There's no reason to complain about any of this gear. It's good. The one you have in your hands is the best (that is, if you're the best).

Here's to shooting. Go out and get some.

22 upvotes
Richard
By Richard (Mar 28, 2012)

I have not had a FF camera. I know I can shoot with my crop sensor camera but I want a FF. I skipped the 5d 5d2 D700 for this generation because of the minor upgrades (canon) and low mp (Nikon. So I continued to wait until they made what I wanted in the price range I wanted. How does that leave me cold and naked. Your assumption is that everyone things these cameras will make them better photographers. That is not true, they are just better tools what you do with them will deterimine the results.

0 upvotes
Natan Lorenzi
By Natan Lorenzi (Mar 28, 2012)

So, I downloded the Nikon D800 (1600 - 25600) raw files and resized @ 22mpx. Both cameras has the same results at same iso ans same size (22mpx). But Nikon has more advantage because you can apply more Noise Reduction and more USM without degrade image, before you downsampling the image.

if you doubt it, try it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
maboleth
By maboleth (Mar 28, 2012)

The d800 seems like a dream camera, but those people who tried it said three very important things:

1) Focus must be spot-on every time, there's no room for error at 36mpx. Shooting at f1.4 or f1.2 is VERY hard. And unfortunately, the camera DOES miss the focus now and then.

2) Camera shake is also more pronounced, so it's advisable to use higher shutter speed than usual rule of thumb based on the focal length alone.

3) The PC or Mac and cards that host those images must be up to date and very large. Even in 2012, opening a 21mpix raw file in LR4 from CanonMK2 on a modern machine isn't THAT much fast.

So, if you consider and accept those three remarks, you'll be very satisfied with D800. But keep them in mind.

6 upvotes
Natan Lorenzi
By Natan Lorenzi (Mar 28, 2012)

Yeah, all new technologies requires more refined technique, this is good because you must always overcome yourself.
But if you think about film, asa 100, this has just 60mpx if you compare.
Ah, RAW files from D3x has just 130mb. D800 raw files is not a problem.

I agreed, about your point of view. People must has this 3 items in your mind.
This canon is a great camera. Nikon and Canon have surpassed themselves this time with these Cameras.

0 upvotes
futile32
By futile32 (Mar 28, 2012)

I don't agree with your 3rd concern. Today's machines are easily capable of handling 36mp RAWs. I have a 3 year old ULV laptop which makes short work of the D800 RAWs I've tried. Its no different than opening my NEX7 RAWs or those from my A700.

As imaging tech has improve so has CPU/GPU/SSD tech.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (Mar 29, 2012)

I agreed with being no room for error. Thats the most improtant part!

0 upvotes
maboleth
By maboleth (Mar 29, 2012)

Yeah, I agree, the 3rd concern is a temporary one. But I thought it was worth noting. Before blindly purchasing it and expecting to do-everything, one has to see all benefits and drawbacks.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Mar 29, 2012)

If you look at the pictures at the same magnification and viewing distance there is no difference in the required focus accuracy between 36, 22 or 16 or 12 MPix cameras. Only if you enlarge the D800 files to pixel level you get to see the possible missed focus. If you look at them at full screen or 8x10 prints there is no and can not be a difference.

1 upvote
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 29, 2012)

@Petka

Exactly and frankly focus is just as critical on a 12 MPix camera if you are planing on making a print that big.

0 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 28, 2012)

The 5D III literally destroys the competition in JPEG... (decisively beating even the D4...) producing cleaner... sharper... and visibly higher levels of detail consistently throughout the sensitivity spectrum...

There is definitely over 1½ stops between the 5D III and 5D II. Whats amazing though is how good the old 5D II seems to be performing in RAW against this current generation of full framers...

The D800 seems to employ a much more heavy handed approach towards noise (both JPEG & RAW)... smudging out its resolution advantage from ISO 3200... Nikon doesn't seem to have mastered the art of reproducing extremely fine hair & brush textures...

Nikon's D4 NEF's have less chroma noise at the cost of precious detail... the 5D III's RAW's exhibit slightly higher levels of chroma... but details remain impeckable...

For all those DXO Mark devotees... most often DXO's scoring system doesn't reflect the reality of how these various manufacturers sensors perform on a day to day basis...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Mar 28, 2012)

Really. you saw that from some differently focused pictures from DPR ? How about how poorly the 5D3 still performs in the shadows in the low ISO's, or how the AA filter smudges detail ? Did you notice that in raw, the D4 beats it by 1 stop, and the D800 comes close ? Did you try to resample a D800 image to one from a 5D3, or are you comparing 22MP native files to 36 ones ?

4 upvotes
glanglois
By glanglois (Mar 29, 2012)

Tongue in cheek, like n1zr (above), right?

I first thought you might be serious until I ran across "impeckable". That was a good touch, nicely done!

1 upvote
Duncan Dimanche
By Duncan Dimanche (Mar 29, 2012)

I agree with nicolaiecostel. the JPGs looks awfully smudged and the RAW files don't seem to be doing much better than the mark II uo to ISO 6400 (who cares about higher than that)
So is the Mark III the new high ISO champ?... pfffff leave that to the D3s or even the D4... seriously.. all those real life samples looks unsharp....

0 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 29, 2012)

@ nicolaiecostel - Yes, in am comparing native resolutions from either sensor...

Everyone keeps talking about downsizing the D800 sample to come close to matching the noise kevels of the 5D III ... First & foremost... why would i want to reduce the resolution of the D800...?! If i was buy it - it would be primarily for the exploitation of its full 36 MP's...

And exactly which shadow areas are you referring too... I'm looking at the bottom part of the test image... where the thread rolls & furry balls are layed out in the shelf... and there is absolutely no way the D800 renders better details or textures... if anything the initial detail advantage is completely lost doe to the severity of noise & applied NR...

The D4 maybe ½ stop better in RAW... perhaps if you're comparing chroma noise levels... even that is arguable... but fine detail is also softer and less pronounced than the 5D III...

@ Duncan Dimanche - i expect the Canon 1D X to formally assume its title of high ISO king...

1 upvote
Rocker44
By Rocker44 (Mar 29, 2012)

I literally disagree with everything you've said here.

2 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Mar 29, 2012)

Disagree based upon what exactly...? Its not like 2½ years ago when everything regarding IQ, ISO & DR... was clear and decisive...

The field has changed dramatically with this generation of full frame sensors... bringing overall IQ & ISO performance to near neck & neck levels...

Other than resolution... there is no clear winner in any of these categories... (especially between the 5D III & D4) so everything is open to a persons indiviual capacity at interpretation & speculation...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Mar 29, 2012)

Pontificate all you will, but turning up sharpening and contrast and saturation in jpgs does not equal a better camera.

1 upvote
n1zr
By n1zr (Mar 28, 2012)

Not that I'm a pro.. but Camera A is sooo much better than Camera B. It's in the colors you see... and since I'm an optics expert as well as an engineering professor subspecializing in signal to noise ratio, I can tell that Manufacturer A has succeeding in overstepping the bounds of quantum physics with their sensor. Manufacturer B makes lousy, soft lenses btw. Camera A will definately aid in good technique taking a blur-free shot, inspire me with a sense of what shots will sell, and give me the foresight to preparemyself for the right moment. I love Camera A.
I'm totally impartial because I own a camera made by Manufacturer B:P

9 upvotes
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