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Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 6D added to test scene comparison tool

By dpreview staff on Dec 17, 2013 at 23:00 GMT

As we're racing to complete our full review of the Nikon Df, we've added the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 6D to our studio comparison tool. The studio test scene shows image quality for both JPEG and Raw files. It offers downloadable Raw samples and is designed to simulate real-world daylight and low-light shooting. As always, you can compare the D4 and EOS 6D to a number of other cameras, including the Df.

Huge thanks to Glazers Cameras for renting us both cameras.

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Comments

Total comments: 50
Eleson
By Eleson (4 months ago)

When I click on:
"Compare the Df to the D4 and EOS 6D in our new test scene"
I end up in the Df review. Is that as it should?

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (4 months ago)

This is most interesting - the cheaper 6D seems to more than hold its own against even the mighty D4 and most tellingly the sensor in the DF is clearly NOT the same as the D4….

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Sad Joe:

It’s not news that the Canon D6 is a good high ISO lowlight camera, but it aint the D4. The Canon has cyan and magenta blotching in deep shadows starting around ISO 16,000.

As for the D4 and the Df not using the same sensor, you can’t be sure unless you have access to the sensors and a scanning electron microscope. Then more importantly: The Df has a new processor and the lens matters.

The Canon body that may (that’s “may”) challenge the Df/D4 for high ISO lowlight shooting is the 1D X–nearly eight grand for that Canon body.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

D4 is definitely not mighty in image quality.
though it's not weak either.

0 upvotes
Shiranai
By Shiranai (4 months ago)

Thats great! I personally tought of writing you a mail if you could add the 6D. And now it pops up all by itsself :)
Cheers.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (4 months ago)

Well well, DxO mark claims Df has best low light IQ of any camera ever, yet the dpreview test scene shows that at high ISO (RAW) the Df and D4 are not even better at the pixel level than 6D, which can further be resampled to 16MP for even better results.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Get a hold of a lot more raws, with all sorts of lighting conditions before jumping to your conclusion.

Though safe to ignore DXO sensor scoring, in this case DXO is correct and I base my conclusion on raws I’ve shot with both the Df and the D4 and also the D3s. And yep the Canon 6D too. That Canon is excellent at high ISO lowlight, but not up to the Df, the Canon has magenta and cyan blotching problems in deep shadows starting at about ISO 16,000.

And no resampling does NOT reduce noise. It's myth, try it with a tiff from a noisy raw of your own.

0 upvotes
Ayoh
By Ayoh (4 months ago)

That's because the DPreview test are not controlled and the camera sensors are exposed to different amount of incident light. The test are supposed to be set to compare JPEG output for constant JPEG brightness, however even that is inconstant as similar camera are shot at different apertures which would affect sharpness - for instance in some full frame Nikon and Canon images one camera is shot at f5.6, the other at f11. There is also no disclaimer presented on the test page either which informs readers that these test are not controlled and should not be used to gauge characteristics such as noise in Raw images. In all, the Dpreview images seem pointless, DXO and Imaging resource are a much more useful for making fair comparison.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (4 months ago)

I'm sure DxOMark is very trustworthy; they are very rigorous in their testing. However, you have to understand what exactly they are measuring.

Many people don't seem to realize this, but DxO's image quality analysis is based on the unconverted (and hence undemosaiced) raw file, i.e. it's based on numbers, not actual, viewable RGB images. I'm sure their results are accurate with respect to sensor performance (including any noise reduction that might be applied to the raw file by the manufacturer), but they can't be compared to converted images. The specific demosaicing and NR algorithms used by the conversion software can have a huge influence on the quality of the final images. So basically, here at DPR you are comparing [raw sensor data+ACR at default settings], not sensor performance itself.
There isn't necessarily a conflict between DxO's results and what you see with your own eyes in your images, because you never look at undemosaiced images, do you?

2 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (4 months ago)

HowabaoutRAW, you still pushing your own myth about resampling I see. Not sure what universe you live in.

0 upvotes
David Myers
By David Myers (4 months ago)

Shame this new test scene is so poor! The lighting is uneven: The lights should have been much further away and strip lights used to avoid the semi circular bright spots on the left and right sides of the set. Because of this the centre is correctly exposed but the image gets progressively overexposed to towards the left and right sides.

Also light scatter in the entire room is causing reflections of the room contents in the reflective surfaces of the prints and glossy items destroying the black densities and subject contrast with room reflections.

If I was building and lighting a 'reference' set like this I would do it in a black room with well distanced and shielded strip lights and shoot through a black velvet 'wall' with a hole for the lens. Even lighting and reflection control is needed to maximise contrast and resolve the highest detail.

Sorry DP Review but this a 'fail' as a test setting!

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (4 months ago)

I knew there was no way the same quality image sensor was going into the df for half the price of the d4. d4 is a good stop better at high ISO than the df. The df is good but of course the d4 is better just like d700 vs. d3s.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Red:

The D3s used a different sensor than the D700. However the D3 used the same sensor.

Look at raws shot with more lenses on both the D4 and Df, before drawing any conclusion.

0 upvotes
Bjrn SWE
By Bjrn SWE (4 months ago)

People say that Canon sensors are lagging behind the Nikon (Sony) counterparts and that Canons are no good. Strange thing, I just can't see that in this "Studio Comparison Tool" - the EOS 6D looks just as fine as any of the Nikons, at any ISO. Did I forget to bring my glasses?

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

Sony doesn't make the sensor in the Df/D4; Renesas does the making and likely Nikon does the design.

Nor, of course, does Sony make the sensor in the 1 series; Aptina does.

And Toshiba makes the sensor in the D7100 and likely the D5300.

Sony makes the sensors for the D800 and D610 and probably Nikon's P&Ses.

So stop claiming that Sony is the sensor maker for Nikon.

You'll need to look at more raws than just this test scene to draw conclusions about Canon sensors, don't forget the lens and raw extraction software are both really important. Then you'll have to print out the results with at least 6 inks and good paper unless you have a 96bit monitor.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

First of all, ignore the JPEGs and look at the RAWs. The Df/D4 has considerably less chroma noise than both the D610 and 6D.
At pixel level the D610 and 6D are close but the extra resolution of the D610 gives it an advantage for printing.

But noise at pixel level is only one aspect of sensor quality and the D610 has high DR at lower ISO values and apparently the D4/Df sensor has high DR above ISO 800 (higher than the D800/D610).

Color depth (accuracy) is another thing to look at. The D610 is really strong in this area.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Bjrn SWE
By Bjrn SWE (4 months ago)

"Sony doesn't make the sensor in the Df/D4…"
Now I learned something!

0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (4 months ago)

""Sony doesn't make the sensor in the Df/D4…""

Maybe a relief for Sony fans as D4 sensor is not particularly great while D800 sensor has set a new height for the IQ bar.

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (4 months ago)

Sony sensor delivers better shadow noise than any other sensor manufacturer. So having shadow recovery is very important. You don't want end up with banding/blotchy and noisy after you attempt to do shadow recovery.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

naththo:

At which ISOs are you making those shadow noise control claims for Sony full framed sensors?

The point isn’t that Sony sensors are bad, but that the D4/Df’s sensor is better at lowlight high ISO shooting. And in fact in those conditions the Df sensor shows less shadow noise, while in deep shadows even the 24MP sensor from the D610 has cyan and magenta blotching at the relatively low ISO of 10,000.

Right at ISO 100,000 the Df has banding problems, big ones in shadows. I imagine there are similar weaker banding problems at ISO 50,000 too. But the amazing thing is the ISO 100,000 image remains somewhat useable, though I’d not make it into an art print.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (4 months ago)

new boyz:

The sensor in the D800 has no where near the high ISO capacity of the sensor in the D4, you have no idea of what you're writing. For lowlight high ISO shooting, the D610's sensor is better than the sensor in the D800.

The D800 has serious problems above about ISO 8,000.

And no "resampling" does NOT remove noise. Go right ahead and test that process out yourself, start with a noisy raw, process to tiff and resample to your heart's delight.

Looks to me like the D800 also has DR problems that the D600/D610 and Df don't have. Yes I've shot raws with all of those bodies. And yes the Df is better than the D610 for lowlight high ISO shooting.

Of course the Canon 1D X and 6D also both surpass the D800 for high ISO work too.

Even the Leica M240 is better than the D800.

It's not like the D800 is a bad camera; it's just not a good high ISO body.

0 upvotes
JKP
By JKP (4 months ago)

Canon 6D looks pretty good, better than I though. It's almost on the level of Sony's FF sensors found in Sony and Nikon cameras. Maybe my good old 20D has time to go.

6 upvotes
Mazhe
By Mazhe (4 months ago)

Are you also racing a K-3 review?

1 upvote
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (4 months ago)

I bet it's coming after the shopping holidays end!

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

Racing to the ground.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (4 months ago)

Dude, the d4 and 6D came out long before the k3. Chill out.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (4 months ago)

How about the Df?

0 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (4 months ago)

How come there was no D4 review?

4 upvotes
clicstudio
By clicstudio (4 months ago)

No review, but plenty of ways to buy a D4 from DPR's own GEARSHOP...
DPR: We won't tell you how good a camera is, just trust us and buy one from our own store...
Pfffffff

6 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (4 months ago)

prob. because the user base of DPR is basically smartphone users and mirrorless

1 upvote
vFunct
By vFunct (4 months ago)

That's probably true.

If they did reviews targeted for pros they'd have to do things like measure focus accuracy, focus speed, battery life tests, card speeds, and other things that matter to pros but smartphone/mirrorless users wouldn't care about.

Anyone know a good site that reviews pro cameras?

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (4 months ago)

Because it's a top of the line dSLR if you want or need the best buy it. That's what professionals do. It's the gadget junkies/uber-enthusiasts that want to see numbers and graphs before buying something!

0 upvotes
Ayoh
By Ayoh (4 months ago)

Cool, now why don't you now also add some scientific rigour to your test scene and ensure all camera sensors are exposed to the same amount of incident light, as currently they are not. Otherwise you should clearly state that your current test shots cannot be used to compare noise performance, as, by looking at the comments, that is what most readers are doing and making incorrect conclusions.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (4 months ago)

Ayoh because every brand has different process of JPEG. All raw looks identical to me anyway. They have done right thing with studio comparison. Canon JPEG engine tends to be contrasty and deeper black shadow. While Nikon JPEG engine is mute, pale, soft to preserve it for further editing. D4/Df is better than horrible D610 with moire/aliasing.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

naththo, it has nothing to do with the proper comparison - exposure does not depend on JPEG engine.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (4 months ago)

These aren't meant to be scientific sensor tests, they're representative of the results you get if you shoot to get a consistent JPEG brightness under consistent test conditions.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

Exactly. Each camera has strengths and weaknesses, they are all more than adequate and who actually makes the sensor is less important than how the sensor performs.

As always, with a little effort, its possible to see the one you are rooting for is clearly the best.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (4 months ago)

Agree with Richard. when I take photos I'm not out there to put an image sensor through a rigorous test I'm out there to capture the light I want to, how I want to. Measurebators!

0 upvotes
Ayoh
By Ayoh (4 months ago)

Your test conditions are not consistent though, even for jpeg. You use different apertures for similar cameras - in the full frame Nikon and Canon images one camera is shot at f5.6, the other at f11. Would this not affect sharpness?
Regardless your page should clearly state that your test shots are not for comparing sensor noise performance, as currently it doesn't which is misleading. Look at the comments here, a lot of people are making conclusions based on noise performance in raw for these cameras, assuming equal conditions, which are not present. If you are not going to be consistent then state it clearly as there is an underlying assumption by readers that the cameras are shot in equivalent settings.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Pati Feroolz
By Pati Feroolz (4 months ago)

You could make this test for the Pentax 645D :)

1 upvote
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (4 months ago)

No doubt that Nikon is superior at high iso for noise. Differences are small enough to matter little though

6 upvotes
SushiEater
By SushiEater (4 months ago)

I compared D610, 6D and 5DIII at 3200 RAW (not JPGs) and they look exactly the same to me.

5 upvotes
Pati Feroolz
By Pati Feroolz (4 months ago)

don't see any difference between 6D and D610. but D4 is superior.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

haven't checked D610 but D600 looked the best of them to me. 6D and D4 are near within error but D4 is not designed for best image quality anyway (but for best response, best AF and frame rate).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (4 months ago)

Agree with you yabokkie. People perceiving 16mp as a necessity for low light(larger pixel) when the actual reason is to keep the file small for a long uninterrupted burst.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

thus D4 sensor is really a bad choice for Df,
which inherites all the bads with no advantage.

0 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (4 months ago)

Yes, it is better than the D610 at ISO 3200 and especially 6400, but not so much to justify the difference in price and lack of video and dual SD slot.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

The Df and D4 RAW files look fantastic at those ISO settings, whether or not it's needed is going to depend on what you shoot. Concert photography, events, really any available light work the extra expense for the Df is going to be well worth it. But of course the D610 is an extremely capable all-around shooter, no doubt.

Dual SDs, especially since the Df is not a video camera, are not such a big deal as fast cards have never been cheaper. I have yet to fill the 32 GB primary card in my D800 shooting RAW stills with some video.

0 upvotes
esco
By esco (4 months ago)

Dual card slots aren't really about memory capacity as memory cards have gotten to the capacity of not needing to switch out for most scenarios, they are for backup and or writing images raw in one card and jpeg or of lower quality in another etc. . .

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

> Dual card slots aren't really about memory capacity

They are if you are shooting video. But for still shooting in 2013 there are tons of ways to make redundant backups without dual card slots, the most common being via a portable drive, digital wallet or sending images via WiFi to a tablet in the field. Since the Canon 6D has WiFi built-in and the Nikon Df is WiFi capable, I don't see the single SD card slot as a deal breaker on either camera. And with Eye-Fi cards pretty much all cameras have this capability out of the box.

But honestly can't think of a reason to write RAW to one card and JPEG to another but everybody has different requirements. But it is nice to have dual card slots for sure, just not an absolute must as there are a variety of ways to make backups in the field.

1 upvote
Total comments: 50