How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

Started Feb 17, 2008 | Discussions thread
Dan Nikon Senior Member • Posts: 1,503
Re: WRONG Canon 1D3 has better ISO than the D3

Honor wrote:

The Canon 1Dm3 sensor has better high ISO than the Nikon D3. period.
As far as the 1DSm3 it should have same ISO as the 1dS2 since Canon
stated the photodiode pitch in a pixel has been kept the same even
though the pixel area is smaller. Only the light insensitive portion
of the pixel was stripped out.

Here is proof of the superior ISO from the 1D3 over the Nikon D3.


I am on a high end advertising at this place right now:

We are doing a mix of full motion, timelpase, high res still interiors and low light lifestyle and detail stills.

I have a full Nikon kit including the D3, incredible Zeiss primes and the spectacular 14-24.

I also have a brand spanking new 1DS-III I borrowed from a buddy in D.C. with a 24 T/S, 35 1.4 and 85 1.2.

I have the 1DS-III for the interiors due to the fact that the Nikon 24 T/S is not quite out yet.

Here is what we are seeing as professional photographers, motion shooters, art & creative directors:

While the 1DS-III files are wonderfully sharp and large, it is simply no match for the D3 above ISO 1,600. By 3,200 the D3 is still holding it's color and contrast not to mention being very sharp when simply exporting the NEF files right out of NX View.

The reason I am using View is that with the D3, I find I rarely have to tweak the files if I nail the exposure so one large batch export while shooting other things has proven to be extremely time and resource efficient.

The other thing is that while the 1DS-III files are larger sharper, I am using the Nikon 14-24on the D3 over the Canon 24 tilt shift due to much better corner sharpness, color, contrast and resistance to flare. The 1DS-III is simply not being used much, I am having an assistant drive the kit back to my buddy.

I love the larger files of the 1DS-III, but in seeing how this is playing out in actual use, the D3 is a much better camera to use on this shoot, and this is thousands a day high end advertising.

When I used to have a 5D, I found that the D3 needed a tiny bit more PP to get it as sharp as the 5D at low ISO's.

Also, the remark posted below by Pixeldork that the Hi 1 and Hi 2 settings are hype is ludicrous. I have shot one magazine article and one ad campaign at ISO 25,600 using it in greyscale, red filter, full contrast boost had have got results that rival Tri-X pushed to 800!! Those settings are not only more than hype, they are outstanding when used in this manner.

I have to say, this client blown away by the low light stuff we have gotten thus far, it has simply set this campaign on fire.

Don't get me wrong, the 1DS-III is an outstanding rig and puts out some great files, but when we are looking at the images from this shoot as the total take, we all like the D3 files much better. We can live with a few inches of difference when going to print, the D3 files are simply that good.

Besides, Nikon will no doubt give me a fine 20+MP FF camera very soon...:-)

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