Inital comparison D3x - D3 - P45+ at base ISO

Started Dec 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
FrankG Senior Member • Posts: 1,926
In the interests of complete fairness ..

There is no doubt that the P45 is always going to win such a comparison.

However I have to point out that, although generally interesting, your comparison has a few obvious technical flaws. As I still only have CNX 2.1 (for some reason the Nikon Europe site still is not giving me version 2.1.1) so I still can't process the D3X file - however the D3 .NEF file processed in CNX2.1 reveals some facts:

1. The first crop showing the "Hotel Bellevue" - in the D3 example at least this part of the image is quite obviously and blatantly OUT-OF-FOCUS! No-one else seems to have commented on this - but there it is. I suppose I am used to scrutinising upressed images at 100% for sharpness (do it a lot recently preparing images for stock) but IMO in this example it's not even particularly subtle.

Viewing the crops that you showed at first I couldn't be sure that the problem might be something to do with your uprezzing technique. However having downloaded your original .NEF file and processed in in CNX2.1 I have no doubt on this point - in the original photo your focus is in the middle with the background increasingly going OOF. The Hotel is already well outside the area of best focus. You used F11 on the 24-70 and focussed using the mid-focus point - the point of true focus appears to be at the extreme left hand edge of the nearest large building (with the grey shutters).

So I see that first crop as being of very little relevance in any comparison of sharpness or resolution of the sensors - it's about the depth of field sharpness of the lens systems used.

2. The 2nd crop comparison you show is of the extreme top right hand corner. It is of course perfectly fair and possibly quite interesting to compare the extreme corners or edges of any part of an image - but I would prefer if you would make it clear what you are doing! Of course people are in theory at liberty to deduce this from your original image - but easily might not notice on cursory inspection. In this example I would be amazed if the zoom 24-70 managed to keep up with that ultimate quality prime used on the P45.

Also to be fair you should compare a crop from one or two central "sweet spot" in-focus areas. After all - for most photographers that is often the most important part of an image!

One other relatively minor point in this context (as this seems to be mainly a "which resolves details best" contest) - regarding colours: I notice that all the samples you posted are in ADOBE colour space. Anyone not using a colour aware browser (and I bet most people are viewing this using MS Internet Explorer 6 or 7) will not see these crops in the correct colours. As an aside I also noticed that changing the D3 shot in CNX2 to "neutral" instead of "standard" gave a colour rendition much closer to the P45 result.

Despite these criticisms - thanks for the comparison - it was still very interesting!

  • Frank

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