D3x vs. 5DII Sensor Only.

Started Feb 22, 2009 | Discussions thread
sidelight Senior Member • Posts: 1,013
Re: Shadow Noise

Bernie Ess wrote:

sidelight wrote:

I pulled this sensor data from DxOMark using the Full SNR tabs and
the log plots. The table below compares the signal to noise vs very
low gray levels at base ISO.

I must say that I am unable to imagine something concrete under those
numbers. However I have seen comparisions between the Mamiya ZD and
the 5dII, exposure in counterlight with shadows agressively raised.
The Canon was awful, with heavy banding noise, the Mamiya (which is
unuseable above ISO160 or 200) was much better. The other test
compared directly the shadow noise between D3x, 1ds3, 5dII and D3.
The best by a long shot at ISO50-100 was the D3x, the D3 came second
the 5dII had lots of noise hidden in the shadows (comparision by

As soon as you have to lighten up shadows, it is there.... Canon
optimizes for useable high ISO noise, D3x is optimized for maximal
low ISO performance and IQ. A very good decision.

There is the issue of noise characteristics given that the noise has a power vs frequency distribution, with some reviewers saying that noise with higher frequencies is less objectionable (smoother). And then chroma vs luminance.

Also, I would guess that the MF backs which are 16bit would be able to show improvements in tonality in the deepest shadows, whereas it might not be noticeable vs 14 bit at higher levels.

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