Canon 5D3 beats Nikon D4 by a wide margin

Started Mar 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Mike Stratil Contributing Member • Posts: 850
Canon 5D3 beats Nikon D4 by a wide margin

I have downloaded the Image Resource raw files for ISO 100 and 6400 for the 5D3 and the D4 (still life samples). Then I processed both sets of files in CS5 Bridge with the new ACR, applied a bit of clarity, highlights and lights, and NR. Then I saved in TIF format and viewed in CS5.

To my eyes, the $4000 5D3 beats the $6000 D4 hands down. It has far better detail in all areas of the still life at both ISO 100 and 6400. Perhaps the most telling comparison is between the plastic "proportional scale" on the right side. If you look at the 6400 samples, the scale in 5D3 photo is fairly clear, while in the D4 it is smeared and the lines cannot be discriminated.

I recommend this exercise for all those members of the forum who are bemoaning the 5D3's IQ. Rather than being inadequate, it is clearly superior to Nikon's latest, most comparable offering--and at 2/3rds the price! And that's before taking into account the 5D3's greatly improved AF and fps over the 5D2. I would say that the 5D3 is a blockbuster of a new camera.

Now there's been a lot of hullabaloo about the Nikon D800. But we don't yet have raw samples from this camera. If it's IQ actually proves to be superior to the D4, then one has to ask what the purpose of the D4 is. Very strange. In my opinion, the real loser in these sweepstakes so far is the D4. I haven't discerned any strength that would justify its price.
Michael S

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D4 Nikon D800
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