UK Digital Photo Mag Says 5d3 Better than d800

Started May 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
TomFL Regular Member • Posts: 123
Re: more practical tests, please

TomFL wrote:

These two cameras represent a classic engineering trade off of higher MP vs. higher FPS and lower noise. Only you can make the decision on what is most important to you.

To be fair, I also used to assume the 5DIII would have better high-ISO images than the D800, but I've been seeing some user images from the D800 and they look fantastic at ISO-6400. Maybe only after ISO-6400 could we expect better 5DIII performance.

Yes. The reality is that is has more to do with the total silicon area of the image sensor. If both 36 and 22 MP designs are properly executed, than the 36 MP design will be noisier on a per pixel basis, but when down sampled to 22 MP will have equivalent noise performance. And this is more or less the case here, although Nikon looks a little weaker at very high ISO's even down-sampled.

You do lose out on FPS a bit, and noise in JPEG and video are also real concerns if you use these features. People will whine the support system on your PC will suffer in performance (I definitely don't need LR4 to be any slower than it already is), which is true, but I think this is a minor point.

The much undiscussed secret reality is that getting 36 MP stable in a photo that is not on a tripod (and the cost of the lens than can resolve this) is non-trivial and requires real skill. Put a 70-200 lens on your camera placed on a tripod, zoom to 200 mm, engage LiveView and zoom the LCD to max. Now slightly touch the camera or lens and watch the LV jitter. See how stable you need to be? Remote trigger or delayed shutter release are mandatory. IS helps, and it can be done, but my guess is > 95% of photos won't resolve to 36 MP due to camera shake.

This should not be confused with 36 MP being "bad", it is a good thing if your camera is out-resolving your ability to hold the camera still and your lens, it means the camera is not the limiting factor.

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