Feedback: 5DMKIII or 6D? (longish)

Started May 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jason Rickerby Contributing Member • Posts: 712
Banding? Has any reasonable person seen banding on their 5D3 or 6D images?

DtEW wrote:

One more thing...  banding.

This is a rarely seen artifact of the Canon sensor design. In most real world circumstances, it's a non-issue.

I hear this about Canon sensors (coming from Sony sensors) and it concerns me.  But I really don't have a choice (given all the other constraints/practicalities) but to go with Canon.  And I figure the Canon FF in question here actually isn't going to be my extreme environment tool and subject to heavy pushing in RAW.  (It's a long story of what I do with my cameras and I'll leave that for people *particularly interested*, which I won't assume to be you guys.)

I guess I'm asking the dual questions of:

1) Whether anybody knows of significant improvements made about this with the 5dMKIII and/or 6D, and if more progress was made for one model over the other?

There's a long technical discussion here, but here's the bottom line. Shoot RAW, expose properly in the first place, then don't severely lift your shadows in post production. Unless there's an issue with the camera, these days banding is a pixel-peeper issue and not a real world problem. If you really need huge dynamic range, shoot with the built in HDR mode, or do HDR in post. (The HDR mode on the 5D3 is more capable than that of the 6D, in that the 5D3 will keep the RAW files used to create the HDR image.)

2) How limiting is this, say... compared to an APS-C Sony Exmor sensor?  Hoping somebody here has experience with both.

Don't have any experience with an Exmor sensor, but as full frame sensors generally have large photosites they generally perform better than their APS-C equivalents (resolution). The sensor architecture is quite a bit different on current Canon and Sony sensors. To remain competitive Canon will need to modernize their sensor manufacturing technology at some point, but this will be VERY expensive and perhaps unfeasible until global economics improves. If you look at the low noise performance of Canon and Nikon (Sony sensor) cameras, they are quite comparable. Currently some of the Sony equipped Nikon cameras have a bit more dynamic range, so there shadows are correspondingly a bit cleaner, but again in real world applications, the vast majority of all new DSLRs produce excellent images. Noise and banding are not the issues they used to be.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III
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