D610 vs. 5D Mark III

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Timbukto Veteran Member • Posts: 4,988
Re: D610 vs. 5D Mark III

RicksAstro wrote:

ron purdy wrote:

I’ve been using Canons for the past 20 years or so. A couple days ago I bought a Nikon D610 and the 50mm 1.8 G on a lark.

My first impression: the D610 is pretty damn good.

First, the image quality is at least as good (and often better) than my much higher priced 5D3.

Also the AF on the D610 has been great so far. Even though is is lesser-spec’d than the Canon’s, the AF assist light helps tremendously in low light. It focuses perfectly well in very dim light, much, MUCH better low light AF than my old 5D2.

The D610 feels somewhat cheap (more plastic and hollow) than my 5D3, but the IQ is great. Even jpegs are yielding amazing results. And with RAW, both highlights and shadows look spectacular. Even at 100% view, there is just more integrity there than there is on the Canon. And the Nikon files are sharper when both are optimized. Also the Canon files consistently NEED noise reduction (even at low ISOs) where the Nikon needs none.

Shooting both kits each with a 50mm, the Nikon files are by far superior in terms of metering, shadow noise, detail, great colors, etc. I usually shoot people, but have recently been shooting travel and landscapes as well. And for this purpose, the D610 looks awesome. Another thing that works well is manually focusing - it’s just easier to tell where the focus is on the D610. The viewfinder is darker, and there is more snap in and out of focus.

I will post a few RAW files when I have a minute, but needless to say, I am very impressed. I will likely be keeping this camera. And I will purchase a couple more lenses to go with it. Unfortunately, there are not a whole lot of converters which will work with these D610 files, as the camera is new...

Overall, the D610 files are simply take a lot less work (due to superior noise, sharpness and metering) to get them where I need them to be. And the AF has been as reliable as my 5D3. Though I am not really using follow-focus, which would likely work better on the 5D3.

For now I am keeping my Canons too.

I've owned a D800/E and D600 and had a Nikon system for a few years and now have a 5D Mark III. I agree that at low ISO, the Sony chips are fantastic. On a bright, contrasty day, the ability to pull shadows is unparalleled. I absolutely loved the D800E's resolution and sharpness. You can crop incredibly much and still have a lot to work with.

I thought Nikon's lenses were great. The new 85 1.8G is much nicer than Canon's in terms of bokeh and overall sharpness. The 70-200 2.8 VRII is right up there with Canon's newest. The speed of AF was great and even the slow D800E was great for sports if you didn't need the fps. Allows for more "reach" from the 70-200 with the high resolution and lack of AA filter.

So why do I now use the 5DIII? AF consistency! Setting aside the D800E's left point AF and the D600 spot issues (both of which I experienced, but they weren't huge issues for me in real life), it was the AF using primes in mixed lighting conditions that killed it for me. With the 85 1.8G, I could either adjust the AF to work in daylight conditions or dimmer, indoor conditions. The differences were large. I could not come up with a setting that was effective for both that would work wide open. It would work consistently great for whichever I calibrated for, but then the other condition would be off.

To see the color temp effect, I suggest using the red flash AF assist on a Nikon flash in a dimly lit room with a high contrast target. For me on all Nikons I tried, the focus locks but was really far off, not close to usable. The on-camera AF assist light works just OK, but I would always get the squinting deer in the headlights look from the people in the pictures...completely unacceptable.

Also, I had one copy of the D800 and D600 each that went back because the AF calibration was far off for all my lenses. The replacements were closer to zero. Calibration consistency seems to be an issue for Nikon. Maybe the mirror settles over time.

The 5DIII I bought only needs 1 or 2 microadjustment ticks and the AF is just more assured. I trust it in whatever conditions I'm in, which I couldn't say about the Nikons.

My ideal camera would be a D800E with a 5DIII AF module

Would you rate the D600 as having the same AF consistency issue as the D800, better, worse? I have no AF consistency issues with 6D (after MFA)...my Canon 85mm 1.8 is a two decade old optic so can't compete with one made 1-2 years ago in some regards, but the IQ is definitely good enough if not still impressive and its AF speed is screaming and accuracy never hair pulling.

 Timbukto's gear list:Timbukto's gear list
Canon EOS M Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM
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