Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences

fwellers wrote:

Thank you Luke,

I haven't read those kinds of tech details about the sensors before. It sounded though, like you said the following three things:

- Df sensor was enhanced to provide better performamce at base ISO.

- D600 has thermal noise that needs some special mitigation ??

- D600 has better IQ at base ISO. ( better colors and DR )

Can you please make it more clear for me ? At what point along the ISO scale ( at normal shutter speeds ) does the DF take over as far as having the better IQ ?

Thanks !

So.  The D4/Df does amplification and A-D conversion on the sensor using 24 channels.  The D600/D800 does amplification and A-D conversion on the sensor, but using a channel for every column.  [This is done to facilitate a slow readout.]  In other words, the D600/D800 has a lot more active electronics on the sensor.  The D800 obviously has more of everything, including heat.  The D600 is a bit better.

On my D800, if I shoot at ISO12800 at 1/80th, there is a bluish-magenta cast over the frame with local hotspots.  You can't color balance this out.  If I've been using live view, the effects are even more severe.

Everything below that is a matter of degree.  At base ISO, it's negligible.  I'd say up to ISO 1600 is pretty safe at handheld shutter speeds, and even a bit beyond.

I maintain that dark-frame subtraction should be a full-time option for this camera, as it is for some of the newer MFD cameras that use the same technology.

But you know the higher resolution cameras, even in very low light, can yield some surprising detail in the better-lighted parts of the scene.  There are times when I reach for the D800 as a low light camera.  But I have to be ready to do the dark-frame subtraction in post.  And this is something you don't want to be doing on every image.

The nice thing about the D4/Df is that it obliges every situation with no questions asked.  And it really is very nice indeed at base ISO as well, quite a bit better than its predecessors.

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