Is There Life After CCD and the D200? - No 2

Started Jun 14, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Trevor G Veteran Member • Posts: 6,576
Is There Life After CCD and the D200? - No 2

May I gently suggest to those who think that CCD is "better" that it is unnecessary to get personal with detractors and argue specious points?  Let's keep this thread flowing...

I consider this to be an interesting topic and worthy of further investigation.

I had a D5100 since August last year and sold it a week ago.  I suddenly got the idea of including it in the comparison!  Here is one result.

Firstly, I was not at all impressed with the D5100.  JPEG colours, especially on skin tones, were woeful; they were either unnaturally pink or orange, and flat.  I cannot show any results like that at the moment, though.

However, I can show the good old Albury railway station, incidentally the second or third longest platform in the Southern Hemisphere.  There's a story behind that, but I won't bother just now! 

Try as I might, I cannot really see any worthwhile differences in this scene that make one camera better than another.  That suggests:

1) There isn't any real difference between the D200 and the D5100 output, or

2) The differences between the CCD sensor in the D200 and the CMOS sensor in the D5100 will only show up:

a) under certain lighting conditions

b) with certain lenses or

c) a combination of both the above.

Much as fPrime doesn't want to admit it, the difference in lighting in the imaging-resource studio shot comparison he is bringing out betweeen the D200 and the D300 predominantly invalidate any conclusion one way or the other.

The lighting is from different directions and intensities and is possibly even from different light sources, and  the camera positions are also quite different.  On flat objects, such as a test chart, that won't be such a problem, but on 3 dimensional objects that can quite easily produce results which seriously affect the validity of any conclusions thereon.  (Or thereupon?)

Hence I have normalised these two shots, by setting white balance on the sign in the near foreground. That creates the famous "level playing field" that is so often missing in comparisons.  Once we do that, I think there is next to no difference between the D200 and the D5100, under these circumstances.

First, here is the overall scene:

Here is a 100% crop comparing the D200 with the D5100 at the gantry level:

It's possible that the gentler peaks on the CCD camera show a difference at sensor level, but I have no evidence to prove that. Even the colour profiles seem to be close to matching in RAW.

The same lens, a Tamron 17-50 f2.8, was used on both cameras.  The shots were exposed about 4 minutes apart.  As mentioned above, white balance was set on the sign in the hear foreground.

Here is one with some stronger (but relatively small) red and blue detail in the distance.  There is a possibility that the slightly less clear hills in the D5100 shot are due to slight cloud haze affecting that area. I'll check the rest of the shots to see if that difference remained.

The same lens was used in both cases - a Tamron 17-50 f2.8

I expected to see different results.

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Trevor G
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