Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

Started Jan 30, 2008 | Discussions
peted1 Regular Member • Posts: 261
Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

Hi folks

I am a wedding photographer semi pro and am currently looking to change to either canon 5D or D300 Nikon. At present I use the Pentax K10D with various lenses.

My question is the D300 capable of taking shots of this guys quality http://www.pbase.com/dot_borg This guy uses the 5D with the 24-105 IS lens and produces amazing results.

I have yet to see the D300 produce these type of results. I realise this is because the 5D is 2 years old and a favourite amongst pros so we are going to see shots like this on the net. If anyone can point me to images like this taken with the D300 I would be gratful.

The trouble is at the moment there are a lot of amatuers buying the D300 and expecting to take shots like a pro. It dont happen thet easy I am afraid. Photography is about many other things besides the camera.

I am really keen on the D300 as it as so many more useful features than the old 5D but not sure if it can match up to the 5D in terms of IQ or as near as. Have a good look at the shots by this guy especially Models and Railway shots let me know your thoughts.

We all know its the lighting, lens and technique that makes a great shot but the D300 is so tempting for many reasons. For me doing weddings its IQ, low noise at high ISO fast accurate focus especially in low light and FPS that I crave but my K10D looses me down hunting for focus especially in low lit churchs etc.. even with fast primes

PS here are a few of my recent landscape shots with the K10D

I have posted a simiar thread over on the nikon forum but was interested in the Canon users point of view also. I would love it if canon bought a FF model out at the PMA or a 5D upgrade with a few extras like more FPS, weather sealing and sensor clean.

Cheers Pete
http://www.petedavis-photography.com

bucklenut Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

I think you answered your own question when you said that the photographer makes the picture...

However, I've looked at a LOT of images from a lot of cameras in researching a 5d purchase. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen anything match it's image quality, especially in that price range.

I've tried to justify buying lots of other, newer things, but I always come back to how great the 5d images are.
--
Tony Hoffer
http://www.hofferphotography.com
http://www.hofferphotography.blogspot.com

OP peted1 Regular Member • Posts: 261
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

I agree but will we be saying this about the D300 in 2 years from now when the D300 as been used more and the camera is in the right hands.

It maybe to early to judge the 5D being overall better than the D300 as its a new model.

All the reviews point to the D300 being superb but I keep thinking 5D just wish they would upgrade it now as I cant wait another 6 months + or afford to buy the 5D now and 5DII in 6 months

Pete

Silat Shooter
Silat Shooter Contributing Member • Posts: 913
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

If IQ is your primary objective, for today's money and current prices the 5D is best bang per pixel bar none. Where the D300 beats the 5D is in newer, better AF system, wireless flash technology, ergonomics, speed-fps, weather-sealing, rear LCD display and it has made strides in high ISO IQ...damn, reads like a alot!

But at the end of the conversation, it really comes down to IQ. The other stuff is nice and welcomed, helping make for a better tool. But the 5D focuses very nicely, has a great viewfinder and works! Up to ISO 1000, it goes toe-to-toe with the D3. Some feel it's better than the D3 up to that point. I'm not here to argue that point.

But if you are looking for images posted from the D300, I'd go to the D300 forum and also the Fuji SLR forum. Alot of S5 shooters shot the D300 against their cameras, the findings were interesting.

Take a look. Good Luck with your purchase and imaging!

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GiovanniB Contributing Member • Posts: 991
Go with the 5D

Pete,

I did a lot of research to decide if I would stay with APS-C (Sony A700 in my case, which has roughly the same IQ as the Nikon D300 and a very nice interface), or to go fullframe now with the 5D. I chose the "outdated" 5D and I don't regret it at all. The larger sensor with its larger photosites leaves a lot more "headroom" for the lenses, so you don't necessarily need the very latest super-sharp digital optimized lens for good results. My subjective impression is also that slight gradations and structures are reproduced with a much clearer "micro-contrast", which makes the images appear more lively and which is acknowled in all tests that take this aspect into account that I saw so far. This is the advantage of a larger pixel pitch - the 5D creates a similar quality on the 100% pixel level like a good 6 MP APS-C sensor is capable of, but on a larger surface, resulting in more than 12 MP of high quality image data. It doesn't suffer from any of the problems introduced by the pixels becoming smaller and smaller recently. It's a camera that you will want to keep for a long time.

Just my 2 cents

Johannes

peted1 wrote:

Hi folks

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Radio Denver Senior Member • Posts: 1,002
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

Been shooting with a 5D and 1DsMKII since they were both released. I also have a D300. I've done side-by-side test prints of the 5D and the D300 at 24 x 36, same exact scenes, same exact lighting, you can't tell one from another.

The 5D produces an outstanding image.
The D300 produces an outstanding image.

Your results will be more determined by your skill and creativity.

Functionally, in almost every regard, the D300 is a better camera.
--
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Rommaker Senior Member • Posts: 2,536
Two words ...
Rommaker Senior Member • Posts: 2,536
Re: Go with the 5D

Your story and mine parallel each other, Johannes. I sold my A700 after only 400+ actuations. I was very disappointed to have waited so long for a successor to my twin 7Ds and have results from it whose improvement in IQ was barely noticeable, although I have seen some amazing images come from the camera. But it just wasn't for me, I'm sorry to say.

Like yourself, I have not regretted my decision for one second. The images from the full-frame 5D are nothing short of amazing, and I am singing its praises ad nauseum.

Dollar for Dollar, Euro for Euro, the 'elderly' 5D is unbeatable for IQ.

GiovanniB wrote:
Pete,

I did a lot of research to decide if I would stay with APS-C (Sony
A700 in my case, which has roughly the same IQ as the Nikon D300 and
a very nice interface), or to go fullframe now with the 5D. I chose
the "outdated" 5D and I don't regret it at all. The larger sensor
with its larger photosites leaves a lot more "headroom" for the
lenses, so you don't necessarily need the very latest super-sharp
digital optimized lens for good results. My subjective impression is
also that slight gradations and structures are reproduced with a much
clearer "micro-contrast", which makes the images appear more lively
and which is acknowled in all tests that take this aspect into
account that I saw so far. This is the advantage of a larger pixel
pitch - the 5D creates a similar quality on the 100% pixel level like
a good 6 MP APS-C sensor is capable of, but on a larger surface,
resulting in more than 12 MP of high quality image data. It doesn't
suffer from any of the problems introduced by the pixels becoming
smaller and smaller recently. It's a camera that you will want to
keep for a long time.

Just my 2 cents

Johannes

peted1 wrote:

Hi folks

-- hide signature --
Kasimir Regular Member • Posts: 311
Simply NO! (nt)

mean no text.

Kabe Luna
Kabe Luna Veteran Member • Posts: 9,502
Through ISO 800, if shallow DOF and exposure latitude are not of importance...

..., (the latter meaning you can get the tonal distribution you want in the initial exposure and won't need the shadow and highlight headroom afforded by the higher-capacity pixels of a less-dense sensor), the D300 may actually edge out the 5D for overall image quality. In particular, the D300 produces much cleaner shadows at its base ISO through ISO 500 than does the 5D. I also think it does a slightly better job rendering smooth, subtle tonal gradations–again, especially in shadow areas where the 5D (and most Canons) can get ragged. With equivalently good lenses, however, the 5D provides a higher level of fine detail, as you would expect from the same number of pixels distributed across and area 1.5x greater.

Image quality encompasses the system rather than just the body, and which is superior from a technical perspective will depend on what you shoot and how. Another thing to consider is the quality of lenses–if you're a wide angle shooter, Nikon's best options are generally sharper and less plagued by chromatic aberration than Canon's, also contributing to higher image quality. In the normal to telephoto range, Canon's lenses, whether L-series or not, are hard to beat.

To the extent that a responsive, versatile (read, configurable) camera may make your job easier and increase your chances of coming away with great shots under less than optimal conditions, however, the D300 is a vastly better choice than the 5D.

My $0.02.
--
- -
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pertti Senior Member • Posts: 1,043
Re: Through ISO 800, if shallow DOF and exposure latitude are not of importance...

Kabe Luna wrote:
With equivalently good lenses, however, the 5D provides a

higher level of fine detail, as you would expect from the same number
of pixels distributed across and area 1.5x greater.

That sums it up. I would also add that with very good lenses 5D provides nothing short of excellent color, inculding shadows. Also out of focus areas is nicer imho 100% crop or pictures (clock from layered psd:s):

levels done but unsharpened at 100%:

http://www.jussivakkala.com/dpreview/fungi.jpg

-
http://www.jussivakkala.com

OP peted1 Regular Member • Posts: 261
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

Thanks Guys

I just wish Canon would bring out an upgrade with those extra bits i need such as more FPS weather and sensor clean (although the not over important)

AHHHHHH

Phil Flash Veteran Member • Posts: 4,305
I just can't handle the crop.

Sorry, I feel like I'm boxed in with a crop camera and that the lenses are all compromises or vastly overpriced for the pro options even though they need to hit a much smaller target.

I'm sure I'd love the D300s ergos. I'm positive of it.

But I love the 5D IQ and the fact that a 50mm 1.8 has a normal field of view again. No need to resort to Sigma lenses for a normal lens or a lightweight telephoto.

I'll switch back to Nikon when there's a FF D300. But until then, the clunky 5D with its silky image quality is my prince.

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Phil Flash
SF, CA USA

It's not the camera. It's you.

Stuff I own in my profile.

sergey1968 Senior Member • Posts: 1,068
It can not. Let me explain -

The problem is in lens performance. Some people think that full frame requires better lenses - actually it's just the opposite. And the difference is very significant.

Let's take some Nikon's lens such as 35 f/2 - considered to be very good 35mm lens. We can find MTF dataq for that lens on http://www.photodo.com/product_37_p4.html

What do we see there? Let's say we are taking picture of some motif which gives us 40 lines/mm pattern on D300 sensor. To get the same framing with 5D we will have to step forward and on it's on-sensor frequency will be 26 lines/mm. From purely sensor point of view there is no difference, of course - the same amount of pixels correspond to one line. But judging from the charts light contrast on 5D sensor will be around 30% higher at f/2 and may be 20% higher at f/8.

This is technical explanation why picture look "crisper" when taken with 5D/D3 than with D2x/D300 - though sensor resolution is the same. It will happen on every ISO. Some lenses do better - long lenses especially like examplery 200 1.8 ( http://www.photodo.com/product_61_p4.html ), where difference is around 10% - but still there!

You can try to compensate for this by sharpening - but you'll get noise and artefacts...

cabm Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

Probably the most accurate and impartial answer...

Radio Denver wrote:

Been shooting with a 5D and 1DsMKII since they were both released. I
also have a D300. I've done side-by-side test prints of the 5D and
the D300 at 24 x 36, same exact scenes, same exact lighting, you
can't tell one from another.

The 5D produces an outstanding image.
The D300 produces an outstanding image.

Your results will be more determined by your skill and creativity.

Functionally, in almost every regard, the D300 is a better camera.
--
Visit me at

http://www.have-camera-will-travel.com

pipspeak Senior Member • Posts: 1,774
Re: Can the Nikon D300 match the 5D IQ

What's your verdict at, say, ISO800 (about the highest I'll normally shoot except in an emergency). From what I've seen and read, the D300 tends to lose some detail at higher ISOs but I'm not sure if it's really noticeable in large prints or not.

Kasimir Regular Member • Posts: 311
Re: It can not. Let me explain -

sergey1968 wrote:

Let's take some Nikon's lens such as 35 f/2 - considered to be very
good 35mm lens. We can find MTF dataq for that lens on
http://www.photodo.com/product_37_p4.html

In general I share Your opinion.

If the Nikkor 35/2.0 is a good lens, then look on it when mounted on D300 compared to 5D with EF-50/1.4.

http://www.pbase.com/kaziu/test_4
(press the "original" button to get 100% crop)

I think it explain the topic better than MTF curves

Slideshow Bob Senior Member • Posts: 1,770
No chance!

The 5D is certainly better for wedding photography than the D300. High ISO is markedly better, which could be very important to you. It depends on what aspects of IQ you're looking for. If you need dynamic range, then give the Fuji S5 a look, because even the 5D can't touch that cameras DR. Given the lighting and clothing often seen at weddings, DR should be near the top of your list of requirements (IMHO).

SB

pipspeak Senior Member • Posts: 1,774
Re: It can not. Let me explain -

Thanks for that link... it clearly shows the "pop" that people talk about with the 5D.

sergey1968 Senior Member • Posts: 1,068
That's probably it -

although 50 1.4 seems to be better lens than 35 2 from "MTF" point of view.

My own non-scientific impression is based on shooting extensively with D2x and 5D. I know that when contrast is low details on D2x go south.
Alas, it's much easier now to make sensors than lenses...

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