Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

Started Apr 5, 2008 | Discussions
jimbobuk Junior Member • Posts: 30
Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

A few weeks ago i had chance to try and test out my new D3 against the 5D. At the time i was trying out using Capture One 4, but hit a snag when one file just converted very very softly for the D3 (iso 12800, yet 25600 was fine).. I then discovered how great Capture NX was with the same images, and left it there.

I'm currently testing Aperture 2.1 and have used this to convert both sets of raw files out of the 5D and the D3... the settings are all at the defaults, so there is more and less NR happening, and seemingly more and less sharpening.

This test is by no means thorough or accurate but it may be helpful to some. The details are

Canon 5D
Canon 50mm f1.8 @ f9
Tripod
Mirror lock up, self timer

Nikon D3
Nikon 50mm f1.4 @ f9
Tripod

Mirror lock up, annoyingly no self timer support so i had to leave each shot 30 seconds for the shot to auto take which sometimes meant light had changed in that 30 second window.

Also the D3 is a different size to the 5D so i had to adjust the tripod center column to try and align the photos.. this along with perhaps differences in the exact FOV of the lenses means that the two shots are never quite perfectly equivelant.

They are close though, and what can be seen is that seemingly the 5D is sharper at lower isos, though there isn't a lot in it. Also the 5D in this scene scales up well through the ISOs.. detail doesn't seem to suffer much at all, its only in the shadows where the noise becomes noticably worse than the D3.. and also the details do start to go by ISO 3200.

Slightly frustrating that the D3 doesn't kill the cheaper canon, but then again what were you to expect with them being similar megapixel, and pixel pitch sensors.

Anyways here's the images

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimbobuk/sets/72157604391617771/

I do remember when shooting this how much more i preferred the feel of the D3 in my hand.. so quick to get used to nikon after using Canon for a few years.. oh and the 5D does feel a bit like a toy next to it.. though part of that is thanks to its extremely light weight.

Hope the shots are helpful to someone.

joseph papa Contributing Member • Posts: 685
Re: Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

You are going to have a hard time comparing image quality between these two cameras I think. I saw another comparison in the Canon forums that seemed to favor the 5D however, keep one thing in mind. The body of the 5D is in la la land compared to the D3. Image quality of the 5D was never in need of improvement.

One thing for sure the 5D will always fall short in the image quality dept. is higher ISO performance, flash exposure accuracy and don't forget its not 14 bit. In ideal conditions is may be close, but in the real world the D3 is light years ahead. I would easily struggle with that camera in low light just for focus accuracy, while the D3 would have got the shot.

Jeffrey Anderson Senior Member • Posts: 1,866
Re: Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

Can you post some 100% crops of the text? Thanks.

imiatro Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

honestly????

Come on, save your time and money...keep the canon, get a sofa, relax.

Amin Sabet
Amin Sabet Veteran Member • Posts: 6,762
Interesting, thanks for sharing these!

So far, I've only had time to compare the ISO 200 and ISO 400 shots, and unfortunately I'm on a less than optimal display. My preliminary impression is that the D3 has a stronger AA filter. I.e., it looks to me as though the 5D is capturing a touch more real detail (though both have high detail) at the expense of slightly more aliasing effects (though both show a bit of both color and luminance aliasing).

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LeungPhotos
LeungPhotos Forum Pro • Posts: 11,757
Re: Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

im not sure what this test shows... it seems to me the exposures for teh 5D are more consistent? were the same exact settings used for each shot? all shots in full manual mode?

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Amin Sabet
Amin Sabet Veteran Member • Posts: 6,762
A request

Thanks again for posting these. There will always be some people around these forums who say that such tests are worthless, but there are many of us who enjoy to look at such things. If you would make the RAW files available for download, I'd love to play with them. http://www.yousendit.com/ is a good place to host files for free. Regards, Amin

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Thomas Streng Senior Member • Posts: 2,749
Re: Nikon D3 vs Canon 5D - test shots

Without analysing your images your conclusion seems the same as most who compare those 2 cameras. The 5D seems to show a little more detail at low ISO, probably caused by a weaker filter?

When I first got the D3 I was a little concerned in the first step - would I get the fine detail with the D3 which I am used for example from the M8?

Now some weeks later I would say yes, even the M8 and eventually the 5D could a slightest slight crisper image, the D3 images show a very good "depth"

The thing where I am really happy with the D3 are color and tones-smooth transitions, not difficult to get a pleasing WB (sometimes in post), balanced saturation of different colors.
Now when I used the 5D there were 2 things I didnt like that much.

1) The 24-105 (I only had the 24-105 and 80-200/4.0) showed massive vignetting at the wide end. Correction would result in noise in the corners
2) I didnt find the color/saturation of reds and orange tones that balanced

Of course color and tones/ transitions are harder to judge, but I think nowadays underrated compared to sharpness and detail.
Thanks for the test!

photoforfun Veteran Member • Posts: 6,084
Thousands were begging for a 5D sensor in a Nikon body...

...now we have that, and from iso 800 upwards, the D3 IQ is even MUCH better as the 5D IQ.

Next to that D3's AF system, flash system, metering system, built quality, overall handling, speed, features etc are uncomparable better as 5D...

5D's initial launch price was 3300 euro, D3 initial launch price was 4850 euro...
so, we're all happy... Nikon catched up completely.
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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,354
Re: Half a test can be better than none -
  • but I would like to see something a little more challenging with a range of colours (colour checker chart?), a firmly anchored fine detail measurement target (your open book propped at an angle to the sensor resting on a settee is anything but firmly anchored), hopefully the tripod was not on a carpet otherwise your testing may not have done justice to either camera, and an indication of where you aimed the focus point bearing in mind the idiosyncrasies of either AF system.

Digressing (if you are Canon this hurts) the UK's top pro mag has just reported the D3 out resolves the 1Ds III when interpolated up to equivalent MP, and Pop Photos 1Ds III resolution tests confirm Professional Photo are likely to be right. This unexpected result probably has much to do with the d£'s automatic lateral CA reduction function. In fairness to the III it should interpolate better than the D3 if you need A1. Most should be happy with the 5D at A2. I am more than happy with the D3 at A2 even at 6400.
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Bimthecat Senior Member • Posts: 2,642
5D histogram is completely inaccurate....

5D histogram is completely inaccurate....and way too small in the display.
which is bogus, considering how important the Histogram is.

The D3 has TWICE the shutter duty cycle life...making it less expensive than the Canon.
The D3 flash system is much better.
The D3 has better lenses.
The D3 is much faster.
The D3 has dual CF slots.

The 5D is Prosumer & slow.
The D3 is a superb tool.
The 5D is made by an office equipment company.

Maciej Freudenheim Contributing Member • Posts: 512
Re: 5D histogram is completely inaccurate....

Bimthecat wrote:

The D3 has TWICE the shutter duty cycle life...making it less
expensive than the Canon.

You got to be kidding - you can replace the shutter for a few bucks, one doesn't need to throw camera away if the shutter fails. It's not an argument at all.

The D3 flash system is much better.

A lot of people say so.

The D3 has better lenses.

What?

Lately I'm using 5D more often than my D3 just because of lenses: there's no 35mm 1.4L equivalent, no 50mm 1.2L equivalent, no 24mm 1.4L equivalent in Nikon line up.

16-35LII is definitely sharper wide open than 17-35mm f/2.8, and they are both sharp at f/8-f/11 across the entire frame.

I'm supposed to receive Nikon's 135mm f/2.0 DC today or on Monday, and I will compare it to Canon's 135mm f/2.0L which is one of my fav lens.

I've also ordered Zeiss 28mm 2.0 Distagon because of lack of the nice lenses in Nikon's line up. I hope to receive this lens today.

I completely DO NOT agree with your statement. Can you please elaborate what lenses exactly did you mean, please?

The D3 is much faster.

Right, but until you shoot sports/action it doesn't really affect images

The D3 has dual CF slots.

True, but it doesn't affect IQ. D3 also has a lot more features not mentioned by you, that 5D doesn't.

The 5D is Prosumer & slow.

Hehe, and how it affects IQ, precisely?

The D3 is a superb tool.
The 5D is made by an office equipment company.

Now, those are real arguments!

Cheers.

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Thilo Regular Member • Posts: 176
Re: 5D histogram is completely inaccurate....

Maciej Freudenheim wrote:

16-35LII is definitely sharper wide open than 17-35mm f/2.8, and they
are both sharp at f/8-f/11 across the entire frame.

Take the 14-24/2.8, it's even better than the new 14/2.8L II prime from Canon (and much better than the 16-35/2.8L II).

-Thilo

Maciej Freudenheim Contributing Member • Posts: 512
Re: 5D histogram is completely inaccurate....

Thilo wrote:

Maciej Freudenheim wrote:

16-35LII is definitely sharper wide open than 17-35mm f/2.8, and they
are both sharp at f/8-f/11 across the entire frame.

Take the 14-24/2.8, it's even better than the new 14/2.8L II prime
from Canon (and much better than the 16-35/2.8L II).

Yea but 14-24 is definitely an one-trick-pony. I own one and it's a great lens if I really want extreme WA, but both 16-35 and 17-35 (I own both as well) are way more useful in everyday shooting.

So, I listed 4 or 5 lenses, you listed just one so far.

I can throw in more: excellent (extremely sharp) f/4 lightweight zooms like 70-200 f/4.0L IS or 24-105 f/4.0L IS.

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ghpoty Senior Member • Posts: 1,231
5D looks like a toy.

oh and the 5D does feel a bit like a toy next to it.. though part of that is thanks to its extremely light weight.

Yes, at that price point, you pay more for the durability for D3, the 5D should look like a toy, but it works.

http://www.photos-of-the-year.com/articles/canon-5d/#24-105

coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: Thousands were begging for a 5D sensor in a Nikon body...

Yeah, man, everyone who can afford a cool 5,000e is happy. A 5D is how much these days? Same price as D300.

photoforfun wrote:

...now we have that, and from iso 800 upwards, the D3 IQ is even MUCH
better as the 5D IQ.
Next to that D3's AF system, flash system, metering system, built
quality, overall handling, speed, features etc are uncomparable
better as 5D...
5D's initial launch price was 3300 euro, D3 initial launch price was
4850 euro...
so, we're all happy... Nikon catched up completely.

coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: 5D histogram is completely inaccurate....

Totally better, man.

I'm just on my way out, I'm gonna buy Nikon equivalents of 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2 and 135/2.

oh wait..

Bimthecat wrote:

The D3 has better lenses.

Hans Kruse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,398
Re: Half a test can be better than none -

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Digressing (if you are Canon this hurts) the UK's top pro mag has
just reported the D3 out resolves the 1Ds III when interpolated up to
equivalent MP, and Pop Photos 1Ds III resolution tests confirm
Professional Photo are likely to be right.

Pop Photo have D3 resoluion at 2320 and 1Ds mkiii at 2830. Other magazins report differnet numbers, but all have the 1Ds mkiii way above the D3. I haven't seen Professional Photo but their test must be flawed.

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Maciej Freudenheim Contributing Member • Posts: 512
Re: 5D histogram is completely inaccurate....

Actually Nikon has 135/2 equivalent -- 135mm f/2.0 DC. I'm gonna test this lens soon (next week) and see how it compares to the Canon 135 2L.

24L, 35L and 50L are indeed unmatched on the Nikon side, and so are f/4L zooms.

I don't have any idea why Bim thinks Nikon has better lenses, but probably he doesn't own the Canon ones, and was just blindly repeating some false statements made by others.

coudet wrote:
Totally better, man.

I'm just on my way out, I'm gonna buy Nikon equivalents of 24/1.4,
35/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2 and 135/2.

oh wait..

Bimthecat wrote:

The D3 has better lenses.

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Maciej Freudenheim Contributing Member • Posts: 512
Re: Half a test can be better than none -

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Digressing (if you are Canon this hurts) the UK's top pro mag has
just reported the D3 out resolves the 1Ds III when interpolated up to
equivalent MP, and Pop Photos 1Ds III resolution tests confirm
Professional Photo are likely to be right. This unexpected result
probably has much to do with the d£'s automatic lateral CA reduction
function.

Someone had to really do something wrong with this test.

Some time ago I compared 1Ds3 and D3 RAW files of the very same scene, both shot on the tripod, and no matter what I did 1Ds3 won in details/resolution - what was pretty much expected. If I downsized the 1Ds3 shot to match the D3's resolution, I could actually still see differences after applying a lot of sharpening to both shots on my computer display when looked at shots at 100% - the 1Ds3 shot was slightly (really a very little) more detailed.

If I upsized the D3 shot to match the 1Ds3 resolution, the differences were big, favoring the 1Ds3.

I own a D3 and I don't really understand why people believe that D3 outresolves (in terms of details) 1Ds3? It sounds like a bulls*it and is bullsh*t..

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