Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Started Jan 12, 2010 | Discussions
MossTech Junior Member • Posts: 33
Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

First: No flames please! This is for informational purposes only. A lot of people have been curious to see how the Canon 1D Mk IV compares to the Nikon D3s; with the same scene. Since I own both, here you go.

Second: This is not scientfic. I have tried to be accurate and non-biased.

Third: You may download the NEF and RAW files.

And without further ado...

http://www.moss-foto.com/nctest/cniso.htm
(RAW and NEF downloads)

http://www.moss-foto.com/nctest/cnjpg.htm

(Out-of-Camera JPeg comparison. Lots of images. Wait for page to load to see effect.)

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TTFN
8-)

Thorstein Korsvold Regular Member • Posts: 245
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Wow, thanks.

The new Canon looks incredibly good, a lot better than the D3s!

T

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emyr evans Contributing Member • Posts: 627
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

many thanks for the test.

what were your assessments of each camera and how they compare?

cheers

Emyr

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,874
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

I just checked the jpegs. Nice results from both cameras, D3s seems to have a 1 to 1 1/3 stop advantage above 1600 ISO, need 100% crops for more careful analysis. More sharpening from 1D4 as default, that's obvious, maybe a slightly weaker AA filter at work there, the D3/D3s is well-known for its conservative approach re sharpening ooc.
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verybiglebowski
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 3,897
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Thanks for posting those. I have one question. All images from Nikon seems to be much less in focus than the Canon ones. Is that only my impression, or is there some logical explanation why it is so? This in general have two effects - much more details in Canon shoots and much more noise in the ISO 6400 and above in the Canon shots.
Am I doing something wrong?

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Howard Nusbaum Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Thanks for the effort. The color rendition between the two cameras are obviously different, but that can be adjusted with either a profile or white balance matching, so I would ignore that for my observation.

At low ISOs the higher resolution of the 1DIV seems to show, but starting at about 1600 it evens out, and then the noise in the 1DIV starts to lose it after 3200 in the comparison.

The D3s seems to hold the highlights and shadows better at all ISOs. The M&M doll looks washed out on the 1DIV whereas the D3s seems to have a wider dynamic range and more detail without washing out (detail washout but not making a comment on resolution).

The color balance seems too cold on the D3s to my taste but again, that is correctable with profiles or doing a white balance before shooting. The warmer 1DIV may be a bit too warm, but closer to the true colors...what do you think?

Thanks again for the work - very interesting.

ssj1 Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Excellent work! If I do not count photons and peep into pixels, upto ISO 12800 they appear fairly comparable. I appears the noise in the black background behind the doll would not be visible if it was'nt reddish noise in the Canon pics. At and above ISO25600, the "king or ISO" seems to have vanquished the "dark lord." But at those ISOs, neither of them produce work to be proud off.

madzazulu Senior Member • Posts: 1,311
1D IV looks better than D3s

wow...the new low light king. Congrat to 1D IV owners.

Carbonman Regular Member • Posts: 350
Really?

I think the D3s is the winner above 6400. Up to that point, they are pretty darn close. The Nikon image holds together much better at the higher ranges, but not enough to consider a switch.

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,874
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

D3 (likely D3s as well) is known for its strong AA filter and conservative sharpening ooc. Usually, from RAW, you'll see much closer images in terms of detail from both cameras.

Regards.

verybiglebowski wrote:

Thanks for posting those. I have one question. All images from Nikon seems to be much less in focus than the Canon ones. Is that only my impression, or is there some logical explanation why it is so? This in general have two effects - much more details in Canon shoots and much more noise in the ISO 6400 and above in the Canon shots.
Am I doing something wrong?

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Renato.
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OnExposure member
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drewaltizer New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Really?

At higher ISOs the D3s seems to be pretty clearly superior. I would consider switching, but Canon video is much better in my opinion. Hopefully the 1DsM4 will break with tradition and place DR and LowNoise above Megapixels

verybiglebowski
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 3,897
Re: Really?

I downloaded RAW and NEF samples from enclosed link at 6400 and 12800 ISO no NR at all, and observed them in LR 2.6. As in the .jpegs in terms of noise Nikon looks much better, but the problem is, that as in the .jpegs Canon shots are much sharper. This leaves Canon with more noise and more detail above the Nikon. Very interesting...

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Jaims Senior Member • Posts: 2,075
Re: Many thanks

Thanks a lot, MossTech, for doing this test and sharing with us.
Best regards.

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Rickard Hansson Senior Member • Posts: 2,082
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

What?!!!

You know that the first imge is canon and secnd when hovering is D3s!

I must say that the difference in high iso performance is very big, the 1DmkIV is quite noisy in 6400 and above.

And that is even if the canon should have an advantage as the scale down is bigger for the canon and that should give less noise.

EDIT: Sorry, my post is only valid for the jpeg examples as i have not yet checked the RAW:s.

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Rickard Hansson
Sweden

OP MossTech Junior Member • Posts: 33
Few more OP comments...

Sorry, but for this test I used an older 70-210 Nilkon zoom. Compared to the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. Not fair you say, Send me your Nikon 70-200 VR II and I'll retest.;-)

I was in a hurry and used what I had at home.

And yes, Color/WB could really be better. Custom WB would have made a lot of difference. This was done in about 30 minutes this morning. Except for changes as noted in NR, ADL, ALO, etc. All images were out of camera with camera settings out-of-box. (JPegs resized only)

Thanks for the nice comments, so far! I am starting a file with + - of both cameras. Not ready to share yet. I got the C-1D IV this morning. Just shot a HS basketball game with it. Shot 4 yesterday with N-D3s. I have 4 games on Friday and will do a lot of head-to-head comparisons then.

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TTFN
8-)

Johnny Novice Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Pictures look reddish in Canon while the color in Nikon looks more proper with higher contrast. A first glance Nikon pictures look more attractive. However, when looking in depth, Canon pictures show more details, esplecailly for the shadow and the hair.

Howard Nusbaum wrote:

Thanks for the effort. The color rendition between the two cameras are obviously different, but that can be adjusted with either a profile or white balance matching, so I would ignore that for my observation.

At low ISOs the higher resolution of the 1DIV seems to show, but starting at about 1600 it evens out, and then the noise in the 1DIV starts to lose it after 3200 in the comparison.

The D3s seems to hold the highlights and shadows better at all ISOs. The M&M doll looks washed out on the 1DIV whereas the D3s seems to have a wider dynamic range and more detail without washing out (detail washout but not making a comment on resolution).

The color balance seems too cold on the D3s to my taste but again, that is correctable with profiles or doing a white balance before shooting. The warmer 1DIV may be a bit too warm, but closer to the true colors...what do you think?

Thanks again for the work - very interesting.

BMarc Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Few more OP comments...

Thanks for sharing !
Very informative first head to head 1D4 vs D3s.

I compared RAW and NEF ( a) versions) in LT 2.6 :

  • can't see any noticeable difference noise wise between 1D4 at ISO 1600 and D3s at 6400 ISO.

  • 1D4 at ISO 3200 seems equal, perhaps slightly better than D3s at 12800 ISO.

My thought is that noise wise (and regardless of resolution and reachness), D3s is at least 1,5 (nearly 2) stops better than 1D4 at ISO 1600 and above.

Furthermore, 3Ds noise seems less intrusive to me than 1D4 noise.

Thank again for the time spent.
--
Regards,
Marc

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,874
Re: Few more OP comments...

Nice, thanks, you'll probably be able to present a very knowledgeable appraisal of both cameras, including high ISO, AF, etc.

KUTGW!

MossTech wrote:

Sorry, but for this test I used an older 70-210 Nilkon zoom. Compared to the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. Not fair you say, Send me your Nikon 70-200 VR II and I'll retest.;-)

I was in a hurry and used what I had at home.

And yes, Color/WB could really be better. Custom WB would have made a lot of difference. This was done in about 30 minutes this morning. Except for changes as noted in NR, ADL, ALO, etc. All images were out of camera with camera settings out-of-box. (JPegs resized only)

Thanks for the nice comments, so far! I am starting a file with + - of both cameras. Not ready to share yet. I got the C-1D IV this morning. Just shot a HS basketball game with it. Shot 4 yesterday with N-D3s. I have 4 games on Friday and will do a lot of head-to-head comparisons then.

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TTFN
8-)

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Renato.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhlpedrosa/
OnExposure member
http://www.onexposure.net/

Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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Faldo68 Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: Canon 1D Mk IV vs. Nikon D3s ISO Test, Jpeg & RAW

Thanks for sharing! It's interesting to have something to compare to.

I downloaded the RAW and NEF files at ISO3200 and 6400 with NR. I usually don't look at images at 100% on screen, as that really doesn't represent the image as I would use it. But looking at the images on screen, I would say the D3s looks about 1,5 stop better.

To me print is the essential part, so I printed the 4 images at 16"x22".

I adjusted the WB and exposure a little bit to try make them similar. And I added a bit of clarity + some minor input sharpening. No extra NR.

First of all, all 4 images print very good at 16"x22". The D3s to me still looks about 1 stop better when I look closely(about 30cm away). I think that if I were to present them to someone, they probably couldn't tell the difference, except for slight color variations. It goes to show that proper exposure gives you good files to work with!

So my conclusion from your files, is that the D3s is at least 1 stop better, might be 2 stops in some cases. But this will vary under differing circumstances. And a bit surprised that the D3s prints so well at that size:) But the D3s doesn't walk all over the MkIV as some have stated.

I think both Nikon and Canon shooters have good options now, and to me the differences are to small to switch either way. As usual it's still all evolution and no revolution:)

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Stepanfo Senior Member • Posts: 1,173
What lens?!

MossTech wrote:

Sorry, but for this test I used an older 70-210 Nilkon zoom. Compared to the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. Not fair you say

Whaaat!? What lens did you put on the poor D3s?!
Was it the manual focus 70-210/4 from 1981?
Or AF 70-210/4-5.6 from 1987?

You killed any detail comparison with this lens... One can just observe character and amount of noise.

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