20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Started Nov 9, 2013 | Discussions
CanonKen Senior Member • Posts: 2,854
20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:
2

First let me start by saying if you own a 70D, count your blessings for living in a world where this product exists, and you were able to afford it. It is a FANTASTIC camera.

Earlier this year, I upgraded my 30D to a 6D. Needless to say, it was quite a change in speed, quality, and versatility.

I recently fell into a 70D, and have been making some comparisons. The differences are much bigger than I expected.

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By my math, a 70D pixel is 38 µm² and a 6D pixel is 97 µm² (correct me if I am wrong).

--Across the board, the 6D has astonishingly little noise, even as the ISO gets over the 1000 mark.  Below 1000, there is little noise.  Above 1000, the noise is much closer to film and can actually be quite pleasing.

--The 70D, in comparison, shows a lot more noise, even at low ISO settings (well under 1000).  It is fairly pleasing noise at low ISO settings (filmlike), but quickly turns into colored pixels which are not at all nice.

--Still early, but it seems I can extract a whole lot more detail, shadows, and highlights from the 6D vs. the 70D.

Note, doing all of this in RAW with Lightroom.

Conclusion?  Both cameras are fantastic, and you are lucky to own either.  That said, it seems to be you have a whole lot more to work with in the 6D in terms of pure 'data'.  With the 6D, I can crop and enlarge to 125, 150, even 200% and get something I can process and print well.  On the 70D, things start getting a bit ugly when you try to push the image.

I was excited to have the 70D as a faster camera for wildlife (benefits of smaller pixels, fast frame rate, etc.), but I would rather work with the limits of my 6D, because the results to me seem much better.

Anyone have experience comparing cameras like this?

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OP CanonKen Senior Member • Posts: 2,854
Please click the 'show signature' part, most of the post is in there.

No text.

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ljudice Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

I have a 6D and a 60D and I think they make a great combination.  If I were to see more video work in the future I would definitely upgrade the 60D to a 70D.

I have been using the 60D with telephotos and macro and the 6D for everything else.  I am amazed at the 6D's ability to handle low light and as you mention, the noise has a film like quality to it, which I have found easy to control in Lightroom 5.

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Roger Bloemers Contributing Member • Posts: 821
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

I have the 70D and am thinking of adding the 6D. You might be pushing me over the edge with you positive statements about the 6D. Have you ever made big enlargements with the 6D and were they much better then the 70D? thanks

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Roger Bloemers

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OP CanonKen Senior Member • Posts: 2,854
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

I have not, but it is obviously working with files from both cameras, the 6D gives you a LOT more leeway than the 70D does.

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qianp2k Forum Pro • Posts: 10,350
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Nothing new here.  Check DXO's sensors test and system (lens+sensor) test, it explains everything.

If you frame the subject into the same AOV, 6D wins hands down especially in high ISO and when you view/print in very large size.   But if you unable to move closer or having long enough lens on a small subject such as one a small bird, with the same FL lens your 70D gives lots more details after you cropped heavily your 6D file to have the same AOV (or same portion) of the bird.  Two cameras complement each other well.  For landscape and portrait, 6D is very easy choice.  For birding 70D is a better choice unless you have very long lens that can frame the birds into large portion of VF w/o much cropping.

Marx81
Marx81 Regular Member • Posts: 434
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

70D and 6D got different sensor size , compare them is difficult .

For my photography needs , once I went into ff , I didn't look back .

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marxx/

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Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 14,982
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

CanonKen wrote:

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Still early, but it seems I can extract a whole lot more detail, shadows, and highlights from the 6D vs. the 70D.

I don't see how the 6D wins on detail at base ISO all other things being equal. Even when all things aren't equal, there should be more discernible detail. It has been proven more than once on this forum in side by side shots with a FF and crop camera. In this case, both sensors in question have 20 MP giving the 70D greater pixel density and greater capture resolution due to its smaller surface. Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

OTOH, the 6D should beat the 70D in overall noise (which is what I think you mean by shadows and highlights).

I have some experience comparing cameras and posting reviews on DPR albeit nothing with a crop. I would suggest posting side by side images to illustrate your text. It helps folks visualize what you are saying and it actually helps the reviewer focus his/her thoughts, and, in the process, the sustained study of said images may reveal an opposite result of the first impression or preconceived assumption. That's happened to me before.

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ovlov Senior Member • Posts: 1,436
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

I've never sat down and directly compared my 7D, EOS M and 6D.  I do know from practical experience that the 6D is much better in the noise department.  The EOS M is slightly better than the 7D.

The difference between Canon's 18MP APS-C sensor and their 20MP FF sensor is way more pronounced than the bar graphs you see online would have you believe.  The RAW data is a lot more pliable as well.  I can't speak to how the new sensor compares.

I had doubts about the 6D prior to its purchase, but the image quality has definitely won me over.

Just another Canon shooter
Just another Canon shooter Senior Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

How about TDP? 50L at f/1.2 on crop vs. the cheapo 85/1.8 at f/2 on FF?

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qianp2k Forum Pro • Posts: 10,350
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

How about TDP? 50L at f/1.2 on crop vs. the cheapo 85/1.8 at f/2 on FF?

DXO 85/1.8 on 6D vs 50L/1.2 on 70D 16 vs 12 mpix.

No doubt a cheaper EF lens on FF beats a very expensive lens on APS-C. However those EF lenses are not designed for crop. A more meaningful comparison should compare to native APS-C lenses designed and optimized for APS-C bodies but Canon doesn't offer such lenses (only very few EF-S lenses). For example EF-M 22/2.0 STM pancake on EOS-M (that should have similar sensor as of 70D from perspective of IQ, 70D is only slightly better) has amazing 13 mpix.

Due to much bigger sensor size and 1.6x times less pixel magnification, 6D is naturally sharper with better color tonality that becomes noticeably when view in large size.

above set at respective wide-open

Robemo Regular Member • Posts: 469
About the same experience ...

I worked with a 60D and 6D, but after a while I found the difference disturbing so I got rid of the 60D and APS-C lenses and got some extra EF lenses to get the most from full frame. Never regretted it.

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Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 14,982
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

How about TDP?

TDP?

50L at f/1.2 on crop vs. the cheapo 85/1.8 at f/2 on FF?

Can you post the RAWs?

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Just another Canon shooter
Just another Canon shooter Senior Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

How about TDP?

TDP?

Here. You can choose the Sigma 85 or the 85L on the left, as well; the difference is even more pronounced then.

50L at f/1.2 on crop vs. the cheapo 85/1.8 at f/2 on FF?

Can you post the RAWs?

No, for obvious reasons.

Most of the comparisons you have seen are in the best scenario case, at the sharpest apertures. One of the benefits of FF is to shoot with fast primes. Then the resolution jumps dramatically, compared to cop. And there are apertures you cannot get at all with crop (in eq. terms), of course.

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Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 14,982
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

qianp2k wrote:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

How about TDP? 50L at f/1.2 on crop vs. the cheapo 85/1.8 at f/2 on FF?

DXO 85/1.8 on 6D vs 50L/1.2 on 70D 16 vs 12 mpix.

No doubt a cheaper EF lens on FF beats a very expensive lens on APS-C. However those EF lenses are not designed for crop. A more meaningful comparison should compare to native APS-C lenses designed and optimized for APS-C bodies but Canon doesn't offer such lenses (only very few EF-S lenses). For example EF-M 22/2.0 STM pancake on EOS-M (that should have similar sensor as of 70D from perspective of IQ, 70D is only slightly better) has amazing 13 mpix.

Due to much bigger sensor size and 1.6x times less pixel magnification, 6D is naturally sharper with better color tonality that becomes noticeably when view in large size.

The reason I responded as I did is because the OP used the term "detail". I think it has been proved several times on the forum with crop vs FF side by sides that more pixels in a higher density procudes more detail. Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark those posts. I proved it with a 21 MP vs 36 MP FF side by side comparison using the same lens although there were still deniers galore.

Sharpness and other apsects of IQ are a different matter from detail IMO. If it were possible to find a FF sensor with the same pixel density of a crop, and find exact equivalent lenses, I would expect the same level of detail to be captured by both but the overall clarity of the FF  image would be superior due to its lower inherent noise and other factors.

I wonder about the approach of Canon and Nikon to their crop cameras in view of the assertion by many many forum members that crop cameras require better lenses. (Not sure how a lens gets past the noise issue.) But, IMO, the most important thing to know about crop is that it is the budget DSLR camera in the line-up. Creating a line of extra-performing lenses seems to go counter to the general marketing effort so I do not expect better EF-S lens to ever happen. Supposedly, Nikon has a pro crop called the D300 but to my knowledge, Nikon never introduced lenses "appropriate" for the moniker.

above set at respective wide-open

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Phil Hill Senior Member • Posts: 2,750
Looking strictly at noise…

The PRIME NR processing in DxO Optics Pro 9 has gone a long way toward equalizing the differences between my 7D, EOS M and 5D3 shots.

Of course, calling PRIME slow is being too kind, and there are additional benefits of the 35mm sensors that go beyond digital noise. However, the OP seemed primarily concerned about noise, so I thought this might be of interest.

stratobill Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Re: About the same experience ...
1

Robemo wrote:

I worked with a 60D and 6D, but after a while I found the difference disturbing so I got rid of the 60D and APS-C lenses and got some extra EF lenses to get the most from full frame. Never regretted it.

Same here. After I was shooting the 6D for a while I went back to a crop sensor (T2i) because I wanted more reach. I was kind of shocked when I got home and looked at the shots- and this just at ISO 800. This was with a 70-200 F$IS on both, I always loved it on the crop before.

It is hard to go back to crop after you have gotten used to the full frame. For me anyway.

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Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 14,982
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Unless there is a significant factor(s) obliterating detail, the 70D should resolve more detail (not always the most important aspect of IQ to a given photographer). Do you have any side by sides?

How about TDP?

TDP?

Here. You can choose the Sigma 85 or the 85L on the left, as well; the difference is even more pronounced then.

Ok the Digital Picture. A favorite place of mine.

There are a couple of problems with this comparison for me. First and foremost, the scene has no detail. Capturing detail is different from sharpness. Perhaps the OP misspoke and meant sharpness or clarity. A good landscape scene would be a better test for detail capture. Secondly, a landscape type aperture would be best in the capture of detail so we don't have to account for the DoF.

50L at f/1.2 on crop vs. the cheapo 85/1.8 at f/2 on FF?

Can you post the RAWs?

No, for obvious reasons.

Most of the comparisons you have seen are in the best scenario case, at the sharpest apertures. One of the benefits of FF is to shoot with fast primes. Then the resolution jumps dramatically, compared to cop. And there are apertures you cannot get at all with crop (in eq. terms), of course.

I have no argument with most of this and much of it is why I shoot FF exclusively. Again, the OP said he saw more detail in a 6D image as opposed to images from the 70D and I pointed, all other things being equal, the 70D should capture more detail. Same principal why some birders prefer crop over FF when a long lens isn't available - more pixels on the given target. What detail the 6D does captures most likely will be sharper and cleaner and perhaps this is what te OP meant.

It's a minor point and really didn't deserve multiple posts to flesh it out.

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Timbukto Veteran Member • Posts: 4,988
Crop is only more detailed if the reference is the crop

If the reference point is the actual crop, say 80mm from a 50mm prime, than what is in that 80mm FOV is more detailed because 20MP APS-C crop is like a 50MP FF sensor.

If the reference is to say compare a 50mm 1.8 on APS-C to an 85mm on FF and equalize on DOF...the FF is going to *kill* the APS-C sensor (especially because the APS-C camera is using EF lenses in the first place and Canon and Nikon are both lackluster in creating crop only primes!)

Some crop only primes that are pretty superb, the latest 22mm pancake for EOS-M would be one. Who knows that one may get pretty damn close to the older 35mm f2.0 on FF!

Usually APS-C systems where the majority of lenses are built for FF systems will suffer a lens quality hit. MFT, the EOS-M 22mm, etc are examples of lenses *built* for the system without regards to FF compatibility. Lenses for MFT or the 22mm prime are examples for which you should not need to stop down to be usable...in fact some MFT primes already peak at wide open.  20mm 1.7 is an example (but IMO the Canon 22mm pancake goes head to head with it since the 4:3 aspect ratio makes it easier to design optics for).

Forgot to mention the Sigma 18-35 1.8 is a zoom dedicated to APS-C format, and therefore may also give surprisingly good results albeit arguably a limited focal length. A length limited enough to really be considered more like a prime with a touch of zoom.

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Just another Canon shooter
Just another Canon shooter Senior Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: 20MP vs. 20MP - comparing my 6D vs. 70D:
1

Rick Knepper wrote:

Ok the Digital Picture. A favorite place of mine.

There are a couple of problems with this comparison for me. First and foremost, the scene has no detail.

It does.

Capturing detail is different from sharpness.

Are you saying that one of the images was sharpened more?

Perhaps the OP misspoke and meant sharpness or clarity. A good landscape scene would be a better test for detail capture. Secondly, a landscape type aperture would be best in the capture of detail so we don't have to account for the DoF.

There are no DOF differences in that comparison.

I have no argument with most of this and much of it is why I shoot FF exclusively. Again, the OP said he saw more detail in a 6D image as opposed to images from the 70D and I pointed, all other things being equal, the 70D should capture more detail.

I was wondering how long it would take before everybody will start convincing him that he did not see what he saw.

There is a very simple reason, and it was mentioned already. The 70D has more pixels per area but the image is projected on a smaller area. As a result, the 70D is enlarged 60% more. This hurts the resolution. Of course, lenses also matter but this explanation is enough for you to understand where you are wrong.

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