Compared to D1x: Image Quality: Scene

Test notes:

  • All images shot in the camera's native RAW mode and converted to TIFF & JPEG later. Thanks to a problem with JPEG files created by the reviewed version of DCS Photo Desk (1.2.0b) the DCS 760's JPEG files were created by re-saving TIFF's in Photoshop.
  • DCS Photo Desk settings - Sharpening: Low, Noise reduction: None, Look: Product, White balance: Custom, Colour space: Standard.
  • Nikon Capture 2 settings - Sharpening: Normal, White balance: Custom, Colour space: sRGB.
  • Both cameras - Aperture Priority, F10. Lens: 35 - 70 mm F2.8 D. DCS 760 - +1.0 EV compensation, D1x +0.7 EV compensation (to end up with the same shutter speed).
  • Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector.

I made the choice of Low sharpening for DCS Photo Desk because it's medium sharpening was very harsh and damaging to the image, Low was also much closer to Nikon Capture 2's Normal sharpening. I also chose not to enable noise reduction on DCS Photo Desk so that both images were as true as possible to the original image captured by the camera (to be fair to performance of the D1x).

Kodak DCS 760
ISO 125, 1 sec, F10 / 1,436 KB JPEG
Nikon D1x
ISO 125, 1 sec, F10 / 1,536 KB JPEG
Crops @ 200%
Kodak DCS 760 Nikon D1x
Crops @ 100%

Clearly the DCS 760's colour response isn't calibrated to sRGB and so it's colour (and gamma) aren't the same as the D1x (and won't look as 'vivid' on your web browser). Reds are noticeably pushed towards orange, greens and blues look pale.

After this the next noticeable thing is noise in the blue channel (especially the odd sprinkled hot pixel) and some 'traffic light' aliasing. These two things could be taken care of in DCS Photo Desk by enabling noise reduction (though they really shouldn't be there in the source!)

After that it's a closer run thing, the DCS's additional sensor resolution can be seen in its ability to resolve slightly more in some of the finer details, in a couple of the D1x crops above you can see vertical 'stepping' caused by the lesser vertical resolution. For my money the D1x (overall) seems superior here despite its lower sensor resolution.

For those curious among you, you can download a DCS 760 ISO 80 version of the same scene by clicking here (1,355 KB).