Compared to...

Studio scene comparison

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%. Ambient temperature was approximately 21°C (~70°F).

Nikon D2H vs. Canon EOS-1D (@ ISO 200)

These are the two professional level digital SLR's from the leading digital SLR manufacturers which are clearly direct competitors. Both cameras have four megapixel sensors delivering almost identical image sizes, both are aimed at sports photo journalism with their eight frames a second. However the D2H steals the lead from the EOS-1D on specifications because it has a much larger buffer capable of holding 40 JPEG frames in a burst.

Camera settings:

  • Nikon D2H: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 D, Aperture Priority, ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer 2 secs
  • Canon EOS-1D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority, ISO 200, JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Default Parameters, Mirror Lock-up self-timer
Nikon D2H Canon EOS-1D
ISO 200, 1/1.6 sec, F10 ISO 200, 1/2 sec, F10
1,625 KB JPEG (2464 x 1632) 1,370 KB JPEG (2464 x 1648)

While the overall color balance between the two cameras was similar there are were a couple of subtle differences, the D2H's rendition of yellow was very slightly orange (something you can also see on the color charts on earlier pages of this review). The EOS-1D delivered slightly stronger greens and blues. The D2H tends towards reds more, perhaps tuned for skin tones.

The actual appearance of the image between these two cameras is also subtly different, the image processing engines delivering interestingly different renditions of fine detail, most notable are some of the EOS-1D's odd pixel artifacts around black detail or where there would otherwise be visible moire. The D2H delivers a cleaner and more 'film like' look to the image. Noise levels are slightly higher in the D2H image.