Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (RAW)

For a (more) level playing field for comparison we also shot our studio scene in RAW mode with each camera and converted it using Adobe Camera RAW. Because Adobe Camera RAW applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we had to use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 80%, Radius 1.0, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings as per previous pages.

Nikon D300 (RAW) vs. Canon EOS 40D (RAW)

Nikon D300 (RAW)
Canon EOS 40D (RAW)
3.7 MB JPEG (4288 x 2848)
3.1 MB JPEG (3888 x 2592)

Switching to a standard RAW converter (in this case our benchmark; Adobe Camera RAW) means that the image processing pipeline is equalized between the cameras. Both cameras gain from the use of ACR with images looking considerably sharper and better detailed than their JPEG equivalents. There is now a more obvious advantage to the D300, better defined areas of fine detail and more texture, although as previously mentioned you would need to be outputing at a very large size for these differences to be noticeable.