Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

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).

Nikon D300S vs. Canon EOS 7D

Camera settings:

  • Nikon D300S: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 G lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 200 (default base), JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer (with exposure delay), ADL off
  • Canon EOS 7D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with MLU), ALO disabled
Nikon D300S
Canon EOS 7D
5.1 MB JPEG (4288 x 2848)
6.4MB JPEG (5184 x 3456)

We've become used to seeing rather soft output from Nikon DSLRs in recent years. However, we've also seen that the underlying RAW capture tends to contain high levels of detail and that applying more sharpening in-camera gives a similar look to other manufacturer's output. In other words it's a choice made by Nikon, rather than a shortcoming of its jpeg engine (Hence we wouldn't consider it as much of a negative as on cameras where applying more sharpening doesn't bring out more detail).

A combination of this decision and the D300S's lower nominal resolution means the EOS 7D significantly outperforms it when JPEG images are compared as 1:1 crops, side-by-side. The D300S is capturing less detail and not doing as good a job of displaying what it has captured.