Have you shot a step wedge and tried to use NR to make black and white steps gray yet?
Please go try
I wouldn't consider that valid. Applying noise reduction means your injecting an arbitrary SOFTWARE factor into the process. If you measure after NR, then your not measuring the camera. Your measuring the camera plus what the software does to the camera's output.
LOL! JRISTA! The whole POINT is that no amount of NR will change the total DR! NR before Imatest will impact the "quality" measurements, just like it affects exposure latitude. But not total.
You are right that sensor+NR is not a sensor test but a system or "best possible" test. Though in practical terms I think this is just as important because we do not process with zero NR. When Fred Miranda or...worse...infomercial captain Tony Northrup...compare the two with no NR, but fail to show the example with some NR, it is very misleading as to what one's real world results will be. But if you want to know what sensor shadow noise is like, you can't apply NR before hand.
But total DR...which includes tones you can distinguish even though they might have noise...tones which are likely OK if you do not push shadows...is not going to be affected by NR.
You mind sharing one of your unmodified RAW 41-step wedge shots? I'd like to experiment with it before I buy one, see what I come up with.
Actually I do. At this point I seriously want you to buy one and play with it. Not to be a jerk, but I think you will enjoy and learn. (I don't have a 5D3 shot any way. Though in the near future I might go ahead and shoot every relevant camera I can get my hands on and post all of them.)
It won't change your opinion on Exmor vs Canon in the real world, you'll have to rent a D800 or A7 for that. To be clear, they are better. There are times when you can get away with one Exmor frame where you would want two Canon frames. Or for those who manually blend, leave one frame off the blend (i.e. 2 for Exmor vs. 3 for Canon). It does happen. But ultimately you are usually doing the same things on Exmor as on Canon to manage wide luminance scenes, the end result being some minor shadow differences no one will notice in print.
I wouldn't blame you for wanting that advantage and buying an Exmor body. I don't blame you for wanting Canon to change their ADC architecture. I just don't think the difference is nearly as great as you believe.
Hand me a Canon, or a Nikon, or a Sony, and tell me I need to photograph a sunset landscape or an interior with windows showing the outside world. I will accomplish it and produce a high quality print regardless of the camera.