That said, color reproduction in the digital world is 99% post-process mathematics...tone curves and camera profiles and custom color channel tuning. Color accuracy, or achieving a personal aesthetic color style, has very little to do with out of camera color these days.
And you know this because...?
As for noise, Canon's have no more or less photon shot noise than any other camera...they have more read noise, however that only exists in the deep shadows, and only exhibits if you LIFT the deep shadows.
And you know this because...?
I know it because I've studied the subject. It's a bit of a hobby (a very time consuming one...)
It is also common sense. If color wasn't primarily a mathematical thing, then why is it that the 5D III photographs I see from the world's best...landscape photographers, portrait photographers, macro photographers, etc....have color that is just as good as any photo from the D800?
So you've never heard someone say "I like the green from Nikon DLSRs better" or "I like the blue from Canon DSLRs better"?
And if what you were saying was true then the graph attached at the bottom would show both lines together, right?
Depending on how much time you spend in "Photoshop", you can change the colour or compensate for the lack of colour, white balance, etc, to come close to making it not matter which camera you use. But just as using RAW is better than using JPEG (because the data you have available is better to work with), so too is higher quality data (from e.g. the D800) better.
Not only that, why is it that the color of the worlds best photographs that were taken with a 5D III look ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like the RAW images look when taken strait out of the camera (i.e. directly off the memory card without processing)? The color quality of a photograph has nothing to do with the strength of the CFA, or how the colored pixels are arranged, or how much native dynamic range the sensor has. Color quality is a matter of personal style. Each and every digital photographer produces THEIR OWN color style, and it never resembles the native camera output.
Quite right however everyone wants the best possible source material to work with or else they wouldn't use RAW, would they?
I think unfocused put it best:
You don't suppose he was important because of the strength of his vision? Naw...couldn't be that!
The quality of a photograph, assuming it was captured properly, has everything to do with the photographer. Artistic vision is what makes a good photograph good.
Cameras are simply about enabling the photographer to capture photos well. It doesn't matter how good a camera you have, or how good it's native color reproduction...if the photographer has no vision, they will never make visionary photographs...
I know a lot about the technical aspects of photography. They matter, because that knowledge helps me choose the tool that will best service my skill to realize my artistic vision. That said, the thing I care about most, more than the technology, is: How do my photographs look?
I have examples posted all over these forums, if you wish to take a look. I get a lot of compliments, but the simple fact of the matter is I'm rarely satisfied with my work.
I wouldn't want to be too quick on that as a lot of the material I've seen here and the "wow, cool" means a lot of junk is praised when it shouldn't be.