This video compares the D600 & 7D for shadow recovery and they also show a 5dIII file. It's clear to me that there is banding and grain in both the Canon shots more than the Nikon but only when viewed at 100% or more and only when pushing it all the way.
Nikon D600 Review Part 4 - Dynamic Range Testing...WOW!
I disagreed with a huge portion of this video. I understand where he was coming from but still I disagree with his approach. and the 5D mmiii scene was so different than the sunset scene there was no way to actually compare the difference. Although yes a huge difference between the D600 and 7D. I wonder what the difference is between the 7D and D7000 in this area.
I agree about the D600 vs. 7D comparison. He kept saying that there was "so much detail" in the D600 shadows, but not in the 7D shadows. As far as I could tell, the following is actually what occurred:
1. The 7D photo was over-exposed, which blew out the highlights of the sky, and captured full detail in the shadows.
2. The 7D shadows appeared to be fully recoverable, I did not see any LOSS of detail, even if it was a bit noisy detail. The 7D shadow detail in the 100% crop simply looked brighter and a bit noiser than the D600 100% crop, but I wouldn't have said there was LESS detail.
3. The D600 shot was a tiny bit under-exposed (or possibly just "properly" exposed), which preserved the highlights of the sky better.
4. The D600 DOES preserve additional detail in the shadows, so they were able to be recovered despite the lower exposure than the 7D.
5. The 7D shadows looked dull and muddy because a 100% shadow recovery resulted in a higher shadow exposure overall than in the D600 recovery.
6. The D600 appeared to have the same general DETAIL in the shadows, however since it was not over-exposed with a 100% shadow push, it appeared to have much richer color.
7. The D600 was shot second, after the sun had sunk a little lower into the horizon, which would have reduced the dynamic range of the scene a bit. Combined with the D600's additional DR to start, the odds were overly stacked in favor of the D600.
I would offer that one of two things could be done with the 7D image. First, he could have exposed it properly. He just popped out the camera and snapped a shot, without any concern in-camera for preserving those highlights. That is NOT a fault of the camera, that was operator error. A proper 7D exposure would have resulted in much the same kind of sky and midtines as the D600. Probably would have REALLY lost some detail in the shadows if that was done, however with a bit of NR much of it could have been recovered. Wouldn't be as good as real DR, but it would have been better than a botched exposure.
Alternatively, the Blacks of the 7D could have been pulled down a bit, which would have had the effect of increasing shadow contrast, and enriched the shadow colors to look as good as the D600 from a color fidelity standpoint. Nothing can be done about the blown sky, however I would be willing to bet LR4 could do some wondrous things with it regardless, and produce a final image that looked a lot closer to what the D600 produced.
I really wish I could get my hands on a D600 to compare with my 7D. It wouldn't take much more than a LITTLE bit of extra care with the 7D to capture a similar scene with much better results. Again, nothing is an alternative for additional real-world sensor DR, but I think the video above was far too ad-hoc and careless to be a viable test. That blown sky was the result of crappy camera use by a hapless camera user.