There are a lot of heated discussions about Canon versus SoNikon sensor DR performace, sensor technology, about DXO not measuring sensors correctlly in favour of Nikon etc.
So here is a simple DR stress test results for 1Dx shadow recovery limits for those who are interested:
I did these tests to see myself what is 1Dx is capable of.
Attached are 4 pictures (snapshots from LR4 screen by Win7 snipping tool):
1. 1Dx shot at ISO100 with EV = (-3 ) - showing 100% crop area shown below
2. Corrected with +3 EV in LR4, no shadow correction, no noise reduction applied
3. The same as #2 above with shadows raised to max 100%
4. The same as #3 above but with NR applied in LR with L=40, C=40.
Results are self explanatory - no further comments from me on this subject.
Despite for what we see here regarding 1Dx DR performance here my experience with 1Dx is very positive - almost perfect tool for low light sport and events shooting.
In daylight 1Dx images also look much cleaner and having more 3D look than 1DsM3 and 5DM2 that I used before (just my personal perception) and allow more image sharpening to be applied safely.
Also seems that 1Dx has a bit weaker anti-aliasing filter - with extreemly sharp 24-70 2.8L II I could see moire on some areas of ISO resolution chart where image elements (projected on sensor) become comparable in size with pixel size on camera sensor. I have not observed that with other lenses including very sharp 70-200 2.8L IS II
I still haven't got my hands on one of these so thanks for posting some examples showing where the 1DX's noise limitations are at base ISO. That's exactly the kind of info I need
to verify that my original decision to not buy one (and get 2 D800s instead) was the correct decision for this year.
1Dx is looking like Canon's best performance in a long time as far as FPN, just still not good enough for when I need to really push raw files to extremes. (which I still find incomprehensible that some people don't understand why this capability is desirable)
@ Mikael Risedal:
There are many of us here on CR who understand and agree with your assertion about the serious difference in sensor performance. Some of us were even doing the same thing here in the past so don't worry, most CR readers have already been slightly overexposed (couldn't resist the pun) to this information.
However, escalating the strength of your argument will do little to convince anyone. Human nature is just to push back when someone is challenging them.
Anyone with an open enough mind will see the data and understand what it means.
Those who don't likely don't care and it's wasted effort trying to convert their way of thinking to yours. These are likely people who are already fairly satisfied with how the images look direct from their camera and likely don't do a lot of DR compression in post-processing. That's an understandable choice.
I'm sure you don't always push shadows in your shots either, and when you don't, the FP noise of Canon's sensors doesn't likely have any serious impact on your images. (I'm being generous to Canon here as there have been plenty of shots with my 5D2 where vertical banding artifacts showed up in properly exposed midtones and even in lighter shadows, nearly ruining some shots that any decent camera would not have a problem with
I still shoot Canon because I like the bodies and lenses and, in many cases, the image quality is perfectly acceptable for whatever purpose I need.
I added Nikon to my collection because I know there are times I will need to push those raw files and so I use the best camera for that
At the end of the argument, that is what you would hope to acheive, yes? Convince some Canon users to try SoNikon-Pentax if they've found their Canon camera not quite up to the job. Some of us now do shoot with these other cameras and some have even completely given up their Canon gear to do that so this battle should really be over.
Yesterday I was out enjoying a fine autumn night, shooting some dark skylines with my D800 and D5100. I was getting raw files, which I used when I got back home, to create images that I could not, no way in heck, ever make with my Canon cameras. Seriously, no bluddy way. I would not even waste my time trying (again) to use a Canon for such shots. They would not be impossible
to do with a Canon camera, just would be far more work compared to a single shot I can take with the super-clean low ISO Nikons.
A Canon-only user would have needed to be content with the limitations of their single shot of such scenes or spend a lot of time bracketing to try capture it and still end up with a lot of compromises.
Feels good to have the right tools available when you need them.
Also feels good to have made the choice to get those tools.