Could someone please provide a list of sites or publications that have done side-by-side comparisons of Canon's 18mp sensor to the sensors being used in Nikon's new generation of crop-frame cameras.
There seem to be a lot of drama queens here who pontificate on how much better the new generation of Nkons are, but when I've looked at sample images, I either see no discernible difference or, at higher ISOs, a little bit better performance from Canon.
A handful of individuals on this site keep trashing the performance of the 18mp sensor and others are repeating it as fact. Since this is a site adored by gearheads, how about some objective third-party comparisons?
The primary issue is the fact that the Canon implementation does not produce the same dynamic range as the latest Nikons as a result of increased “read-out” noise at low ISO. Most of this argument is stimulated by the DxO test results for dynamic range which you can find on their site. In addition, as one guy has pointed out, this noise tends to manifest patterns that the Nikon gear does not have. Whether this matters to you or not, depends on what you need to do with the camera. If the nature of what you shoot and your PP workflow requires that you consistently lift shadows a couple stops, then you may run into this issue, otherwise it is probably no big deal.
The way I look at it, the Canon gear as presently implemented, does not offer the same latitude for exposure correction that some of the later Nikon stuff does. You can search the web for Canon 5DII banding and you will see a lot of examples. You need to decide whether this is a problem or not in your opinion, related to your own photography. I have sort of a funny perspective on it which is that (IMO anyway), most of the examples show what you can do if you use the Canon gear incorrectly. In almost every case where a comparison is given, if the Canon gear were used properly the same image could be made with both. Now for the artsy fartsy part: IMO, in most cases, the image wasn’t worth making in the first place -- it is nothing more than an example of what happens if you push the canon into the region where it doesn’t work well. Basically, “doc… it hurts when I do this” to which the doc replies, “don’t do that”. Unfortunately there are some cases where you have to “do that” in which case… for now anyway, go buy a Nikon.
I ground through this thought process myself recently and then bought a 5DIII. In the end I thought that the things that they DID improve were worth the upgrade to me and any sensor deficiencies were easy to work around. I had a 5DII (probably the worst offender in the "banding" department) and never had problems with the so-called "issue". I am not saying that they don't need to fix it, but I would rather that they take their time and do it right (don't break something else in the process -- as sometimes happens).