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"?
Sure I have. I've also seen their results, which, as I said, look nothing like what actually came directly out of the camera.
And if what you were saying was true then the graph attached at the bottom would show both lines together, right?
The graph represents an imperceptible difference that can only be discerned by software. And, again...it is based off the strait out of camera RAW. You can RADICALLY change those results by tweaking the raw with a very basic algorithm. You can make the 5D III better than the D800, or make the D800's margin even wider. Color is all about mathematical processing.
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.
The D800, in some respects, does have MORE data. It has less read noise, so it preserves more data in the shadows. Beyond that, "higher quality"? Nah. It's all bits...ones and zeros, encoding some known original quantity that can be reduced, divided, and redistributed however we please. We aren't talking about preserving analog data in it's original untainted form here.
Think of it like comparing a purely analog audio system in a hard core audiophile's home, the best of the best, $400,000 worth of vibration replication perfection, reading a pure analog signal off a pristine record played on a turntable with 10 degrees of vibration reduction, piping it through the highest quality vacuum tubes and analog processors, sending the filtered signal that is nearly entirely free of noise along the highest quality cabling to a pair of $100,000 (each) speakers, set in an audio room with the most exquisite wood supports and wall paneling that enrich the unmitigated perfection of musical sound permeating every cell of your body (trust me...it really IS like that!
) The equipment, in that circumstance, is EVERYTHING. You can't beat audio from such a system, it is pure bliss, music of the gods to the ears...literally.
When it comes to playing back CDs? There are a few things you can do in order to improve the quality of your sound. You can buy high quality electronics that don't introduce much additional
noise of their own, and for every bit less noise, you pay another order of magnitude in cost. But the simple fact of the matter is that a CD has already been limited, already been restricted, already been diminished from the original source. It doesn't matter if your working with 20 bits or 24 bits, the original unfettered, pure fidelity of the native analog signal is lost. You cannot replicate it, no matter how good your equipment. The vast majority of people who play their CDs can't tell the difference between 44khz and 48kz, let alone 96khz...or 20 bits vs. 24 bits. The frequencies that those bits represent, while a $100,000 CD playback system may preserve them, are beyond the average range of human sensitivity.
A DSLR is basically synonymous with Audio CD systems. It doesn't matter if your color quality is 23 bits or 24 bits...the original fidelity of your native image signal, the one projected by the lens, was lost the moment a sensor packed with evenly arranged discrete sensing elements recorded that signal, and converted it into a sequence of...numbers. From that point on, everything about that image was digital and mathematical.
Now, if your personal style is to take photos and print em strait up, without any processing, then sure...these minute differences in cameras could very well matter. You might not ACTUALLY be able to tell the difference, but if knowing that one particular camera has half a bit more accurate color reproduction makes you feel as though your raw work is better, more power to ya. If you are like 99% of the rest of the billion plus photographers on planet Earth...sorry, they don't really matter much at all. The most significant benefit of the D800 is its extra DR, but that simply improves your editing latitude, allowing you to extract detail in areas where detail was lost to electronic noise. It doesn't do a damn thing for the final color quality of your post-process results. And it only does it at low ISO, to boot, so the value of improved DR is limited in applicability.
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?
RAW, sure. Doesn't matter what camera the RAW comes from. Again, the RAW is the source
. What you end up with rarely ever looks like the source, or is even "color accurate", because it is based on artistic vision, personal style, not hardware. What matters is what you end up with...the destination
, per-se. I'd challenge you to pick out which camera made which photo if I presented you a range of, say, landscape photos from some photo site or sites (that had all EXIF information stripped). You would certainly randomly guess a few correctly, but in general it would all just be guesses. You can't tell from the final results of an artists processing where their photos came from. It's all the same in the end...the result of mathematic functions applied to an input stream of pixels, rendering an output stream of pixels. Discrete data, in digital form, all having lost the purity and infinite precision of the original. The data doesn't matter. What matters is the photographer's vision.
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.
Nice. Clever, underhanded way to fling out an insult. Your very good at that, I applaud your skill...you've apparently put just as much time and effort into honing that as I do into honing the art of my photography.
I would be curious to know if you honestly think my work is "junk", though...as I suspect your words were simply poorly chosen:http://www.jonrista.com