Thanks for the comparison. It clearly shows my main gripe with the 7D: Lots of shadow noise even at ISO 100. It's almost impossible to get something useful out of the darker areas of an image because of all the noise. From my experience, this wasn't as much of a problem with older Canon APS-C Sensors.
That's what ground my work to a halt, all the gross banding in 100, 200 and 400 ISO on the 7D.
I'll be putting up more pages with more comparisons, including 40/50/60/450/1000D bodies, none of which have the 8 pixel wide stripes seen on the 7D, likely from the dual-channel sensor readout electronics mismatch.
Don't know what causes this, but it's annoying as f***!
The exposure doesn't even have to be "way off", but a little push to bring up the shadows and there it is. The noise itself isn't that bad (not good either), but the banding is an issue for sure.
I'm probably going to move forward (or timewise backwards) and try to find a 1Ds MkII and a 1D MkIII for faster stuff. I live between ISO 100-800 and most of the time 100-400, so I'd like those values to be clean.
Just to be sure.
The 5D mark III is not giving you clean images at ISO (100-400)
Have you tried it ?
Or will these test images tell you enough ?
No, not talking about the 5D MkIII here. I actually thought that they weren't available here yet, but apparently they have started shipping to customers here in Finland. With a hefty price tag attached to them though (3799€).
The 5DIII is the first 5D camera I could be interested in, but at the moment it's out of my reach at that price. That said, even the 5Dc and 5DII are probably quite good between ISO 100-400.
The thing these test images (actually looked pretty much only the 7D results) "prove" is what I've known all along (poor low ISO performance) and yes, I've done a similar test with my own 7D as well. Also you don't need a test to figure this one out. Just a high contrast scene is enough where you have to underexpose a tad to preserve the highlights and then try bringing the shadows back in post. Not pretty.
I also forgot to add that if the Nikon 5100 results are right and the camera doesn't do aggressive noise reduction in-body, I'm one impressed Canon shooter...