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Author Topic: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800  (Read 7996 times)

JasonATL

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Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« on: July 23, 2012, 03:53:45 PM »
A colleague lent me his new Nikon D800, so I shot video of my resolution chart with it to compare to my (okay, my wife's) 5D Mark III.

https://vimeo.com/46242792

My take is that there are some aspects of the D800 video PQ that make it appear sharper, but on closer inspection, its true resolution looks to be perhaps 50 lines or so more than the 5D Mark III? The aliasing issues are clear, even (especially?) on the resolution chart. As with the 5D Mark III, the D800 is a nice cam.

Oddly, the HDMI output appeared to switch to 720p when I hit record. Perhaps I didn't have a setting right, as I thought it was supposed to have "clean" (full resolution) output via HDMI.

Attached is a frame grab of the 200% zoom with light sharpening.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 06:41:59 PM by JasonATL »

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Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« on: July 23, 2012, 03:53:45 PM »

Aglet

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Re: Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 05:21:48 PM »
Can you re-title the topic to VIDEO resolution comparison?

JasonATL

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Re: Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 06:40:16 PM »
Can you re-title the topic to VIDEO resolution comparison?

Sure - I've tried. I thought that posting in the "EOS Bodies - For Video" section would make that redundant, but I didn't think about the topic showing up on the side-bar. Thanks for the suggestion.

swrightgfx

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 10:16:13 PM »
Not a huge difference, though real world frames seem to say otherwise in some reviews. The main difference I can see here is the moire, where the D800 fails miserably. Personally, losing that bit of sharpness for less moire probably cancels out the difference. That and I don't have to invest in new lenses.

NormanBates

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 04:21:46 AM »
thanks for the test

I think the HDMI-out is only at full spec if you don't have a memory card inside the camera, could that be the problem?

lola

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 01:21:17 PM »
Not a huge difference, though real world frames seem to say otherwise in some reviews. The main difference I can see here is the moire, where the D800 fails miserably. Personally, losing that bit of sharpness for less moire probably cancels out the difference. That and I don't have to invest in new lenses.

Thank you. That gave me a good laugh...

Just compare the lines at the left of the frame and the sharpness of the numbers all over the frame...
20D, 40D, 5D, 5D Mark II, 1DX, D800 EF 17-40mm. f/4.0 L USM, EF 70-200mm. f/2.8 L USM, EF 24-105mm. f/4 L IS USM, EF 100mm. f/2.8 L IS USM Macro, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm. f/2.8 G ED VR II, AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D

cliffwang

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 04:30:56 PM »
Not a huge difference, though real world frames seem to say otherwise in some reviews. The main difference I can see here is the moire, where the D800 fails miserably. Personally, losing that bit of sharpness for less moire probably cancels out the difference. That and I don't have to invest in new lenses.
Interesting.  Just wonder how many people really care about the sharpness and the moire for this comparison.  As you mentioned, D800 is sharper and 5D3 is less moire.  However, I prefer D800's output here.
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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 04:30:56 PM »

psolberg

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 04:52:06 PM »
The video on the D800 is indeed sharper, but like the 5DmkIII it is still sub par 1080p. It just isn't as muddy as the 5DmkIII which has been called a 720p camera that outputs faux 1080p.

I think the biggest difference is seen when you use the uncompressed HDMI 4:2:2 color out of the D800. The canon codec just smudges too much detail on top of the already soft output and codec panic in motion scenes really make the D800 stand out. To record 1080p, you need the ninja 2 with the latest firmware and remove the CF card. Otherwise the D800 will throw 720p or 1080i. So if you were recording that, you need to re-do your test :) This information is in the manual too.

lines compress well on video so you should go out and shoot some landscape which will always out-resolve the lens and sensor. In particular outdoor scenes with fine detail (grass, foliage) will look horrendously muddy in the 5DmkIII and slightly less worse on the D800. But compare that to a still image sampled to 1920x1080 and you see how both cameras get an F. The D800 just gets an F+  8)

So if moire isn't an issue (or you use the 3rd party AA filter solutions for the D800), then it comes down to your need for maximum detail out of a DSLR. However if you seek detail, a GH2 will spank both :)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 04:55:38 PM by psolberg »

JasonATL

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 06:00:52 PM »
To record 1080p, you need the ninja 2 with the latest firmware and remove the CF card. Otherwise the D800 will throw 720p or 1080i. So if you were recording that, you need to re-do your test :) This information is in the manual too.

No, I didn't record on an external recorder. I was monitoring on an external monitor that reported dropping to 720p when I hit record. Internal recording from each camera is used (internal quality set to "best" for the Nikon and IPB for the Canon). Apples-to-apples.

I was actually surprised at how similar these two were. The moire from the D800 is just plain disappointing. Resolution of both is disappointing, too. In the end, it is the entire package that matters. I still find myself using my 5D3 and have not picked up my EX1 since - and the EX1 resolves full 1080p. In fact, I will be putting my EX1 up for sale. For a buyer who must have full 1080p and likes the look of the EX1, they will be getting a great bargain.

NormanBates

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 06:38:02 PM »
Not a huge difference, though real world frames seem to say otherwise in some reviews. The main difference I can see here is the moire, where the D800 fails miserably. Personally, losing that bit of sharpness for less moire probably cancels out the difference. That and I don't have to invest in new lenses.

Thank you. That gave me a good laugh...

Just compare the lines at the left of the frame and the sharpness of the numbers all over the frame...

This is a resolution test, you're talking about acutance, which is a different aspect of what people call "sharpness".
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2009/06/have-you-seen-my-acutance

Yes, the D800 has better acutance than the 5D3, but that can be easily fixed in post (a convolution sharpness filter seems to be the best option). Resolution is quite similar, and actually I would rather take the cleaner image of the 5D3. With the DR of the Nikon, but with all the goodies that the 5D3 will soon get thanks to the Magic Lantern people.

And please don't mistake me for a Canon fanboy, I'm one of those complaining endlessly in these forums about the silly price of the 5D3: it should be $2800, it's definitely not worth more than the D800.

swrightgfx

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 09:53:00 PM »
Not a huge difference, though real world frames seem to say otherwise in some reviews. The main difference I can see here is the moire, where the D800 fails miserably. Personally, losing that bit of sharpness for less moire probably cancels out the difference. That and I don't have to invest in new lenses.

Thank you. That gave me a good laugh...

Just compare the lines at the left of the frame and the sharpness of the numbers all over the frame...

This is a resolution test, you're talking about acutance, which is a different aspect of what people call "sharpness".
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2009/06/have-you-seen-my-acutance

Yes, the D800 has better acutance than the 5D3, but that can be easily fixed in post (a convolution sharpness filter seems to be the best option). Resolution is quite similar, and actually I would rather take the cleaner image of the 5D3. With the DR of the Nikon, but with all the goodies that the 5D3 will soon get thanks to the Magic Lantern people.

And please don't mistake me for a Canon fanboy, I'm one of those complaining endlessly in these forums about the silly price of the 5D3: it should be $2800, it's definitely not worth more than the D800.

Indeed. And the in-camera AA filter, while reducing moire, also results in a loss of actuance, but when comparing on a chart as above, also increases the perceived resolution within certain constrains. You can see an example of this at 5, 6 and 7 of the diagonal lines.

Additionally, I was referring to the video at 100%, and not the frame-grab above, where the difference in actuance is harder to perceive and both cameras do well (albeit, for 720p).

To be honest, all this Nikon vs Canon stuff is a bit petty, in my opinion. There were days before the internet when this kind of blabber was constricted to club meetings; the rest of the time, people were using their equipment, not comparing it.

If you have invested in some stellar Canon glass as I have, get a 5D Mark III and be done with it; if not, get a D800. Lenses are with you for a lifetime, while bodies get changed and replaced in just a few years. Chances are, Canon will be king when the next round of full-frame (or otherwise) cameras are released.

NormanBates

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 04:33:07 AM »
I don't think the 5D3 is worth more than the D800, but that's not the perfect camera for me either.

So far my choice has been... wait patiently, and in the meantime upgrade from my 550D (T2i) to a NEX-5N, which is a very nice step up for video (which is what I shoot), and cost me just about nothing (once I make sure there are no huge drawbacks and sell my old Canon)
http://www.vimeo.com/similaar/shootout2012
http://www.similaar.com/foto/flaat-5n/review.html

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Re: Video Resolution Comparison: 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D800
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 04:33:07 AM »