The RAW graphs pretty much overlap for the 7D and 5D3 at 100. I suppose a 5D3 is noisy and not worth the money to?
Ummm... that's exactly what I'm saying. I've been linking to this review quite a bit but I'll do it again: http://gizmodo.com/5946258/nikon-d600-review-images-this-spectacular-have-never-come-so-cheap
Look at the shot with the buildings (click on it to get a zoomed view). Compare the skys. Look at uniform surfaces and look at the amount of noise.
I went over to the Imaging Resource and compared the Still Life scene for the 7D at ISO 100 and tried to find the ISO setting for the D600 that most closely matched. To me, it was in-between 400 and 800... just like I said a bit ago.
This is a systemic problem with Canon. They simply do not care about LOW ISO performance. That's ok, I realize that a lot of people care more about high ISO performance... but Nikon does seem to be putting a lot of effort into good low ISO and at a more affordable price.
Your confusing a physical matter that we don't have control over...noise exhibited by the random nature of light as it follows a statistical poisson distribution, and noise introduced by the sensor. Sensor noise, which is indeed an aspect of engineering (although not a FLAW as many such as yourself seem to indicate by the way you talk about "noise"), is only visible in the deep shadows. You would have to do some rather major lifting to really see the really nasty stuff...such as FPN and HVBN. Your not complaining about a "sensor defect" or "crappy engineering". Your complaining about the physical nature of light, and how a sensor with small pixels exhibits that nature. It doesn't matter who makes the sensor, EVERY sensor with pixels around the same size as the 7D will experience the same thing.
Canon is not recycling and selling you old tech. They are not sitting on their rear ends. But Sony has a patent on how they read data off the sensor, and Canon cannot work around that patent at this time. From what I've read, Canon actually has superior tech across other aspects of the sensor, i.e. if the patent didn't exist they would have less total noise.
Really? The 7D was introduced in mid 2009. That exact same sensor has also been used in:
2010: 550D and 60D
2012: 650D and 60Da (with slightly different filtering)
How is that not "recycling and selling of old tech"?
On the patent issue:
1. If this is really THE problem and Canon really cared they would license that patent from Sony.
2. If this is really the problem and Canon really cared they would have put the R&D effort in and come up with the advancement first.
3. Why, in 3 years has Canon not come up with a better idea?
You do realize that most of the patents Sony is now capitalizing on are a lot older than the 7D, right? Sony has been sitting on a goldmine mountain of CMOS and CCD sensor design patents for a long time. Some have been in use since the late 1990's, some since around 5-6 years ago when they would have had to start manufacturing prototypes and retail versions of the sensors for the likes of the D7000, and some are newer that have been introduced over the last several years in numerous sensors from phone cam sensors to the D800. They probably have a boatload more up their sleeve (such as a double-layered microlens for back-illuminated sensor patent that I haven't heard is actually in use anywhere but possibly some small form factor phone and P&S type cameras.)
It's not like Canon simply failed to innovate the technology 3 years ago. Its that Sony either created or purchased the technology starting well over a decade ago, and have only had the capability to fully integrate all of it into a single sensor more recently. It is no mean feat to pack the kind of circuitry needed for low read noise into the space of a single pixel, especially a 4.3 micron pixel. And thats nothing to say of on-die column-parallel ADC, which required some amazing feats of its own. That requires some very advanced manufacturing technology, some extremely skilled and intelligent engineers, and a hell of a lot of money to do. Sony can capitalize it as their sensors drive some half the total marketplace for consumer and professional grade sensors in total
. Canon has to not only come up with something on their own, they have to come up with something that is different enough from Sony's patents that they don't get slapped with a lawsuit. There are certainly other ways to reduce read noise, but as indicated, it ain't cheap nor easy to invent, develop, and realize in commercial products.
Canon has long prided and sold themselves as a vertically integrated company that owns and controls the entire manufacturing process. That has worked well for Canon so far, and outside of the single issue of low ISO DR (which is only at most 20% worse than an Exmor sensor, and usually less than that), Canon's technology is stellar. Their high ISO performance is unparalleled, and high ISO use in very low light is the name of the game for the true drivers of DSLR sales...sports and photojournalism. Canon lens technology is well ahead of the competition, and rivals if not surpasses that of Ziess these days (you have to use one of their new Mark II supertelephoto lenses to really understand that, they offer the most mind-blowing IQ I've ever encountered.) All other Canon DSLR tech these days, at least when it comes to the cream of the crop, is at the pinnacle of the current generation.
Also, I love how you first say "there is no problem" and then simultaneously blame a Sony patent for the problem. You can't have it both ways. Do Canon sensors have more noise or not?
Lets be more precise. Canon sensors have slightly more READ NOISE than Sony Exmor sensors. Canon sensors have the same
READ NOISE as pretty much any other sensor on the market, including those *manufactured* by Nikon, as well as those used in medium format cameras. In general, when signal is sufficiently stronger than read noise, the remaining noise quotient is the same across cameras when pixel-pitch is normalized.
Noise is not the issue. Read noise, which only occurs in the lower fraction of the signal, only matters because of how it affects DR, and exhibits when you try to lift shadows. And that only occurs at ISO 100 and ISO 200, and is only worse in a Canon sensor when it is compared to a Sony Exmor sensor.
But it can't be. The noise values are practically the same with a 7D at 100. So it must just be a horrible camera
How did anyone ever make photographs with a 1Ds? Or the original 5D? Or...film???
Apologist at work. Yes, great images can be made with any modern DSLR (we've been over that before). But what I'm concerned with is: all other things being equal (which we know they're not, but we have to start somewhere to come to conclusions) which machine will generate the best image? Even better, which machine generates the best image per dollar I put into buying it?
On that second measure Canon is not even close (at least at low ISO).
Well, your last sentence is the only valid one, however as a weighted ratio relative to everything else involved in a DSLR, and all the other skill required to actually make a photograph...it affects a very small percentage of photographers in general. Those who will be affected most are probably landscape photographers, and them vastly more so than any other type of photographer. There are a far greater number of photographers who not only use but greatly need higher ISO performance, above ISO 400. For someone such as myself, who rarely uses anything lower than ISO 400, and is usually at ISO 800 or 1600, the 7D performs superbly. It took me some time to really fully come to terms with how to properly use the 7D for what I do, however once I did I learned that it can indeed make photos with phenomenal IQ. So, sure, the 7D may be inferior at low ISO vs. a whole lot of the competition. However for what it is
, the 7D is still one of the best options available to those of us who can't shell out five, six, SEVEN GRAND every few years to buy the likes of a 1D IV, a 1D X, or a D4. The 7D is still the best offering of its class even when pitted against the newer options from Nikon.
For you personally, friedmud, I must apologize for my original recommendation to get a 7D. I was not aware of your full needs. The 7D is entirely the wrong camera for you, it always was (even before the D800 was released), and always will be. In all honesty, I wouldn't recommend the D800 either, as with its small pixel pitch you would still see the same kind of blue sky noise as the 7D, since that noise has nothing to do with sensor technology, and everything to do with the nature of light. You would really probably be better off with a 1D X or any one of the 12mp cameras from the previous generation of Nikon DSLR's.