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Author Topic: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600  (Read 36970 times)

helpful

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Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« on: September 28, 2012, 09:47:03 PM »
I just received my Nikon D600 yesterday. I was expecting tremendous performance from another soon-to-be legendary Nikon/Sony sensor.

Well... I was quite disappointed.

With both cameras at ISO 12,800 and 1/1,600 exposure, with identical lenses (Sigma 85mm f/1.4 for Nikon and for Canon at f/2.8 ), what I get from the RAW data is shown in the attached images cropped at 100%.

This is really stupid, Nikon. I thought that with most of another year of tech gone by, and the legend of Nikon and Sony thrown in, that the D600 would perform better than the 5D Mark III. Boy, was I wrong.

The Canon image looks almost as smooth as butter under identical processing. The Nikon image looks like it came from a pocket camera or something like that.

I am also starting to get very suspicious about DxO Mark. Why do they have results for Nikon in a heartbeat all the time? Why do they measure dynamic range by trying to measure a theoretical definition (black point photo level to white point photon level) rather than trying to measure actual amount of detail in images that are under or over exposed by a certain number of stops?

I am thinking about doing a simple and truly mathematical measurement of image noise now, just to see if maybe I'm not giving the D600 enough credit.

The real thing that matters isn't DR or anything. Once the finite-dimensional subspace of data is fixed (which it is for raw files), the only thing that matters mathematically is signal to noise ratio, which is basically an aggregate of precision and accuracy, the two components of any recording technology, including photography.

Here's my plan, before I do it.

Take two or more successive exposures in RAW at the same settings, and repeat this process to obtain other pairs of image data with various under/normal/over exposure settings and various ISOs.

Then I will measure the actual noise by calculating the difference between identical images. The means of the data will be adjusted to account for a tiny variation in exposure times. Any difference between the images would be purely due to the random variation of noise.

Then I will use the old formula from science for relative error (observed-expected)/expected * 100 and then use the RE to calculate the signal to noise ratio.

And one number is meaningless. DxO Mark loves to give the highest ISO where (in their system of experimentation) the SNR falls below about 80-85%, a "critical point" of image quality.

But with cameras like the 1D X, the SNR barely falls any further for a long, long way.

However, cameras like the 5D Mark II fall off much, much faster after getting to this "critical point" even if their score reported by DxO Mark isn't very much different from the 1D X.

For example (made up numbers):

Camera A:
ISO 1,000 SNR = 90%
ISO 10,000 SNR = 75%

Camera B:
ISO 990 SNR = 90%
ISO 10,000 SNR = 45%

Obviously, camera A is 65% better than camera B, but the way DxO Mark reports things, there would only be a meaningless difference of about 1% of one stop in the "ISO score" of camera A vs. camera B.

So if I get time (tonight is a RARE few hours off for me), I will try to report the results. And I'll be totally unbiased. I use about half Nikon and half Canon equipment, and I have absolutely no grudges or favoritism on either side.

 
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Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« on: September 28, 2012, 09:47:03 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 09:54:56 PM »
I think we all could have agreed that the 5D Mark III would perform under most circumstances, better than the D600.  Sorry to hear about your experience, but this is probably not shocking.
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rpt

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 10:05:00 PM »
Hmmm... The way I read the posts, the D600 would be better at ISO of 100, 200. I think somebody had even posted side by side comparative pictures. At the higher ISOs 5D3 kicks butt!

poias

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 10:08:31 PM »
From our experience done on D600 and 5D3, it is the exact opposite in RAW. JPGs we do not use so not tested it. We're a dual shop (although now mostly N than C) and 5D3 has clearly inferior images coming out than any of the new Nikons, even D600. They have almost identical resolution but the shades of 5D3 is inferior, including its rendition of red, also you can clearly see banding upon small increase in shadow.

helpful

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 10:11:26 PM »
I could have done something wrong. This is just the 16th photo that I have taken with my D600.
5DIII, 5DII, 7D x5, 6D, T2i, T3, 1D X, 10-22mm, 16-35mm II, 18-55mm II, 18-135mm IS x2, 70-200mm f/2.8L II, 24mm f/1.4L II, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm 1/1.8 II x2, 85mm f/1.8 x2, 100mm f/2 x2, 135mm f/2L x2, 200mm f/2.8L II x2, 1.4X III, 2.0X II, 60mm f/2.8 Macro, etc. only had room to list a few Canon items

poias

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 10:33:33 PM »
I could have done something wrong. This is just the 16th photo that I have taken with my D600.

All I say is take more shots, especially RAWs if you are concerned about image quality in tests, as RAWs have full data, while JPGs only have very limited data like max 7 DR, while D600 DR at base ISO exceeds 14 (2.5 stops better than 5D3)!

In high ISOs, D600 clearly holds more detail even with aggressive noise reduction. In image quality (RAW processing), d600 clearly trounces 5D3... it is confirmed by many sources the world over, including empirical testing.

pierceography

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 10:35:20 PM »
It's pretty widely known (at least in these forums) that the new batch of sensors produced by Canon and Nikon go as follows:

* Canons perform better at high ISO
* Nikons perform better at low ISO

To say nothing else about the rest of their capabilities, of course.

So why would you compare the two at such a high ISO expecting the D600 to perform better?  Even the D800 won't beat the 5Dm3 at 12,800.
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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 10:35:20 PM »

robbymack

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2012, 11:39:43 PM »
Why is this surprising? Seems to me if you want low iso dr you go Nikon, if you want high iso performance you go canon.

bdunbar79

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 11:40:14 PM »
I could have done something wrong. This is just the 16th photo that I have taken with my D600.

All I say is take more shots, especially RAWs if you are concerned about image quality in tests, as RAWs have full data, while JPGs only have very limited data like max 7 DR, while D600 DR at base ISO exceeds 14 (2.5 stops better than 5D3)!

In high ISOs, D600 clearly holds more detail even with aggressive noise reduction. In image quality (RAW processing), d600 clearly trounces 5D3... it is confirmed by many sources the world over, including empirical testing.

CLEARLY trounces?  Oh boy, here we go again...........
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thelebaron

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 01:57:53 AM »
With so many topics on this here and at other forums, I set my pixel peeping skills to the test & took a look at image-resources raws of the sunlit setup with the mannequin.

 To my surprise the d600 did have a visibly less amount of noise than the 5d3, really quite impressive. It did seem to overexpose the shots(not sure how that factors in), and all of them were slightly less sharp vs the 5d3 as well. I have to say though at the higher isos(12800,25600), the noise begins to get splotchier than the 5d3's and it loses alot of sharpness.
At the highest levels it looks a little like viewing an jpg vs a raw, in the sense that yes the d600 has less noise but it isnt the same fine grain as the 5d3's.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 01:59:37 AM by thelebaron »

simonxu11

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 03:38:35 AM »

moreorless

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 07:03:00 AM »
I'd certainly agree with the OP's point about ISO measurements, to be honiest the technical side of these DR measurements is beyond me but its pretty simpley to see that just taking an artbitary "noise limate" and marking when it is reached isnt really much of a test.

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 08:08:33 AM »
Why is this surprising? Seems to me if you want low iso dr you go Nikon, if you want high iso performance you go canon.

I would tend to agree with your statement regarding the D800 for example, which i find unusable above ISO 1600 personally.  However, in terms of high ISO, the Nikon D4 is on par or slightly better then the 1DX.

Incidently, i find focus so slow on my D800 that when shooting at iso 100 indoors with a flash, i prefers the 1DX.  With the right lens it provides amazing result.  I did not expect that...off topic here but thought i would share...
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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 08:08:33 AM »

Gothmoth

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 08:18:48 AM »
i had a closer look at the D600 autofocus... as good as it looks on paper i think it´s not that the 6D is much worse.

sure the D600 has more AF points but they are so cramped together that 66% are useless.

i could not test sport or action and how good the D600 is at tracking moving objects.


elflord

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 08:35:34 AM »
I am also starting to get very suspicious about DxO Mark. Why do they have results for Nikon in a heartbeat all the time?

The aggregate scores come out in favor of Sony sensors because of dynamic range at low ISO.

Quote

Here's my plan, before I do it.

Take two or more successive exposures in RAW at the same settings, and repeat this process to obtain other pairs of image data with various under/normal/over exposure settings and various ISOs.

Then I will measure the actual noise by calculating the difference between identical images. The means of the data will be adjusted to account for a tiny variation in exposure times. Any difference between the images would be purely due to the random variation of noise.

Then I will use the old formula from science for relative error (observed-expected)/expected * 100 and then use the RE to calculate the signal to noise ratio.

And one number is meaningless. DxO Mark loves to give the highest ISO where (in their system of experimentation) the SNR falls below about 80-85%, a "critical point" of image quality.

Before you do that -- take a look at DxOs measurements. They don't just give one number.  DxO do report all their measurements -- not just SNR 18%, but the curves for different levels.

By looking at the SNR curves, you can get a sense of where the dynamic range advantage of the Sony sensors comes from -- in the "full SNR" curves, the SNR in the shadows barely changes from ISO200 to ISO100 with the Canon sensors.

Their dynamic range is ultimately based partly on signal to noise, because their definition of the "black point" for purpose of dynamic range is the baseline noise level.

EDIT: I have some comments about your high ISO hypothetical. First, the phenomenom you describe does not happen all that often. SNR18% measurement usually follows a pretty much follows a straight line. Your comment about the 1DX ("with cameras like the 1D X, the SNR barely falls any further for a long, long way." ) is not true for cameras that have been tested (it follows a pretty straight line) and when the 1DX is tested, it will probably be shown to be false for the 1DX too.

Second, I don't really agree that the second camera is "obviously"  "65% better".  The assertion is based on one data point. Any single data point will stop short of giving you a complete picture. Also, the SNR you use doesn't make whole lot of sense for a couple of reasons. First, it's typically measured in decibels (basically you want the log ratio). Second, in the range you would reasonably care about, signal is greater than noise, so it would never be less than 100%.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 10:23:51 AM by elflord »

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs. Nikon D600
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 08:35:34 AM »