APS-C Image Quality (7d vs nex7)

akiskev

EOS RP
Dec 11, 2010
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I took a sample image from Imaging Resource's review of Sony Nex 7 and compared it with the same sample shot from Canon 7D review (which btw has same iq with 60d,600d and 550d as expected). The difference in IQ is VAST! Please take a look at the two 100% crop comparisons I made (both shots taken with the same Sigma lens).

7d vs Nex 7 1
7d vs Nex 7 2

How can we justify such a big difference? Is it the new Sony sensor? Is it the crappy jpeg output of Canon?
If the test is legitimate, then Sony has by far the best aps-c sensor out there. It delivers unbelievable quality even when reviewing the images at 100% (pixel peepers rejoice!).

PS Remember that this comparison is only about image quality. We all know the differences between a high end dslr and a mirrorless camera.
 
J

Jettatore

Guest
Many variables can affect results http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Without having access to all the variable details, it would seem impossible to answer.
 
It is very hard to use these to "comparisons" in any useful way - as each camera has fine tuning that optimizes performance. (picture styles, sharpness and saturation settings, etc.)

I must say however - that my brother in-law visited me for a few days last month. He came with his 7d + canon 24-70. I used My canon t2i + tamron 17-50 NON vc.

My IQ was consistently better then his. I "played" with the 7d extensively, attached my Tamron to it, and tried it as well with a canon 50 1.4.

Bottom line - for a reason I dont understand - the 7d was somewhat "soft" / "mushy" compared to the t2i !!!

It was hard for me to believe. I then read many such postings of 7d owners complaining of a "softness".

It could be that the 7d emphasis is more on speed then IQ ? I also found the 7d's center focus point - to get less tack sharp results then the "cheapi" t2i.
 

dr croubie

Too many photos, too little time.
Jun 1, 2011
1,382
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Those differences can be down to:
Lens, ISO, aperture, raw-or-jpg, picture style and sharpness setting, noise reduction, processing software used.
Out of them, i'd presume raw/jpg and sharpness setting would be making the biggest difference of them.

To control variables, you can mount an EF-lens on a NEX via an adapter, use DXO or something to process both shots with the same noise-reductions etc.
But some variable you can't control, like just because the camera says iso100 doesn't mean it's actually iso100, and picture-styles are going to be brand- and probably even sensor-dependent.

I'll be waiting until DXOMark does their nex7-review before passing judgement.
 
B

briansquibb

Guest
Looks like the 7D photos still have the default sharpness setting of 3. If so then out of the box this is probably right - but then the 7D is set for providing unsharpened images to libraries and editors whereas the Nex7 is set up to produce photos for the coffee table

Brian
 

dr croubie

Too many photos, too little time.
Jun 1, 2011
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koolman said:
Bottom line - for a reason I dont understand - the 7d was somewhat "soft" / "mushy" compared to the t2i !!!

It was hard for me to believe. I then read many such postings of 7d owners complaining of a "softness".
Bryan also talks about the 7D being a bit 'soft' compared to other cameras, just set the sharpness to '3' and don't worry.


koolman said:
I also found the 7d's center focus point - to get less tack sharp results then the "cheapi" t2i.
With the same lenses on different cameras? could be an AF issue, but only the 7D can AF Microadjust...
 
B

briansquibb

Guest
koolman said:
It could be that the 7d emphasis is more on speed then IQ ? I also found the 7d's center focus point - to get less tack sharp results then the "cheapi" t2i.
More likely the setup of the 7D which is the problem. I have 2 7D's are they are both spot on sharp.

I have heard from 7D owners about this softness and they have sent them back to Canon etc and still been soft. Then you hear they shoot in jpeg using the default settings and not sharpened them. Out of the box the 7D will always look soft. So a P&S convert will always be complaining about soft images.
 

candyman

EOR R
Sep 27, 2011
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briansquibb said:
koolman said:
It could be that the 7d emphasis is more on speed then IQ ? I also found the 7d's center focus point - to get less tack sharp results then the "cheapi" t2i.
More likely the setup of the 7D which is the problem. I have 2 7D's are they are both spot on sharp.

I have heard from 7D owners about this softness and they have sent them back to Canon etc and still been soft. Then you hear they shoot in jpeg using the default settings and not sharpened them. Out of the box the 7D will always look soft. So a P&S convert will always be complaining about soft images.
So you are shooting with the 7D and what is your 7D built-in sharpnesssetting? Or do you sharpen your RAW photo afterwards?
 

PeterJ

EOS RP
Aug 6, 2011
335
0
koolman said:
I must say however - that my brother in-law visited me for a few days last month. He came with his 7d + canon 24-70. I used My canon t2i + tamron 17-50 NON vc.

My IQ was consistently better then his. I "played" with the 7d extensively, attached my Tamron to it, and tried it as well with a canon 50 1.4.

Bottom line - for a reason I dont understand - the 7d was somewhat "soft" / "mushy" compared to the t2i !!!
I moved from a 450D, which in latter parts I was shooting in RAW to a 7D (with which I've always used RAW) and had similar issues at first. My "problem" was solved once I read the manual and came to grips with all the autofocus options and found what suited me. I'm an amateur and not having a go at you in any way, just for me at least it is a camera that can take a bit to get the best from but results can be awesome as you get used to it ;D. I now despise and never use any of the AF modes that automatically pick points.
 

NormanBates

www.similaar.com
Aug 31, 2010
487
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Madrid, Spain
www.similaar.com
@Koolman:

my bet is that you were using AF, and didn't calibrate your focus with the 7D and either of the lenses you used
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/03/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-facts
http://www.similaar.com/foto/tuten/510.html
i.e. what dilbert said: we were posting at the same time, but my post was longer :)

about the 7D vs NEX7 issue:
* it could also be an AF issue: the NEX7 uses contrast-detect AF so it is slow but always on target; the 7D uses phase detect AF, which is fast but will generate systematic errors unless calibrated correctly:
http://www.similaar.com/foto/tuten/510.html
* it could be that they're using the same model of lens for both cameras, but one lens is fine and the other is soft
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/notes-on-lens-and-camera-variation
* it could be a sharpness-in-post issue: on those samples, I see lots of double-lining on the NEX7 samples, in the doors, windows, etc
* I don't think it is a sensor thing: the DXOmark comparison of A77 vs 7D is kind of a tie:
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/734%7C0/(brand)/Sony/(appareil2)/619%7C0/(brand2)/Canon
take the SLT mirror of the A77 away, and the NEX7 may be beating the 7D, but not by much
 

EYEONE

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 5, 2011
612
0
Looks more like a lens difference than a sensor difference.

I have sharpness on my 7D set to 5 or 6, shoot RAW and use L glass. It's tack sharp.
 

torger

EOS RP
Nov 16, 2010
236
0
Probably a lens difference, and jpeg settings etc. There is no extreme AA filter on the 7D sensor so if the lens is sharp and your tripod does not vibrate, your focus is right etc you get sharp pixels.

However what we do know is that the 7D sensor has at ISO100 pattern noise issues in dark shadows and considerably less dynamic range than compared to the best current APS-C sensors. At higher ISOs the sensor fares quite well though.
 
K

KeithR

Guest
akiskev said:
How can we justify such a big difference?
Some Real World 7D output:

http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/reworks/turnstone_bridlington_1b.jpg
http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/reworks/turnstone_bridlington_2.jpg

Taken with the 7D/100-400mm, handheld at 400mm. Converted in Capture One 6, PP in CS4.

Nothing much wrong with these...

Or this:

http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/dog_big.jpg
 
K

KeithR

Guest
torger said:
However what we do know is that the 7D sensor has at ISO100 pattern noise issues in dark shadows and considerably less dynamic range than compared to the best current APS-C sensors.
Not strictly true - what we know is that the 7D needs the user to apply some intelligence and discernment in his choice of conversion software. I've cranked low ISO 7D shots up by 4 or more stops without any problem in the shadows.

http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/shadows.jpg
http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/shadows_recovered.jpg

http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/IMG_2195_minus_3_ev.jpg
http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/IMG_2195-plus_4_ev.jpg
 

akiskev

EOS RP
Dec 11, 2010
329
5
www.flickr.com
Excellent pics KeithR!!
The images I uploaded were 100% crops though. Nobody said that 7d is not a very good camera iq wise. It surely is one of the best aps-c cameras anyone can buy at this moment.

I just mentioned that Sony's sensor was WAY BETTER in pixel peeping situations. To pixel-peep you need a 100% image. Not a scaled down one ;)
 

torger

EOS RP
Nov 16, 2010
236
0
KeithR said:
torger said:
However what we do know is that the 7D sensor has at ISO100 pattern noise issues in dark shadows and considerably less dynamic range than compared to the best current APS-C sensors.
Not strictly true - what we know is that the 7D needs the user to apply some intelligence and discernment in his choice of conversion software. I've cranked low ISO 7D shots up by 4 or more stops without any problem in the shadows.
Well it kind of is strictly true ;-). It is correct that you can reduce hardware pattern noise with software noise reduction, and Canon's own software does quite well. But if you want to use third party software to process your RAWs? I like user-freedom in post-processing, and therefore I certainly prefer well-behaving hardware rather than hardware that requires fixups in software.

I do agree though that one should not exaggerate this problem, although I do see it now and then when I work with my images it has so far not given me any practical problem in prints. I actually have had more problems with reduced size web images, when the pattern can occasionally become more visible when reducing to certain sizes, then also in brighter parts of an image, such as a dull uniform sky.

For example this test image: http://torger.dyndns.org/temp/IMG_9045.jpg
has line noise problems in the sky, not so very obvious but when stretching around with the picture it does appear a slight vertical "corduroy" pattern. It is too slight to be visible in a print (and some of you will probably not see it on screen either, requires good screen and perfectionist eye), but I could do without it anyway. Might be more visible in this one:
http://torger.dyndns.org/temp/IMG_8160.jpg (again, the sky).

The image was converted with RawTherapee, without using the line noise filter (which I only use in more severe situations, since it reduces detail too, sometimes I do a separate filter for the sky since there is generally no sharp details there to worry about).
 

AJ

EOS 7D MK II
Sep 11, 2010
617
24
The Sony NEX photo looks oversharpened.

Something's wrong with the 7D photo. My 7D gives me much sharper results at 100%
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,408
667
My experience with the 7d is that a careful microfocus adjustment makes a big difference, the high pixel density requires near perfect focus. There is a learning curve.

Sony cameras are great in jpeg, they use a ton of NR and saturation so that images look wonderful on the web. Compare raw output, and the tables reverse, give images the same nr and developing treatment, and the noise from the sony sensors suddenly becomes very apparent.

This makes Sony a good choice for a person who justs wants to point and shoot, while those who want to process their own images to get best possible quality will prefer the Canon sensor.
 

dr croubie

Too many photos, too little time.
Jun 1, 2011
1,382
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Just for an example of lens and 'sharpness' processing differences, here's some shots I was taking to compare a few weeks ago.
I was comparing the Canon EFs 15-85 @ 35mm to the Samyang 35/1.4.
Here's the shots I took under identical conditions on my 7D, firstly I RAW-processed everything with sharpness 3 using DPP. Basically, the samyang kicks butt. (shutter speeds were at 1/200s at f/8, so no motion blur, iso100, 100% crops from the far-right vertically-middle of frame)
Today, i've gone back to the RAW files, and processed the exact same photos again, with the samyang sharpness setting on 0, and the 15-85 sharpness on 5 (i tried up to 7, but it looked too 'over-sharp').
The differences are so much less pronounced than when the sharpness setting are the same. Basically, if this small difference in PP makes such a difference in the output photo, comparing across sensor-types is a lot harder than just looking at sample pics...
 

Attachments

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willrobb

Guest
akiskev said:
Excellent pics KeithR!!
The images I uploaded were 100% crops though. Nobody said that 7d is not a very good camera iq wise. It surely is one of the best aps-c cameras anyone can buy at this moment.

I just mentioned that Sony's sensor was WAY BETTER in pixel peeping situations. To pixel-peep you need a 100% image. Not a scaled down one ;)
I agree 100%. I think the 7D is a great camera, lots of people get great results with it, I was very happy with mine, but I sold it last weekend as I felt the IQ at high ISO wasn't suited for what I do. Looking at the test results it looks as if the Sony sensor is pretty damn good, I welcome that as it means canon will have to raise it's game a bit which helps us. However, if they made a 7DII sensor too good it would eat into canon FF sensor sales, so I don't expect a massive increase in sensor quality in the 7DII, but I am sure it will be pretty damn good and if it keeps a lot of the great 7D functions in terms of AF, FPS, built in wireless controller etc, the 7DmkII is going to be first choice camera for many people as well as an awesome 2nd camera for a lot as well.

As I said, I loved my 7D. For anything in print or online publication I was extremely happy, but for private wedding and portrait hires where I always give clients some large A3 size prints, I just found my 5DmkII to way outperform on IQ across the board so I decided to sell the 7D for another 5DmkII. I will miss the 7D, but for the price I paidfor it and what it did for me, it really was a great buy and I am happy to have used it.