Canon 5D markII vs Nikon D3 in IQ

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by evphotography, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. After comparing the Canon 5D II sample images to Nikon D3 samples on DP review, to me it looks like the Canon is
    just as good at the higher ISO's as the Nikon D3. They both are equally awesome up to 3200, but when you get ISO
    6400-25,600 I think the Canon is just as good as the Nikon and maybe touch better. Honestly it is hard to say
    because to be fair both cameras would have to be compared side by side shooting the same scene under same
    lighting conditions to get a honest assement. Here is my question, does anyone else feel my assement is accurate
    or am I missing something? It will be interesting to see Nikon's IQ when they come out with D3x with 20+MP to see
    how it stacks up against the new Canon 5D.
  2. The only true way to tell is to have each camera in your hands and shoot the same foto with at each of the ISO setting and you shall be able to tell [Who's on First and Where is Second]
  3. I think we should wait for production cameras and proper reviews. However, the D3 is clearly a better specified camera, even if the 5D II will probably trump it for image quality (I think Canon's Chuck Westfall has already admitted that the 5D II should be better than the 1Ds III at high ISO).
  4. zml


    There is much more to the digital IQ than resolution and noise but, at the moment, Nikon has nothing in its offer to even remotely compete with the Canon's high-end lineup (1ds3, 5D2) and I don't believe that anything Nikon is likely to offer in the next year or so will even come close (the sensor in Sony A900 is not the best one on the planet and 3Dx is rumored to use the same piece of silicon...) If you look closely at the Nikon D3 samples, you might notice that there's a lot of luminance noise: print out a Nikon D3 ISOE 3200 sample and a Canon 1Ds3 ISE 3200, place them side by side for a few days. The luminance noise on Nikon's pictures drives me bonkers... YMMV, of course.
  5. The 5D II is almost half the price of the D3 too! As far as price goes the 5D II should be compared to the Nikon D700. In my opinion Nikon is still well behind Canon. For a few months Nikon's only claim to fame was high ISO performance and now even that seems to be gone. Oddly enough I have found two used Nikon bodies to fit my purposes but I once again see possibilities of a Canon body in the future.

    I now wonder what the 1DsIV is going to like and how it will be priced.
  6. You are correct John Crowe in that the Canon 5D comparsion should be for Nikon D700. Reason I used the D3 for IQ comparsion is because it has the same sensor and processor as the D700 and therefore should have identical IQ. Since Canon is 21MP and Nikon is 12.3, my comparsion is really only based on how clean at high ISO's both are in terms of noise. It isn't fair to compare resolution when one is only 12.3MP and other is 21MP. Also as Mark U pointed out, really need to compare production models side by side under same shooting conditions. But I must say that even though the am using pre-production models for comparsion I was very surprised to see how closely they are in terms of noise considering Canon as packed 21MP on their sensor and have managed to do it without increasing the noise at higher ISO's.
  7. According to the tests I've been able to do so far, given what limited info is available right now, the Canon 5D II looks about one stop better that the D3/D700 at high ISOs.
  8. Given that the Nikon is 12.3MP and the Canon 21MP, even if noise appears similar at the pixel level, the Nikon is bound to
    show more noise in large print as it will need a lot more rezzing up than the Canon.
  9. Canon is forcing customers to make a choice. High quality studio cameras which are slow (5D, 5D MkII, iDs MkIII) or sports camera (40D/50D, 1D MkIII).

    With Nikon you don't have to make this choice. Just get any camera you like D300 and above. When the dust from new cameras settles (sometime in spring), I will be seriously looking at upgrade options outside of canon.
  10. Obviously we are dealing with a paucity of data at this point. This is a good topic, but a bit premature, in my opinion.

  11. Without seeing direct comparisons this is all speculation. It may be possible that the 5DII's high ISO performance is as good as the D3's but it is improbable given the virtual doubling of the pixel count. We shall have to see.

    At normal ISOs the 5DII is clearly going to be superior at capturing detail - ceteris paribus - but unless you are going to print at very large sizes this pixel count gain will be largely wasted. In the end it depends on what you want you want to do with the final image. As a D3/D700 user I don't feel an urgent need for more pixels although I don't doubt I will pay up for them when they come. When I was a Canon user until 2 years ago I thought the file size from my 1Ds II was as big as I practically required.

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