Canon 5D Mkiii or Nikon D600

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by coneected, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Which of these two cameras has the better image quality or depth of color? Trying to figure out if I should stick with my Canon system or change over to Nikon. Image quality is my main concern of staying with Canon or moving over to Nikon. Any comments welcomed.
  2. If you have much invested in lenses, obviously you should stick with Canon. And with the current state of sensor technology, lenses make more difference to image quality than bodies, anyway.
  3. Well for the Canon side, since you've posted this twice, I think that if you are imprinted on Canon you may well find Nikon "awkward" for at least a while. Same thing the other way if you had been a Nikonista.
    If you have any 'investment' in lenses, it's difficult to find any really compelling reason to switch unless you needed some particular accessory (such as the Canon TS-E 17mm lens) that isn't yet available on the other platform.
    On the other hand, if all you have in the way of lenses is a kit lens or two, you can jump either way without too much angst and (financial) pain.
    I'm pretty well convinced that many of the visual differences in imagery seen by the casual examiner are more a result of how the jpeg defaults for sharpening, contrast, etc. are set up.
    Like Pepsi has more sugar than Coca Cola, for example.
    You also have to carefully consider what you mean by "image quality" as this is not as simple as it seems. Do you mean more pixels? Then get a Canon 5Ds right now. Last year it would have been a Nikon....
    The two systems are competing now over what are, for most of us, relatively uncritical variables for our various "missions".
  4. If you have good number of lenses I think you can upgrade to the new 5Ds.
  5. According to the DXOMark site, the D600 has a slight advantage, but frankly, after post processing (assuming you are shooting RAW), you probably would not be able to see much if any differences under most shooting conditions. What lenses do you have? Lenses and technique are probably more important than the body when it comes to IQ.
  6. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
  7. BeBu: Eventually (the 5Ds isn't out yet). Although initial suggestions seemed to be that the 5Ds may not do much for the dynamic range of the sensor (we'll have to see).
    Leo: A D600 is a discontinued version of a low-end camera, competing with the 6D - the D610 is a minor upgrade to the D600 which also fixed the oil splatter issue that some reported (although I'd hope that any D600 would have it fixed by now). The D600 autofocus is primitive compared with the 5D3, and it's much slower and less robust. It does have a slight resolution and dynamic range advantage, and probably also colour determination, both only at low ISO (if you shoot at moderate ISOs, there's not much difference). On a correctly-exposed photograph, or if you're prepared to bracket and blend, this doesn't really matter much (although I value the capability to make severe adjustments with my Nikon). Consider the Magic Lantern software for the Canon cameras if you want to make up some of the difference.
    If you currently have a 5D2 (as reference), the D600 is very similar to that in strengths and weaknesses: not very fast, low-end autofocus, but decent resolution and fairly light. With, of course, the Nikon handling differences compared with Canon. The 5D3 handles like a 5D2 with most of the weaknesses significantly improved - it's much faster, it has much better autofocus, it's built more solidly. A closer match to the 5D3 in robustness is the D800 or D810; a closer match in capability is the D750.
    If you're a landscape shooter in good light, the D600 would be worth a look, to me, but honestly I'd be trying to pick up a D800e instead (currently) if I wanted to go with Nikon. If I were shooting moving subjects or video, I'd go with the 5D3, or look at a D750. A D600 should typically be a lot cheaper than a 5D3 unless something odd is happening to the used market, but factoring in any cost of changing system, bear in mind you're not getting a camera in the market segment of the 5D3.
    But I agree with others here: if you have lenses to do either of these cameras justice, it seems unlikely to be worth your while to switch, unless you're so financially comfortable that you can maintain both systems. If you don't have decent lenses, that probably matters more than the body. Canon have some very good recent lenses that appear to make the Nikon equivalents look bad - although the reverse is also true.
    If your current Canon experience is a crop body and a couple of cheap zooms, treat either of these as new systems - the handling on the pro Canons is pretty different from the cheapest consumer models (as the high-end Nikons handle differently to the budget cameras), and if your lenses are for crop sensors (EF-S) then you'll need to replace them anyway. There are still some "Canon ways to do things", though. On the other hand, if you're already used to a full-frame Canon, or even a fairly high-end prosumer body, you'll notice a lot of handling differences if you look at Nikon. Think carefully before switching, and try them out. Both systems are logical, just different. I started with a Canon low-end body (300D/Digital Rebel), went to a Nikon D700 (and D800, and D810), and now find I can't cope at all with the 5D layout. I'm sure there are those with the reverse experience.
    Good luck, whatever you choose to do, but my advice is you might be worrying about the wrong thing.
  8. A good photographer can take a great photo with either of those solutions.
    If you own lenses for Canon, stick with it.
  9. Either will work equally well. Switching brands never, ever makes sense, unless you've got very little time and dollars invested in the brand you're currently with.
    Whichever is "best" today will be trumped by the other tomorrow.
  10. For fairness, I have to counter what David said about "never", because I switched from Canon to Nikon, mostly happily. But I switched from a Canon consumer body (Eos 300D) to a Nikon Pro(ish) body (D700), and I did so just as I was considering whether to buy some decent lenses for Canon: I didn't own anything expensive at that point. I switched knowing that there were some lenses that were unique to the Nikon system (14-24, 135 DC), and that Canon's equally unique lenses (particularly the AF f/1.2 primes) tempted me less. After a few years, I have a bit of lens envy from some of Canon's recent releases (17mm T/S, new 24-70, 200-400 f/4, possibly the new ultrawide), but Nikon have been refreshing primes quite well. Nobody's rushed to improve the crop sensor lenses, except possibly Sigma. Based on lenses, things have changed a bit for the choices I made (especially since I didn't get on with the 135 f/2 DC), but I got several years of shooting in before the lens range changed significantly.

    On bodies... I always liked the Canon rear wheel (continuous scrolling!), but I always preferred the Nikon front wheel (index finger on the shutter). Ironically, I work for Samsung, who have released a camera with a Nikon (horizontal) rear wheel and a Canon (vertical) front wheel - not my call, obviously. Some handling options vary over time - Nikon moved a few useful controls to the top left, where I can't reach them but let you map record to ISO to compensate; Canon finally fixed auto-ISO in manual mode, got an AF joystick and put the DoF preview button somewhere sensible. Some things stay the same (Nikon still have a mode button). Going between either system, there are still things I'd miss (like the A-DEP behaviour for showing the in-focus points during manual focus on the 300D) and there are things that drive me nuts. A 5D3 feels wrong after a few years with Nikon, and I'm sure many feel the same in reverse.

    So. I wouldn't say never change. But unless you're planning to keep both systems going, But there are "changes" even within a system, most notably on the crop/full-frame switch, or going between significant body classes (Rebel to 7D, 6D to 1Dx, in Canon terms). If the cheese is moving anyway, it might make more sense to think about taking the financial hit of swapping all the accessories to another system. There are plenty who decide that the existing systems just don't give what they want - such as moving to mirrorless - who get rid of some expensive kit. If it's really what you want to do, good luck to you. (To quote my wife: "okay, but you're not switching back".)

    If you really need the dynamic range of the Sony sensors that Nikon uses, by all means switch from Canon. They might be about to fix that, but then they've been lagging for a long time (since the D7000 generation) here. But then Nikon have had the same autofocus module since the D3, so things don't always get fixed in a hurry. I'd say switch to Nikon only if Canon would have to do a lot of things to make you happy, and you don't think it'll do them. For now, I'd at least give Magic Lantern a try.

    Switching is sometimes the right and logical thing to do, and it's patronising of us to say there's no way you should consider it. But it's also the exception, not the rule. And remember that there are no bad cameras any more - it's much less obvious that there's something to gain than there was a few years ago.
  11. A lot of the Nikon shooters, the pro shooters really like the D800 series. I think the cost is about the same as the
    Canon 5D Mk3's. The D800's have around a 35 megapixel sensor, the 5D Mk3 is around 23 megapixels. Kindly
    don't jump all over me with the exact megapixel count.

    So how many Canon lenses do you have? If it were me and you already have several Canon lenses, buy the 5Ds
    for about $3500 or so, with a 50 megapixel sensor.

    Most likely the only thing better than the Canon 50 megapixel sensor would be to make a move over to the
    medium format range and pick up the new Pentax 50 megapixel camera system. If you have the cash look into
    the Phase One cameras with an 80 megapixel sensor.
  12. I'd say there's more to image quality than megapixels - of course, now Canon have announced a 5Ds (which I don't believe you can buy yet) and as a Nikon shooter, I would say that. :) Indications so far seem to be that the 5Ds sensor will not increase the dynamic range capabilities that the Sony sensors in the D6x0/D750/D8x0 series have at low ISO - so if your idea of "image quality" includes a lot of post-manipulation, even 24MP sensors have a significant boost over the current Canon equivalent (modulo the Magic Lantern dual ISO trick). At higher ISOs, that advantage very quickly goes away, and cameras like the 6D, D4s and A7s have the lead. For pure resolution, I'm sure the 5Dsr will have the edge. Lenses are very much an issue as well, of course. And yes, the 50MP Sony sensors in several recent medium format sensors (most cheaply the 645Z, if a modular body doesn't matter to you) do test pretty well, although you have to remember that there aren't many medium format lenses that go to f/1.4 and the sensor size isn't full 645 (except for the 80MP back).

    So image quality depends heavily on the conditions you're shooting in, and what you plan to do with the result. Shoot a static subject on a tripod with the lighting correct, and somewhere between a medium format back and a scanning back is probably your friend if "quality" means "fill a wall" - although also look at the various sensor shift solutions. Bear in mind that depth of field means you're not going to get much of that in focus for most sensible subjects, though. Need to adjust lighting in post - and Leo did talk about depth of colour - and the Nikon FX bodies are pretty good, and apparently better than the Canons. Run out of light and the Canons are more competitive, and bear in mind that their autofocus means you might get worse image quality but an in-focus image, which some might consider important. And then there are handling differences, size ("the best camera is the one you have with you..."), and - very much - diminishing returns. And for resolution, do bear in mind that 50MP isn't much bigger than 36MP in linear resolution (18%), just as 36MP isn't that much more than 24MP (22% - although "not much" doesn't mean "none"). And I do hope you had a budget for an Otus...

    In the grand scheme of things, go out and take pictures. Or in my case, lurk here and post on a forum instead. It's cheaper than buying cameras that don't exist yet.
  13. If you have to ask forum, you don't really need or ready to switch system. Grass always greener over the fence.
  14. I do have a small collection of Canon lenses, some for APS-c bodies and some for Fx bodies. That is probably my biggest concern also is to shoot with APS-c of a full frame body. I use mostly primes 35, 50, 85, 100, and 150 but I have have some zoom lenses 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm 2.8 IS USM, 28-75mm 2.8, 17-50mm f2.8 and a 28-105mm f2.8. The image quality I get using a FX camera far outweighs, (in my opinion) using the APS-c, yet some of my lenses will not work correctly (dark corners) on a Fx body. The body I am using is the original Canon EOS 5D, which I like but I also have a Canon EOS 7D. Was trying to upgrade and was just wondering to drop one to pick up the other or remain with what I have. The collection of lenses I have have helped to improve my photographic abilities. The question being to spend so much money on another body or work with what I have. Thanks for all the feedback.
  15. Leo, the 7D MkII is a huge step forward from either the 5D or 7D. I now shoot with a 5D MkIII/7D MkII combination and find it ideal. The 7D2 is king in focal-length limited shooting and the 5D3 wins when the wide-angle lenses come out. Your lens selection seems to favor FF, so, unless you plan to do wildlife shooting with your 70-200mm, then I'd suggest you stick with FF, BUT just realize that IQ is no longer a problem with APS-C, if you have the right lenses.
  16. Leo, what do you like to do in photography? Nature, weddings, portraits, kids, street, travel, or more interest in
    design and product photography, commercial photography, corporate type of work? Something else?

    Knowing what you like best will surely give me, us, easier recommendations to share with you.
  17. I do a little of all of these Nature, weddings, portraits, kids, street, and travel.
  18. My main concern for a camera is the choice between Full Frame or APS-C and which will help me to deliver the best image quality. Not really seeking to sink $2000. into a newer camera which will deflate in value in a matter of moments. Would rather buy a camera that has some added features yet not empty my bank account at the same time which is why I am still using my Canon EOS 5D and 7D.
  19. I shot the D600 for one short afternoon, before deciding to send it back to Amazon. Later, I saw that several of the files had dust or oil spots in the same part of the photo where oil and dust would continue to plague other copies.
    I replaced it with the D800E, but I might as easily have replaced it with the 5D II, which I had shot for several years. If you are intent on changing to Nikon, don't do it for the D600. Nikon makes a number of better cameras. So does Canon.
  20. Hi Leo,

    Thanks for the information. This helps a lot! With a budget of $2000 or so I'd surely look at a mint, used, full
    frame, pro camera. My favorite Canon camera at the moment is the 1Ds Mark 3. You can find one at a good
    store like KEH or B&H with a 180 day warranty starting around $1500 in average condition to $2000 in mint,
    like new condition. Just a few years ago this camera sold new for $8000. The shutters in these cameras last
    for 300,000 clicks. I've made very clean enlargements up to 40X60 inches. I also have a 5D Mark 3 and I'm
    selling it. The color saturation doesn't match the quality of the 1Ds Mark 3 cameras. Even at low ISO's, such
    as 100, the colors don't pop like the 1Ds Mark 3's. I must say that the 5D Mark 3 does have less pixel
    problems above an ISO setting of 3200 and higher. However, I NEVER shoot above 1600. In fact I hardly ever
    go above 800! So for me the 1Ds Mk 3 is the perfect camera for me.

    I have a good relationship with Canon in California. A few of the techs know me by name. They told me just
    this past Friday that the 5Ds will be in the stores in June. The cost will be around $3650 for a medium format
    sensor; 50 megapixels! If you wait just one year or so and opt for this used camera I'm sure it will be priced
    around $1500 in mint condition.

    I have no issues with buying used pro gear. I've bought Hasselblads, Leica rangefinders, and recently I
    bought a used Phase One 80 megapixel camera with a 5 lenses for very little money. If you shop at good
    camera stores that offer warranties you will be just fine.

    Since you have some Canon quality lenses I wouldn't jump ship and go to Nikon. Lastly, I would surely go full
    frame. Hope this helps - bob

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