Canon EOS 5D Mark II versus Nikon D3

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by jerry_gardner|1, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. I'm primarily a landscape photographer and prefer the "big vista" type of landscapes that Ansel Adams was famous
    for. That being said, I want to move from film to digital. I currently use a Contax RTS-III system to do most of
    my work, so that leaves me in the position of not having an existing set of lenses for any current DSLR system
    and frees me to choose either Nikon or Canon.

    There seems to be two primary differences between the D3 and the 5DII that would affect my work: pixel resolution
    and build quality. (I don't care about video, so that feature of the Canon is not relevant.)

    The 5DII is 21MP and the D3 is 12MP. For landscape work where my typical print is either 8"x10" or 16"x20", how
    much difference will 9 additional MP of resolution make? If this is a significant factor, then this will probably
    sway me towards the 5DII (the EOS 1DS mark III is out of my price range).

    The D3 is Nikon's top-of-the-line "pro" DSLR. Is its build quality significantly better than an "enthusiast" DSLR
    like the 5DII? I'll be carrying whatever I buy around in a rucksack in sometimes dusty conditions--will a pro
    model make much of a difference here?
  2. AT 16x20 you'll definitely see the difference. Build quality is not as high in the 5D but I've yet to hear any landscape photgraphers complain about the original 5D in the field, and the II is built better. The 5D also weights less, which can make a difference after a while. Also FWIW, the 5D has finer grain at high ISOs.
  3. Jerry,

    No question the 5D MkII, the extra 9 mp will be important for fine detail and besides you can get an RTS to EOS adapter for $39 and use all your current lenses, for landscape work the functional limitations shouldn't limit your use.

    Take care, Scott.
  4. There may be a little bonus here in the Canon EOS line as well. I am not really familiar with the Contax RTS-III, but I presume it uses the Contax/Yashica mount and is manual focus. If so, there are relatively inexpensive adapters that would allow you to use your C/Y lenses on the 5D as MF, stop-down lenses. I bought a Vivitar Series I Qdos lens in a C/Y mount and it works beautifully on my Canon EOS bodies
  5. Ditto with the above but if you do decide to go Nikon the D700 would make more sense for your application than the D3.
  6. Sorry, Scott, I somehow missed part two of your answer until after I posted.
  7. Hey no worries JDM,

    You came up with the picture, as you so often do, the massive telescope/lens is probably my favourite so far :)

  8. I don't believe that you'll see any difference from the additional 9 Mpixels if the optical properties of the 5DII are
    inferior to the D3.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The 5DII only has 30 percent more resolution than the D3 (5616 x
    4256 vs. 3744 x 2832), if you were to compare the print resolution at 20" x 30", the 5DII prints at 187 dpi while the D3
    file will print at 142 dpi. If anything, the additional 9 Mpixels can actually hurt the performance of the 5DII and cause
    increased noise and lower dynamic range.
  9. Berg Na,

    That is one of the silliest comments I have seen. The D3 has 12MP times that by 1.75 and you get 21MP of the 5D MkII, ergo 75% more MP, 75% more information must make a difference. The 5D MkII is not an unknown sensor, it is being used and raved about by many landscape photographers in the 1DS MkIII. The detail that the 21MP files give you in landscapes and studios is the very reason it was made. You have obviously never seen or used prints from either camera to make comments like that. Neither the D3 or 5D MkII have any optical properties, that is all down to the lenses. Canon have stated, and the test images seem to support them, that the 5D MkII sensor has better DR and lower noise than the 1DS MkIII.

    Take care, Scott.
  10. Jerry, I agree with all the posters above, as they make valid points for either system. In particular, the Nikon D700,
    since it is substantially lighter than the D3, without sacrificing any image quality (primarily speed, which is moot for
    your application), would be a good choice for landscape work, especially with Nikkors such as their awesome 14-
    24mm f/2.8, which would yield super-sharp true wide-angle images. Of course, anything said about the supposedly
    awesome Canon 5 D MII image quality is now simply speculation, since it's not even available yet (except pre-
    production, and I don't put much weight in those evaluations). And IMHO, if you're going to only 16x20 max, I think
    that the 12 megapixel sensor of the Nikon D700 is more than adequate, with appropriately good technique. (I've
    enlarged *4* megapixel images to 16x20 with very good detail and clarity!) Plus, don't forget ergonomics in your
    decision, as they are quite different beasts! Good luck! ~Steve
  11. Scott - Sorry but you're way off: The pixel count is obtained by multiplying the number of rows by the number of columns, so take the square root of your 1.75 factor to get the increase in resolution, or 1.32 (30%). To get 75% better resolution than the D3 you'll a 32.5 megapixel sensor.
  12. Any way you want to put it Berg you can't overlook the fact that if you have 12 million bits of information and I have 21 million bits of information, I have 75% more information than you. But it all boils down to technical semantics, go look at a detailed 20x30inch print from a 1DS MkIII and a D3 and tell me there is no difference.

    Then if you can honestly tell me I am way off I'll point you to a good optometrist.

    The rest of my comment I presume you agree with.

    I am not a pixel peeper or Canon zealot, but the 5D MkII has a tried and tested sensor, it gives superb results, detail from the files is quite simply staggering and as a landscape shooters tool I can't see why you would ever want less detail than you could have. True in 8x10 you won't see the difference. I still use a 4mp camera for some of my work, but I know it's limitations, enlargements of fine detail are best done with the highest number of quality pixels available, if not who would buy a $20,000 and up MF digital back?

    Take care, Scott.
  13. Steve how can you say "Of course, anything said about the supposedly awesome Canon 5D MII image quality is now simply speculation", the sensor has been available and in use for a good time now, it gives superb results in its current form and I can't believe it will be repackaged in a dumbed down form, that would be commercial suicide for Canon.

    All reports suggest it is an improvement on the 1DS MkIII, with the extra R&D I can't see why it shouldn't be, the comments you make about the D700 hold up for the 5D MkII as well, it is smaller and lighter than the D3 (and 1DS MkIII) and whilst many images won't show any real difference at 16x20, detailed ones could and the Canon will always give you cropping room, which you will need cos a 16x20 equates to a cropped 16x24 already.
  14. Scott, point taken. You are no doubt much more versed in Canon technology than I. While I do agree that more pixels means more data. (I used to shoot 4x5 and 8x10 sheet film with Schneider and Rodenstock Apo optics, so I'm not unfamiliar with " Image Quality". I think my aim was to suggest that we are talking about an as yet unreleased product, albeit with the sensor being in use already, I think there is more to image quality than the sensor converter, processor, lens, and perhaps even the photographer has something to do with it:). Frankly, I am debating between the Nikon D700 and this Canon 5D Mark II myself, so I am VERY interested in the professional testing comparisons! I've read all the glowing reviews of the Canon 5D's IQ, so I do have high hopes for the Mark II...I just don't know how many pixels you can put into a 35mm frame and still have "Quality"...but I hope for the best! Thanks, Steve
  15. Ah Steve,

    Now that is a much bigger issue! Obviously there is a good deal more to the end result than the capturing chip, but to be honest I think software programs have reached the level where any sensor/processor combination can be made to imitate any other, including lens colours and even film types, it just takes the interest to search for the results.

    Lenses are a completely different issue, somebody with your background, I would think, would be far better looking at lens tests for the focal lengths you want to use, another huge advantage for the Canon is its ability to use a large range of non Canon lenses effectively, and certainly primes are the way to go for ultimate quality in landscape and very detailed situations.

    The pixel count,I suspect, will continue to rise on the FF sensors, diffraction limits have only been reached for the f stops of 11 or so and smaller on full frame. A FF sensor with the pixel density of a 50D equates to 39MP, but it appears there is no practical IQ increase at this density, it is just out resolving the diffraction, this seems to be the factor that is going to limit the 36x24mm sensor, it always was when super fine grained film was used too.

    Anyway good luck with your decision making too.......

    Take care, Scott.
  16. Scott - It is not semantics, you simply do not have 75% more resolution. Just compare the print resolution, divide the number of pixel per size by the print linear dimensions, you'll see that the difference is only 30%.<br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This common misconception is exactly why manufacturers keep pushing for higher pixel count at the expense of image quality. Cramming more pixels in the same area means a smaller individual pixel size, reducing the dynamic range (less signal capacity), and higher noise due to a lower signal to noise ratio.
  17. I agree with Berg Na on this one. I would take into account the difference between the rows and columns of the sensor,
    NOT the total number. So if I want to double the resolution of my 6mp camera, I need to double both axes and get a 24mp
    camera and not a 12 mp.
  18. Berg,

    "Lies, damn lies, and statistics", with respect to Benjamin Disraeli.

    Believe me I understand, I never said the Canon had 75% more print resolution, I said the Canon produced 75% more information, and it does. You still, obviously, did not go look at a 20x30 inch highly detailed print from a 1DS MkIII, if you had you wouldn't be talking like that. I was a disbeliever for years, I have made 20x30inch prints from a 1D with 4.2MP, I know what extra pixels give you, there is a difference between 12MP large scale detailed prints and 21MP ones.

    Please go look at some.

    Take care, Scott.
  19. Scott,

    If you have two square inches and one of them contains 75% more information which one is going to show more detail?

    Don't get hung up on the numbers, look at the prints.

    Take care, Scott.
  20. Scott - I have no doubt that a print from the 21-Mpixel 1DSMkIII will contain more details than another from the 4.2-Mpixel 1D, the former has more than twice the resolution of the latter. However, 30% more resolution will not be so evident. I have no idea what you mean by 75% more "information" if you're not referring to the image resolution.<br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It's clear that I won't convince you that the 9 additional Mpixels won't really help, and that's ok. Resolution alone does not make a good photograph.<p>
  21. Scott Frindel Cole - You are absolutely correct. The following statement is from an article on sensor resolution at the Luminous Landscape website:
    "Images are two-dimensional objects. Therefore, doubling the resolving power necessitates a fourfold increase in pixel (of equal quality) – not a twofold increase as is commonly believed. All else being equal, a 6 megapixel camera does not have twice the resolving power of a 3 megapixel camera, but twice that of a 1.5 megapixel camera."
  22. Berg,

    For goodness sake, stop arguing figures and go and look at some prints!

    I understand how you get your resolution figure, you don't seem to understand how I get my information figure, but if one pixel gives me one piece of information, two gives me two, it is that simple. I might need four pieces to double my resolution from one piece but two pieces still gives me more detail than the one. 21 million gives me 75% more than 12 million.

    You don't need to convince me it doesn't make a difference, I have seen the prints and know that it can, I wish you would.

    Very good point "Resolution alone does not make a good photograph." But superb resolution can make a good picture better. The camera manufacturers can't be blamed for the pictures that are taken with their products, but the best craftsmen make the best masterpieces with tools that do not limit their abilities. 21MP is overkill for 90% of photographers, even most pros, but, the few who can use these numbers, and more, are detailed landscape photographers who make large prints, that would include Jerry and Steve.

    Take care, Scott.
  23. If you want to have real quality forget the digital, neither Canon or Nikon would do better that film...... if you really want to get the best, move to MF you will see the difference.

  24. The 5D Mark 2 and D3 are very different cameras. The D3's direct competitor is actually the 1D Mark 3. The D700 is much more of a direct com petitor to the 5D Mark 2, but again they are quite different.

    The 5D Mark 2 is a high resolution landscape/architecture/portrait camera that's somewhat slower. The D700 has less pixels (larger pixels should allow less high ISO noise, but the 5D Mark 2 seems to be good w/ that also) but features Nikon's top of the line AF module and is capable of 8 fps w/ the battery grip.
  25. Scott,

    Look at it like this, working on Berg's figures a 20x30inch print from a 5D MkII has 187 dots per linear inch or
    187x187 per square inch = 34,969 dots of information, a D3 has 142x142 per square inch = 20,164 dots of
    information. 20,164 x1.75 gives a hair over 35,000, the resolution might not have gone up by 75% but the amount
    of information contained within the square inch has gone up by 75%.

    When you get to big prints of fine detailed subjects that 75% more information shows. Fine art printing should
    really be done at over 200 dpi, prefferably 250dpi, even the 5D MkII needs to be up scaled a little to do this
    but the Nikon needs to be up scaled 100% to make the lowest figure. That means half the information in a
    20x30inch fine art print done at the minimum 200dpi from a Nikon file is made up!

    Hope this clarifies the difference between an arbitrary resolution figure and the more practical amount of
    information given figure in high MP files.

    Take care, Scott.
  26. Sorry Arron,

    I would love to agree with you, nothing compares to handling MF slides, but the truth is for up to 20x30 inch prints I don't see any advantage to MF. Not even in the subtle tonality of the best illuminated B&W. 35mm film has been surpassed with ease, diffraction is the one constant for the 36x24mm sensor size and so can never surpass MF sensors or film for the largest prints. Dynamic range will improve on sensors soon but those working in HDR are far surpassing any capabilities film has ever had there too.

    Take care, Scott.
  27. Resolution is a one-dimension measurement, but that is not how most people use the term these days. Most people use the term resolution to describe how many pixels they have, but this use is incorrect, and will be until the "uneducated masses" result in a change of the definition.
  28. Something to add to the discussion? . Its been in the forum before.

    When it comes to high res and landscape photography (limited use of iso) the Sony A900 might be an option as well.
  29. 75% more information.....lmao!

    Just buy whatever system fits in your hand the best, has the best range of lenses that suit your style and budget, and where you can obtain the best support ie. your most trusted dealer. Forget about pixels. It is a small format camera after all. If image quality was the be all and end all, then you would be using a Linhof view camera with Schneider lenses.

    If the poster above can tell the difference between a 16x20 print from D3 or a 5DMkX, then all you could say is that he is a lucky guesser. The biggest factor on IQ with these cameras is the dynamic range and the quality of the pixels. If we keep jamming pixels onto that 24x36mm sensor, we might be able to acheive the same IQ as some of the point and shoots.

    DXo has a new system which tests these cameras in real world conditions. Check this out..

    If resolution is that important to you, then just wait a couple of weeks for the new Nikon D3x. I for one will not be downgrading to a higher mp camera however.
  30. Wait 5 more days - then decide!
  31. The 75% more information argument is a highly misleading one and Berg is correct in his assertion that it is the image area that counts.

    That said, speaking as a landscaper who uses the D3 and D700 extensively, the 5D II is going to be a little better from a detail point-of-view . But we all know that resolution isn't everything and as Tom has just pointed out DXO rates the image quality of the D3 and the D700 higher than the 1Ds III (albeit by a small margin).

    I might add that since buying the D700 the D3 has stayed in a cupboard most of the time unless I am going somewhere rough. Unless you need the D3's few extra features the D700 is really excellent.
  32. Scott, thanks for painstakingly analyzing the 75% more information point...certainly more math than I am capable of! I think there seems to be a concensus that for prints smaller than 16x20 (which the original poster is interested in), either the 5D Mark II or the Nikon D700 would suffice (and probably the original 5D, for that matter). Coming from a view camera background, I agree with Tom that for ultimate quality, the Linhof and Schneider optics would be hard to beat. However, with that comes sacrifice in terms of speed, portability, not to mention cost. I urge Jerry to take a media card to a dealer (once the 5D MKII is out), and actually use both systems, shooting the same subjects under the same conditions, and then playing with the resulting images at his leisure, even making the size prints he's after. He can see which AF system he likes best. Then he can truly see (and feel) what works best for him! As for the poster who said that primes are best...I would have totally agreed about 5 years ago. However, certain 2.8 zooms from both Nikon and Canon are so good (with the new coatings, apo and AD glass, etc.) that it would be impossible to tell a difference in print. Of course that's not true with ALL zooms! Good luck!
  33. You're trying to emulate Ansel Adams, so you're buying a dinky dslr?

    I'm trying to be like Albert Bierstadt, which kind of crayons should I get?
  34. I got tired of trying to make DSLRs look as good as MF and LF I stopped trying and went back to film.
  35. I have been shooting with the old 5D for a while. I use to scan from 6x7 medium format film. Those scans gave me 100
    MPixel files, although the images were a bit over sampled. Nonetheless, I can tell the difference between the two in larger
    prints. In any case, I'd have to say, I'd still like more pixels than the old 5D. There is no doubt that Nikon makes great
    cameras, and it seems (according to reviews) the D3 has better noise characteristics. If I were a sports photographer, it
    would be very tempting. However, for landscapes (usually with a tripod), you integrate long enough (capture enough
    photons) that the noise floor is not your dominant concern. As for me, at some point, when my finances allow, I will
    upgrade to the 5DII.
  36. The resolutions of both sensors are far beyond the top lenses' abilities... see lpmm for optics on - why not 70 mpix ff sensor? just multiply lpmm for each side of frame for optics and compare to sensor...
    remember Lica M8? good IQ? if you have,say, 100 mpix of dots of informatoin vs. 12 mpix., but optics delivers some about 9 mpix - what for should you have 100 mpix?
    which is better Mercedes S500 or BMW 750 - a rithorical question - you are to make choice!
    btw, see new Zeiss lenses for Nikon
  37. Ruslan - The results for the D3 and 5D are beyond the lens capabilities? Really? Can you explain why I can get
    more detail from attaching the same lens to a 35mm film camera using fine grain film than with the digital sensor? If
    the lens is being outresolved by the sensor, than using film should not achieve more detail.

    Because it're statement is wrong.
  38. Berg dont worry about Scott he is obviously one of these persons that is so caught up with megapixels. There are many of them about these days!
    Dont worry at 16x20 there will be absolutely no difference in terms of resolution. Not at this size definately not. The D3 can go far larger with superb detail. Some people just get hung up on mega pixels. Nikon have concentrated on producing camera's of far better overall quality, build, speed and reliability. It is obvious that Nikon could easily have produced a higher mega pixel camera by now but unlike canon ( i call toys in the photography world!) they are far more patient to produce better overall professional camera's that produce outstanding quality.
    Go into a photography dealer and feel the difference between the two types. Listen to the shutter etc etc etc. I rest my case !
  39. Michael, I can easily see a difference between the resolving power of the 1Ds Mk3 vs the old 5D at 16x24. So please, no comments as to there being no difference. As to the D3 enlarging better than the your dreams. I've seen enough shots from the 1Ds3 and the D3 at that size and larger.....the D3 looses the battle.

    If you want to be a Nikon fanboy then fine.....but use some logic in your statements instead of fanboy rubbish!
  40. At last some other experienced people, Dan and Dave.

    Too many people like Michael and Berg have inexperienced opinions. (Michael you need to try much harder than that to flame me!)

    Bottom line, look at some prints, I have and so has Dave, "I rest my case".

    Take care, Scott.

    P.S. Michael, when did Nikon start making their own sensors?
  41. to the OP - you're not entirely in need of a new system- Contax did make a DSLR, the Contax N1. They are rare and expensive, however, it is full frame 6mp. An interesting camera, but probably not worth your money.

    Anyway, I say go for the 5d Mk II. Forget these resolution flame wars, think of it this way: with the money you'll be saving, you can buy some very nice EF L lenses (hint hint, check out the 24mm f/1.4 L), not to mention the body is smaller and lighter.
  42. grrr.. .sorry, it's not the N1, it's the N digital.

    excuse me.
  43. Scott,

    It is amazing how many opinions are posted from people who have never used the equipment, nor viewed any prints. I know they haven't as the print quality between the two was drastic enough to be seen easily at 16x24 and above in finely detailed scenes such as landscapes. Stating different is proof enough that he's never compared prints between the two.
  44. No one even think about cropping the image? I have 12MP image and crop it down to 5MP on some of my image. Unless, you make all your prints 21MP, then no, you don't need 21MP on a 8x10. Also, you can lower the resolution if you don't need 21MP but not the other way around. Resolution is a determining factor unless your never crop or never make large prints. Build quality, D3 make have the advantage. I dropped my 5D and it;s still working. IT's hard to determine how 'tough' both cameras is unless you do some extensive testing on both cameras. So, I will leave it to the reviewer. so far, my canon bodies are working still.
  45. Anson is correct. I usually shoot with primes and I often crop a bit. You need more than you think you need.

    P.S. For those of you who are looking a slightly larger number of pixel in your camera :)
  46. Jerry Gardner, if you're primarily a landscape photographer and prefer the "big vista" type of landscapes for which
    Ansel Adams was famous, then it's time you graduate to large format.

    Ansel Adams had movements; you don't. You can GPS Adam's specific spot where he took that magnificent shot of
    those mountains/trees/waterfall against those puffy clouds at Yosemite, but it's not gonna look as good as the
    Adams print. No amount of photoshop is gonna save it, either.

    Ansel Adam's cameras cost much cheaper (used). Ansel Adam's negatives drum scanned will yield gigapixels of
    data. This 12MP vs. 21MP argument suddenly becoms silly.

    One can pull ~15+ MP scans from 35mm Velvia. Imagine slides at 8"X10"
  47. Berg Na:
    I don't believe that you'll see any difference from the additional 9 Mpixels if the optical properties of the 5DII are inferior to the D3. The 5DII only has 30 percent more resolution than the D3 (5616 x 4256 vs. 3744 x 2832), if you were to compare the print resolution at 20" x 30", the 5DII prints at 187 dpi while the D3 file will print at 142 dpi. If anything, the additional 9 Mpixels can actually hurt the performance of the 5DII and cause increased noise and lower dynamic range.
    Saying that just because a sensor has more pixel count, it is going to have increased noise and lower dynamic range, means you have not delved deeper into the sensor characteristics. The question is about the area of the pixels that capture light/photons and it has increased from the previous 16MP resolution of the Top 1D version of canon to the current 21 MP version of the sensor used in both the 1D Mark III and the 5D Mark II. From an actual pixel density perspective the Canon 50D sensor is more dense and in the full frame resolution will compare to 45 MP count. End point, BOTH Pixel Count and Dynamic range, sensitivity of the sensor has increased from previous versions. When comparing to NIKON, Actually Nikon sensors have a similar area of capture and that is why the ISO ranges are not very different anymore.
  48. Canon users have enjoyed dslrs which have provided low noise and excellent image quality for YEARS. I doubt the 5DII will be any different.
  49. Anson and Dan,

    I did already mention the ability to crop the 5D MkII image and still get larger files than the D3, the 16x20 size originally mentioned has to be a 16x24 crop to start with.


    Not really true, it is very easy to replicate Adams pictures with the gear talked about, in fact the Adams prints I have seen were a terrible let down, the dodging and burning and overall manipulation showed very badly, this was probably due to the prints age but it was still disappointing. Modern digital cameras using HDR effects can easily exceed the dynamic range he got with his zone system. A methodical and reasonably skilled image maker could copy them easily, of course we would all hope that somebody with that skill would be pushing in their own direction. The equipment he used had it's limitations and in 16x20 prints I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between his pictures and modern ones from the 20+ MP cameras. Certainly the ones I have seen showed no startling extra detail.

    Take care, Scott.
  50. Interesting discussion; thanks.

    Just some clarifying points and I'll try to respond to some of the posts:

    The Contax gear is gone--I've already sold it to pay for the new DSLR, so the availability of a Contax to EOS or NIkon adapter is not a concern.

    I'm not looking for absolute IQ, just the best I can get in the DSLR form factor. I have Mamiya RZ67 and 4x5 outfits (yes, I even have Schneider lenses ;) that I don't use anymore. They're both too big and bulky to carry around in the field and I'm not getting any younger. I much prefer the smaller and lighter 35mm format even though it may not yield the best IQ. Most of the work I do ends up thumbtacked to the wall of my office for my own enjoyment.

    Film and processing are getting harder and harder to find, especially the latter (I sold my Jobo years ago; not interested in doing that anymore). Since I've gone to a completely digital workflow with Photoshop and an inkjet printer, I had the transparencies drum scanned at a cost of $50 for 6x7 and $65 for 4x5. This isn't very cost effective in the long run for what amounts to a hobby.

    One poster recommended looking at a 20x30 print made from a 1DS MkIII. Good idea--any recommendations as to where I can go to do this?
  51. Gentlemen, I would like to contribute to some of the responses as I have been enjoying the ongoing commentary. First I would like to say choosing a system that works for you and is portable should be considered, but ultimately taking and enjoying the photos you produce should be the most important aspect anyways. I agree with both Dave and Dan, prints will most always be more important than pixels, you don't need electricity to enjoy them and the viewer will not always have a monitor around to compare. As far as the 75% and 30% argument goes, both of you are correct. Technically the linear resolution gained from the 5DmkII over the D3 is slightly more than 30%; that means you have 30% more pixels in a single direction. For example: (D3) 4256 + 30% = 5532 which is close to the linear (horizontal) resolution of (5dmkII) 5616. So Berg Na, you are correct. Also, since the total amount of pixels are calculated by multiplying the vertical and horizontal pixel matrix, the numbers become staggeringly different. For example: (D3) 4256 x 2832 = 12,052,992 total pixels and respectively (5DmkII) 5616 x 3744 = 21,026,304 total pixels. Both are full frame, so there is no difference in surface area; only pixel density. Anyone with a calculator can produce the same results. There is no question that 21 is 75% more than 12, period; it does not matter if you are referring to apples, money, pixels, or turkeys. It will always be 75% more. That is an immutable fact. I own both the 40D and the 5D, (I shot Nikon for years so I don’t want to hear it) and I could not understand how going from an APS-C size sensor to full frame was over 2.5 times the surface area. I work in drafting and drew up a sensor for both cameras and calculated on AutoCAD the physical dimensions between the two sensors and was floored by the numbers; 250% the amount of surface area from a 1.6 crop sensor! Going from 10.1mp to a 12.8mp does not sound like a lot nor do the numbers impress either, but the results speak for themselves. There is really no comparison. Nikon and Canon make fine products, and Nikons are getting a lot better; with that said I shoot Canon for a reason-performance. I would base my decision on investment and intensions, if you have an extensive collection of lenses and they work great for you; stick with your equipment. Both cameras offer a great solution to your needs; depending on your requirements and budget, you will not be disappointed with either body. Plus with the money you will save getting the 5DmkII, you could get some sweet glass over the excessive penalty involved in purchasing the D3. Get out there and take some shots! Adam Dickerson
  52. Nikon and Canon shareholder must match threads like this and rub their hands together. We are in a state of 'digital madness', where people actually consider an upgrade from a 5D to a 5DII a logical step! When will this craziness end? If I didn't need my D3 for my paying work, I would gladly sell it and stick to the Hasselblad for landscapes, portraits, fineart et al. I use my D3 as it was intended..for sport, events and PJ.

    A mechanic doesn't have one tool in his toolkit, why do so many people think of their DSLR's as magical silver bullets. One uses a DLSR for its speed and versatility, not quality. As Dave intimates above, the right tool for the right job.

    As to the poster above that states there is no advantage to shooting MF black and white over is better not to contribute at all if you can't be serious.
  53. "Saying that just because a sensor has more pixel count, it is going to have increased noise and lower dynamic range, means you have not delved deeper into the sensor characteristics."
    Sravan Nerella - I can discuss any aspect of sensor characteristics you care to talk about, but the issue is very simple: The imaging area is the same in both sensors, so the pixel size has to be reduced in order to increase the pixel count. A smaller pixel will hold less signal, reducing both the dynamic range and the signal-to- noise ratio. Dpreview's test results confirmed that the new 15-Mpixel Canon 50D has worse dynamic range and high ISO performance than the 10-Mpixel 40D.
  54. " I have 75% more information than you."

    i hereby nominate this for PN comment of the year. LMAO doesn't begin to describe it.

    that said, i think the argument boils down to this: with a 21 MP camera you will see slightly more resolution (30% in
    fact) than a 12mp camera at extremely large print sizes (i.e. 16x20 and over), with the downside possibly being
    increased noise especially at higher ISO sensitivities. of course, this is all speculation, since the 5dII isnt even out

    for landscapes, you're just as well off with a d700 as d3 since about the only thing you get is the double memory
    card slot -- the d3 is more of a PJ/Sports/wedding camera. by the same token, the faster frame rate and better AF
    module of the nikons don't really come into play in landscape use.

    in regards to the 5dII vs. d3/d700 argument, if the OP isn't printing exessively large, it's a really a moot point. in fact,
    if you're not printing over 16x20, either a 5d or a d700 would be sufficient. if you are printing larger, a 5dII or a d3x
    would take advantage of all those megapixels. no harm in waiting until both bodies are out, right?

    considering the cost differential and price/performance ratio, i would say for dedicated landscape use, i'd get a 5dII
    over a d3, since the d3's added features aren't really necessary for this application. if i also wanted to shoot moving
    objects, i'd get a

    however, another factor to consider is lenses. since the OP will be essentially starting over from scratch, there is no
    bias toward either system, and attention
    should be paid to what glass to get for the new system. i've heard nothing but good things about nikon's most recent
    FF lenses, the 14-24 and 24-70, which appear to be on a par (or better) than anything Canon has ever put out. so
    that might weigh heavily into my decision, were i the OP.
  55. Well Berg you are misleading again,

    The imaging area is not the same in both sensors, it is made up of the size of the pixels x the number of them. There are gaps, now how much interference is caused by the size of the gaps etc etc etc. Go look at a print!

    Take care, Scott.
  56. Laugh all you like Eric,

    Explain how it is wrong, oh and before you do look at a print! I haven't said it is 75% better but that 75% more information gives you a more detailed print at the sizes talked about, it does. Now before you flame me go and look at a print from a 1DS MkIII ( the same sensor in the 5D MkII) and a D3, it seems to me amongst all the vitriol in this thread the only ones that say you can see a difference are the ones who have actually looked at the prints, everybody else is just arguing/commenting from what they have read/heard/seen on the internet.

    Take care, Scott.
  57. For simplicity and the mathematically challenged, let’s say you have a 10’ by 10’ room you need to carpet. You will need a minimum of 100 square feet of carpet right….now let’s increase both of the walls length by say 30%; that would be 13’ by 13’ room. Now anyone that can carpet that room with 130 square feet of rug would literally be breaking the laws of physics. Because you cannot. Remember in school when we learned the difference between length and area, yea big difference. 30% more in length does not equate to 30% more area…

    And the fact that resolution on a sensor is calculated by both vertical and horizontal dimensions, you cannot expect a 30% increase in horizontal resolution will equate to a 30% increase in total resolution. Before anyone gets emotional about this fact, just sit down, breath and count to ten, and get over it. It is not anyone’s opinion that the number 21 is quantitatively 75% more than the number 12. And since we are talking about millions….That means 21 million pixels is physically 75% more than 12 million pixels. Period.

    It is very easy to convince with statistics, especially if you are only disclosing a portion of the data, but with statements like this:

    “with a 21 MP camera you will see slightly more resolution (30% in fact)”

    Not only can they be wrong, but entirely misleading. But for anyone trying to justify the massive gap in resolution, this can be an effective way of closing the gap with manufactured data. It is indeed 30% more resolution if the sensor was 1 pixel x 5616 pixels compared to 1 pixel x 4256. These numbers are very convincing, except they are addressing linear resolution, not area resolution. And since most digital photographers use the entire sensor when shooting (not just one line of pixels), we are interested in the Total Area Resolution. Just do a little math (area) and it will become very clear.

    Now got out there and take some shots!

    Adam Dickerson
  58. The photo did not here goes again, Enjoy!
  59. "Sravan Nerella - I can discuss any aspect of sensor characteristics you care to talk about, but the issue is very simple: The imaging area is the same in both sensors, so the pixel size has to be reduced in order to increase the pixel count. A smaller pixel will hold less signal, reducing both the dynamic range and the signal-to- noise ratio. Dpreview's test results confirmed that the new 15-Mpixel Canon 50D has worse dynamic range and high ISO performance than the 10-Mpixel 40D."


    That's not always true. The 40D has better dynamic range than the 30D, 20D, 10D or even the old D30. Giving one example like you did, without offering the rest is simply an attempt to mislead, or try to prove a point regardless.

    I'm not certain which is worse.....trying to mislead.....or not even knowing the facts before debating.

    You're now 0 for to quit while you're behind?
  60. "The imaging area is not the same in both sensors, it is made up of the size of the pixels x the number of them."
    Scott - The first half of your sentence is incorrect, but the second half is true. Shown below are the physical dimensions of the 2 sensors, they're both 36 mm x 24 mm. This is why adding more pixels will cause the pixel size to shrink.
  61. What about the Sony A900? It has enough megapixels (24.6MP) and had a very good dynamic range at lower ISO of nearly 9.5 stops of which over 4 stops are in the highlight range.

    It also has built in CCD stabilisation and weighs under 900g with the battery. Having handled it is quite compact for a full 35mm frame dSLR and has an excellent viewfinder.

    There is also a new Zeiss 16-35mm lens coming out also for the A900:
  62. Actually Berg, they are close.....but not the same. But I get your point. However, you are incorrect in making the assumption that increasing pixel density always reduces dynamic range. That is simply incorrect.
  63. If you want to see real images from the 5DMkII, shot over a weekend, go to Jeff Ascough blog, he used it for a wedding. Perhaps more relevant to this post, see his image that was nominated for Landscape photo of the year, and then... see what camera he used to make the image, this answer will change anyones thinking about the " better" camera.
  64. Jerry, you opened a can of worms here.

    This is my opinion, Nikon is built better and has better optics. Canon is more advanced and "is capable of taking a better picture". I have read that the sharpness of the 14-24mm lens attached to a D3 will equal the 21 mp EOS Mark III. Not sure? Some folks may argue that Canon is more advanced, Canon makes its own sensor and pretty much created the CMOS sensor. Nikon gets their sensor from Sony, meaning soon they will have a 24mp body.

    I have noticed that the Nikon users say MP's dont matter and 24MP's will create more noise. The Canon users say MP's do matter and the durability and ISO dont.

    I use a Nikon D300, I love it. It does very well on landscapes and on birds. I think I will keep it for the birds and use the Canon 5D III with a 17-40mm for landscapes. Who says you cant use two systems. Pretty much any lens is super sharp at f/10 and the Canon product give you 9 more MP's at $500.00 less. I will just have to be more carefull in damp conditions. I do think MP's matter and 24 MP's is not to much for a FF sensor. Nikons 12 MP FF camera has nearly the same pixel density as its 6 MP DX D70. As for DX DSLR's the D300 is probably the best, but Canon has them beat in the FF product.

    Just my opinion backed with 3 years of personal research.
  65. to me we have to wait untill 5Dmark II on market by that time we're going to have better answer better choice .
  66. to me we have to wait untill 5Dmark II on market by that time we're going to have better answer better choice .
  67. Yeah, I've heard that there is little difference in resolution because the Nikon sensor has larger thingamies...,and the greater number of smaller ones in the Canon does create more noise.
    Anyway we are only a week away from the D3x with 24.4mp...wait and see.
    Then the price of the D700 will drop and thats the one I would buy.
  68. @ Bill Dewberry,

    I took a look at Jeff Ascough's blog. My thought is that those who are really interested in what the new 5D can do won't be
    disappointed. Some of the images look like they were shot on film. And just think he was using a beta camera.

    I like Jeff's blog so much I bookmarked it.
  69. Scott, I wanted to mention that your comments on some Ansel Adams prints showing evidence of dodge and
    burning, are most definitely poor copies and NOT Adams originals. I've been studying his work for the last 35 years,
    and in fact even exchanged a few kodak b/w postcards with him, and of the hundreds of images I've seen (both
    original museum prints as well as quality reprints by his assistant John Sexton), I have never seen the defects you
    mention. Hence my opinion that they were poor knock-offs of the Master's work. After reading his entire Basic Photo
    Series, I can assure you that he was a perfectionist and craftsman of the highest order, and most assuredly would
    NOT have produced prints of questionable "quality" for public consumption. I have always wondered what he would
    have made of digital. Just my 2 cents.
  70. .I don't see why anyone would bother to argue resolution. Go get a copy of Genuine Fractals for god sakes.
  71. I have a 5D Mark II on order, they are now shipping, mine will arrive in a few days, but there are already plenty of
    photos available from production cameras. I do want to use it for high detail shots, but it is not the only game in
    town, just the least expensive. I have a lot of expensive Canon lenses, so switching is out of the question to me.

    Since the OP does not have a vested interest in lenses like I have, he certainly should take a look at the Sony
    A900 as well as Canon and Nikon offerings (Nikon may announce a new higher resolution camera in a few days).

    The Zeiss lenses available for the Sony A900 have a reputation for being very sharp, and built-in camera body IS is a
    nice feature. I would expect a Zeiss wide angle lens to be a excellent choice. The Sony A900 is less suited for
    sports or extreme high ISO photography then the D700, D3, and maybe even the 5D II, but morning or evening shots
    of landscapes can be exposed a little longer and be just fine.

    For some more accurate rating of sensors then DPR (DPR tests cameras, not sensors), check out Dxomark Each sensor has strengths and weakneses. compare the A900, D700, and 1DS Mark II
    sensors (5D Mark II is essentially the same sensor as 1D MK III) I think that the main difference in sensor test
    results is low light ISO. Of course, there is the pixel count already discussed to death as well. All have excellent
    Color Depth and Dynamic Range.
  72. All the coments made on this thread were very informative. I was reading Imaging resource, in their site they have the comparator that you can compare one camera to another side by side. The images were taken at under carefully-controlled conditions, to provide valid comparisons of camera capabilities in actual shooting situations. They even recommend to you can also download the images and output them on your own printer. Does anybody seen this?

    here is the url again;

  73. hey scott, i was laughing because you sounded silly!

    that's not vitriol, it's just when someone says in all seriousness, "i have 75% more information than you," they kinda
    sound like that guy on the Simpsons, you know, "best...episode..ever." yeah, that guy. for someone who claims to
    be flame-retardant you seem to have a thin skin.
  74. The 5DMKII is on the shelves, first batch delivered to my local camera shop yesterday. A friend of mine picked his up and I will see him this morning to do some low light shooting at the lakefront. It is a great camera for the money as is the D700 and D3.
  75. "Keith Aldrich , Nov 27, 2008; 12:38 a.m.

    .I don't see why anyone would bother to argue resolution. Go get a copy of Genuine Fractals for god sakes."

    Oh brother.
  76. Hi Eric,

    No I do have a pretty thick skin, and yes it does sound funny! It wasn't your comment that inspired the vitriolic
    comment either but it does bug me when people talk nonsense wrap it up in facts, they don't understand, and that
    they have read, but have never actually seen a print. I have to try to explain to Berg why 36x 24 does not always
    equal 36x24 now.


    I had hoped that what you are saying is what happened. The picture that most disappointed was "Moon and Half
    Dome". I felt when I saw the exhibit in NY, but unfortunately I can't remember where, but thought it was the ICP,
    that they were suffering from bad storage and over exposure to sunlight. I would love to see another exhibition
    to show me the true ones. My sister has several run of the mill reproductions of some of his pictures hanging in
    her house, she obviously likes my stuff that much!

    OK Berg,

    Going back to Adam's tiled room analogy, if all the tiles fitted exactly edge to edge then yes to fit more tiles
    in the room you need to make the tiles smaller, if the tiles are not 12"x12" but 11"x11" or less then you end up
    with a 2"+ gap between the tiles, this is how the sensors are made, the pixels do not touch each other, they then
    have lenses over them to maximise their light gathering capabilities. Canon just came out with a rather elegant
    edgeless lens that covers their sensors, it does a pretty good job. Now I couldn't find the actual individual
    pixel size (couldn't be bothered) for the two cameras but it is sure to be different, but the key to the light
    gathering capabilities is to narrow the gaps without causing interference and using lenses to further enhance
    that. That was one of the reasons the 40D got better DR and noise figures than the 20D despite having more
    pixels. You need to subtract the area of the gaps from the 36x24 figure to get the true imaging area but then you
    have to work out a way to measure the positive effectiveness of the lenses over the pixels and also subtract a
    figure due to too narrow gaps causing interference.

    So once again you are wrong, it is not as simple as 36x24 = 36x24 it is as simple as looking at a print!

    Take care, Scott.
  77. Jerry Gardner,
    Hey man.. Do you see all the hype that is going on here. This is what is preventing you from getting the honest
    answere you deserve. It happens to me alot here. I am a Nikon guy so my camera judgement will be a bit biased
    and lopsided towards Nikon since as camera owners we all want to be vindicated in spending the small fortunes that
    we do on our professions and obsessions.
    Getting to my point. I am a young photographer who has hardly the experience of some of the guys who have
    posted in this thread, so I will not take away from thier individual prowesses they hold in our world. When it comes
    to shooting something that I would like to have printed in the dimentions that you speak of I still go with film. I will
    proof and plan with digital and sometimes use my D700 or 200 for enlargements over 8x10. But when you need that
    kind of resolution with the minimum amount of loss across the sprectrums we scruitinize over, 35mm slide film still
    holds a higher resolution than both of the camera choices that you have offered once scanned if you insist on using a
    digital workflow thereafter.
    I would say that using film for the time being for your larger prints is still a more than adequate medium for landscape
    and fine art reguardless of what other people tell you you absolutely have to have on the 28th of november 2008.
    Good luck to you Jerry. Happy holidays.
  78. Here is a link that is unbiased and will show you the strengths and weaknesses of different camera bodies and over all camera stats.
  79. Dave, what 35 mm film outperforming the above-mentioned top-cameras are you talking about?! This film does not exist! My 5 mpix point and shooter gives sharper results in bright light than 50mm+any ISO100 film I have ever used. Examine how many lpmm gives top-notch optics (135/2L, nikkor17-55/2.8ED, 50/1.2 L USM, nikkor 85/1.4, Carl Zeiss ZF 85/1.4) multiply on 24 and COMPARE figures with those sensor discussed (shorter side). Film 35 mm at large prints? - grain and dirt.
  80. Miles,

    DxO has already been mentioned in the thread. Two things I find interesting at first glance, the top 5 cameras are full frame, and to get their figures they give equal weight to high iso performance, that is not at question in this context. But my underlying point throughout this entire thread has been if you look at a print you can see the difference, if that is important to you then get the one you prefer. They also give 1/3 of the value to dynamic range yet most good landscapers are working round camera sensor limits with HDR techniques. The Canon prints show more detail at the sizes talked about and it is not a measurement accounted for on the DxO ratings so sort of makes them irrelevant in this case.

    Jerry, to find a print you need to either go to a big camera store with the gear available, B&H and Samy's spring to mind, or find some helpful local pros in your area. I am lucky, I have it all covered very locally, one pro uses Canon, another Nikon and the lady with the big printer that prints their stuff still uses MF film and drum scans it. I have seen a lot of these sized prints.

    Take care, Scott.
  81. Ruslan,

    You've got a lot to learn if you think a 5mp sensor beats out 35mm. Try Tmax 100, Ilford Pan F 50, Fuji Across 100, Kodak Technical Pan, Adox 20, Rollei TP. The last 3 of these can exceed 200lp/mm in normal contrast settings. I've produced 20x30" prints from 35mm Adox 20 scanned at 6300 spi that exhibit no grain whatsoever. And, even though the scan was at 6300spi, there was detail on the magnified negative that the scan didn't resolve.

    Please go out and do a bit of testing and research. I don't think you realize how silly your post appears to those of us who have.

    Your 5mp or 12mp sensor comes no where near exceeding top optics. You're completely misinformed if you think otherwise!
  82. When Nikon finally comes out with a 20+ megapixel camera, then we will finally stop hearing about why we don't need more mega-pixels. Until that time, expect the rationalizations to continue.

    We're talking LANDSCAPES here. I have the Canon 5D (12.8 MP) and the 1Ds II (16.7 MP). The difference is pretty obvious to those who will open their eyes and look at PRINTS. It is true that you won't see much difference on interlaced monitor screens. Increase that to 21MP and the difference will hit you in the face--compared to 12 MP.

    It is amazing how many people seem to have bought into the obviously silly argument that 12 MP on a full-frame sensor is the Summum Bonum of digital capture.

    In bad light, the Nikon has the advantage with high ISOs. At fast shooting, Nikon has the advantage. But for landscape photography? Get a grip, guys.

    It is true that one has to substantially increase mega-pixels in order to see a pronounced increase in resolution, but 12 v 21 is a very substantial increase!

  83. Jerry,
    Of course the 5D will be more adequate for your application. It's a ridiculous argument even though I know nothing about Canon since I left 35mm film years ago.

    I'd say if size and weight are a consideration, you should have a play the D700 (as Peter Foiles pointed out) than the D3. The D3 is heavy, but then the lenses are the major weight in my bag. More of a problem its bulky shape, it needs a bulky bag. The D700 with a 17-35 f2.8 can drop into a reasonable rucksack or crumpler with room for a couple more lenses. It's only really a drag when I need to carry my laptop with me as well.

    Using something like Capture NX2 to resize/upsize your RAW images works amazingly well, rather than leaving it to the printing process to figure out. I tend to turn off any sharpening and noise control, resample to 150%, then use noise ninja for both noise and sharpening.

    Lastly the D3/D700 have some nice features that leave me far more time for taking photo's. Once you're dialled, you can create settings from your digital workflow learnings and put them directly on the camera. There are many such things that attracted me to Nikon despite having less MP than the competition, I really, really enjoy photography with my D3.

  84. :))
    Right you are, Lannie.

    Two years ago we were hearing "Nikon will never make a full frame sensor. Anyway, we don't need one. Don't even want one!
  85. Yeah, and the grapes were probably sour anyway and no one needs more than 6 MP, and OMG, enough already.
    Hey, I'm betting that the 5D Mk II is another Canon leap ahead of Nikon's latest, but we will all know just as soon as the tests of the actual production cameras start to roll off the line.
    All of this, in any case, is a clear example of how switching marques because of the "latest thing" from one or the other is doomed to be an often-repeated experience.
  86. "You need to subtract the area of the gaps from the 36x24 figure to get the true imaging area but then you have to work out a way to measure the positive effectiveness of the lenses over the pixels and also subtract a figure due to too narrow gaps causing interference."
    Scott - You're confusing the active area with the imaging area. The active area is the photodiode junction where light energy is converted to signal charge and it is a fraction of the pixel pitch since each pixel also contains 4 transistors: (1) the transfer gate (shown in the diagram), (2) the row select line, (3) the bit select line and (4) the pixel output source follower transistor.
    The microlens is used to focus the light into the active area, the photodiode, which minimizes the loss in active are caused by the circuitry inside the pixel and the fill factor can be up to 80-90%. The imaging area is simply the pixel array, 36 x 24 mm in a full frame sensor. To cram more pixels into the same area, the pixel pitch must be reduced, the photodiode is then smaller and will hold less signal, reducing the dynamic range and SNR.
  87. Berg,

    "To cram more pixels into the same area, the pixel pitch must be reduced, the photodiode is then smaller and will hold less signal, reducing the dynamic range and SNR."

    If this always holds true, please explain to everyone why the 10D had greater DR than the D30…..why the 20D had greater DR than the 10D, why the 40D had greater DR than the 30D….why the 1Ds Mk2 had greater DR than the 1Ds.

    You keep posting your statement as an absolute…..and it’s not. Increases in pixel density do NOT ALWAYS reduce dynamic range.
  88. Since we can't prove anything here, let's just take a break and give thanks for all the beauty of creation.

    I cropped this sliver out of one that I casually shot indoors handheld with a Canon 1Ds Mark II set at ISO 800 using a Canon 24mm f/1.4 wide open at 1/250 sec.

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow, especially when they flow down in raven tresses.

    Like I said, not trying to prove anything here. . . .

  89. Try again. . . .

  90. Problems uploading, for some reason. Moderator, please delete.

  91. Berg,

    please - you're wrong.

    I own Canon 30D and 40D bodies, and *I am telling you now* the 40D is superior both in terms of high ISO noise and - by a clear margin - DR.

    DPR's own testing confirmed that the 40D had (and possible still has - I don't frequent DPR much any more) the highest DR of any camera in the prosumer category.

    No question, no debate: I've seen it with my own eyes thousands of times over the last year and a bit since I bought my 40D in September 2007.

    Let it go.
  92. True Keith.

    You can actually check all the old reviews. It confirms exactly what I said an simply proves Berg incorrect. Why he keeps digging himself in I don't know.
  93. Digital outback Photo comment...

    As you may have realized dxomark does not measure resolution. Read in the FAQ how to make use of dxomark related to the resolution you need. We quote them here:

    "Is it fair that a 12Mpix camera can be rated as highly as a 24Mpix camera?

    It actually depends on the use case. If you make 8Mpix prints (20x30cm), then the comparison is fair. If you make 40x60cm or bigger prints, the 12MPix would be insufficient, so it makes more sense to use 24Mpix when there is a need for high resolution."

    We consider right now 12MP the sweet spot of all DSLRs. You only need more resolution if you print big or need strong crops.
  94. Greetings. To the original poster, either camera is a worthy instrument. I personally cannot hold Canons as they don't fit my hands. That goes back to the F1 and is still true today. I have a D200 which can make nice large prints (I can only print 13x19 at home, but up to 60" wide by whatever at work). Anyway, best of luck whichever system you choose. Happy Thanksgiving to all! Ed
  95. I look forward to the next generation of Nikon's +20 mp sensors. Every once in a while, I would like to enlarge a
    landscape shot to 24 x 36. 12 mp lacks when you walk up to the print for close-up viewing. If I were forced to chose
    today...and couldn't wait...I would go w/5DII. But, are gonna wait for that 5D unless you happened to get
    your name on a list already. So why not wait for the next Nikon D3x, then make your decision. What is your
    tolerance for turnaround time?
  96. Ok in summary to this very long winded discussion is go for the NIKON. It surpasses Canon on so many aspects by a long shot. Which one is up to you but i am also a landscape photographer and so would choose the Nikon D700 if i had the money. The D3 is built for sports photographers as it it so fast. For your needs the D700 would be a lovely choice.
    My personal advice is dont go Canon as they really do feel like toys and Nikon have proved that they really are made for far more serious photographers. Just to finish like to add that Nikon won the camera manufacturer of the year award.
    All the best Mike
  97. Michael Moore , Nov 27, 2008; 06:11 p.m.

    "Ok in summary to this very long winded discussion is go for the NIKON. It surpasses Canon on so many aspects
    by a long shot. Which one is up to you but i am also a landscape photographer and so would choose the Nikon
    D700 if i had the money. The D3 is built for sports photographers as it it so fast. For your needs the D700 would be a
    lovely choice. My personal advice is dont go Canon as they really do feel like toys and Nikon have proved that they
    really are made for far more serious photographers. Just to finish like to add that Nikon won the camera
    manufacturer of the year award. All the best Mike"

    Where do these fanboy trolls come from?

    I can just see all the landscape photographers choosing a low rez D3 or D700 based upon such an educated opinion.
  98. When arguments keep going in circles then it's definitely time to consider a third option: the Sony A900
  99. "I can just see all the landscape photographers choosing a low rez D3 or D700 based upon such an educated opinion."

    Are you suggesting that a D3 is inadequate for landscape, but the 5DII is acceptable? Please don't make me laugh. We are talking about little 35mm DSLR's here. A serious landscape photographer would screw his/her nose up at either one. If you want quality go for a view camera. If you want convenience, get a 35mm DSLR, but don't keep going on about incremental quality improvements for something that wasn't designed to do the job in the first place.

    35mm SLR cameras are, and always have been, for sports, events and PJ's. Just becuase amateurs use them for other pursuits, doesn't mean that they should. Please OP, let us know as soon as you make your purchase, so we can close this thread, and people can get on with learning about composition, lighting, metering and all of that stuff that actually matters.
  100. "When arguments keep going in circles then it's definitely time to consider a third option: the Sony A900"

    But Paul, the A900 has too many pixels!
  101. I think all of yall have too much time and money on yalls hands.This reminds me of the old agument of the corvette
    and the mustang,as to which is better.Lets try comparing apples to apples, not oranges to oranges.Adan Dickernson
    said it right when he said "Nikon and Canon make fine products, and Nikons are getting a lot better. I would base my
    decision on investment and intensions, if you have an extensive collection of lenses and they work great for you;
    stick with your equipment. Both cameras offer a great solution to your needs; depending on your requirements and
    budget, you will not be disappointed with either body. Plus with the money you will save getting the 5DmkII, you
    could get some sweet glass over the excessive penalty involved in purchasing the D3." I'm still tring to buy a used
    digital Nikon(D200) but the money is not there so i do what i can do with what ive got. My little Kodak z612 holds up
    well to the elements,and has taken over 5500 pictures this year flawlessly.And besides if you dont have a good eye
    or you are going to totaly warp your didgtal image you don't need to spend $2,000-$3,000 on a camera . buy a point
    and shoot pocket camera, that will yeild the same results. On the mp concern... if i have 12,000mp on a 3x5 index
    card or 21,000mp on a 3x5 index card the index card with 12,000mp, each mp will be larger and less distorted when
    enlarged, thats the way I see it. I hope you all had a great thanksgiving and my God bless!
  102. I consider you a seasoned pro, but support your arguments with figures. Mentioned by you films are fine, no doubt, but are rare like dinosaurs,)) 200 lpmm - I do agree. See this - Tamron 90/2.8 Macro gives 90 lpmm at 2.8 - 90*24=2160 on a shorter side. It corresponds to 6.9 Mpix resolution. Above mentioned macro lens is considered sharp. 50 mm (no matter of what brand - may be except expensive Leica 50/1.4 ASPH) at f2 is SO soft! See,, for resolution testings and tell me where I am wrong.

    And if you shoot handheld you have a micro-shifting (shake) what decreases the sharpness - and have blurring. The larger size the more obvious the blurring is. Therefore in photojournalism super-resolution has even harmful effect. The more resoluton of the sensor - the faster shutter speed is needed to render all resolution (both sensor and the lens). If I were Jerry Gardner it would depend on what size I want to print,... and how universal and rugged camera I want. If he wants to print 1 meter on a shoter side and shoot with tripod in good condition - go Canon -if not larger than 40 cm and use it in harsh condition with new ZF Zeiss lenses (legendary) - go Nikon. One more argument - let us compare 12 mpix Nikon with new Zeiss 85/1.4 ZF with 21 mpix Canon with ho-hum 35-135 IS zoom. We shall see that the optics is the name of the game not pixel count.
  103. Berg, As always compelling arithmetic but wrong, The active area you refer to is the only relevant area, I presume Canon know more about sensors than you, they say you can reduce the pitch but keep the photodiode area (active area) the same. They have fitted more pixels in the same space but maintained the light sensitive area of larger pixels. "To cram more pixels into the same area, the pixel pitch must be reduced, the photodiode is then smaller and will hold less signal, reducing the dynamic range and SNR." The first part of your comment is correct, pixel pitch must be reduced, the rest is completely wrong. I only post this not to prolong the agony of anybody still reading but to show that I do understand what I am talking about even if I don't know the full terminology and that despite your continued inaccurate posts you still didn't look at a print!
  104. Thankyou Dave Luttmann for reapeating exactly what i have said! Hopefully the poor confused guy now looking for an excellent camera will remember my words and make the right choice in choosing Nikon which as i spoke was in truth. They are the camera manufacturer of the year, this is fact! One cannot deny the truth only get irritated by it!
    Jerry my own opinion and i repeat my opinion (its obvious some people cant handle other opinion's!) is to go to a decent camera shop and try for yourself. Also look at the reviews for the Nikon D700 v's canon 5DII and for the Nikon D3 and you will discover for yourself and from expert critiques that the latest Nikon's are far superior in many aspects to the canon. Im not saying canon is a bad choice because they are good camera's but not on the same level of professionalism as Nikon. Good hunting. No doubt these words will be repeated by some irritated person which does keep me amused!
  105. Looks like the Nikon D3x has been announced in Nikon Pro magazine. There are several threads over at dpreview talking
    about it. This adds another iron to the fire.

  106. Michael,

    Please point me to a review of the 5D2 vs the D700 or D3. I'd love to see it where it says that the Nikons produce more detailed large prints..


    I never said the D3 could not be used for landscape. You can use an old D30 if you'd like. But, place finely detailed 20x30 prints side by that were shot with each camera and you'll quickly see which one people choose. I know.....because I have. And yes, for this type of work I normally use 4x5.....but that wasn't the question. Given the choice between the D3, D700 or 5D2 for producing detailed landscape prints, the 5D2 is the choice.

    Ruslan, you do know how many pixels it takes to create a line pair, do you not? Most agree the figure is between 2.1 and 2.4. Just to use your math, and a middle figure of 2.2 pixels to line pair gives 4752 on the short end and 7128 on the long. Multiply the two, and you get 33mp with the lens.....which low and behold is a bit more than 6.9 mp. That is why I've found 5040spi scans from a Scitex that where shot on B&W film are still scanner limited.....because for good glass, lens figures go beyond 125lp/mm.
    Seriously, plop that Tamron on a 1Ds2 and a 8mp 20D and according to you, both will resolve the same. I think you see your problem here. I've done enough scans from high rez B&W like Tech Pan with Leica glass to know better. And nearly 20 years of wedding and portraiture work with both film and digital with various formats gives me a pretty good base to work from.
  107. Michael,

    I've often found fools are easily amused.
  108. Dave, if one must use a 35mm DSLR for landscape, then by your reckoning, the best one for the job would have to be the Nikon D3x which has just been announced (leaked) by Nikon, with 24.5mp.
  109. Or the a900 Tom. But as previously mentioned, for landscape, I use 4x5. But I'm particularly anal about print quality. I'm curious to see where the price on the D3X comes in. After spending mega bucks on the original 1Ds and 1Ds Mk2 for wedding work, it would be nice to see Nikon come in at a lower price point. But then again, as I've ceased the wedding portion of my business this year, I don't really have the need for one......but there's always Santa.
  110. D3x here it is on PN:
  111. Oh dear. Not what Jerry intended im sure! Instead of discussion with people giving their opinions unfortunately people like Dave Luttmann are getting irate and are getting personal with rude unintellegent names. Well i certainly wont be dropping to that level as im only on here to give Jerry my thoughts on Nikon and Canon. Anyway Jerry u have my thoughts. The future choice is in you're hands. The future is Nikon!
  112. So why would Nikon produce a 24MP camera?
  113. My opinion is that "God help all of you."

    I have been shooting for 30 years. Leica, Nikon, Canon, 4 x 5 (Rodenstock), Pentax, Pentax 67, You name it, I've shot
    it. Have had 3 darkrooms, dozens of computers and monitors. Epson Large Format printers, Canon printers, HP
    printers. Shot Velvia, Kodachrome, every chrome every made. Ilford, Agfa.

    And you know what. Big *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* deal. It's all about the image. Anyone ever examine the resolution of Steve McCurry's
    Pakistan girl or Steichen's Balzac or Adams, "Moon and Half Dome"? Hell no. They view it, absorb it and enjoy it. Only
    bad photographers that want to feel like they are good photographers get in a pissing war about pixels, dpi, etc.

    Just go shoot and enjoy the process. I would NEVER buy a print because it has more pixels. Never. I would but it
    because it was pleasing to my eye.

    So, get out of the text/tech book and go shoot and do the best with whatever equipment you have. Rant over.
  114. Gary,

    If Ansel did the shot twice.....once with 35mm and again with 8x10......and the same prints were side by side at 32x40......I think I know which one I'd choose ;-)

    Guess which one will be more pleasing to your eye?
  115. @Gary: Well put. For the most part I totally agree with you. It is my feeling that if viewers begin to worry more about a print's resolution then the image itself may not be strong or compelling enough. Of course I admit that it is difficult for me – being in the business – to not get up close and look at the technical details of a photograph... (the detail in Moonrise is very good though...) _ phil
  116. Dave: you forget one essential point. When people go to the musem, art gallery, poster shop or buy on line they see the picture IN ISOLATION: they do not see a 35mm version next to a 8x10 version. No-one would look at an Ansel Adams and think "its great, but it is only 35mm. It would be better in 8x10 so I won't buy it". They see a great shot and buy the print.
    Do you think one of HCB's most well known pictures (Gare St Lazaier) and diss it because it was taken with what we could now consdier apalling standard equipment? Nope. They see a great shot and buy the print.

    Good concept+good execution = great picture. I am not saying that 8x10 won't be better than 35mm, just that quality will always shine through. In that respect I agree totally with Gary.
  117. Gary that completely misses the point!

    I have studied originals of both "Moon over Half Dome" and "The Afgan Girl" I have a signed Nat Geo of the later. Though my experience of the Adams prints were technically a let down the resolution at the sizes I saw were very relevant.

    It is all about the image and in landscape photography resolution and detail can play a very important role in that image.

    Yes a box brownie can replicate most of the pictures we take but would they be pleasing to look at? Some posters have decried the use of 36x24mm sensors as being able to do the job, some say they can do the job easily even with only 12mp, Jerry's is happy to accept the limitations the format brings but wondered which system would give him the best results. Of those who have looked at prints of the size talked about everybody has said the same camera.

    People can be passionate about imparting impartial and experienced information, that doesn't affect their ability to take good pictures, some can, some can't, an olympic runners coach can't run as fast as his protege but does that mean he can't impart his knowledge to help that runner go faster?

    Rant more relevantly next time, latest rant over. Scott :)
  118. Mike,

    I didn't forget that point....but my point is that high quality is high quality. Why choose a camera that limits you in an area? Yes, both can turn out great large prints.....but one will be better....and at a lower cost.

    Seems like an easy decision to me. And while the prints may not be viewed side by side.....don't you want the higher quality available for your work?
  119. "They have fitted more pixels in the same space but maintained the light sensitive area of larger pixels."
    Scott - If you trust the marketing literature, some companies can do magic...
    When you shrink the pixel size, either the photodiode area or the in-pixel circuitry has to shrink. If you reduce the circuitry, the transistor size, noise will suffer, the 1/f noise component will increase. Higher noise will cause lower dynamic range and SNR. There's no free lunch. I think that you're a reasonable person and that some day you'll understand my point. I do agree with you though that this discussion is going nowhere, so this will be my last post on this thread.
  120. I agree with you, Dave. But all this reminds so much of the HiFi argument (my other hobby). The general quality of
    everything from CD players to amplifiers to speakers is so high compared to a few years ago that the reviewers zero
    in on ever-smaller detail. Detail that is actually irrelevant to 99% of the population - in a 4mx3m room with average
    furnishings the room plays such a significant part that most of those sonic details are either inaudible or are, in
    practice, rendered irrelevant.
    And I think photography is reaching that same point.

    Like you, I believe in getting the very best tools I can afford, and I sometimes exceed my budget if the advantages
    are worth it. But will either of these cameras *really* limit ability due to pixel count alone? It seems to me that the
    D3 and the 5DmkII have different strengths and the decision should be based on those - some experienced
    photographers who have two cameras will for some types of shot use the camera with lower pixel count because of
    other technical advantages (AF speed, fine detail, focussing accuracy etc). Like hifi, wine drinking or buying a car:
    the more experience you get and the more expensive/refined the product the choice settles more and more on the
    and the finer detail - I just think that given the standard of prints both cameras give, that pixel count is less and less
    important and it is things like handling and how you look at your prints.

    So I think more important things are what is your usual viewing distance when looking at your prints, do you like
    doing a lot of post-processing (crops, montages etc) for effects and other arcane detail. Unfortunately at the moment
    no-one has yet published a review directly comparing the two cameras so everything at this stage is hypothesis. If
    you think about it the 50D vs 40D argument (noise vs resolution) is still going on months after the 50D was released -
    and if people still can't decide you have to ask if the difference is worth the cost.
  121. Berg,

    You've already been proven incorrect. Dancing around the issue like you have is laughable.


    Why are so many of us photographers into high end audio as well. I've got a mountain of gear from Krell, Magnapan, VPI, Koetsu, SME......well, enough to sink a ship.
  122. Yes agree with Gary. Unfortunately since photography has gone digital people have got so hung up on pixels, photoshop and technology. To me these people are not photographers but techno lovers. Ok if thats what they want to be but for the purpose of the original question intended, that is Nikon or Canon for landscape work, both will do the work if the photographer has the eye for it, is inventive and creative, but my opinion was go for Nikon as Canon's do feel like something that just came out of a cheap christmas cracker!
  123. Odd....when people view the prints.....they don't ask how the camera felt or looked on your tripod. Point!
  124. "but my opinion was go for Nikon as Canon's do feel like something that just came out of a cheap christmas cracker!"

    Your penchant for preserveration is astounding. Head injury or mental illness?
  125. Thomas Hardy , Nov 28, 2008; 03:13 p.m.

    "but my opinion was go for Nikon as Canon's do feel like something that just came out of a cheap christmas cracker!"

    Your penchant for preserveration is astounding. Head injury or mental illness?

    He's just trolling for a reaction. My gut feeling is nether head injury nor mental illness.....but gear envy. I'd say he has neither camera in his "tool shed."
  126. Now I understand why I never appreciated Cross and Seurat. Not enough dots.
  127. Thats right boys / girls i dont have either camera in my tool shed because i like to keep my lovely Nikon D200 indoors. Of course if i had a Canon i would probably keep it in the store room with my old toys! Its great that my wonderful words are repeated so often which is lucky for Jerry because hopefully will slowly understand that Nikon's mean business. I would love a Nikon D700 or the one to follow in this series but i would say that i have no real desire for this as yet as i my Nikon D200 can produce huge enlargements with outstanding quality. Jerry if you are convinced by the POCD people on here (POCD stands for pixel obsessive compulsive disorder) and can wait a little while (not long now) then go for the Nikon D700x or whatever they call it. It will be a camera of your dreams and desires. Then its up to you!
  128. These really are the cream of the crop. I would also throw in the D700 into the mix as it's light and practically the same quality as the D3. Personally all these cameras will yield you great images. Buy the system that you want based on the lenses because the camera will be out of date in a few years time anyway - lenses will last forever. just my two cents
  129. Wow! Lots of words. Just pick a camera that you feel most comfortable to you, and go out there and
    create. If you go with Nikon, Canon people will have something "negative to say", if you go with Canon,
    Nikon people will be there for you as well. Just pick one, both of these seem great on paper.
  130. Landrum Kelly recently said:

    "When Nikon finally comes out with a 20+ megapixel camera, then we will finally stop hearing about why we don't need
    more mega-pixels. Until that time, expect the rationalizations to continue."

    Kelly, I think it's funny how the people presume to share a company's philosophy or that they even know it. Your
    prediction came sooner than anyone here expected. Heck, Nikon is in business to sell cameras and if that means
    cramming more noisy pixels on sensors, so be it.
  131. Yep, I blink and they did it. Things happen so fast around here.

    Love your photos, Thomas. Only thing wrong with them is that you only have six of them on the site.

  132. Six months ago I switched from a 10D to a 5D and found the 5D autofocus is awful. It makes more mistakes than the 10D autofocus which is a two-year older technology. The autofocus rectangles are clumped into a small part of the 5D's large viewing area, making them mostly useless on a tripod, where the object of interest is rarely at viewfinder center. Canon have not updated the autofocus in the 5D2. If you're strictly doing landscape photography, as you have stated, and will never use the 5D2 with a moving subject, this autofocus problem may be moot.

    Time permitting, I plan to dump the Canon bodies and a bunch of Canon 2.8L lenses, then switch to the Nikon D3 which has an excellent autofocus. But I don't concentrate on landscape photography and my prints are always smaller than 16x20.
  133. david ellis very wise choice. Your right Nikon's autofocus is outstanding on the D3 as well as the D700 and D300. Its pretty good on my D200. You will notice most elements about the Nikon's are excellent. They seemed to have concentrated their efforts into producing excellent all round camera's for people's needs rather than rushing in and marketing camera's with higher mega pixels and inferior quality. Canon know that these camera's will sell to the POCD people! Nikon have patience!
  134. Nikon has the new 24MP D3x and Nikons users will stop saying "we don't need higher MP" It's technology and if you don't move forward, like Minolta, gone. When the companies competing, end users win. I am happy to see sony, nikon come up with new challenge for canon. or else canon users will never be able to pay $2699 for a 21MP FF camera :) Also, I don't think one can tell "oh, this picture is taken from Nikon camera D3" There are so many billboards pictues, can you tell which one is taken from what camera? relax...
  135. Dave:
    I think it is all to do with respecting quality 'tools' to do the job. if you listen to music while you work on your photos you want the music to be good reproduction as well.

    I remember when CD first came out there were guys (hifi is mainly guys, unlike photography) returning CD players complaining they could hear the silence between the sampling bits. No-one would claim that now but it shows how people can delude themselves if they are convinced of the superiority of alternative technology. I sometimes wonder if we are still in that territory with digital cameras...
  136. Michael, are you sure david ellis isn't you? Ellis joined a few days ago and has only two posts, one on this thread and
    one pointing back to his post on this thread.

    I'm just guessing, but it does look a little suspicious, no? (-;
  137. Thomas.....say it isn't so!
  138. My 2 cents (more like 200 cents, but what the heck...):

    * As time passes resolution is BOUND to go up. So just because Nikon's 24M Camera is not out yet, there is really
    no point about bickering about how bad the Canon offering is. One has to be really foolish not to want higher pixel
    count. The whole idea of advancement is to maintain Dynamism & Quality of a camera while still increasing pixel
    count. So the hypothesis that packing more pixels is bad, would also suggest that all camera manufacturers should
    actually be focusing their energies on making a SINGLE PIXEL camera! (NEWSFLASH: Canon unveils project "Large
    Blob" the ultimate single pixel camera, photos so bad, you'll puke). Need some examples of advancement? Well, on
    a different note, I seem to recall a certain Mr. Bill Gates once gave a statement saying "no-one will ever need more
    than 512kB of memory" (or something like that). But I'm very glad I have 8GB in my little desktop today even though
    the memory chips have been packed far tighter than before and even though they have a higher "absolute" error rate
    than before. Why? Because it performs better and because technology has found a way to circumvent the higher
    error rates by using better materials and better error correction methods (Same goes for things like the new Intel
    CPUs with now rely on "Hafnium" infusion technology).

    * The 1080p video feature is a very strong plus point. People may say that they don't "NEED" it. But when did people
    really "need" such fantastic camera's (be it still / video / 2-in-1) anyway? The world never came to an end because
    photos/videos could not be taken at today's quality level in the 19th and 20th century. So why not appreciate
    innovation the way it is instead of bickering some more.

    * As with Nikon, "Hyundai" is the Manufacturer of the year for cars here in India. As per some opinions posted here,
    Hyundai must hence be forced down the throats of all buyers even though certain models from other manufacturers
    are better than some specific competitive Hyundai model. Oh yes, ofcourse, it is now obvious! "HYUNDAI is the
    FUTURE". Rather laughable, actually.

    By now a lot of people would have clearly sworn to revenge my "biased" post with yet more bickering... but BEFORE
    YOU DO, I request permision to share the fact that I too am a Nikon fan. But just not obstinate enough to the point of
    denying proven fact.

    I work at an engineering/manufacturing company and we gave a low-budget contract to a 1-man-show company to
    make us some exhibition posters of our equipment. No-one (including myself) paid specific attention to what quality
    of camera he was using (it was a Sony DSC-W300). The posters turned out in very poor quality and we redid the
    whole thing with a professional company who shot with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III. The results were much, much,
    much better.

    WAIT! HOLD IT! Don't eat me for comparing a Sony DSC-W300 with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III.

    Before we gave the contract to the company who shot with the Canon, we got 3 test prints each from 2 companies (1
    who shot with the Nikon D3 and the other with the Canon, as stated).
    The 1.5m x 1m (India adopts the metric standard, so for those on the imperial system this means 59.06" x 39.37")
    prints were so much better from the Canon that even a color-blind person could tell the difference simply by looking
    at the poster's granularity in each case (We got the printing done on our company plotter so please dont try to tell
    me the printing made the difference).

    So my personal conclusion is that number of pixels have a great bearing on not only landscape photos but also
    simple equipment photos.

    Having seen it myself I believe that people commenting wihtout real-world experience should spend their valuble time
    gaining some useful knowledge and experience in place of blatantly misleading others on their own whims & fancies.

    As for people proving the much higher quality of film photography, it is exactly like proving Adolf Hitler's dual-engined
    war-model Benz more sturdy than today's new C-Class Sedan. Undeniable, but a highly irrelevent comparison as of
    today. So there is really no point proving it. Not everybody is such a hard-core professional that they find the means
    for high quality film photography.

    All said, I do agree that it is not ONLY the pixels that count but also a lot more factors. But very clearly the Canon
    21MP units are doing a very good job on all aspects, not just pixels.
    Anyway, on the lighter side, as Indian elders say, "Guys (Males) who bicker, shold be made to wear bangles and sit
    at home".

    So, to the priginal Poster, I would sincerely suggest going for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
  139. Bharat,

    What a logical, unbiased post. Quite a contrast to some.

    Odd how that the Canon toy produces a finer print ;-)
  140. HI Bharat.
    You make some valid points. I totally agree that bickering over pixels and brands is pointless, and akin to talking
    religion and politics. Everyone has an opinion, and it is a waste of time to try to convince people otherwise. Having
    said that, I'd like to offer my opinion: The professional photogprapher, to keep competitive, obviously needs state-of-
    the-art equipment, period. Amateurs, who don't make a living with their cameras, do not "need" the best, but may
    inded "want" the best. That is fine. However, there comes a point where increasing pixels hits that point of
    diminishing returns, where for a given image size (perhaps up to 16x20), you are not going to see an increase in
    quality, regardless of the number of pixels. Perhaps for prints above 16x20, the return in quality for an increase in
    pixels would be noticable, but I must say that as image size increases, so should viewing distance. Thus, a lower
    resolution miage may be sufficient indeed. My point is that I think that there are not many amateurs who "need"
    anything larger than a 12 megapixel sensor (especially given the high-quality of modern camera systems), since
    99% of folks never even print above 16x20 inches! So, the argument of which system prodiuces the best image
    quality is really moot for the vast majority of photographers reading this forum. Either system can produce excellent
    images in the right hands! So, get out and capture some creative images! I certainly plan to do so, even while
    whining to the wife over which DSLR I should get! (I can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk!)
    Good luck! ~Steve
  141. Mr. Steve,
    I have a very simplistic opinion of the matter, sir. Here it is pont by point:

    1) I need the quality for the posters because they are used in exhibitions and stalls (booth) are many a time very small (unlike the grand size of exhibits in the USA). Some times the booth is just 3mx3m (100 sq. feet), thats it. So anyone in there will very easily notice a poor quality poster.

    2) There is also the fact that when people see a good picture they come closer and literally gawk at it even if they dont understand anything about the equipment (This is very normal especially in China, they collect pictures and brochures even if they are meaningless to them)!

    3) I agree that amateurs do not really need this kind of hardware but if one were still to buy... why not buy the better of the 2 devils especially if it is CHEAPER! (The 5D Mark II is cheaper than the D3 as per my understanding).

    4) As for prints, I don't have much experince besides the 20 odd prints I got. But if I owned a camera like that I sure would get a serious rush by just looking at the staggering number of pixels on my screen. I would love to pan and zoom for all it's worth just to feel smug about the sheer resolution of the picture. But obviously, that's an individual feeling.

    5) There is no doubt whatsoever that both devices produce astounding photographs! I never did try to hint that the Nikon was bad (I love Nikon's, even without any specific reason), just that in THIS SPECIFIC comparison, the Canon is better (So I've also started loving Canons, also without a reason... Hehe!).

  142. To the original poster, here is a suggested Bill-of-Material. This is what I would look for in order of importance (to me):

    1x Canon EOS 5D Mark II Body

    1x Canon EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM Lens

    1x Transcend TS16GCF300 CF Card (16GB UDMA-5 300x)

    1x Canon Speedlite 580EX II

    1x Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip + 1x ADDITIONAL Canon LP-E6 Battery Pack (1 battery pack is bundled with the
    camrea, Obviously!)

    1x ADDITIONAL Transcend TS16GCF300 CF Card (16GB UDMA-5 300x)

    1x OPTIONAL Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens (For Wide Angle & Regular Non-Telephoto use ONLY)

    1x OPTIONAL Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens (For Wide-Angle use ONLY)

    I hope you find this information useful. Please do let us all know if & what you finalize for procurement.

  143. .. and they compared to one another: Hasselblad H3, Mamiya AFDIII, Sony Alpha 900 – comparative test

    for your opinion:,1


    cheers, Hans
  144. Well, this is one of those threads that became obsolete right at its prime because of the leak about the forthcoming Nikon D3x.

    I shoot almost all Canon now, but I have to say that these remarkable developments by Nikon over the last year are good for all of us--and good for photography.

    So, go, Nikon! We're really all the richer for these successes, especially as it means that Canon will have to drop some prices.

  145. Hey Landrum thanks for noticing my "gallery". Unfortunately, I still only have those six photos. Sadly those are the
    only ones worth showing. (-:

    Actually I do post some to flickr, but I've been thinking of upgrading my account here. Problem is, you have to type
    something "snitty" in these discussions before someone will click on your name thus finding your photos.

    I do agree that these new "wonder cameras" are quite interesting, but lately I've been using cameras where you pop on
    a lens, load your favorite film, set the aperture and shutter and start snapping. Pixels and HDR and all that other super
    techy stuff just does not apply.

    So much work, so little time.

    Later brother.
  146. "... my typical print is either 8"x10" or 16"x20", how much difference will 9 additional MP of resolution make?"

    At 8x10, no difference. At 16x20, the additional 9MP will be dramatically noticeable.
  147. Most of the prints I do make (when I bother to make prints at all) are 8x10's with just a rare few 11x14s.

    I don't think either the D3 or 5D2 will have any problems at this size. If I decide to go larger (e.g. 16x20 or 20x30), I can take another approach. Since all of my landscape work is done on a tripod anyway, I can just zoom in tighter, take four exposures panning the camera in between shots, and splice the shots together in Photoshop. This way I have 4x the pixel count without affecting low-light handling. So, if I get the D3, then using this method I effectively have a 48.4 MP camera.
  148. Mr. Gardner,

    Of-course it is possible to stitch the image. But you would firstly have to take 4 fairly acurate shots. Even so, there will undoubtedly be some hem losses so the pixel count shall not be EXACTLY 4x using 4 photos. In reality you will have a 41-43.5 MP photo. So you might be better-off buying the EOS 5D Mark II since it would give you 71.4-75.6 MP if you decide to stitch. But I feel you will hardly ever need to stitch a 20+ MP photo unless you are thinking of publishing a wall-to-wall result.

    In this case neither of these camera's would be ideal, in my opinion. You are then better-off waiting for the D3x or going in for the Sony A900 if you are on a fixed budget. When stitched, the D3x or the A900 would get you a 82.5-87.4 MP result on a 4x stitch. But a 9x stitch would be the real thing to do for such a purpose, it would get you a result in the range of 158-168 MP in good contrast & sharpness.
    Furthermore, you would not need a Wide-angle lens at all which would account to some savings to say the least.

    On the whole, I do feel that the Sony A900 or the EOS 5D Mark II are the best suited for your needs. Anyhow, if you are desperately looking for a Nikon, there is no point looking at anything except the D3x.


    I say this because I used to think exactly on the same lines as yourself, only to realize the hard way that stitching every image is a real pain (although made fairly easy by Photoshop). It's like parking a 40 foot big-rig compared to a regular-sized sedan at an office parking lot.

    All said, it is obviously your choice to make! Yet another saying by Indian Elders states "He who pays is the best judge of quality, because once paid for, even garbage feels very dear".
  149. If stitching is in the plans, then a compact digicam would work as well as a dslr. Sky is the limit as far as resolution goes.
    Stack multiple exposures if high capture dynamic range is called for.

    I'm very happy with a cheap gigapan robotic mount. It's perfect with a canon a720is compact. 300mp images are an every
    outing routine possibility. If you're looking to technically emulate Adamesque, superbly detailed large prints, neither dslr
    mentioned here are up to the job in single capture mode.
  150. Mr. Robert,

    I doubt there are many people around that share your enthusiasm for stitched photos. Plus, would it be practical in a
    sudden point-and-shoot scenario, like a family holiday? I doubt it would make a practical all-in-one solution to go for
    an ultra-low-end camera and then spend hours together on one picture.

    A high-quality DSLR camera far outmatches any stitching solution in my opinion. The practicality of a single shot is
    unbeatable compared to the painstaking effort of clicking 4,9,16 or more photos in a grid.

    Anyhow, there is also no restriction in stitching pictures from a DSLR camera, so I can't get myself to ever agree to
    the idea of going for such a poor solution when our well-endowed Mr. Gardner is very clearly able and in the mood to
    spend a good sum on a choice of some VERY neat equipment.

    A DSLR is like a sturdy bridge, a whole lot can cross at one time while the "cute" point & shoot cameras are like
    single person bridges, it takes a lot more effort and does not provide anywhere close to the confidence of a good

    It is just not right to compare things like the EOS 5D2 / D3x / A900 / EOS 1Ds3 to any point-and-shoot camera.

    It's like a McLaren/Ferrari/Lamborghini being compared to a regular VW. THEY ARE JUST NOT THE SAME!
  151. Boys and their toys...

    Jerry, the original poster, just now mentioned that stitching is an option for the occasional large print - to
    paraphrase, "big vista landscapes." If the goal is highly detailed output on par with LF film, none of the
    current small format digital cameras provide nearly enough spatial resolution when used for single capture.

    A big DSLR kit has considerable practical liabilities the moment serious high resolution digital compositing
    becomes a considered technique. All the accoutrements, from tripod through robotic mount gets heavier, slower to
    deploy, and much more expensive. The typical DSLR advantages of low self-noise and higher capture dynamic range
    are no longer so compelling when the constraint on aggregate exposure time is removed.

    If single capture really is still important, medium speed 6x7 MF film and a Nikon 8000/9000 or better will give a
    better image file than small format DSLR, even now.
  152. Mr. Gardner,

    I don't know how your procurement went, but I ended up buying a 5D Mark II myself ! Expecting delivery early in the 4th week of December.

    Hopefully, I'll be able to take some decent pictures! I'd be happy with a result half as good as you professional people!
    I'll probably look around this forum a bit more and get some tips when I have my camera.


  153. Wow talk about your Canon and Nikon wars! I was afraid someone was going to start pulling hair and scratching, some of you girls were really going at it.
    Go Medium or Full Format film if your serious! If you want a body that you can drive nails with and take pictures of things that move go with the the D3. If it stands still and you want to put it under a microscope go with the Canon 5D MK II. As far as optics go both are fantastic, you have to make that decision. Art is best viewed at a distance. Your all kidding yourselves if you think you can tell the difference between 10 separate images made with both bodies and you were 12-15 feet away from the work. I don't even know why I replied to this nonsense of puffed up, prissy, better than you know it alls. I'll never do it again I can assure you of that!
  154. Pixels, pixels, pixels! why is everyone so obsessed by pixels? There is little or no mention of lens quality, hardly any contribution on pixel quality and how Nikon/Canon have different ideas on what is 'realistic' and nothing whatsover on the old tired argument from the days when I was a freelance photo-jounalist, 'Sharpness v grain'. Translated this all becomes a tedious, unecessary waste of breath and keyboard time. OK the grouse gremlin is now despatched and I can add a few thoughts!
    The idea of big numbers resolution being the objective is clearly over-emphasised. Most of the current crop of 12-14meg digi cameras will produce 16 x 20 size prints equal to if not better than prints shot using Fuji Superia Reala 100ASA film shot through a Contax RTS (yeah I know it's as old as the hills!) + Zeiss Sonar 135 F1.8 mm portrait lens. I guess some of you will blanche and cry rubbish!....BUT pause and consider that the latest digital improvements are way way better in terms of resolving power than even my trusty old Contax or the shots we have all come to admire from the hands of masters like Penn, Bailey, Avedon, McCullin. BTW, I come with years of experience with 35mm and med format working with Blads, Nikon and Canon. In the last 15 years I have owned a Nikon D100, D200, and now a D3 with prime lenses. The D3 is for me the best all rounder but there again I need it's ruggedness and motordrive. Canon's 5D MkII is superb (I've seen A2 prints and they are 'sharper' LOL than those from the D3!) It is an excellent landscape/portait option but forget it for sport events!
    So what am I saying? less concerned about Nikon v Canon and the pixel/resolution war and try to analyse whether you would be a good/great photographer with any camera. If so go for a less expensive option with enough clout to extract your idea of a good 16" x 20"(most will do look at other things like comfort, lens range, durability etc and concentrate of your style) On the other hand if like so many others you are simply obsessed with sharpness and believe that 'pixel power' is your thing, then go with the Canon...All IMHO of course!

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