With the newest ACR's deconvolution based sharpening tools (detail 45,
radius 0.5, amount 80, for example), with good lenses, on resolution
charts (up to 120lp/mm) the D2x almost doubles the 5D resolution,
because Nikon uses weaker AA filters. The 5D and 1DsII have lower
noise, but for us landscape photographers D2x provides the best
per pixel sharpness, with good lens (more picky than the Canons since
the smaller pixel spacing). I own and use both 5D and D2x and I am
not biased. We even did a detailed comparison 5D/D2x/Contax 645,
and the conclusion is with careful RAW conversion (Raw Developer is
the first choice, DxO second, ACR is never good for landscapes) the
DSLRs reaches about 60-70% of drum scanned 645 Velvia film level
Also since the pixel spacing difference, they work on the different
regions of lens MTF, so at 4-10 pixel level the Canon's "micro" or
local detail contrast is higher, which in general tend to improves
the prints. However, if you do a pre-sharpening USM such as
2.2/40/0 before the major USM or Smart Sharpening (which is
deconvolution based with "Lens Blur"), prints of the Nikon images
will look the same, although the step makes the noise issue little bit
even worse, which I don't care personally, since I paid DxO $60
for their "FilmPack" to ADD noise ("film grain" of selected "emulsion")
to my images to drastically enhance the "3D looking" as well as to
mask the digital demosiacing artifacts. The 5D's ISO 50 mode is
quite wonderful for more vibrant color and higher contrast -- sorry
we are from the Velvia film background (and actually still shoot RVP
50 for 80% of time).
I have been talking to Charlie Cramer, the landscape master who
switched from 4x5 to Mamiya AFDII with the P45 back, and thinking
about jumping to the ZD back as my entry move. One big factor
is the 12.4/12.8MP figure reduces to merely ~10MP when cropped
to 4x5, the ratio we still love and prefer and it is a bigger jump
from 10 to 22MP (46% increase of linear resolution from the D2x).
And nothing beats MF lens at wide angles -- as MR said many times
no 35mm wide lens reproduce the corner sharpness and the overall
distorsion-free and 3-D feeling of the MF/LF wide angle optics.
Hope the price of these cheap Mamiya 645 MF and AF lenses now in
the 2nd hand market will not go back up. Shouldn't, since not every
one will pay the $7K for a ZD back, with the 1DsIII / D3x on the
Guys, I have been claiming for years that the D2x was sharper than the 1ds2 and nobody wanted to believe me because of those 4 miserable mP difference...
I hope that these new 5D results will contribute once for all to ancer the idea that MP count means little.