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Author Topic: Comparing 12 vs 21 mp  (Read 19918 times)
Joseph Yeung
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« on: January 03, 2008, 12:18:00 AM »
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Of course the Canon 1Ds MKIII is a 21MP camera and the Nikon D3 is a 12MP camera. This made for a difficult if not unfair comparison in many respects. How to you frame the shot? Same image size or same resolution? I don't know. Both approaches are flawed.

In the end I said, screw it. I don't have all the answers. Let's just shoot a head and shoulder and see what we get. Whichever way I do it someone in the online world with greater tribal loyalties than common sense will get pissed off and claim foul, so I'll just do a test that satisfies my curiosity, and people can natter about it one way or the other if they wish.

Michael, I find it odd that you conducted the D3 vs 1Ds3 comparison in such a casual manner when a much more rigorous method of comparing across formats had already been established in Measuring Megabytes The Great Luminous Landscape 2006 State-of-The-Art Shootout.

The method was as follows:
1. Frame for same image size--as this is how people will use the camera. No matter what the resolution people should always try to fill the frame with the subject, this is just correct photography technique, no?
2. Resize all images to the same resolution for display--and this should not be the native resolution of either or any of the cameras being compared, because resizing is a lossy operation and no camera should gain an unfair advantage by not being required to go through this step. E.g. in the 1Ds3 vs D3 shootout, choose a resolution that is middle ground between the two cameras and size up the D3 image and size down the 1Ds3 image.

The article goes into further detail about RAW development, curves, etc. but on the matter of sharpening, I would add that if it came to sharpening 'to taste', I found it helpful to do one of the following:

-leave the noisiest image untouched and sharpen other images until they are as noisy, then see which image is the sharpest; or
-leave the sharpest-looking image untouched and sharpen other images until they are as sharp-looking, then see which image is most noisy.

(I find that it is easier to gauge subjective noise levels than sharpness, so I've mostly settled on the first method.)

Here's a comparison set done using the first method:
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 12:21:49 AM by Joe Bloggs » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 06:48:11 AM »
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Good suggestions, Joe. I think Michael's tests are really no more than a preview. If one is searching for definite conclusions, then tests have to be carried out carefully, meticulously and painstakingly, which probably takes more time than Michael has available. If one is comparing noise, then one should address the issue of differences of ISO accuracy first. Equal FoVs are essential.

However, I'm not too keen on the idea of downrezzing the higher resolution image to the same degree as the uprezzing of the smaller file., sort of meeting half way. Uprezzing might appear to soften an image somewhat but as far as I can tell there should be absolutely no loss of detail in the uprezzing, whereas downsampling from the native size will always involve some loss of detail.

I would rather see either the smaller file uprezzed to the larger file size or two sets of results, one of which shows the larger file downsampled to the same size as the smaller one.
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jcote
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 07:30:13 AM »
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This may be a better way to run the test, but the fact is that both cameras are very good tools for purposes they were designed. They are different tools.

The other thing that is obvious is that the lighting changed, or at least the subject's relationship to the lighting changed between the two shots you displayed. The highlight on the top of his glasses is different as is the streak of light across his glasses and his pupil.

I think these tests are a lot of fun, but ultimately, these are obviously different cameras for different purposes. I am really starting to love my D3, but having used a 1DsII, I can see that it is nice to have the file size for some applications.

Happy New Year.
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008, 07:46:52 AM »
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Michael, I find it odd that you conducted the D3 vs 1Ds3 comparison in such a[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164738\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Additionally, the RAWs should be made available, so others can evaluate without the quirks of the converters used.

Personally, I'd like to see pure RAW comparisons, so blame and praise can be put where it really belongs; so we know what is the conversion, and what is RAW.

When the subject of comparison is low light shooting, I think comparisons should forsake "proper exposure" for at least one comparison, and severely under-expose, manually at very high exposure indices, like ISO 51200.  This is where the real RAW differences in read noise show.  It is totally irrelevant whether or not a camera actually supports that ISO, officially.  The ones that don't may (and in the case of the 1Dmk3, *will*, IMO) be superior.  The company may just have a more conservative standard, as far as permissable noise is concerned, and the amount of NR they're willing to standardize.
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James R Russell
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 08:02:00 AM »
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Additionally, the RAWs should be made available, so others can evaluate without the quirks of the converters used.

Personally, I'd like to see pure RAW comparisons, so blame and praise can be put where it really belongs; so we know what is the conversion, and what is RAW.

When the subject of comparison is low light shooting, I think comparisons should forsake "proper exposure" for at least one comparison, and severely under-expose, manually at very high exposure indices, like ISO 51200.  This is where the real RAW differences in read noise show.  It is totally irrelevant whether or not a camera actually supports that ISO, officially.  The ones that don't may (and in the case of the 1Dmk3, *will*, IMO) be superior.  The company may just have a more conservative standard, as far as permissable noise is concerned, and the amount of NR they're willing to standardize.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164770\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Oh God please don't start posting pixel by pixel comparisions on this section of the site.

This is the only place left where anyone call talk about photogaphy and not just compare one file to the next (look at the medium format section for reference).

This stuff always degrades into a rage of brand loyalists and the added cry of is 35mm as good as medium format.  (Once again use the medium format section for reference).

I keep saying that all of these cameras are tools, some more versatile then others, but they are just a way to capture a photograph.

I and a lot of other's would not mind sharing, actually would like to share information but once it gets into brand wars or pixel comparisons then all real information is lost and at the end of the day, many just retreat.

James Russell
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ndevlin
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 08:35:08 AM »
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I would humbly suggest the following alternate testing methodology.

If you have a 1DsIII or a D3 and have enough money to purchase a full system of the other brand for fun, try this:

1. Place the 1dsIII or D3 body securely on a table in a normally lit room. Lay out all of your lenses and accessories around it in a circular pattern.

2. Turn off the lights.

3. Go get in your car.

4. Drive to the closest foodbank.

5. Make a large donation.

6. Returning home, and cradle the 1DsIII / D3 in your hands.

7. Observe whether, at the pixel level, you feel any better about yourself.
 
Happy New Year All,

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 09:55:16 AM »
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This stuff always degrades into a rage of brand loyalists and the added cry of is 35mm as good as medium format.  (Once again use the medium format section for reference).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164772\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes. Absolutely true. In the absence of proper and thorough testing the argument will degrade.

The only solution that I see is through meticulous and thorough testing. Michael is not really set up to do this and I think he has indicateds he's not really interested.
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macgyver
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 11:03:31 AM »
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I would humbly suggest the following alternate testing methodology.

If you have a 1DsIII or a D3 and have enough money to purchase a full system of the other brand for fun, try this:

1. Place the 1dsIII or D3 body securely on a table in a normally lit room. Lay out all of your lenses and accessories around it in a circular pattern.

2. Turn off the lights.

3. Go get in your car.

4. Drive to the closest foodbank.

5. Make a large donation.

6. Returning home, and cradle the 1DsIII / D3 in your hands.

7. Observe whether, at the pixel level, you feel any better about yourself.
 
Happy New Year All,

- N.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164775\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Best thing I've read on here in months.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008, 11:12:51 AM »
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Oh God please don't start posting pixel by pixel comparisions on this section of the site.

This is the only place left where anyone call talk about photogaphy and not just compare one file to the next (look at the medium format section for reference).

This stuff always degrades into a rage of brand loyalists and the added cry of is 35mm as good as medium format.  (Once again use the medium format section for reference).

I keep saying that all of these cameras are tools, some more versatile then others, but they are just a way to capture a photograph.

I and a lot of other's would not mind sharing, actually would like to share information but once it gets into brand wars or pixel comparisons then all real information is lost and at the end of the day, many just retreat.

James Russell
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164772\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thank you!
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Craig Lamson Photo
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2008, 03:02:00 PM »
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Additionally, the RAWs should be made available, so others can evaluate without the quirks of the converters used.

Personally, I'd like to see pure RAW comparisons, so blame and praise can be put where it really belongs; so we know what is the conversion, and what is RAW.

When the subject of comparison is low light shooting, I think comparisons should forsake "proper exposure" for at least one comparison, and severely under-expose, manually at very high exposure indices, like ISO 51200. This is where the real RAW differences in read noise show. It is totally irrelevant whether or not a camera actually supports that ISO, officially. The ones that don't may (and in the case of the 1Dmk3, *will*, IMO) be superior. The company may just have a more conservative standard, as far as permissable noise is concerned, and the amount of NR they're willing to standardize.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164770\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

For Pete's sake,

you go about in this site repeating exactly the same things in every thread that looks convenient for you to do so. At the same time not providing a grain of evidence while expecting of others to do so.

And you know what? I couldn't care less even if you did provide evidence of what you're talking about as I couldn't care less whether a camera 'raw' has inherently a bit of lower noise or not.

I cannot see raw at the screen, can I? Nor can I print it out and hang it on my wall, if I'm not mistaken. I have to convert it somehow either in-camera or out of it. So if a camera-jpeg engine or a camera-raw converter combination looks convincigly better than another one to the eyes of many PHOTOGRAPHERS and not raw data scrutinizers, that's what I care about.

Next thing will be, manufacturers will start playing with their raw files, so I can see people like you crying for having access to the analog data before A/D conversion or to the actual pixel well voltages to judge which camera is REALLY the best.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 03:04:18 PM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 06:14:04 PM »
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Please, this whole thing is getting tedious. Maybe if you read Michael's premise as to why they did what they did, then maybe you would understand that they were not doing a scientific experiment or a pixel by pixel count. They just wanted to see what a brand new D3 could do vs the newest Canon 1 series.

So what if one does something better than the other. So what if one has more pixels than the other.

The opening shot on that seated gentleman looked rather "normal" until you took the time to look at the footer below the picture and actually understood the ISO setting.

The nonsense that was generated by the "brand wars" and self justification as to why one brand was so much better than the other is pure stupidity. If you have to justify your purchase, then perhaps you made the wrong choice. And on the other hand, if you made the  right choice, in your mind, then why to you feel that you have to pound everyone else with your "great" decision.

The bottom line is, can the camera do what you want it too, and is the price what you are willing to pay?
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2008, 06:38:03 PM »
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The bottom line is, can the camera do what you want it too, and is the price what you are willing to pay?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164893\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

IMO the bottom line is that the manufacturers and the RAW converters are setting different standards of conversion for different cameras, masking their true capabilities, and this needs to be brought out in the open so all cameras have a wide variety of options for conversion, in both the in-camera JPEGs and in the RAW converters.  Canon cameras could have the flattened, smoothed, and desaturated look of Nikon JPEGs, Nikons could have the more RAW and relatively untouched look of the Canons, both could have aggressive Fuji-like NR, etc.  I get sick reading droves of people attributing software effects to sensors, and "cameras", especially when the cameras shoot RAW.

The slight-of-hand tricks and company sloppiness (on the other hand) are getting ridiculous.  The Fuji P&S sensors are getting credited with magical powers, when in fact, they actually underperform sensors like Panasonic's, while Panasonics get branded as "noisy" sensors because of their horrible ISO gain amplifier (ISO 200 under-exposed by 3 stops is better than ISO 1600), combined with horrible JPEG NR that loses detail without losing much noise.  All reason is going to hell in a handbasket, because people are easily fooled by software tricks.  The facts need to be known, and the manufacturers need to know that people know them.  Worshipping noise reduction will not get companies to improve their products in any substantial manner.
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macgyver
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2008, 09:17:01 PM »
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The facts need to be known, and the manufacturers need to know that people know them.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164895\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'm all about the consumer advocacy and frankly, I'm sick as anyone of certain software companies strangle holds on RAW converters and the like, but surely we all have something better to do. It's still just a camera. It doesn't make the photo, it doesn't make the photographer.

Lets all go meet that one neighbor we don't know, talk about time better spent.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 09:34:03 PM by macgyver » Logged
Quentin
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2008, 04:32:40 PM »
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Zzzzzzzzz

Wake me up when its over  

Quentin
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gr82bart
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2008, 06:24:13 PM »
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Zzzzzzzzz

Wake me up when its over 
What Quentin said.

Regards, Art.
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Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com or my online portfolios at APUG and Model Mayhem
Ray
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2008, 01:55:10 AM »
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And you know what? I couldn't care less even if you did provide evidence of what you're talking about as I couldn't care less whether a camera 'raw' has inherently a bit of lower noise or not.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164855\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One has to wonder why people read such threads as this when they couldn't care less about the issues being discussed.

The thread is clearly titled, 'Comparing 12 with 21mp'.

Perhaps there is some good reason. It would appear that Quentin's sleeping tablets are not effective so he chooses to read a boring thread which does the trick.

Glad you are finding the thread useful, Quentin.  
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NikosR
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2008, 02:24:29 PM »
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One has to wonder why people read such threads as this when they couldn't care less about the issues being discussed.

The thread is clearly titled, 'Comparing 12 with 21mp'.

Perhaps there is some good reason. It would appear that Quentin's sleeping tablets are not effective so he chooses to read a boring thread which does the trick.

Glad you are finding the thread useful, Quentin.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=165153\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Since you don't seem to get it, let me make it clearer. I care about image quality comparisons although these seem less and less interesting nowdays for same-class cameras. I don't care about undocumented (or even documented) raw data scrutinizing comments. And neither do many photographers out there including this site's author I believe.

So before you quote one of my phrases out of context, pls. try to read and understand the rest of my post and comment on the lot.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 02:28:49 PM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
jjj
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2008, 04:29:12 PM »
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So before you quote one of my phrases out of context, pls. try to read and understand the rest of my post and comment on the lot.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=165257\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm afraid Ray seems to have a habit of not reading posts properly before replying to them. He'll now blame you for his misreading, if past form is anything to go by.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 04:29:35 PM by jjj » Logged

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Ray
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2008, 02:25:55 AM »
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I'm afraid Ray seems to have a habit of not reading posts properly before replying to them. He'll now blame you for his misreading, if past form is anything to go by.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=165289\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Any time anyone thinks I've misinterpreted a post or not read it properly, I'm always open to correction. Tell me in clear precise terms in what way I've misinterpreted the intent, general thrust or factual expression in a post and I'll be most grateful. I will have learned something.
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Ray
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2008, 02:39:37 AM »
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Since you don't seem to get it, let me make it clearer. I care about image quality comparisons although these seem less and less interesting nowdays for same-class cameras. I don't care about undocumented (or even documented) raw data scrutinizing comments. And neither do many photographers out there including this site's author I believe.

So before you quote one of my phrases out of context, pls. try to read and understand the rest of my post and comment on the lot.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=165257\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm afraid you'll have to make it even more clear. I'm having trouble understanding the wisdom, sense and rationality of caring about image quality but not caring about documented scrutinisation of RAW data. The RAW data is the digital negative. Everything else is manipulated and altered information.

The full potential of any image lies only in the RAW data. In several years from now, there's a distinct possibility that newly developed RAW converters will be able to do a better job converting any of your RAW files; be able to recover more highlight detail; be able to reduce noise more successfully without destroying as much detail, or be able to extract more detail from the RAW without introducing noise.
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