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Author Topic: 5D3 vs. D800 - great real world head-to-head tests  (Read 35166 times)
mr purdy
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« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2012, 11:31:07 PM »
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He has some great thoughts about both of these cameras after taking them on a trip:

In short: D800: better DR at low ISO; better rez for large prints; but miserable live view implementation
5D3: great all-rounder.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800/index.html

One of his 5D3 shots:



And one from the D800:
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 11:58:06 PM by mr purdy » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2012, 01:16:53 AM »
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He has some great thoughts about both of these cameras after taking them on a trip:

In short: D800: better DR at low ISO; better rez for large prints; but miserable live view implementation
5D3: great all-rounder.

The photos are certainly beautiful, but that fact alone does not necessarily have any direct bearing on the technical quality of the camera.

That the D800 has higher resolution and is good for larger prints, is a given. It hardly needs mentioning, except for the benefit of the complete novice. Likewise with the faster frame rate of the 5D3. These are the most easy-to-understand specs.

However, issues of noise, DR, high-ISO performance, autofocussing speed and accuracy, tracking of moving objects such as birds in flight, and ease of manual focussing when employing Live View, are all matters that should be addressed.

DXO addresses only some of these issues. The fact that the hi-rez LCD screen on the D800 doesn't seem to produce sharp, clear images at high magnification when manually focussing, is a bit of a mystery worth investigating. I'd be surprised if this is a design flaw rather than an initial bug which will eventually be fixed with a firmware update.

If it is a design flaw that can't be fixed, I'm disappointed. I remember well having difficulty being certain I was properly focussed with my Canon 40D in Live View mode. The LCD screen was only 230,000 pixels, and at 10x enlargement the image was a bit fuzzy. This is one of the reasons I was quick to upgrade to the 50D with a 920,000 pixel LCD screen.

The level of detail on the 50D's LCD screen in Live View mode at 10x magnification, with a 400mm lens attached to the camera, is simply amazing.

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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2012, 02:17:57 AM »
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Nobody seems to mention that frame rate can be increased on the D800 in DX format
Marc
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2012, 02:43:44 AM »
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If it is a design flaw that can't be fixed, I'm disappointed. I remember well having difficulty being certain I was properly focussed with my Canon 40D in Live View mode. The LCD screen was only 230,000 pixels, and at 10x enlargement the image was a bit fuzzy. This is one of the reasons I was quick to upgrade to the 50D with a 920,000 pixel LCD screen.

The level of detail on the 50D's LCD screen in Live View mode at 10x magnification, with a 400mm lens attached to the camera, is simply amazing.

Not sure what he saw, but the D800's live view enables easy focusing in my book. However one has tobe aware that normal magnification seems to be mapping one screen pixel to one sensor pixel (meaning about 10 times magnification), while the high magnification is a 23x zoom, which I find very helpful, but which can come acctoss as unsharp.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2012, 05:34:06 AM »
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Don't get me wrong, it would be great to have 20 stops of DR at all times!
I am just making the point that I have had not one shoot which failed due to lack of DR.
(but again, I am no Ansel Adams ;-)


That all depends on the kind of images you shoot. If your scenes have a low DR you will never miss a larger DR, this is obvious.

In your example image, a higher DR camera would have allowed you to expose a couple stops less the RAW file, then process it to have the same exposure and final IQ (noise) in the model, but no clipped areas on the right.

Moreover, a large DR sensor is useful not only for high DR scenes but for other purposes. I wrote an article about this; most of the points are so obvious that probably users never think of them.

A HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE CAMERA IS USEFUL FOR:
  • Capturing high DR scenes
  • Correcting underexposure mistakes
  • Getting more sharpness and DOF in low light conditions
  • Improving framing, composition, focus,...
  • Extreme tone mapping in the shadows

The article is in Spanish but with online translation: WHAT IS DYNAMIC RANGE USEFUL FOR?.

Regards
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 05:50:16 AM by Guillermo Luijk » Logged

MrSmith
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« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2012, 07:20:23 AM »
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makes me wonder how people managed with the inferior dynamically challenged 5DII for so long.  Roll Eyes
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2012, 07:55:54 AM »
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makes me wonder how people managed with the inferior dynamically challenged 5DII for so long.  Roll Eyes

They rented MFDB for serious shooting?  Grin

Cheers,
Bernard
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2012, 07:58:31 AM »
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makes me wonder how people managed with the inferior dynamically challenged 5DII for so long.  Roll Eyes
Expectations of photographers and viewers seems to be following the trend of what is possible at the time.

While a 486 PC running Windows 3.11 might have seemed fast and useful in 1992, it seems like a dinosaur today. Not because it does not work as good as it did in 1992, but because we have seen how much better thing can be.

Give a gifted photographic artist an iPhone, and he may produce stunning images.

-h
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shadowblade
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« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2012, 08:13:16 AM »
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makes me wonder how people managed with the inferior dynamically challenged 5DII for so long.  Roll Eyes

By throwing out multiple-exposure shots where the exposures didn't line up due to (usually subtle) subject movement, and by throwing out compositionally-good photos which were compromised by the inability to push shadows.

Better technology doesn't necessarily let you take better photos - it just lets you get more keepers. Just like you'd often get more keepers shooting action with a 10fps body as compared with a 3fps body.
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Ray
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« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2012, 08:56:13 AM »
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Not sure what he saw, but the D800's live view enables easy focusing in my book. However one has tobe aware that normal magnification seems to be mapping one screen pixel to one sensor pixel (meaning about 10 times magnification), while the high magnification is a 23x zoom, which I find very helpful, but which can come acctoss as unsharp.

Cheers,
Bernard

Hi Bernard,
I did a bit of searching on the internet for Live View problems with the D800, and came across the following account from Nikon Rumors.

Quote
The next issue involves tethered shooting: "We met up today and he asked if we could check my D800 behavior in manual exposure mode with live view on and/or camera control tethered to the camera. He had found that his D4 had an issue that when in live view in manual exposure mode, the live view or computer window view would stop down as you decreased aperture or increased shutter speed.

At smallest apertures it was impossible to see what you were focusing on, kind of like a "full time depth of field preview". This problem could not be remedied unless you momentarily tapped the shutter to autofocus, but then the view would go dark again. This problem doesn't seem to be present when using live view in any automatic modes, only full manual mode.

My buddy contacted an individual at Nikon that verified the behavior on a D4 there at Nikon. Apparently the individual was a bit surprised by the development and told my buddy that he will need to check this out further and get back to him. Back to my D800; the problem is also present on my D800 firmware 1.00. This will make tethered studio shooting difficult unless corrected."

I guess one of the disadvantages of being amongst the first customers to receive a new product, is that one runs the risk of experiencing such difficulties, which hopefully can be fixed with firmware updates. The 5D3 seems to have a light leakage problem that affects exposure in certain conditions.

Glad you're not having problems with your unit.

Cheers!  Ray
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2012, 09:06:16 AM »
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I guess one of the disadvantages of being amongst the first customers to receive a new product, is that one runs the risk of experiencing such difficulties, which hopefully can be fixed with firmware updates. The 5D3 seems to have a light leakage problem that affects exposure in certain conditions.

There are several known by-pass for this. The easiest is to switch from photo to film live view since these 2 modes can retain different shutter speed settings in M mode.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2012, 10:21:28 AM »
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makes me wonder how people managed with the inferior dynamically challenged 5DII for so long.  Roll Eyes

Hell, people managed with horses quite nicely too, until those damn cars came along!
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Slobodan

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« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2012, 10:25:53 AM »
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There are several known by-pass for this.
I cannot tell for sure, but this and a few other comments from Fred Miranda sound like consequences of his knowing his way around Canon SLRs well while being less familiar with best practice usage of the Nikon system. Sort of like both Macintosh and Windows users finding the other OS "harder to use and less intuitive" when they must briefly go over to the dark side to work on a friend's or a colleague's computer.

At least he did not complain about the Nikon focus rings going the wrong way!
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2012, 10:32:50 AM »
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+1 ;-)

Hell, people managed with horses quite nicely too, until those damn cars came along!
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mr purdy
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« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2012, 12:39:21 PM »
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That all depends on the kind of images you shoot. If your scenes have a low DR you will never miss a larger DR, this is obvious.

In your example image, a higher DR camera would have allowed you to expose a couple stops less the RAW file, then process it to have the same exposure and final IQ (noise) in the model, but no clipped areas on the right.



Hello , my image of the model was not intended to be a high DR sample shot. Its just a random. And all of the wallpaper (highlight) info was there in the RAW file however I processed it at a higher contrast setting because it looks better that way (IMO). That image was shot with the original 5D. (And guess what - it got me tons more work, even with the highlights on the wallpaper Tongue)

Back on topic: The question is to what extent does a technically superior (higher DR) tool help in the end, when each camera is already very good. And whom does it help. It was said that the landscape photographer would have the greatest need for the D.R.
Then we see the FM shots which in my opinion are FAR better than most of what I see on photo blogs and forums.
Look over his Nikon images (there are a bunch) and look over the Canon images.
Are the Nikon images better? Do they look better? Would anyone who did not read about these images have ANY IDEA what camera shot them? Would you know?

It gets back to what I said earlier about tons of the biggest ad campaigns in the world being shot with whatever camera the photographer uses and likes (Canons or Nikons, DB, etc.). You see Mario Testino shooting with a back, and a Canon interchangeably in the same shoot..think you can tell which images in that issue of Vogue were shot with which camera? You can not. Same with Greg Kadel shoots the wide angles shots with Canons and the longer shots (in the same layout) with a back. Can you tell which is which in print? No.

I know people will say its because the print is not large enough, the paper is crap in Vogue, etc. etc. These discussion will never end

We did just get a very skilled landscape guys test images here in some very difficult and high D.R. shooting conditions and guess what they all look good! (at least to my eye.) And that is my point.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2012, 01:18:06 PM »
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... We did just get a very skilled landscape guys test images here in some very difficult and high D.R. shooting conditions and guess what they all look good! (at least to my eye.) And that is my point.

And your point is correct... and irrelevant. On the web, even Holga looks good.

The point you are missing, however, is that we are talking about landscape shooters. From the day one 5DIII appeared it was clear to almost everyone that it is good enough for event, wedding, studio, fashion, and photojournalism shooters.That is, those who would hardly ever print bigger than magazine doubles-spread.

The point you are missing is that landscape shooters, at least those who make a living selling prints in galleries, print way bigger than a Vogue double spread. You need to see it to believe, the size Michael Fatali prints from his 8x10 camera, Peter Lik from his 6x17 film cameras and lately MFDB, Andreas Gursky, etc. They are often bathtub sized, or even longer, the size of the conference table of a really big and rich corporation. These are examples where the difference in resolution and DR really matters.
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Slobodan

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mr purdy
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« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2012, 01:39:50 PM »
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Slobodan, I did not miss any of those points you mentioned.

Being in NY (AKA: Gallery Central) I have seem a million huge prints (Gursky, Sally Mann, Avedon, Sebastiao Salgado, Alec Soth, David Alan Harvey, etc., etc.) HUGE prints.

From where I stand, Fred Miranda is going to get a response of WOW from those images, instead of people stepping to 3 inches away from the print and talking pixels and dynamic range. I would put money on it.

P.S. Slobodan, I see you have some (very) impressive landscapes on your Flickr site shot with a 20d! Just saying ;-)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 02:01:34 PM by mr purdy » Logged
Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2012, 01:50:22 PM »
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Hello , my image of the model was not intended to be a high DR sample shot. Its just a random. And all of the wallpaper (highlight) info was there in the RAW file however I processed it at a higher contrast setting because it looks better that way (IMO). That image was shot with the original 5D.

It was just an example to illustrate. I didnt' mean your RAW files were clipped or that the blown areas could not be intended. Just meant that clipped RAW files can more easily be avoided with a high DR camera by exposing less, without prejudice of shadows noise.

I also own the original 5D, and I know the fantastic studio pictures like yours it can produce, despite its very poor DR according to today's standards.

Regards
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mr purdy
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« Reply #58 on: April 22, 2012, 01:53:47 PM »
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It was just an example to illustrate. I didnt' mean your RAW files were clipped or that the blown areas could not be intended. Just meant that clipped RAW files can more easily be avoided with a high DR camera by exposing less, without prejudice of shadows noise.

I also own the original 5D, and I know the fantastic studio pictures like yours it can produce, despite its very poor DR according to today's standards.

Regards


Indeed. Nice work on your website, by the way.
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uaiomex
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« Reply #59 on: April 22, 2012, 05:06:00 PM »
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I can answer that. With pain.  Angry
Eduardo

makes me wonder how people managed with the inferior dynamically challenged 5DII for so long.  Roll Eyes
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