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DxOMark verdict: Nikon D800 – 95, Canon 5D Mark III – 81

DxOMark just published their Canon EOS 5D Mark III test results and the Nikon D800 scored better in every category, including low light ISO capabilities. The D800 got the highest score ever given by DxOMark by even topping medium format cameras costing 10 times more.

With a DxOMark Score of 81 points, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III edges out the Canon 1Ds Mark III (80 points) by one point and gains two points on its predecessor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (79 points), putting it in 10th place overall (for all cameras) in the DxOMark rankings.

“Canon achieves its best Score with its new 22-megapixel sensor, although the difference is very slight with respect to the former number one sensor, the Canon 1Ds Mark III,” observed Frédéric Guichard, DxO Labs’ Scientific Director. “Even though Canon achieves the same performance as Nikon in terms of sensitivity, Canon is still behind its competitor in terms of dynamic range, Nikon apparently having taken advantage of the latest sensor enhancements that improve the handling of dark noise.”

Here are some more detailed comparisons between the D800 and the 5D MarkIII:

BTW, with the 5D Mark II Canon got thei highest DxOMark score ever:

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  • D800 at SF Best Buy

    I just returned an untouched D800 to the San Francisco Best Buy on Harrison.

    As far as I know, there’s nothing wrong with it. I never powered it up. In the rush to get one, I wound up with two…

    Not sure if there’s a restocking delay, or if it goes right back to the stock room.

  • Brent

    Troll here… I don’t care to post any bashing of cameras UNTIL you see morons stating all the above.. I just purchased the 5D3 with considerable debating before I spent my money. The D800 is better IF you really want to waste 14mp per pic. I don’t care who says what, but 99% of people in here will be resizing their images 99% of the time. Now people need to remember there’s a sacrifice to have the D800 to match the 5d3 ISO (basically wasting 14mp per pic in my opinion). Great camera, but 22mp is more than enough for anyone’s needs (I know there are people that really do need 36mp and I respect that). I’m not trying to talk trash about the D800, but there are things people need to be aware of before they start saying that the D800 is king… In video mode, you don’t have the option to downsize. The sensor is the sensor.. http://vimeo.com/40113110

    • Victor Hassleblood

      Brent,
      thanks for sharing the link. I am one of those who bought the D800E (received it yesterday) mainly for its low iso qualities in stills and its extended functionality for motion pixels.
      I already did a few test in both, shooting film and stills, with different ISO settings. I must agree with you (and the obvious). The D800 is anything but a low light king. The way the noise kicks in is downright ugly, especially for filming. I will enjoy the given upsides of that fab camera nonetheless – just as much as you will enjoy the ups of yours.

    • This or that?

      It is not hard to see that the D800 scene is about 2 stops brighter than both Canon scenes. What is the reason for that?
      These videos do not strike me as apples to apples comparison because of the obvious difference in brightness between the scenes.
      Keep brightness the same and try again.
      Good luck!

    • bugs

      @brent, this video just proved that D800 is the king… why the ISO2000 of 2 canon is only compare to ISO1600 on D800 in terms of brightness…

  • Brent

    You must be excited to have one. I have a friend that should be receiving his D800 in less than a week and we’re going to have a blast on the day it arrives. I can’t wait to take some portraits with the new 85 he ordered also! I just wanted to point out that I weighed out the pros and cons and it was a touch decision, especially with the added $500. I shoot video and that was my direction with my purchase. I will always feel that the D800 is the king of still images, but as I said above, it comes with a cost. I already have too many eternal HDD and even though they are cheap, they still grow at an alarming speed. I do know that I will probably regret my purchase when the D700 replacement comes out that will be a notch up from the 5D3 :P

  • Matt

    It’s funny. People defend their camera company, no matter what. Nikon users used to say that MP wasn’t the reason to buy a camera, and Canon users used to say that unless you had the great MP, in the long run you were in trouble.

    Seems that the staunch defenders of the various brands have switched their arguments. You have to be able to appreciate the humor in this.

    Pros and cons to both.

    • Jesse

      I don’t think Canon users have dropped the argument that MP are great, more that there has to be a line drawn on what is practical. I would argue that Nikon+Canon users before the launch of these cameras were asked to come up with the best combo in their next camera, it would be in the 18-24mp full frame category.

    • Tom

      Go SanpSort a T3i and the D5100. It’s the easiest direct comparison of what use to be conventional thinking.

      The D800 changed conventional thinking. That Sony sensor did extremely well.

    • Jabs

      @Matt,
      I don’t think that people have switched their allegiances or thrusts but the sad fact of the matter has always been this:

      Canon stressed resolution ONLY, with often ‘mediocre’ image quality as a selling point while Nikon stressed moderate resolution (except in the D3X) and stunning IMAGE quality.

      Now Nikon has combined higher resolution PLUS exceptional image quality like NO other Camera Manufacturer including Sony who makes many of their sensors.

      Canon has now been ran over by Nikon in both resolution (megapixels) plus now stunning image quality from these very high CLEAN megapixels.

      It’s all about the ‘Chromes’ in the film days and it’s now all about dynamic range and color purity, as in great and clean BLACK levels and Nikon has always excelled at that but even more so NOW.

      A D4 runs over a D3S, already previously acknowledged as the best DSLR on the market and now the Canon 5DMK3 equals it (D3) and is also worse than it in Black Levels, so basically Canon is still chasing the D3 Series and Nikon dropped a ‘bomb’ in the D4 and D800 Series – meaning, it is all about Expeed 3 and it being digital has raised the bar like they did when they went to CD’s from LP’s and then to DVD Audio which brought down the house basically. Nikon’s new cameras are like DVD Audio compared to the older cameras being like CD’s.

      No change, but Nikon moved the goal posts and left everyone in the Bleachers or Stands scratching their heads.

      D4, D800 and now D3200 have rewritten DSLR performance and so far NO one has an answer, not even Canon = facts.

      • Apollo

        Ridiculous Nikon fanboyism.

        In reality, the war was fought, won & lost a long time ago. For 5 yrs, nobody could come up with decent Full Frame 35mm sensor DSLRs. Canon did. The mass migration of professional photographers (and vidoegraphers) towards Canon happened.

        There will be no such migration whatever you harp on about 22 MP vs 36 MP. There’s no sensible compelling reason to switch systems for that, only imaginary ones LOL!

    • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

      Totally wrong analysis.

      It comes down to this: “All else equal, more megapixels are better.”

      Canon was pushing megapixels at a time where they weren’t ready to do so. Nikon waited. Megapixels are good, but they come later in line after things like dynamic range, bit-depth, microlens technology, etc. We’re excited that we have the best of both worlds, and it came when it was ready.

  • Former Nikonian

    Does it make sense when DxO puts D800 over D4 and Markii over Markiii? It’s the business (not charity), stupid.
    Pls use your commom sense to think. The oddity is very clear, but why they purposefully do that? It’s a big question.
    I guess DxO is playing a huge Black Humor game to extract those stupid guys, who believe on their nonsense conclusion, out of commom photographers. And they are laughing and enjoying reading what is going on here. Have fun, DxO, you are true comedy writers.
    If you have time, with your own naked eyes and non biased mind, should take looks on: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_III/Canon_5D3_vs_Nikon_D800_noise.shtml;
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/;
    http://www.dslrnewsshooter.com/2012/04/01/video-shootout-nikon-d800-vs-canon-5d-mkiii/;
    http://nofilmschool.com/2012/04/5d-mark-iiid800-hands-on-review-part-3/;
    Of course you need powerfull PC, especially video card, and high resolution monitor. If not, it would be tough. Have fun.

    • slovtux

      Is still biased test because on a first way Canon have a better expertise on a videos and the high ISO benchs was made only with a JPEG from a camera, if you get a RAW it will be another story :
      http://www.dpreview.com/previews/CanonEOS5DMarkIII/12
      And the dynamic range is more higher on the D800.

      • Former Nikonian

        You still dodge the point. Now skip the D800 v/s Mkiii as far as Mkii v/s Mkiii story; focus on Nikon and DxO only.
        The question is: Does it make sense when DxO gives total score of D800 higher than that of D4? Yes or No?
        Actually, this was pointed out to me by my brother, an IT engineer, who is not stranger with Lab Testing job. He gave it a big laugh.
        He said either DxO is biasing so it’s not reliable or playing a Black Humor game.
        Have fun with the game.

        • Jabs

          @Former – whatever

          It’s simply 16megapixels VERSUS 36megapixels in two different Nikon bodies aimed at two different Markets.

          D4 = High speed and quick response body built specifically for the Olympics to their specs and requirements.

          D800 = Lower speed shooter with higher megapixels for the rest of us.

          D4 = F1 racer
          D800 = NASCAR auto or even a Lamborghini Gallardo or Murcelago. Maybe even something like the new Shelby Cobra 1000 hp model, a Viper or a Bugatti Veyron.

          • derWalter

            F4=gatling gun
            D800=bomb

            • Jabs

              @derWalter

              F4 = Gatling gun
              D800 = Stealth Bomb
              D4 = iRobot

        • slovtux

          To be honest I don’t care about final notes made by DXO or either “Sports (Low-light ISO)”. I’m more interest by “Dynamic range” and “Color Sensitivity”. But you can not blame DXO for the final notation of 5D MkIII you can just blame how the final notation is calculated. I think the protocol must be changed, but the problem is, if you change the protocol you can not compare with the old cameras. You brother must told you that, a trusted protocol can be totally unusable after 5-10 years, especially if they’re is a lot of parameters.

          • Former Nikonian

            You come close to my point.
            My Bro said his company never believe the claims on products which they would like to buy from other company. They always check them with their own lab testing, and once in a while there are flaws. So, with DxO alone, they can easily give good conclusion to any company which they slant to. You and me and others noways can check it, and their credibilty online is just a cloud. The arguments here on DxO conclusion look like that of the blinds arguing on the thing which they do not see.
            My bro ‘s point is: who stick with Nikons gear have the choice of going to D800 or staying with D700, he is in the case and he chose staying with his old D700; who stick with Canon’s gear have the choice of going to Mkiii or staying with Mkii; who is fresh with gears, as I am, have the choice of buying either D800 or Mkiii, and I chose Mkiii; who are millionairs have the choice of tossing their old gears and going to new ones. Stop arguing like the blinds, save time for taking pics with your lovely cameras and have fun.
            I am waiting for my Mkiii and going to do what my wise bro told me.
            Have fun.

            • Jabs

              Actually Canon has some really serious performance ISSUES that most Canon users don’t care to deal with now.

              You seem to be arguing that a $3000.00 D800 camera should NOT outperform a $6000.00 D4 and thus perhaps you and your brother have missed the point of Nikon introducing the D4 and D800 for two different Markets. Perhaps you wait until the D4X comes out and costs more than the D800 while possibly using the same Sensor but with D4 like features and above?

              DXO Mark results can clearly be seen for those who KNOW what to look for and indeed the Canon 5DMK3 has really awful Black levels (as in NOT Black) but ALAS most LCD or LED monitors also have awful Black levels (as in gray and not Black), so maybe you cannot see the differences yourself.

              I can as I use calibrated Sony tubed CRT monitors and the ability to see Black levels is superior. I also have a few HD monitors, but don’t like them, as the Black levels are awful. When I look at files from the 5DMK 2 or MK3 versus a D800 or a D4 plus even a D3S, then the differences are obvious to me EVEN with jpegs.

              Long time slide shooter here and thus excellent visual acuity plus long time user of high-end Sony monitors (not consumer grade either) and Nikon shooter.

              Canon needs some real help in Senor Technology and here is a BETTER Web Site than DXO Labs to tell you the real deal, IF you are able to read plus understand Technical details as in having Engineering chops or an ability to decipher information and NOT parrot what people say on the Internet.

              http://www.sensorgen.info

              Here you clearly see WHY Nikon beats everyone else and why Canon is better than Sony plus why Nikon has pulled away from everyone else. Engineer here too!!!

              They also tell you WHO makes the sensors for each camera.

              You buy what you want BUT there are people who can actually Test a Sensor and give you real results and not techno-jargon. They also agree with most of the DXO scores PLUS pictures from each camera that I have seen does prove these points.

              Perhaps you need to get a CRT monitor for a wider reproduced color gamut and much better Black levels.

              So far the best Flat Screen Monitors have been Plasma’s like the discontinued Panasonic high end ones and others, so people talk about differences while they don’t even have the equipment to SEE the differences themselves – I DO have this equipment and own it too plus use it daily !!!

  • R!

    …People are just mad bout the D800 exept the ones that’s gona buy one or two like me aaahh aaahh!!!!!!! I don’t like the Digic 5 that Canon’s bringin’ Its to blurry!!!!!!!!!!!

    • slovtux

      The Digic5 is very good to produce a nice JPEG and Canon have a better experience about video, but with the D800, Nikon filled the gap very quickly. No matter what DXOMark results, the 5D Mark III is a good camera and it deserve to get at least 89.

  • cB

    I have a D700 and some good nikon glass so for me to add the D800 is a perfect match I could care less what Cannon came out with as I am sure many Cannon users are happy with the MKIII and not concerned what Nikon does. I am supposed to be No. 2 at my local camera shop for the D800 so hopefully soon. Reading many of these comments I am thinking these people are either still in high school or wish they were, although I must admit it’s a bit entertaining at times.

  • Ant

    The DxO results back up my experience with the D800. I’ve been so positively surprised with the high-ISO performance on the few occasions I’ve climbed above 100. It wasn’t an important factor in my decision to buy one and I wasn’t expecting it to be great in that respect, so it’s a bonus to experience that it holds its own. The other thing that’s really positively surprised me about the camera is just how much detail can be pulled out of the shadows. I’m chuffed to bits with the camera.

    • burgerman

      Agreed. After 1300 shots, much of it initial accuracy and getting to learn it after the D700. Dynamic range is amazing. Jpgs can look flat because of it if the scene isnt requiring all that range, so needs levels adjusting to use up all the histogram. But in difficult conditions, you can practically forget about hdr etc!

      Noise in prints is absolutely indistinguishable in print at any ISO to my freinds D3S. Tested side by side. At lower ISOs it walks all over it for detail.

      It still amazes me how much detail or cropping space you have. Or how little the image is degraded when correcting lens distortion, or leveling a horizon, straightening a wall etc. Those pixels matter in these situations.

      And of course resize down to canons lowser resolution or shoot at 20mp and the image has more detail by miles than a native 20mp image due to the interpolation removing most of the bayer/low pass filter blur. Makes other 20mp cameras look soft! Who says you dont “need” 36mp… I doubt I will ever sell this camera.

      Movies? No idea. It works, but not interested. As a still camera DXOmark is absolutely spot on.

      • Ted

        Resize down to Canon’s and still have more detail? Place them side and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Honesty, it makes me wonder what you pixel peepers are taking pictures of and viewing in the privacy of your own home.

        • burgerman

          It doesent matter what the pictures are of. The detail in the D800 shots both in print, or on screen is way better.

          I have plaved them side by side. There isnt a huge difference at small sizes. But there is at larger sizes… But its always there. Aided by the canons heavy low pass filter, and the nikons light one. (Or non at all on the d800E?) And obviously when resized down to any smaller size (to match the canon sensor) its noticibly sharper again.

          Try it.

  • http://nikonrumors.com BEE

    The DxO results back up my experience with the 5D MARK III. I’ve been so positively surprised with the high-ISO performance on the few occasions I’ve climbed above 50. It wasn’t an important factor in my decision to buy one and I wasn’t expecting it to be great in that respect, so it’s a bonus to experience that it holds its own. The other thing that’s really positively surprised me about the camera is just how much detail can be pulled out of the shadows. I’m chuffed to bits with the camera

    • burgerman

      >>> The DxO results back up my experience with the 5D MARK III.

      You mean that its about as good as a 5 year old Nikon?

      Sorry couldnt help it. They are all good. I can take crap pictures with both!

  • burgerman

    Here is an interesting thought. I think this is correct.
    The 5d mk3 is just 13th on the sensor rating. Behind the DX sony sensor in the little DX pentax…

    That is the same sensor I think, used in the latest cheap red nikon starter DSLR just anounced. Once tested, that 24mp camera, Nikons cheapest dx entry level plastic camera, will be ahead of nikons latest newest expensive 5d mk3…

    That must be a little embarrassing if it happens.

  • brent

    It’s much better than a 5 year old D700. It’s almost double the resolution and has slightly better native iso performance. And to address the video comparing the D800 and 5D3 having different exposures, yes they are different, but you might want to open your eyes. ISO 12800 almost looks better than the D800′s 800. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such denial in my life!

    • Read the plots!

      If you look at the SNR chart at 18% you can see that noise-wise they look just about identical up to 12800. It is not clear what you are referring to in your comment, including the comment about denial. Just open your eyes and look at the plots and be your own judge.

      • brent

        Nearly identical but with almost double the resoultion. Nikon has has superior low light performance, but with low rez sensors that I would hope would perform well with the pixel pitch they offer. As for the video, just open up your eyes and looks at the video I posted above.

        • burgerman

          Yes, saw that. But brighten up the exposure on a canon one, or decrease the exposure to the nikon one and then theres a very equal match on noise. But the canon is blury compared to the nikon. Not that I have any interest in video anyway.

        • Read the plots!

          Pixel pitch does not tell the whole story for CMOS sensors. It is the fill-factor that is important; i.e. the amount of space taken by the photo-sensitive element. With back-illuminated sensor and micro lenses, Sony/Nikon fill factor is close to 100%. What is it for Canon?

          And as far as the video is concerned, look at the grey scale on the right to note that the exposure on Nikon is set at least 2 stops above the ones on Canon. Make the exposure values equal and repeat the experiment. Then you should see (according to the plots above) that the noise level on both is close to equal.

          At last, all the arguments are more or less pointless because at the end people will stick to their brand and defend it no matter what. Objectively, looking at the plots, D800 has a clear advantage in color depth, dynamic range, resolution …
          Cheers!

          • Brent

            I don’t know what you’re smoking, but ISO 8000 on the 5D looks much better than 1600 on the D800. I’m talking HORRIBLE noise that you can’t remove no matter what anyone says. As for sharpness, it’s has slightly more detail, but you can recover that with sharpening in post with the 5d. The D800 has really bad problems with Moire that a lot of people downplay, but I’m sure drives them nuts as it does for me. And yes, it’s a problem. Try asking someone not to wear a striped shirt for an interview because your camera line skips and will cause the stripes to flicker and move which can be super distracting. Cheers!

            • Read the plots!

              I just don’t know how you measure noise.
              If plots don’t tell you much, OK then you are correct. :-)

              As for the moire, non of the medium format cameras have the low-pass filter (including Leica M9) and no one is complaining about the horrible moire on those cameras. How bad can it be on D800? Well, I don’t know! My D800E has not arrived yet. Like I said earlier, people will stick to their brand and defend it no matter what.

              Listening to the Canon camp is like listening to the republicans. After 8 years of Bush they still go around saying that Obama can not do anything right. As they say, talk is sheep. The proof is in the pudding. You just have to get the flavor that suits you palette best, even if it is artificial.

              By the way, I do not smoke.
              Cheers.

    • Anthony

      but with almost double the resoultion [sic]

      Been hitting the brown acid, have you? Pixel count still doesn’t equal resolution. If you’re incapable of understanding what the word means, don’t use it. The D800 does not have an 88 mpixel sensor. Ignoring the factors of glass and diffraction, the D800 has roughly 22% more pixels per linear dimension than the 5D3. Not 200%. 22%.

      • burgerman

        But aprox 55 percent more image area.
        And you are correct pixels dont = resolution. But they dont hurt it any! Nor does the weak low pass filter on the D800. Or no filter at all on the E version. Where the canon has a strong one.

        We wont mention the better dynamic range, or the better colour depth, or the lower output noise at the same print or screen size.

        • Anthony

          No, exactly the same image area. FF is FF.

          And you are correct pixels dont = resolution. But they dont hurt it any!

          So, you never shoot smaller than f/9?

      • Read the plots!

        I think he is comparing 5Dmk3 with D700.

    • Anthony

      It’s much better than a 5 year old D700

      I think you mean:

      It’s much slower than a 5 year old D700.

      • burgerman

        Slower in what way? Yes by 1 FPS. But since it focusses faster, esp in low light, and in real terms actually more likely not to need the machine gun aproach and has less wasted out of focus shots so its debatable anyway.

        And if you want fast buy the sport/news cam instead. I would rather have 1 good shot than 20 out of focus crap ones to delete!

        It makes my D700 look like an antique.

        • Anthony

          Yes, 1fps, which means 25% slower. Focus speed only is an issue for the first shot of a burst, and is a factor both of the body and the lens. Initial AF speed also does not magically make the subject sit still, smile, and look down the lens axis.

          And if you want fast buy the sport/news cam instead.
          Sure — PayPal me the $3k difference so I can do that.

          I would rather have 1 good shot than 20 out of focus crap ones to delete!>
          Curious. Up until a couple of months ago the D700′s AF system was widely touted, but now it’s crap? Color me confused.

          • burgerman

            I already have.

            Nikon have 2 beutiful cams. BOTH are equally as good at high iso noise. And better than canon. In every way, see DXOmark. Canons sensor is 13th behind even the pentax DX cam.

            One nikon is lower res, so it can be super fast for low quality spray and prey shots like you want. Its called a D4.

            The othe can out perform even some medium format cameras for detail. Also better than canon. And same for dynamic range, and colour depth. All of which are better than the D700. And it has enough resolution to be nikons best DX camera as well. And it does movies, All for the loss of 1 FPS!

            You choose. If you want fast then buy a D4. If you cant afford one, then buy a 5d3 and get the 13th best sensor. And gain 1fps…

            • Anthony

              Nikon have 2 beutiful cams. BOTH are equally as good at high iso noise. And better than canon.
              Canon is a company, not a “cam”.
              In every way, see DXOmark
              Their methods, results, and conclusions were considered questionable by many long before the 5D3 and D800 were on the scene.
              One nikon is lower res, so it can be super fast for low quality spray and prey shots like you want.
              Where did I say that I wanted “super fast” or “low quality”? The D300 from a handful of years ago does 6 fps — by your logic it is not capable of better results than the Kodak Disc camera I borrowed in 1986.

              What I want is a body/lens combo that can get me more than one keeper out of a hundred shots. Pontificate all you want about how your subjects are either static or co-operative, but that’s not going to make my son any less autistic.

              And it does movies
              BFD. So do my camcorder and my phone.

              All for the loss of 1 FPS!

              Translation: features that I either won’t use or that have little practical effect totally compensate somehow for significantly fewer chances to capture my son’s face and elusive smile. Riiiiiight.

              If you want fast then buy a D4. If you cant afford one
              Well, gee, I could totally cut back on luxuries like OT and SLP for my son, or mortgage payments, and get a 1Dx or D4 — if either ever actually ships. Or I could hope for something in between. 5-6 fps would make a substantial difference over the 3.8 I have now. 10+ fps would be diminishing returns.

              then buy a 5d3 and get the 13th best sensor.
              For some vague value of “best”. I’ve been avoiding any vendor bias here, but since you’re getting your fanboy on, tell me how great the D800 does with the 135mm f/2.0 AF-s. Oh, that’s right, the goofy and lackluster 135mm prime, on the occasions it’s actually available, is a living fossil. Oh, I guess I can just use the 70-200 f/4 instead. Oh, right, that doesn’t exist either.
              And gain 1fps…
              1fps translates to 25% or more opportunities for a keeper, presuming that you’re talking about the downgrading of the D800 relative to the D700. On my planet that’s a significant difference. I find it amusing that when the D700 and the 5D2 came out, Nikon people dismissed the 5D2 for trading speed for pixel count — and now in 2012, the “successor” to the D700 is slower with 2+x the number of pixels. Pot, meet kettle.

  • Brent

    Actually I was smoking the same stuff that Read the plot was when he was watching the video.. Brown acid might help me a little when I have to respond to your comment, which was about the D700, not 800. And yes, I understand that pixel count isn’t everything and other things can contribute to resolution (You were being presumptuous by stating that).

    “As for the moire, non of the medium format cameras have the low-pass filter (including Leica M9) and no one is complaining about the horrible moire on those cameras”

    I was talking about video, and I will post one later that shows rooftops filmed on the D800 that is so bad it’s virtually useless, as Philip Bloom said (might have been referring to the E). I shot a wedding a few years ago that had a metal bar the in background that looked like it had a electrical current through it and was incredibly distracting during the ceremony. I’m really not trying to bash the D800 because I so think it’s a superb camera. I just want to point out flaws that other people seem to overlook and tend to focus on how much better it is than the 5d3.

    • Read the plots!

      Fair enough. But I think we should keep this discussion smoke and acid free, otherwise it is a waste of time. I am interested to see the performance of both cameras (D800 and 5Dmk3) but the test should be performed under the same or nearly the same condition.
      I still think, looking at the grey scale cards on the right in the videos, that the exposure value of D800 is set at least 2 stops above the EV of 5D’s. Just look at how many more grey bars you can see on the D800 video. That means that the sensor on D800 is operating at ISO values at least 2 stops above those of the 5D’s. In that case it will surely show more noise than it would if it were set to the same EV as that on 5D’s. If in that case it still shows more noise than the 5D’s then your point is well taken. But it still will go against the plot published by DxOMark. The question then would be who is correct.

      As for moire, I thought you were referring to still images. My apologies. I have not seen the videos with moire you are referring to so I can not comment on those.
      But still images are my main concern and video is just a bonus. That Nikon “joy ride” is good enough for me. One just has to be a bit careful about the moire and it will be a non-issue.
      Cheers!

    • Anthony

      Brown acid might help me a little when I have to respond to your comment, which was about the D700, not 800.
      Actually my comment was about the fact that you aren’t understanding what the word “resolution” means. Resolution is one-dimensional value. Pixel count is two dimensional. Again ignoring the variables of glass and diffraction, to compare the “resolution” of two sensors, you have to compare their pixel density per linear distance, not per square area. D700 has 4288 horizontal pixels in the same linear distance as the D800′s 7360. That’s ~72% more, not double. My 22% figure above was comparing the D800 to the 5D3.

      • burgerman

        Your real issue is that you wand a D4 but dont have the money. You want a faster D800 because they you wouldnt have to pay for the D4 that is fast. This is from above where theres no reply button…

  • Petey
    • Read the plots!

      I guess people are trying to prove some point here.
      What I see on these videos is the following:
      Moire is visible with D800 on the water scenes taken with zoom lenses. But not with 5D. But the wind has also picked up and there are more waves there. So the videos are not taken under quite the same conditions.
      On the second scene with the Zeiss lens, moire is visible with 5D (just look below the window’s reflection and to the right of the chair) but not with D800.

      The night scenes are a repeat of the ones we already discussed. The exposure value on D800 is set higher than on 5D. Just look at the shadowy areas. So my comments from before still hold here. The question is why is EV set higher on D800.
      It is not due to the greater dynamic range of D800. At high ISO values it is similar to 5D. It is then something in the settings. So once the EV values are equal on all scenes we will have apples to apple comparison. BUT, the 5D night scenes appear a bit sharper (perhaps due to the lens used) and I would not consider the D800 videos at stated values of ISO 12800 or 25600 useful (except perhaps for forensic work).
      However, at ISO 6400 D800 video is plenty good.

      My conclusion is that both cameras are not free of moire. More tests are needed to show which camera is better in that respect. EV values on the night scenes are not the same so we are not comparing apples with apples.
      In my case, I ordered D800E not for its low light abilities but for its performance at ISO 100. I rarely use ISO value above that. So for me (without having one yet in my hands) the camera is a dream come true but I have yet to confirm this :-).
      And for these new “low light photographers”, who did not exist 10 years ago during the heydays of film, just get the camera that suits you best. Someone once pointed out on this newsgroup that
      “just because the light is low it does not mean that the light is right.”
      With that, this is my last post here. We can go on for ever here without reaching a conclusion.
      Cheers!

      • burgerman

        “My conclusuin is” and “My last post because we could go on forever without reaching a conclusion”?

        That make loads of sense then.

        MY conclusion is, that for stills, the D800 beats the 5D3 in every way. As shown by the DXOmark result and by my own experiments and yes I have the D800 here. And a D3S, access to a 5D etc. Lots of tests, D800 is unbeatable.

        In video, which I couldnt care less about they both work… But real video cameras are better. And the 5D looks to be better (at high ISO) judging by that clip. Why would I care?

  • Former Nikonian

    Hi Jabs,
    Sorry because there is no room for reply over there.
    I do not have wide gamut monitor and calibrator but my bro has had them for years. I will buy them in near future when I can.
    You still miss my point: these argument go to nowhere because you base on data which they give you, not the data which you collect yourself. Those labs collect and process data in different standards then come out contrary results. You believe lab A but others do not, they believe lab B. I believe neither A or B but I do not have my own lab; I do not believe neither Nikonians’ allegation nor Canonians’. So I believe on my own eyes, my own likes and dislikes, the only fact I have _ my bro decision of staying with D700 after long time of waiting _ then I make up my mind.
    Again, my point: these arguments are ridiculous and going to nowhere. We are not millionairs, save time. Bye.

  • 4eversony

    Tested both. 5D markIII focuses faster and is more accurate. Dynamic range, you can fix in post, out of focus shots, cannot.

    • burgerman

      You cannot fix dynamic range in post. Everything goes 255? You are screwed. Or everything below 1? Same… Thats the whole point. D800 has tons of lattitude to allow you NOT go past the 12 stop canon limit. By another 2.4 stops!!!

      And the focus on the canon works ok a) if you can fathom it out and I cannot, and b) if its non too dark…

      And it doesent like faces much… D800 always grabs the nearest eye. Even in the dark or almost. You can confidently use it on groups, one person etc on auto…

      • 4eversony

        blown highlights and pure black are caused by photographer’s error. dynamic range can be fixed in post. your comments regd the faces are ridiculous. how old are you

        • burgerman

          Blown highlights, and blacks without detail, in the same photo are common. Especially landscapes, photos with harsh sun, windows, etc. Theres NOTHING as a photographer you can do to stop this. If the scene in front of you is greater than 12 stops, there isnt any way a 12 stop Canon can capture it. True you can lessen the exposure so the highlights are good, and loose the shadow detail. Or the other way around. You CANNOT fix it in post.

          The D800 however has 2.4 stops GREATER capability to begin with.

          You obviously dont even get the basics.

        • burgerman

          While everybody loves to hate K Rockwell he also found the same problem.

          I quote:

          D800 versus 5D Mark III Auto-Area AF Selection

          Auto-area AF selection is the mode where we let the camera select where to focus. In this mode, the camera selects which AF areas to use. I love this mode when it works, since it saves me time if the camera can figure it out on its own.

          While I whine about the removal of the AF controls on the latest batch of SLRs, the D800′s AF systems has gotten so good that these levers aren’t necessarily needed.

          The D800′s auto-area AF system (“auto” in the settings) has an astounding ability to locate and then nail focus on the subject’s nearest eye, and ignore distracting junk in the foreground.

          By comparison, the Canon 5D Mark III’s auto AF area selection merely finds the nearest distraction, and focuses on that. Unlike the D800, the Canon just can’t find the eyes.

          Why is this?

          Well, Nikon’s better light meters have seen in full color since the Nikon F5 of 1996. Nikon’s digital cameras since the Nikon D3 of 2007 have used this full-color information, along with distance information from D- and G- lenses, to locate faces, and if you set the AF system to the big white rectangle on the back (or “auto” in the D800), the camera knows to use the AF area that lies on the closest eye of the biggest face. Heck, most budding photographers don’t even know that you must focus on the closest eye of a subject, but the D800 does!

          Canon’s 5D Mark III is clueless. It can’t find a face to help direct its AF system for beans.

          Why is Canon so much worse? I’m surprised you tech folks didn’t pick up on this before I did: Canon’s meters still can’t see in color, so they can’t find faces! The 5D Mark III can see in terms of cool-warm, but not full color.

          Nikon still wins here — 16 years after the F5, and Canon’s meters still can’t see in color. Nikons, even the F5, use additional dedicated RGB sensors in the viewfinder.

  • burgerman
  • The_Raze

    It’s funny how the Canon has a worse ISO score, even though in IRL it has better ISO performance?

    The dynamic range of the Canon is really surprising considering its price point… O_O

  • http://www.joeysylvester.com Joey

    What I find hilarious is the fact that if I were to use either of these cameras in a real world scenario to produce a large format print(or web sized), there isn’t a person here who could tell me which camera was used to photograph either of them. For all the children here saying the 5d3 is catching up to Nikon, give it a break. 95% of you will never outgrow the cameras produced 5 years ago Nevermind the current gen. I happen to like/shoot with both systems on a daily basis and coming across comments such as the ones here are very saddening.

  • Nacio

    Playing with DXOmark off-topic question: Let say that I Have a Nikon D3000, shooting at iso 100 I’ll get the “same” image quality on a D800 at iso 800??? I figure out viewing the graphs. Sorry about my english

  • Nacio

    Playing with DXOmark off-topic question: Let say that I Have a Nikon D3000, shooting at iso 100 I’ll get the “same” image quality on a D800 at iso 800??? I figure out viewing the graphs. Sorry about my english

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