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What will Canon do about the D800?

strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 3:49PM
I think if you look at volume of sensors for SLRs Canon had about 40% of the market (could be out of date but I think Nikon and Canon have @ 40% of the SLR market each) so its not a big difference WRT sensor R&D, also Canon are heavily into equipment made to fabricate silicon devices. So I am not certain they are at a big financial disadvantage.

what will be interesting to see is how Sony re-aligns itself to try and get out of its financial problems. The good news is it sees imaging as key, but will they focus their strategy and stay with full frame technology. Will they restrict the A mount devices. But its good to hear imaging is a key part of Sony's reduced strategy going forwards.

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ghibby 12 101 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 5:05PM
Valid point Stawman and further to this who knows what kind of extra money is injected into both companies from defence budgets for specialised sensors, medical industry etc. At the end of the day it a good time to be a photographer. Reality of the situation is that even while one of the major players is ahead in a segment of the market both are producing great devices. It does seem almost crazy that we can complain about the IQ of these devices when you compare them to film.

At the worst end of the spectrum with the 5D producing 11.0 stops of dynamic range its rather better than the 6 stops with slide film. The 14 stop range of the Nikon is going to be giving even the best negative film hard time with respect to DR.

One other bug bear I have with both Canon and Nikon is the RAW file formats. From the reading I have done as much as 40% of the RAW file is actually the preview image and not data. Nikon's lossy compression is actually very clever and in theory has no impact on IQ from a mathematical perspective, but they dont offer the lower res raw files like Canon sRaw 1 and 2. While these are undoubtedly compromised file formats they do have their uses. I would love to see Canikon providing proper pixel binning for multiple RAW resolutions from the higer pixel count cameras. Not to mention luminosity based histograms and the option to ditch the preview image or save it separatly from the acrual RAW data. This Link is interesting to read if you are interested in this kind of thing.

mattw 13 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 5:53PM

Quote:Hi Strawman, you make some very interesting points here and I tend to agree, Canon has indeed responded to much of the complaints on the 5D Mk2, however as for volume of sales all you have to do is look at big competitions like take a view landscape photographer of the year. Perhaps 75 to 80% are using 5dMk2. For landscape the resolution is critical, I always want more if I can get it without too much compromise in noise. The D800 offers that with better noise characteristics, very impressive.

In landscape terms, using my 5D2 I often find myself stopping down to F16. I know that at this aperture, I am starting to see diffraction soften the image, but I make the trade off to get the depth of field. It does however mean that in theory increasing the amount of pixels is not going increasing the detail recorded that much - as the limiting factor is the laws of physics (diffraction) rather then the number of pixels.

Of course, if you use tilt/shift lenses, then you can shoot with a larger aperture, and make use of the extra resolution... although again, I'm not convienced the step up is quite as significant as the numbers sound - as you add more pixels to a sensor, there is a law of diminishing returns. The step from 22MP to 36 MP should be less significant than the step from 12MP to 22MP, and that step was not massive.

Since Nikon released the D7000 with the low read noise sensor Canon have been firmly in 2nd place in pure IQ terms across the range. The joke is that in terms of ergonomics and ease of use the Canons fair better in my opinion, Nikon live view is useless by comparison for critical focusing and the interface is just less intuitive and looks more muddled to my eyes.

The image quality thing goes in phases. Nikon and Canon routinely leapfrog each other. Perhaps the R+D cycles to generate the steps in IQ are longer than we give credit for?

After all, it was only a couple of months ago that the Nikon offering was 12 MP competing against the Canons 21MP - a much more significant pixel disparity, and one which has existed for several years. I didn't hear anyone complain about the D700 IQ, although how anyone puts up with 12MP these days I just don't know!
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
26 Apr 2012 6:22PM

Quote:although how anyone puts up with 12MP these days I just don't know!

Because most of us don't print greater than A3
ghibby 12 101 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 6:24PM
Hi Matt,

20mp does seem to be a sweet spot for resolution with full frame and for 98% or my work it is more than adequate. However I have had to blow up a few images to 1500mm wide, looks great at normal viewing distance and another to 3000mm wide which also looks great until you get too close where it is a little crunchy. I would have loved 36mp for those shots!

I also use F16 a fair bit but try never to step beyond this, it does begin to soften but not too bad, I suppose the reality of 36mp is that its only really useful up to about F8 or so, beyond this and diffraction will reduce the actual resolved resolution rapidly down so no real gain here either. Even with the TSE lens you still need to use F8 and F10 regularly with extreme shift movements so perhaps the extra resolution is not so important. Doesnt stop me wanting it though! I do feel it gives a certain look to the image, the extra detail adds lots of micro contrast even when printed smaller so files do jump out a smaller print sizes that you would imagine.

Resolution aside you cant take away the fact that shadow response of all available canon sensors is pretty useless compared to the Nikon. Lets hope your hypothesis on sensor development is spot on though. I think that the results of the EOS 1DX will prove or disprove this, I am eagerly awaiting them and fingers crossed they are superb and give out the 14stops plus of DR that the landscape guys want!

Carabosse 14 41.0k 269 England
26 Apr 2012 6:29PM

Quote:20mp does seem to be a sweet spot for resolution with full frame

They used to say something like that for 6Mp crop DSLRs. Wink
photofrenzy 11 424 2 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2012 6:53PM
Nikkor glass not in the same Ball park as Canons , I would agree with that its much much better than Canons.Wink
Steppenwolf 6 1.2k
27 Apr 2012 3:25PM

Quote:20mp does seem to be a sweet spot for resolution with full frame

They used to say something like that for 6Mp crop DSLRs. Wink

Yes. I wonder where the sweet spot will be in 10 years' time. Grin

AP reviewed the D800 this week and it got the best review I think I've ever seen. Some people think that the 36Mp sensor will not yield better resolution, but they quoted a piece from a recent AP article by Professor Bob Newman where he said: "Improving either your sensor or your lens will always yield benefits in resolution. Purchasers of new high resolution cameras need not fear that they will fail to see any benefit, as their camera will yield sharper results with all their lenses". So the professor doesn't seem to be aware of this "sweet spot".

One problem that AP mentioned is the need for perfect technique with these high resolution sensors. They say " Shooting landscapes with shutter speeds slower than 1/125 sec not only requires the camera to be fixed to a tripod, but it also has to be set to mirror lock up and fired with a cable release - unfortunately the camera doesn't offer both MLU and self-timer simultaneously". I guess the forthcoming Sony A99 will solve this problem.
Carabosse 14 41.0k 269 England
27 Apr 2012 3:31PM

Quote:Shooting landscapes with shutter speeds slower than 1/125 sec not only requires the camera to be fixed to a tripod, but it also has to be set to mirror lock up

Thank goodness for mirrorless cameras! Wink

Only a matter of time before we see 30Mp+ CSCs. Many years ago Olympus told us the theoretical limit for the 4/3 sensor was 32Mp. But technology has moved on since then and I suspect even 32Mp, high as it is, is not the limit now.
chris_c1 9 9 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2012 7:59PM
Having read most of the replays to this post I cannot see anything canon need to bother themselves about, the 5D111 is out selling the D800 and as there are both good camera’s you use the camera that suits you photo skill and needs

But I know this is a Nikon forum so that says it all,

have a look at this link it says it all for me

StrayCat Plus
13 18.9k 3 Canada
27 Apr 2012 8:04PM
They could buy them all and burn them.Wink
chris_c1 9 9 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2012 10:05AM

Quote:They could buy them all and burn them.Wink

the D800's ????????
chris_c1 9 9 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2012 10:08AM
have a look at these links this will give help most of you



this is more like real test's not bull **** thats going round
LenShepherd 9 3.5k United Kingdom
28 Apr 2012 10:11AM
On the lens "sweet spot" and diffraction f16 will still normally be fine in an A3 print from most of the picture area.
Diffraction only becomes an issue if you enlarge enough and view close enough for it to be detectable - as in a 20x24 inch print at f16 viewed at 15 inches - assuming sharpening cannot achieve the result wanted at 20x24.
ghibby 12 101 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2012 12:06PM
The 5Dmk3 is outselling the D800 for only one reason and that is supply. Canon's supply chain is simply better sorted than Nikon's. We have seen the same problems with the D7000 the D700 and even D300 in the past. In some ways great for Nikon though as it keeps perceived value higher for longer. Just look at the slump in 5dMk2 prices over its life span from about £2300 to now £1500 body only. By comparison the D700 has stayed around the £1800 mark for the bulk of its lifespan.

Regarding the 20mp sweet spot. I think this is a genuine sweet spot of resolution due to the flexibility of aperture's it still allows before diffraction kicks in. The fact that you can routinely shoot at up to F16 and see all the resolution is great. By the time you hit 36mp you will see images become diffraction limited by about F8. By the time you hit F16 you may as well be using a 20mp camera in terms of resolution the images actually hold. As most lenses are at their peak permanence typically between F5.6 and F10 or so depending on the lens before we see a gradual tailing off of resolution before they become too soft for critical work beyond about F16 to F18. This tallies pretty well with 20mp sensors and useful working range of apertures for Landscape & Architecture work demanding deep focus from front to back.

Perhaops in the future what we will see is as resolution go up pixel binning will become intelligent and performed depending on the aperture selected, providing optimum file size and resolution.

The Nikon D800 white spot issue is a bit worrying though. Kinda makes me smile when I remember the white dots issue that affected the 5Dmk2 until it was resolved in firmware. Hopefully Nikon will address this rapidly as for landscape shooters this is clearly unacceptable.

Finally, Chris-C1 this really is not a Nikon forum, I started this post and am very firmly a Canon shooter, all I want is for Canon to provide me with more dynamic range and better shadow performance like Nikon has been doing since they released the D3x and D7000 both with 13 to 14 stops of dynamic range compared to the 11 we get as Canon users. Perhaps you should read the posts more carefully as this has been pretty impartial and just a good conversation on the sate of the full frame segment of the industry.


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