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A Question of Quality...

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Mal, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
    Just playing around this weekend with a Nikon D90 from work with an 18-200 VR zoom....

    If I'm happy with it, I may invest in a D7000 or D700.... this being the case... I'm after a few wise words from our members....

    Which will give the better quality...

    16Mp sitting on an APS-C sensor ... or 12Mp sitting on a full frame sensor ???
     
  2. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I think how old the sensor is matters too, as sensor technology has improved over the years. I'm not familiar enough with both cameras to know about their specific sensors. In all likelihood each sensor will have its own advantages, the APS-C may have increased resolution, the full frame may have better dynamic range and high ISO. But honestly the difference won't be that big between them, unless you have some really specific needs (shooting practically in the dark, making huge poster prints, that sort of thing.)

    In all likelihood, what will matter much more here is which camera body you prefer, and which sensor size matches up better with the lenses you own (or anticipate owning.) Also, full frame bodies are biggier and heavier, OTOH they often have larger viewfinders, might be more durable, etc. Or maybe you want HD video capability, which will lead you towards certain models.

    The differences in sensor IQ will be small here, the other differences will be much larger. You probably can't lose with either sensor, so pick the body that is better for you-
     
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  3. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Mal

    IMHO - you need to compare the specs of both cameras, (they are very different), and figure out which suits your shooting style, what you want to photograph and the lenses that you want to use.

    There are comparisons on Utube

    I notice that you have decided to choose between the 7000 and the 700 - the D90 is a very good body and the D800 will be available soon - maybe you should also included both these in your comparison.
     
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  4. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
    I had a look at the D800, when I was comparing and went in search of the blogs, on it... some users weren't all that impressed

    Like this one...

    As a professional with over 40 years dedicated experience with Nikon gear I was, like many other photographers, keen to get my hands on one of these. I picked it up yesterday from a High Street store. took it home and eagerly unpacked the beauty. Oh yes, don't get me wrong, I am NOT rubbishing this camera, far from it. IT IS EXCELLENT - but in my humble view, no better than the D700 it replaces or my D3... I did consider giving it just 3 stars BUT, as i say, it is an excellent camera, just not the major improvement the hype suggests. And so to my review:

    High level:

    Looks good, feels good to handle, big bright view finder. Familiar layout of controls come easily to hand making it a joy to handle. I could hardly contain myself

    Detail:

    First off, I fitted my trusty 24-70mm f:2.8 Nikkor lens. A benchmark optic for all Nikon owners). I took a few images and zoomed in on the very large, bright display. Umm, could I believe what I was seeing? I expected really significant increases in image quality - well at £2399 and 36.4 MP you would, wouldn't you? Wrong!

    I was so concerned, I fitted the same lens to my trusty D700 and repeated the images. In fact I conducted a series of comparative tests using my 55mm f:3.5 Macro, the 24-70mm and also my, maligned but much loved 24-120mm f:3.5/5.6 lens.. These were 'eventually' imported into Adobe Photoshop CS5 BUT Bridge could not recognise the NEF files. A quick trip to Adobe and download of the Beta version of ACR 6.7. [interestingly the older version of Nikon's own View NX2 recognised the files instantly... umm!].

    The RAW, unprocessed images were compared side by side of 2 colour calibrated NEC Multi-sync 24" monitors. [this was essential to make the comparison on common ground]. The 'processed' images are good, very good BUT NO BETTER THAN THOSE FROM MY D700. I then printed off the results on my HP Colour laser jet to show the shop-keeper....

    Conclusion:

    Excellent colour fidelity. Good control of moire and accutance. Improved colour space in sRGB (standard setting on camera out of the box). Great to have dual card slots. Some nice changes to buttons and general handling feel. Where it falls down badly, in my view, is the apparent lack of increase in definition in spite of a 3 fold increase in pixels. The hype surrounding it's release overstated the increase in image quality. Sorry it does not cut the mustard...

    The D800 went back this morning for a full refund along with the sample prints. . Sorry Nikon, not this time for me...

    This is why I settled on the D700... as one option.

    I used to do super-macro on my Pentax LX in my SLR days, and thought it would be good to delve into that side once again only with a DSLR, so I was looking for sensor quality as my main motivation for choice, however general photography needs and handling are also a must, along with a good range of available primes.
     
  5. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    For what it is worth the Nikon D800 Receives the Highest Sensor Score Ever Given by DxOMark.
     
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  7. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Haven't looked at anything about the D800 yet, but the high ISO performance of the D700 is ridiculously good to my eyes
     
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  8. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Yikes!!! Just looked at the DXO scores for the D800. Now, that's ridiculously high!!! Wow. Wonders of technology!
     
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  9. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Mal

    I'm in no way an expert and, from the latest Nikon range, have only had experience of the D300, which I find very good - but I can point you to a couple of sites that I find useful and have helped me.

    This site has a lot of good info on Nikon Bodies and Lens - under the menu item "Gear" he explains the merits of the various Bodies that you are considering, in a straightforward way that is easy to understand - plus there are also good comments on all other aspects, Lenses, types of photography etc.

    I did not know that you could buy a D800 in the UK yet ........ I'm very tempted and will sell my Leica film bodies etc., to raise some cash to get one

    Nikon DSLRs - all the features and sample images are here
     
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  10. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk SC Top Veteran

    598
    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Printing a 12mp D700 image and a 36mp D800 shot at "normal" size probably isn't going to give you a big difference, he doesn't say anything about which size he printed at, but since he says it's a color laser jet I doubt it's huge prints. The same with comparing on a 24" monitor, going down to 2mp isn't going to show you the difference between 12 and 36mp.
    But if you look at some of the online comparisons there have been between them (the one at DPReview.com for instance) there's a big advantage in detail level for the D800, even when you resize the D800 image to 12mp.
    It seems to happen every time a new generation is launched, a lot of people go online and claim that the older version is just as good (or even better).
    Going from a 12mp sensor to a 36mp sensor will put new demands on both lenses and shooting technique, you need sharper glass and you need to keep the camera more steady to show off the full advantage.

    Of course you should question whether you need the 36mp camera, 12mp is definetely enough for most situations and the D700 doesn't take worse pictures now than it did a year ago. In the comparisons I've seen it beats the D7000 handily, especially at high ISO.
     
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  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    It's always difficult to objectively compare two cameras which a big discrepancy in megapixels given the tendency of reviewers to compare them at 100% crops. The lower MP camera should really be up-ressed to give a true comparison of ultimate resolution. It could be argued that the D700 is capable of IQ well beyond what the average enthusiast would require, but I would find it hard to believe that the D800 isn't capable of even more. It wouldn't be the first time a camera with more megapixels is claimed to offer worse overall image quality based purely on 100% crop comparisons.
     
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  12. Mal

    Mal SC Veteran

    275
    Sep 23, 2010
    Liverpool / UK
    As usual... A simple question has raised so many more questions and choices for me to look into... lol.

    I've been busy reading all the suggested sites, which I must admit has 'opened' my eyes to a lot of different ways to look at my final choice, and the D800 as a long term investment is now a serious contender...

    As to lenses, I think a Nikon prime 28mm (rather than a kit zoom) and the Nikon Micro 105mm should give me what I'm after, as I can use the 105 for a 1:1 ratio and reverse the wide angle onto the micro for hopefully a 1:4 Macro ratio if/when needed. this should give me a good quality for a hard crop, which ever camera I choose.

    Many thanks for all your comments... This is one of the reasons I visit this site every day (even if I don't participate everyday)... so much help and knowledge whenever you need it....
    :2thumbs: