Another one of those “non-scientific” tests I like so much! (no kidding). This time over at EOSHD they compared the EOS 5D Mark III ($3,500) with removed OLPF vs Sony’s FS100 ($5,000) vs Panasonic’s GH2 ($700-800, also hacked). The test is made in an extreme (low) lights setting:
This is a torture test of the low light abilities [...]. There are three test scenes in a battered old ex-factory in the east of Berlin. The first consists of a completely pitch black room with glowing pearl lighting. The next one is in the roof is lit using a single iPhone 4S torch with the cameras ramped up to ISO 12,800. The third scene is again a pitch black dark room with the lights of a building outside reflecting in a mirror on the wall.
It is really amazing to see what you can do with these modern sensors, what you have to play around at higher ISO settings. As the authors write (and I agree 100%):
[...] when you push amazing tech like this to ISOs like 12,800 you see things which have never before been utilised in the history of film. The way light behaves at this level of sensitivity goes beyond what human vision sees. The way it reflects off surfaces, the way it dances and moves[...]
The 5D Mark III in this test has the OLPF / anti-aliasing filter removed for better resolution. This also makes the camera sensitive to a wider wavelength of light including infrared. Again this is opening up a new creative road because I can now shoot video using just the infrared wavelength which is invisible to the human eye.
Needless to say that the EOS 5D Mark III performs very good. Quoting the article, the 5D Mark III footage has a «cinematic look». For more background information about this comparison please check the interesting article at EOSHD.