Canon’s new full-frame camera vs. RED’s resolution champion – that’s something for movie makers. A comparison concerning image details between the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 7D and the Scarlet-X done at cinema5d DSLR film forum by user Sebastian, which has also some interesting thoughts about the EOS 5D Mark III (from a film-maker’s point of view).
That means a full-frame sensor (5D3) vs an APS-C sensor (7D) vs a smaller than APS-C sensor (Scarlet-X), using a Canon zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 L (5D3), a Tokina 16-50mm f2.8 (7D) and a Contax Zeiss 28mm (Scarlet-X) – this was done to match the shots (but filmed sections are not 100% identical, not a real problem in my opinion).
The footage of the Scarlet-X was recorded @2k and scaled down to HD. Not only the 5D Mark III matches the Scarlet-X concerning image details, but there is also less noise.
Read the cinema5d forum post clicking here. The original files used for the comparison can be downloaded:
Keep in mind this is an extreme test to demonstrate the rolling shutter effect, no one in their right mind would pan like this. However, there are plenty of real life situations when the jello effect suddenly becomes a problem, a fast train or car passing will have leaning windows and elliptical wheels, or watching a chase scene with moving camera and subjects will make you dizzy. Until we get global shutters, the jello effect is CMOS sensor’s biggest Achilles Heel.
If you never heard about the rolling shutter effect, the short video that follows will give you an idea. Otherwise jump over and read on.
You may wonder why two cameras not in the same league are compared. It makes sense, since theoretically the Nex 7 should perform better because of its smaller APSC sensor (the rolling shutter effect increases with sensor size). The EOS 5D Mark III was set to 1080/24P, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/50th, F/8, white balance 5600K, Picture Style Neutral. The NEX 7 to 1080/24P, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/50, F/8, Picture style Portrait. Sharpening, contrast, saturation have been turned down to zero on both cameras.
Let us first have a look at Mike’s video:
The weird thing is that the EOS 5D Mark IIIperforms better that the Sony NEX 7, which is surprising to some degree. Mike writes:
Surprise, the 5D3 kicks Nex 7′s gluteus maximus, I sure didn’t expect that from the FF sensor, either the Canon is very good or the Sony just terrible, your pick !
If you have a look at the crops below you can clearly see that the NEX 7 produces more moire than the EOS 5D Mark III
Yeah, what shall I say? Maybe that the EOS 5D Mark III is a great great camera? :-)
There are much more test pictures and crops you can analyze in Mike’s post (which is absolutely worth to be read: click here).
BTW, Mike has also a post about his brand new EOS 5D Mark III (click here) and provided us a nice unpacking video:
[…] I decided to put the two lenses in a non-scientific and totally practical test using all available light at around 7pm in NYC and only shooting at f4 and wider for a portrait.
Regarding ergonomics, Chris says that
Both lenses focus extremely fast, though in real life practice I felt that Canon’s 85mm f1.8 is still the current champ. Indeed, it has often been touted as the company’s fastest focusing lens. A known problem with it though is the color fringing wide open; but this is also a problem that plague’s Nikon’s optics […]
Note that Canon’s EF 85mm f/1.8 dates back to the times when we were using film-cameras, and that Nikon’s 85mm f/1.8 is a rather new lens.
The test-shots where made during the golden hour, using ISO 800 on both cameras:
I set both cameras to aperture priority and focused on the same spot of Dennis’s eye. Though their meter readings were very slightly off in aperture priority, it should be noted that in general, Canon and Nikon do have slightly different metering algorithms and this is just part of how they work.
He shot using the aperture range from f/1.8 to f/4. I post some of the test pics shot by Chris. Please visit his site and read the post to get the whole picture (and to see the test images at higher resolution).
First two shots at f/1.8, Nikon’s 85mm on the left and Canon’s 85mm on the right side (image credits: C. Gampat)
Next two shots, at f/4, Nikon on the left, Canon on the right side
All pics were shot in aperture priority mode. You can see that the images shot with the 5D Mark II are little bit darker (it is known that Canon cameras tend to underexposure). Also, to me the bokeh obtained from the Nikon lens looks better (but I probably shouldn’t say that :-) )
The discussion is going on. Join it in the comment section of Chris’ post (where you will find more information by Chris itself).
The next chart illustrates the respective sensor sizes:
Definitely gear aimed at different using-scenarios. Another thing to keep in mind is the difference in aspect ratio of the sensors (G1X 4:3, 7D 3:2). The lens used on the EOS 7D was the Canon EF 24-70 mm f2.8L USM. So we have a 14MP sensor against a 18MP one, which is also 27% larger than the one mounted on the Powershot G1 X. The comparison in summa:
Dynamic range: very close
Detail level: 7D clear winner (no wonder: bigger sensor, higher resolution, and – to some matter – an L lens)
High ISO noise: not really comparable since on the 7D noise reduction was disabled, which is not possible on the G1 X (NR set to standard). However, high ISO noise is very good on the G1 X. Would have been better to do this comparison using RAW files.
The Canon PowerShot G1X actually produces image quality that is very close to that of the Canon EOS 7D; not identical but very similar. The Canon G1X produces photos with, overall, better out-of-the-camera sharpness but less color saturation and slightly less detail, though the difference isn’t really obvious unless you inspect really fine detail as shown in the examples above. Even that can be overcome by shooting in RAW or tweaking the camera’s settings to increase saturation and sharpness.
The PowerShot G1X definitely outperforms other prosumer models and compact cameras of its class thanks to its premium larger-than-average image sensor. If you want a relatively compact (though the camera will not fit in your pants pocket at all!) camera that delivers digital SLR or ILC level image quality without the hassle of something the size of an actual SLR, consider taking a look at the Canon PowerShot G1X.
Hold one, there is more. The same guys did also a comparison between the video modes of the Powershot G1 X and the EOS 7D. The Powershot G1 X comes with 1080 full HD, stereo recording, 24 fps (720p standard HD and VGA give you 30 fps). The EOS 7D comes with 1080 full HD, mono recording, 24 or 30 fps at 1080p. Ok, let’s go with the videos, first the one shot with the Powershot G1X.
Next, the video made with the EOS 7D (1080p at 30fps).
All in all, the Powershot G1 X doesn’t stay that much behind the EOS 7D. Read the post here.
Let’s start with a problem some users have with Canon’s DPP software. People reports that DPP is generating extremely soft jpgs from the 5d Mark III RAW files. Two possible solution for the problem:
go to DPP’s “preferences”, then “general setting” tab, and the change “viewing and saving RAW images” to “high speed” (default is “high quality”). When using “high speed” the noise reduction palette is not used no moiré correction is applied.
use a third party RAW converter, namely: Adobe Camera Raw 6.7rc. Using ACR you first generate DNGs and the can use this DNG wherever you want (remember that LightRoom 4 does not natively support the 5D Mark III)
Ok, that should help to see all the super sharpness of the 5d Mark III images.
Next, let us talk about reviews. There is a bunch out there that are helpful and worth to be read if you want to learn more about the 5d Mark III, or need to take a decision if to buy it or not.
Le me start with a detailed hands-on review by lightingmods. Read part 1 and don’t miss part 2 of this review. The latter comes with useful samples, and other informations you may be interested in.
Engadget has a pre-production 5D3 for two weeks (those lucky guys…) and made a serious field test with the cam.
They start the review:
Shoot in the dark. That’s essentially what you can do with the Canon 5D Mark III — with a top sensitivity of ISO 102,400, what was once unfathomable could soon become an acceptable standard. While point-and-shoot manufacturers are adding WiFi and GPS, and tweaking algorithms in an effort to boost sensitivity beyond the 6400 mark, Canon and Nikon are making clear cases for a DSLR upgrade, by drastically improving image quality. The 5D Mark II had an excellent three-year run, but with its 22.3-megapixel sensor, 1.04M-dot 3.2-inch LCD, improved autofocus and high-performance video capabilities, Canon’s latest full-frame DSLR is an entirely different beast, and a very compelling successor.
Sounds good to me. But let us see the single points they are discussing:
Silent shooting – You made it past the break! As a gesture of our appreciation, we’re going to let you in on a little Mark III secret — in fact, if that high-ISO shooting wasn’t in the picture, this could very well have been our favorite new feature.
ISO 25,600 and beyond – Yes, you know the Mark III can capture usable images at ISO 25,600 — the top sensitivity available on the 5D Mark II — but there’s a noticeable improvement with this year’s model, even with our pre-production sample
Image quality – As you’ve probably already gathered, we’re very impressed with the Mark III’s performance, both while capturing images and when it came time to review them after a shoot. So much so, that we wouldn’t hesitate to declare that image quality is absolutely spectacular.
Focusing – You can’t really prioritize features when it comes to a professional camera — everything needs to work, very well, and focusing performance is right up there with image quality in our book. When every shot counts, having a flawless focusing system is key, and thanks to the 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus on board (the same system you’ll find on the 1D X), we felt quite fulfilled in this department as well.
Video – Like its predecessor, the 5D Mark III is an incredibly capable video shooter
Battery life – Battery life shouldn’t be an issue on any recent DSLR. Period. This is also the case with the 5D Mark III — you’re likely to fill your memory card long before you exhaust the battery
And finally they conclude:
We honestly haven’t been this in love with a camera since we reviewed the Sony NEX-7. And while there’s little to compare from a price and design perspective, we’re seriously questioning that affair, and completely ready to sacrifice the compact design in favor of this incredibly capable do-everything shooter. At $3,499 for the body only, Canon priced this latest 5D higher than its predecessor, which rang in at $2,699 at launch. Still, if you’ve been considering a 5d Mark III purchase, don’t hesitate — it’s worth the investment, we promise. And if you’ve already placed your order or have one in the mail, get ready to have your world turned upside-down — this thing is simply amazing, in every way.
The review (click here) is filled with sample pics (lots shot in low light) that can also be downloaded (original files). Two videos are provided. The first one a sample video shot with the 5d Mark III.
The photographyblog has a LOT of sample images to show, also samples that cover the whole ISO range. They also provided a sample video shot at the highest quality setting of 1920×1080 and at 25 frames per second. You can see the movie clicking here.
Samples, samples, samples, who doesn’t want to see as much of possible of them? :-) We do. DPreview gives us the gift of a selection of real world samples images. They also updated the 5D Mark III preview page with new information about the cam. More samples taken with a final production Canon EOS 5D Mark III using a selection of lenses can be seen at cameralabs. The whole set (original size!) can be seen and downloaded from their Flickr page. More pixel-peeping exercises can be performed using the samples at dsrl4real. Or, for the lazy ones among us, by watching the following video: