With literally thousands of posts regarding the D800 and how it compares to almost anything , it seems that some agreement on a valid testing protocol would be useful . Even with the best efforts here and on other test sites I consistently see issues that make it hard to get value out of the tests . I fully understand that nothing substitutes for getting your hands on a camera and running your own tests. Here are two that I see repeatedly .
1. Lack of a clearly visible plane of focus . I like to see that the area just before and after the target is in the plane of focus . A very slight front or back focus can destroy the value of any test and if you can t see it you don t know . Shooting a flat surface makes it easy to see edge sharpness but how many times is it a miss focus ?
2. Consistent processing of raw files . Right out of the camera doesn t mean much to me . How many comparisons have you seen where one file is cold and one warm ? I want to see a file processed to a standard . Camera calibration,wb,exposure ,scene contrast should be the same . Sharpening,noise reduction etc should be tuned to the camera . An M9 does t benefit much from aggressive sharpening ..its a CCD without the AA filter that creates very sharp and high contrast files . A nikon is a CMOS and some have AA filters . It needs deconvolution sharpening to offset the blur of the AA filter . It will take more sharpening than an M9 file . An S2 produces a linear contrast tone curve ..add a preset to pull down the curve and you have significant pop in the image.
I have a few others but this could be a start ....agree ..disagree .... have other issues with most testing protocols. Waste of time ?