Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

  1. #1
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,122
    Post Thanks / Like

    Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    I've been undertaking a long term project concerning a local landmark, the Ampthill Estate, in Camden Town, London. For that reason, over the years I have had the opportunity to shoot the same view on several different cameras. I decided to go back yesterday and shoot this view with the GH-2 and 7-14, set to 12mm, roughly equivalent to a 24mm fov.

    This is the result:



    Two years ago when I tested the D700 using a Nikkor 24/2.8 against my Leica M8 with the fantastically designed 16-18-21 Wide Angle Tele Elmar I conceded to myself that the Leica only just pipped the Nikon. Now, I am not so sure. Incidentally, I made a mistake on the description of the Leica shot, it is at 18mm (equivalent to 24mm) and not 16mm. I think I convinced myself that the Leica shot elicited slightly more detail. I did concede that the D700 and the ridiculously good-value-for-money Nikkor 24/2.8 was to all intents and purposes as good as the ridiculously expensive WATE (which I eventually sold at a profit and invested a fraction of the amount in the CV 15/4.5 - and never looked back).

    Of course, the interest here is in the comparison shot I took yesterday using a camera which is a third the price of a D700 (I can't even begin to bring myself to calculate how much cheaper than what I paid for my M8) and a lens which is at least double the price of a Nikkor 24/2.8 (but a quarter the price of the WATE).

    There is far more, sharper detail shown in the GH-2/7-14 capture at 100% crop than the other two pictures. It could be I took a better picture yesterday, of course. One thing which is noticeable in the GH-2 shots is that the RAW images tend to have more noise even at iso160 compared to the D700 which has none and the M8 which has very little. The M8 has created more texture in the overcast but that may be the conditions on that particular day.

    I think the unfair comparison here may well be in the density of the sensor. I think it shows that 16mpx outclasses the less dense sensors of the D700 and M8 regardless of actual sensor size. I may be wrong but that is my judgement. Of course, I am not reviewing the colouration or contrast of the overall picture where the outcomes may be different.

    Of course, it may just be that the GH-2 sensor is just plain better than that of the D700 or the M8 in terms of resolution. I'm not trolling the D700, which is a camera I sincerely admire, or the M8 which is a camera I very much enjoy using. However, as a walkabout camera I have absolutely no reservations about recommending the lighter, cheaper GH-2.

    Another point concerns the lenses. A lot has been said about the 7-14, especially the price which is regarded as too high and not value-for-money. Well, this shows you get what you pay for. It is worth the money.

    Bottom line, I am really having a difficult time convincing myself of the need for either my M8 or my D700 for general web based work. And in fact, given that the largest print size for my photographs is unlikely to bigger than a coffee table book (say 16x12) I also question the need for a M8 or D700. In fact, my next investment is far more likely to be more Hass MF kit.

    Hope this comparison is of interest.

    LouisB

  2. #2
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    Hi

    Bottom line, I am really having a difficult time convincing myself of the need for either my M8 or my D700 for general web based work. And in fact, given that the largest print size for my photographs is unlikely to bigger than a coffee table book (say 16x12) I also question the need for a M8 or D700. In fact, my next investment is far more likely to be more Hass MF kit.
    well actually I think you're bang on the money there. My experience is that unless you are looking for the "effects" created by the use of larger formats, then using 4x5 (inch) 5D MkII or micro 4/3 are more or less irrelevant.

    Clearly that needs a few other qualifiers but I'm sure you know what I mean.

    Its interesting to be at a point in time where we can pick the tools solely on the desire for the look and with less and less need to balance image quality as one of the significant issues


    I know I only use my 4x5 6x12 roll back when I'm after a look with wide angles and only want a full frame 35mm when after shallow normals. For telephoto however I seem to prefer the micro 4/3

    :-)

  3. #3
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    HI Louis
    Well, I'm not sure that the comparison shots are very meaningful. But I think your conclusions are.

    Just this guy you know

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    695
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    ???

    I dunno that D700 image (while slightly overexposed) has about a trillian times more detail in it than the GH2 and many times more than the M8. But none of them are very good. If I had to guess without labels I'd say, from left to right, that I was looking at 1) a mediocre APS-C or good M4/3, 2) a pretty good P&S camera or a poor M4/3, and 3) a cheap P&S camera or maybe a good cell-phone. Of course being that they were taken on different days, at different times of the day and in different seasons make the comparison pretty much completely useless. I mean, as a comparison. Still if I had to pick one the left most blows the other two completely away.

  5. #5
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,122
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    All

    Thanks for the responses. I should have added an important qualifier. These are 100% crops (obviously) where this small section is not the subject of the frame. I was just interested in how at the pixel peeping level each camera/lens configuration performed because I know the scene very well indeed.

    Overall, I think the D700 does win out. The fence detail is very good but surprisingly the microwave dishes on the BT Tower are blobs. It is almost as though it is sharp at the bottom and get progressively softer. This is approximately the centre of the frame, btw.

    I'm not claiming the comparison is particularly meaningful, I just thought members might like to see a comparison and draw their own conclusions. My conclusion is that bang for the buck the GH-2 is a fine camera. I would give houseroom to a D700 with a Nikkor 24/2.8 if I thought I would use it more than a GH-2. Given the weight advantage of the GH-2 I doubt I would use the D700 more.

    LouisB

  6. #6
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,331
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    Interesting comparison, although only halfway meaningful, since the images are shot under totally different circumstances. I agree that the D700 will probably be the winner, but partly for a reason that isn't visible here: The Nikon files are extremely robust and can be modified and re-sized a lot before they fall apart and noise becomes dominant. However, if the photo is correctly exposed and is not going to be enlarged from its original size, I think most of us will have problems seeing the difference between prints made from the three candidates.

    When the portability and ease of use of the GH2 is taken into consideration, it's one very fine camera. Nikon of course knows this, and I think it's only a question of short time before we see DX format or even FX format cameras with a smaller size an a full electronic interface also from Nikon.

    Edit: Oh, and the Panasonic 7-14... that's almost a perfect lens. It's probably not the best one in its class, but it's good enough, inexpensive enough and the size and weight is just a fraction of the Nikkor 14-24mm.

  7. #7
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    HI Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    Overall, I think the D700 does win out. The fence detail is very good but surprisingly the microwave dishes on the BT Tower are blobs. It is almost as though it is sharp at the bottom and get progressively softer. This is approximately the centre of the frame, btw.
    Looking at the M8 shot (and knowing the WATE) that looks like it's from the corner of the frame?

    Just this guy you know

  8. #8
    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    28

    Re: Depth of Field

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    The fence detail is very good but surprisingly the microwave dishes on the BT Tower are blobs. It is almost as though it is sharp at the bottom and get progressively softer.
    I wouldn't worry about it - in the D700 image the focus is probably on the fence and on full-frame f/9 isn't going to get you as much depth as f/8 on an m4/3rds sensor, hence the "blobs". Another thing to bear in mind is the air temperature; warm air (if this was the case) is also going to distort detail somewhat at infinity.

  9. #9
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,122
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Comparison: D700 - M8 - GH-2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Louis

    Looking at the M8 shot (and knowing the WATE) that looks like it's from the corner of the frame?
    Yes, looking at the frame again it is closer to the edge than the center. Sorry to mislead.

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it - in the D700 image the focus is probably on the fence and on full-frame f/9 isn't going to get you as much depth as f/8 on an m4/3rds sensor, hence the "blobs". Another thing to bear in mind is the air temperature; warm air (if this was the case) is also going to distort detail somewhat at infinity.
    Good points. One was yesterday, the other on a much warmer day in August, even if there was overcast. I'm beginning to doubt the value of this comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Oh, and the Panasonic 7-14... that's almost a perfect lens. It's probably not the best one in its class, but it's good enough, inexpensive enough and the size and weight is just a fraction of the Nikkor 14-24mm.
    Perhaps the most valid part of the exercise? I love working with this lens. Fast focussing (well it hardly has to focus most times), well built and performs very well imho at the 10-12 end.

    LouisB

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •