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Thread: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

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    D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Hey all,

    I just finished shooting and cutting this video comparing the two big camera os the moment. The photos were shot by Nathan Elson, a fantastic portrait shooter. It's really in depth, especially when analyzing the image quality, so I thought it would be good conversation piece for this forum.

    Canon 5D MK III vs Nikon D800 with Nathan Elson - YouTube

    Let me know what you think,
    Jordan Drake
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Thanks, Jordan.

    I did expect the conclusion before clicking on the link. Not a shock.

    Quite informative and easy to watch, as always.

    Would like to hear more on the D4 piece that you stuck in at the end.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Very enjoyable and informative. The real world is the real world.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Thanks, Jordan.

    Would like to hear more on the D4 piece that you stuck in at the end.
    I've been looking to choose a good full frame B-Cam to compliment my Panasonic AF100 since the new cameras were announced. The D4 was my first pick, since I use Nikon glass on the AF100 anyways.

    Shooting with the D4 though, I found a number of big issues. As mentioned the battery life was quite poor, though we were shooting in colder situations sometimes. I got about an hour and a half of record time from the giant EN-EL18 battery. At least with the 5D Mk III and D800 I can use an Anton Bauer adaptor for my big video batteries.

    Focus was quite difficult with the D4, as the higher magnifications reduce your refresh rate. If your subject moves at all, it makes acquiring precise focus very difficult. I wish I had brought a monitor for this reason.

    As mentioned in the video, my major beef with the camera was the lower quality of the full frame image compared to the 2.7X crop mode. Since I am bringing a full frame camera with me specifically for the aesthetic advantages of the big chip, this defeats the purpose of me using a D4.

    As well, the mic input and headphone jack are hugely appreciated, however the pre-amp is very weak, I recorded gain hiss using any volume over level 5 (of 20). This required me to boost the levels enormously on my Beachtek box and on the mic transmitters themselves, which occasionally led to clipped levels.

    I do love the colour and highlight rolloff from the camera, and Nikon glass is first rate, but I don't think this will be the camera for me going forward.

    Cheers,
    Jordan Drake

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Also, Nathan posted a blog on this shoot. You can read his thoughts and check out some images here:
    Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D mIII | A Portrait Photographers Perspective Calgary Photographer

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by TCSJordan View Post
    Hey all,

    I just finished shooting and cutting this video comparing the two big camera os the moment. The photos were shot by Nathan Elson, a fantastic portrait shooter. It's really in depth, especially when analyzing the image quality, so I thought it would be good conversation piece for this forum.

    Canon 5D MK III vs Nikon D800 with Nathan Elson - YouTube

    Let me know what you think,
    Jordan Drake
    Thanks for posting this.

    However I find that the test has one big limitation.
    While you are discussing skin tones the test does not show skin tones.
    The makeup is heavy and with a very thick foundation. Looks very pasty and is no indication of how these cameras reproduce skin tones. If anything the cameras are showing how to much makeup will take the life out of your images.

    One thing that you should have brought more attention to is how the Canon's blacks have less foundation to them and it is evident in the stairwell photos where as you raise ISO the black jacket stays black and detailed with the d800 while the black jaket in the Canon shots starts to get dull and browner.

    The importance of dynamic range goes beyond what you see in the capture on your laptop. When an image goes through all the steps of going to print (magazine print) that info lurking in the blacks and the higher tonal definition is like a gold mine. In the process of going from hard drive to printing plates curves get thrown around like crazy. The more data you have the better the image will go through this process.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by TCSJordan View Post

    Focus was quite difficult with the D4, as the higher magnifications reduce your refresh rate. If your subject moves at all, it makes acquiring precise focus very difficult. I wish I had brought a monitor for this reason.
    Jordan Drake
    What is the live view focusing like when shooting stills on the d800?

    Does it have a refresh problem with high magnification like you mentioned with the D4?

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    What is the live view focusing like when shooting stills on the d800?

    Does it have a refresh problem with high magnification like you mentioned with the D4?
    I just tested a D800 today, and it has the same terrible refresh issue. I mentioned my concern to Nikon, I hope a firmware fix can address this issue.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Thanks for posting this.

    However I find that the test has one big limitation.
    While you are discussing skin tones the test does not show skin tones.
    The makeup is heavy and with a very thick foundation. Looks very pasty and is no indication of how these cameras reproduce skin tones. If anything the cameras are showing how to much makeup will take the life out of your images.

    One thing that you should have brought more attention to is how the Canon's blacks have less foundation to them and it is evident in the stairwell photos where as you raise ISO the black jacket stays black and detailed with the d800 while the black jaket in the Canon shots starts to get dull and browner.

    The importance of dynamic range goes beyond what you see in the capture on your laptop. When an image goes through all the steps of going to print (magazine print) that info lurking in the blacks and the higher tonal definition is like a gold mine. In the process of going from hard drive to printing plates curves get thrown around like crazy. The more data you have the better the image will go through this process.
    You mean more data like you get with a larger sensor, 16 bit, 40, 50, 56, 60, or 80 meg MFD kit ... which could've been easily used for any of those comparison shots

    Sorry, couldn't resist

    Now back to our normal programing.

    -Marc

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by TCSJordan View Post
    I just tested a D800 today, and it has the same terrible refresh issue. I mentioned my concern to Nikon, I hope a firmware fix can address this issue.
    Not much has changed in that area as far as Nikon are concerned (I doubt firmware would anything. they need more processing power plus processors designed to handle the information). That is good to know.

    Thanks!

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    I can't help but feel every Canon shooter is trying to justify the Mark III. The biggest quote I hear over and over is "Canon fixed the problems with the Mark II".

    I don't care who the company is or the product but if after 4 years of R&D, the only improvements were bug fixes for an existing product I would be sorely disappointed. Accurate focusing... isn't this the basic feature for any camera. And 25000 ISO, I can say that having cameras that shoot this high are used once or twice. Once when you get the camera to test it and and say "wow" and the second time to show a fellow photographer.

    From an industry perspective people buy companies, not products. Products have to meet a certain need but if the company is not going in the same direction as the user then they will jump to another product. i.e. Apple / Windows.

    I am not sure what Canon is thinking but they have lost their position as number one and every day I see more demand for Nikon products. Their is no waiting list for Mark III's, you can walk in to just about any decent camera store and walk out with a Mark III. The list for D800's on the other hand is in the hundreds for even the local dealers.

    My point is the Mark III is an mildly evolutionary product, the D800 is revolutionary so comparing them is silly. The D800 is being compared and tested against $30,000 MFD systems and winning in many areas. The MK III is being compared to the MK II and winning for focusing and high iso. That's it.

    I genuinely am thrilled for my friends who shoot Canon. I know they are elated with the performance of the MK III. And I applaud the effort these guys did with these video. But comparing these two cameras misses the target market of where these products are aimed.

    The D800 is sending tremors through the marketing departments of Hasselblad, Leica, Mamiya and Phase One. These are sales that have the biggest potential for being disrupted not MK III's. As a MFD shooter I am not saying the D800 is a replacement, but the IQ and the price point is a serious issue for these companies.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    The DR on the D800 did it for me that was enough right there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    I would also look at the resources each company has in the long term for product development. Nikon's market capitalization is $1B. Canon's is $64B.
    Brad Husick

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I would also look at the resources each company has in the long term for product development. Nikon's market capitalization is $1B. Canon's is $64B.
    Not that useful figures when it comes to photography. If you apply those kind figures, all the medium format gear makers would be nowhere.

    The numbers in billions may be, however, relevant while considering the purchase of a photocopier.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Do we know the size of Canon's photo division compared with Nikon's? I have no idea.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I would also look at the resources each company has in the long term for product development. Nikon's market capitalization is $1B. Canon's is $64B.
    Nikon has strategic R&D and manufacturing alliances with both Sony and FujiFilm.
    market capitalization of the 3 is around $40B

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Not that useful figures when it comes to photography. If you apply those kind figures, all the medium format gear makers would be nowhere.
    Which is about where they are. They can only produce marginally higher quality today and only at very very high prices, while functionality is lagging very far behind.

    Hasselblad despite stellar quality has not been profitable in years and was recently sold off and even Fuji that makes and designs for Hasselblad was not interested in buying. Fuji on the other hand is poised to buy Olympus, but is primarily after the profitable medical division.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The DR on the D800 did it for me that was enough right there.
    I could not agree more.

    The foundation of great IQ is good blacks. Nikon delivered.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Nikon delivered better than one may think. Its damn good on DR and the noise floor is really good. You can't fake that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Nikon has strategic R&D and manufacturing alliances with both Sony and FujiFilm.
    market capitalization of the 3 is around $40B
    Again, that figure may be good for Walkman and other such fabulous appliances.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Love View Post
    The D800 is sending tremors through the marketing departments of Hasselblad, Leica, Mamiya and Phase One.
    How do you know?

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    In the long term if you're depending purely on other companies for your sensors you will be at the mercy of their situations. Are you listening Leica?
    Brad Husick

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    In the long term if you're depending purely on other companies for your sensors you will be at the mercy of their situations. Are you listening Leica?
    ??? And you can benefit from them too.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Every company depends on a supply of technology from around the world. I am confident Sony's OEM division has nothing to do with their camera group. An OEM group is chartered with building and selling as many of the products they develop as possible.

    Remember there is not a single company that makes every chip or component of their product. So regardless of where the parts come from, the winners are those that can integrate, market and sell the best combination of those elements.

    But the real wizard behind the curtain is the processors camera manufacturers are putting in their products. A sensor can only do so much but it is the real time processing speed that has given Canon and Nikon the ability to achieve huge data rates (i.e. large pixel count) and image processing and noise reduction.

    The bottom line is market capitalization or who manufacturers a sensor is irrelevant to a photographer. Also remember, the pro market is the smallest and least profitable part of the industry. Nikon and Canon make a lot more money selling point and shoots to a world wide market than a few hundred thousand pro cameras.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    How do you know?
    Just look at the increasing amount of Phase One, Mamiya and Hasselblad cameras for sale on ebay and the forums.

    IF you put together the image quality and features of the D800 it'a impressive.

    It will really make the short coming of MF more evident, in particular the bodies.

    I think Guy's examples here demonstrate how the D800 can give you at least what way more expensive
    mid level medium format can IQ wise and in situations where a MF Digital would not be practical at all.

    And we have yet to see the D800E

    Then there is the sleeping giant... Fuji.

    Can you imagine the Fuji X-pro 1 scaled up to MF with live view, face detection, no moiree issues.
    Fuji certainly has all the MF to large format know how. Can you imagine what a mini gx680 with full tilt and shift
    with a live view touch screen body would be like.

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    Re: D800 vs 5D Mark III Portrait Shootout Video

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Then there is the sleeping giant... Fuji.

    Can you imagine the Fuji X-pro 1 scaled up to MF with live view, face detection, no moiree issues.
    Fuji certainly has all the MF to large format know how. Can you imagine what a mini gx680 with full tilt and shift
    with a live view touch screen body would be like.
    ++1

    Peter

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