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D3 vs 5D

Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by cwilt, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I have a question that I hope those here on the cafe can answer. The other site would turn into a bar brawl if I asked it there.

    Which body, D3 or 5D, produces sharper images? When using comparable lenses. I'm talking about per pixel sharpness.

    Please, only those who have worked with both cameras. I know there are a few here who have.

    Thanks.
     
  2. artona

    artona

    108
    Jul 9, 2008
    UK
    Hi

    I think you are asking a very hard question - both are similar pixel count and both quality cameras. If you put the same sigma lens on each I think they would be very similar. What I would say is I have also used a Canon 1dsmk2 17 million pixel and the quality took me back to 10"x8" days - it was fantastic. Whether you need that quality is another matter unless you are doing commercial work.

    The D3 is a much better built camera but then I have been dragging a 5D around for about 3 years now, it does a lot of work and it stands up well. Unless you have a real need for the build buy a 5d and spend the extra on top quality optics, sorry Nikoncafe - will I be banned for ever more?

    stew
     
  3. There's so little in it that it's almost moot. The D3 has a stronger AA filter, but looking at similar shots from both using 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 lenses I see nothing that warrants a win for either.

    Advantages of the 5D:

    Cost, size, weight, availability of fast USM primes

    Advantages of the D3:

    Everything else and the finest UWA and standard zooms in any system. Take away the 5D wins above and there's no contest. As a camera the D3 is an entirely different league.

    Both will take fabulous images.
     
  4. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    It is a hard question and that is why I wanted only experienced comments. I'm looking for quality pixles, not just quantity. MF is in my future, but not this year. Which makes my decision harder. Do I go for the gusto and get the D3 and push the MF system off a little longer, or do I buy a 5D and few select primes to play with. I have a Fuji S5 which love, but keep going back to my D2x because I love the pro body. Pro body does make a difference, because I can shoot 1/2 stop slower shutter with a pro body compared to consumer bodies.

    You won't be banned from the cafe.:wink:

    My gut says D3 because of my prefered lenses and pro body, but my wallet says buy a toy that I don't have and have fun with it.

    Thank you both. :smile:
     
  5. Cathy W.

    Cathy W. Guest

    Similar Images...

    I've used my friend's 5D and I have a D3. They both make beautiful images - I'm not a pixel peeper so I can't speak to the per pixel comparison but I can tell you each is capable of producing big, beautiful prints. The huge difference between the two cameras is the build. The 5D was built to be a studio camera. My friend used hers in the field for 3 months and it broke. She got it fixed, started using it again, and it broke again. Apparently the 5D has very little weather sealing and is not meant to be an in the field camera. She is not easy on cameras - they are used in the elements a lot, they take a fair amount of bumping and dust and rain and whatever. They get thrown in the car in a hurry, slung over a back so she can climb rocks and have them bounce on the rocks. The 5D just couldn't handle that. Her 20, 30 and 40D's handle it fine. My D2's, D3, and even my D200 handle it fine although I tend to be a bit more gentle with my equipment. :)  She's not as bad as another friend of mine who shoots with a dented 500 f4 from climbing cliffs to photograph golden eagles! (It still works amazingly well, it is a Canon by the way)

    If you are going to use the camera inside the 5D would do well by you. If you are going to use it in the elements, go for the D3.

    -cw
     
  6. artona

    artona

    108
    Jul 9, 2008
    UK
    Hi

    Your story about your friends made me laugh Cathy. I have been a pro in the UK for 30 years now - I did not actually realise that until I just worked it out :smile::smile:

    I started work on a local newspaper, then the national newspapers and was a court "Pap" photographer for a while. I then left to do commercial work and then left that to do equestrian work. The for the last ten years I have taken portraits. But when I say portraits we do portraits in the house and we will book 12 in a session. Thats one every 30 minutes, going into the house, setting up the studio, taking the pics (approx 50 per sitting) and then off to the next.

    Touching wood quickly I have never had a camera or lens go wrong other than a Nikon D1x where the shutter went in the first week so obviously a manufacturing fault.

    My 5D mmust have taken a quarter of a million shots now if not more and is going fine.

    On saying that when I eventually sold my D1x I made a mistake. I sold it to a mate as a favour. It certainly felt fantastic and I would play with that over a 5D anyday. If money is not an option go for the D3 but you will lose lots I guess. I paid $9000 for my D1x and got $1000 for it

    stew
     
  7. Cathy W.

    Cathy W. Guest

    Did you really lose?

    Digital is so much different than film. A film camera could last forever but you had to keep buying and processing film. Over and over and over. I was going thorugh about 1000 rolls of 36 exposure high end slide film every year. If I got it on sale and was careful about where I got it processed it was costing me about $8 to $10 per roll. If I figure the $8 figure per year, that was EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS every year for film! Ok, that's almost two D3's. When you buy a digital camera you are buying not only the camera but also the film. In my case, even with upgrades to new bodies every few years, I am coming out ahead.

    I can't figure in the additional computer cost or anything because I needed to scan all of my slides and then store the darn things in sleeves and environmentally controlled locations. So I think storage is a wash.

    Just my view of the world. Keeps me sane. :smile:

    -cw
     
  8. From ISO200-800 there's nothing in it. At 1600 and beyond the D3 is superior.
     
  9. while there will always be something better round the corner I wonder why the choice is between the d3 and 5d since you talk about moving to MF, there are certainly higher pixel count canons and most seem to be predicting a high mp nikon is not too far away

    I could be wrong but I think Iliah had / has used a 5d so might have some thoughts
     
  10. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i heard canon is working on some low noise chips right now...this could get really interesting ....;-)))
     
  11. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    When I need to go beyond 12mpix, it won't be in with a SLR. He has, but he is busy. I value his opinion highly but I like to hear from others too. :smile:

    Somebody is always working on something.
     
  12. not that I go round stalking ppl (much) but I think Beezle posted before about their relative merits might be worth asking :smile:
     
  13. If you want raw files from both to look at then let me know.
     
  14. Gary Mayo

    Gary Mayo Guest

    It would seem to me the 5D & the D700 are more across the board from one another. The D3 is round numbers 5 grand, about double the cost of a 5D. Can you compare camera bodies that far apart in price?

    The D3 challenges the best Canon cameras and wins in several respects.

    To the poster that suggested testing each camera with a third party lens, that is not how I would test them. Use the lenses that are made by the camera maker. You don't test a Camel with a Paul Mall filter on it. IMHO
     
  15. DigiFilm

    DigiFilm

    175
    Mar 4, 2008
    UK
    I think this is a difficult question to answer as much is dependent on the lenses in use and over some focal lengths Nikon will have better glass and over others Canon will (assuming top quality glass is used).
    Ken Rockwell posted some comparison images here:
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d3/sharpness-1.htm
    These show the 5d as being sharper than a D3 under his testing circumstances.
    Personally I feel that such a comparison is pretty worthless unless you test with the same lens (not just the same brand/focal length but the same physical lens so as to remove that as a variable - pretty hard to do though not impossible).

    When such differences are so small as would appear then I think the way the camera feels becomes so much more important.

    Since you already have a Fuji S5 and a D2x why are you even thinking about going to another mount given you will soon be going to MF? A 5d plus glass is a very expensive option compared to a D3 + existing glass. If cost is the issue (for the body) then perhaps the D700 is the answer....
     
  16. artona

    artona

    108
    Jul 9, 2008
    UK
    Hi

    To the poster that suggested testing each camera with a third party lens, that is not how I would test them. Use the lenses that are made by the camera maker. You don't test a Camel with a Paul Mall filter on it. IMHO

    I agree but then the initiator asked about the actual cameras so you have to take out lens factor. A few years ago I was using the Fuji S1 and the Nikon D1X. I moved over to the Canon 5D because of the cmos chip - it always seemed better than the ccd. I see now that Nikon have agreed and moved over to it as well

    stew
     
  17. Leif

    Leif

    Feb 12, 2006
    England
    Actually there is an online test somewhere, largely in Italian, of the Nikon 14-24mm lens on a D3 and a 5D. The conclusions were not quite what one might expect, as the D3 had advantages at the edges. I managed to find it via google.it:

    http://www.luciolepri.it/lc2/marcocavina/articoli_fotografici/TEST_Canon_Nikon_full_frame/00_pag.htm

    I do not speak Italian so cannot comment on the test methodology. And I expect the conclusions apply to wide angle lenses, not longer focal lengths which produce incident light at angles closer to head on.
     
  18. sadowsk2

    sadowsk2 Guest

    I wouldn't say Nikon standard zooms are any bit better than Canon's... and as a matter of fact, from what I've read about telephoto zooms, the Canons is the better glass (specifically, 70-200 f/2.8)... I will give the UWA zoom to the Nikon, but certainly not much difference IMO at standard zoom.... and if anything advantage Canon in telephoto zoom...
     
  19. Note I specifically only mentioned the UWA and standard zooms. There's little question for me that the Nikkor 24-70 surpasses the EF 24-70mm.

    I've extensive experience of both systems, and the 70-200mm's are extremely close, with centre performance of the Nikkor beating the Canon, but the Canon having better corner and edge-to-edge. Beyond that there aren't any direct comparisons to be made that I know of (100-400mm against 80-400 or 200-400mm for example).

    But, as I said above there's so little in it that it's almost moot. We're talking small degrees of 'better' here.
     
  20. sadowsk2

    sadowsk2 Guest

    From the brief time I had to use a D3 (1 weekend) + 24/70 combo, I found in comparison to my 24-70 that sharpness/resolution were comparable but the Canon eeked out color and contrast... I also think on a FF the 70-200 Canon beats it out both center and perimeter.. I haven't had a chance to use the Nikon 70-200 on the D300 so I can't really comment on its performance there... But I have used the Canon on my 30D and its better suited on my 5D.
     
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