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View Full Version : Nikon D200 vs. Canon 5D



Esoterra
12-30-2005, 12:11 PM
This is not a Canon/Nikon bash fest, I just want some clarification. I was reading on Ken Rockwells site about the new D200 vs. 5D. I quote Ken:

"Popular Photography, on the bottom of the second column of page 70 of the December, 2005 issue says that at ISO 1,600 that the D2X and the D50 have BETTER noise performance than the 5D. The D200 is probably as good or better; which throws of Canon's oversized and overpriced sensor out the window. "

I'm curious as to exactly what tests they run to determine this. Also, most people shoot at ISO 100-400 range I would think, so why would that nullify the 5D's full frame sensor. Having full frame to me is well worth the having a little extra noise- if that is indeed the case! At this point the strongest advantage I see that the D200 has over the 5D is cost!

coldrain
12-30-2005, 12:37 PM
Well, lets say Ken Rockwell is not really known for an unbiased (or knowledgable) view on things. Also Popular Photography comes up with very weird findings at times, as far as I have noticed.
So, I would not place too much value on what Ken Rockwell types up on his site. Ken Rockwell is to photography journalism what Paul Turrot is to computer journalism (he runs one of the biggest Microsoft fan sites).
Read it for amusement, not for real information. (He was even raving about the 55-200mm DX, and that may say something).

DPreview finds the D2X to have quite a bit more noise (luminance noise, "light/dark" noise),
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonEOS5D/Samples/ISO/lumi-graph.gif
while it is very close to the 5D in chroma noise (pixels get wrong colours).
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonEOS5D/Samples/ISO/chroma-graph.gif

The Canon EOS 5D performs very much like the 20D, itself not a very noisy camera. Ken will be Ken, imagine my surprise when he found the Canon EF-S f3.5-4.5 10-22mm USM to perform better than his Nikkor 12-24mm f4. I almost fell from my chair.

Also note that the 5D is not overpriced at all, full frame sensors are expensive. And the 5D is not full frame to have no noise, it is full fram to deliver full frame for who needs or wants full frame at a lower price point than ever before.

Oh, another thing... Ken Rockwell used to say (maybe still says) that a camera only is usable professionally if it has 1/500 flash sync. Funny that this only makes his camera usable professionally (the D70), and not the EOS 1D mk II N, 1Ds Mk II, D2X, 5D... oh well. Makes one wonder why he finds flash sync to 1/500 so important anyway. He just is a bit silly IMO.

coldrain
12-30-2005, 01:41 PM
This is what letsgodigital.org had to say about the 5D's performance:
"What's more is the fact that the new Canon EOS 5D excels on noise and dynamic range. Moreover, ISO 3200 can be used perfectly for high quality prints and in light as well as dark areas the detail remains clearly visible. This is really impressive; you have to see it to believe it. The Canon 5D and the EOS-1D Mark II N are similar in this case. For the competitors it will be a hard nut to crack! "

Esoterra
12-30-2005, 03:59 PM
See now this is type of information (graphs) that Ken Rockwell needs to have on his website if he is going to make comments like I quoted above- show me the numbers lol! Thanks for the info Coldrain. I am sure both the D200 and 5D are excellent cameras in their own right. I think its comparing apples to oranges at times.

coldrain
12-30-2005, 07:07 PM
Yes, they both seem to be very nice cameras indeed.

erichlund
12-31-2005, 02:55 AM
When Ken Rockwell forgets that he is the remote Nikon troll from heck** ;-), and puts on his pure teaching hat, some of the stuff that comes off his word processor isn't too bad. The rest of the time, I'll just say you have to read between the lines (if you even bother).

**One of the few people I know that gets other people to innocently troll for him. I wonder if he even knows the great battles he starts when he spews such junk on his site. He says all these things like he's an authority, and people take it as gospel.

D70FAN
12-31-2005, 08:56 AM
When Ken Rockwell forgets that he is the remote Nikon troll from heck** ;-), and puts on his pure teaching hat, some of the stuff that comes off his word processor isn't too bad. The rest of the time, I'll just say you have to read between the lines (if you even bother).

**One of the few people I know that gets other people to innocently troll for him. I wonder if he even knows the great battles he starts when he spews such junk on his site. He says all these things like he's an authority, and people take it as gospel.


Like you said above some of his reviews are usable, and hopefully it's pretty obvious to most of us when he is going off the deep end.

You have to admit that it is pretty entertaining.

coldrain
12-31-2005, 09:16 AM
Personally I find misinformation and twisting things not too entertaining. I do not like his style of writing either (and his website is a disaster to navigate and to the eyes).

murrays
12-31-2005, 12:22 PM
See now this is type of information (graphs) that Ken Rockwell needs to have on his website if he is going to make comments like I quoted above- show me the numbers lol! Thanks for the info Coldrain. I am sure both the D200 and 5D are excellent cameras in their own right. I think its comparing apples to oranges at times.

As an engineer, I like numbers and graphs as much as the next guy, but wouldn't you agree that you can't "measure" picture quality?

-murray

sherlock
12-31-2005, 12:28 PM
As an engineer, I like numbers and graphs as much as the next guy, but wouldn't you agree that you can't "measure" picture quality?

-murray

Hey,

Yea there is a difference between 'static' and 'dynamic' image quality. Static being what can be tested in a lab like what dpreview does, and dynamic being what you get everyday shooting in actual conditions. Ken has an article about this here (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/diq.htm). But you're right, image quality depends on the situation and the capabilities of the photographer more that the camera.


Andrew

P.S. I actually like Ken's site as a good source of information, buy yes, some of the things he says are a little over the top. You just need to know what stuff is his b.s. and what isn't.

D70FAN
12-31-2005, 03:23 PM
Personally I find misinformation and twisting things not too entertaining. I do not like his style of writing either (and his website is a disaster to navigate and to the eyes).


Maybe you should start your own website as the anti-Rockwell, and take him to task, item-by-item. That would be entertaining.

coldrain
12-31-2005, 09:59 PM
Maybe you should start your own website as the anti-Rockwell, and take him to task, item-by-item. That would be entertaining.
You are an evil man ;)

D70FAN
01-01-2006, 04:04 PM
You are an evil man ;)


Heh-heh...:D

There have been times when I am tempted to challenge Kens more bizzar statements (which covers about 50% of his writings), but it's really not worth the effort. About half of the lenses that he likes (that I have tried) are mediocre (reads crap) at best, so I quit trusting his lens recommendations.

The other 50% is actually pretty good information, and he does put it out there. I'm sure that his incoming e-mails are interresting.

Like you, I still wish he would go to some sort of writing class. You are definately right that he can be a tough read.

Anyway, try to see the humor (it's there) and maybe just occasionally take him to task.;)

murrays
01-04-2006, 03:57 PM
Here's more fuel for the noise/Ken Rockwell debate: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/noise.htm


You can't make meaningful measurements of digital camera noise, so as an artist and a pro with an engineering degree and decades of digital image processing and measurement experience I have to laugh at methods used to report on digital cameras. Even worse are the well meaning beginners who place more emphasis on looking at a test number than looking at photos!

His points make those charts linked in this thread pretty meaningless IMHO. Can some of the Rockwell haters out there give some evidence that he's full of it in this article?

-murray

Esoterra
01-04-2006, 04:30 PM
First off, Im not a rockwell hater, but in if he calls himself an artist and a pro with an engineering degree with decades of digital image processing and measurement experience- well I have to question him on 1 thing- has digital photography been around for "decades"? I thought that it was new technology in the early 90's? Technically speaking that is only 1 decade- this could yet be another exaggeration of his...

murrays
01-04-2006, 04:48 PM
well I have to question him on 1 thing- has digital photography been around for "decades"? I thought that it was new technology in the early 90's? Technically speaking that is only 1 decade- this could yet be another exaggeration of his...

Yes, digital photography has been around only a short time on the consumer side, but I believe it's been around much longer on the professional side.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_image_processing


Because of the computational load of dealing with images containing millions of pixels, digital image processing was largely of academic interest until the 1970s, when dedicated hardware became available that could process images in real time, for some dedicated problems such as television standards conversion.

Apparently you didn't read the article either since in the second paragraph, he states:


Personally my real job for decades was in the design and measurement of digital imaging systems both for photography and television. Hollywood TV production has been digital since the 1980s and we know an awful lot about how to measure things.

I'm not trying to say Ken is right or wrong (I don't have the knowledge or experience), but at least read the article before saying it "could yet be another exaggeration of his".

-murray

coldrain
01-04-2006, 06:33 PM
Here's more fuel for the noise/Ken Rockwell debate: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/noise.htm



His points make those charts linked in this thread pretty meaningless IMHO. Can some of the Rockwell haters out there give some evidence that he's full of it in this article?

-murray
Haha, funny stuff.... So his point is that he laughs at people who assess noise? Is that YOUR point? Oh well.
It is NOT hard to see Ken puts up controversial shit on his page, he states so himself. He never tests, he just looks at Nikons supplied graphs, and that is that. He takes a few pics maybe, who knows, and then just orates away. Ken Rockwell, the Nikon fan who said the 55-200 was a very nice piece.

You may believe all he types up, that is fine. And let Ken laugh at professional photography testers, that is fine too.

If you choose to follow Ken, and think the whole professional photography press is wrong in finding noise measurable and image quality objectively assessible in a lot of areas, fine. But the least you could do is actually READ posts, before you make me and others out as "Ken haters", it is a bit too fundamentalistic to my taste. When someone actually gives arguements, you could be a bit critical yourself.

murrays
01-05-2006, 07:13 AM
But the least you could do is actually READ posts, before you make me and others out as "Ken haters", it is a bit too fundamentalistic to my taste.

First, let me apologize if I offended anyone with the term “Rockwell hater”; that may have been a bit strong. Perhaps “people who don’t agree with Rockwell” would have been better?


Haha, funny stuff.... So his point is that he laughs at people who assess noise? Is that YOUR point? Oh well.

My point (as in why I posted the link) is that I believe Rockwell’s arguments on measuring noise make sense. He doesn’t say noise isn’t measurable, he says taking a photo of a grey card and counting random pixels in photoshop isn’t an effective way to do it.

So my questions would be: Does the “professional photography press” use the methods that Ken describes? If so, what evidence is there that this is an effective method (research, etc.)?

Try picking apart some key points instead of dismissing the entire article because of some lens review you disagree with.

-murray

coldrain
01-05-2006, 08:13 AM
First, let me apologize if I offended anyone with the term “Rockwell hater”; that may have been a bit strong. Perhaps “people who don’t agree with Rockwell” would have been better?



My point (as in why I posted the link) is that I believe Rockwell’s arguments on measuring noise make sense. He doesn’t say noise isn’t measurable, he says taking a photo of a grey card and counting random pixels in photoshop isn’t an effective way to do it.

So my questions would be: Does the “professional photography press” use the methods that Ken describes? If so, what evidence is there that this is an effective method (research, etc.)?

Try picking apart some key points instead of dismissing the entire article because of some lens review you disagree with.

-murray
It was not about any lens review, it was about him making a ridiculous point about a Canon EOS 5D, a camera he did NOT test. His remark was based on something from a magazine, which he pulled totally out of context for one, and also his conclusion about that is ridiculous.

And the graphs of DPReview are not "counted in photoshop" stuff anyway.
So, it is not about Ken doing some assessments, he didn't touch a 5D. It is also not about whether or not a way of measuring noise is the best way. It is about him saying the 5D is pointless since it is more noisy than a 200D at a higher price point.

He is just being the Nikon zealot again. It is weird to not see the full frame reason, it is there for people who want or need full frame. That is the reason for the 5D. So if you want to compare cameras, compare the D200 to a 20D. Also the 5D is in fact less noisy, whether one finds that important or an issue is personal.
But Ken is just typing up BS, as so often.

Want to see noise differences without having to measure it? Some ranter in the Nikon DSLR thread showed an interesting link, comparing the D200 with the 5D, and it shows well the difference in noise.
http://www.potatobear.com/ND200/D200F.htm

Which just illustrates Ken is full of it, and that does NOT mean I think the D200 is not a good camera. (just in case some ranter wants to make this into a flame war again)

murrays
01-05-2006, 08:55 AM
And the graphs of DPReview are not "counted in photoshop" stuff anyway.

So is their method valid? I looked it up on their site, but I couldn’t find much detail supporting their tests.


He is just being the Nikon zealot again.

Yes, he likes Nikon, but what does that have to do with measuring noise?? The article I linked does not mention D200, 5D, Nikon or Canon.


Which just illustrates Ken is full of it, and that does NOT mean I think the D200 is not a good camera. (just in case some ranter wants to make this into a flame war again)

No, it does not show that “Ken is full of it”. You haven’t given one point to refute anything Ken brought up in the article.

Is the method for measuring noise used by dpreview valid? Ken says no and I don’t know yet what you think since you seem more interested in attacking Ken’s credibility than answering the question.

-murray

coldrain
01-05-2006, 09:12 AM
No, it does not show that “Ken is full of it”. You haven’t given one point to refute anything Ken brought up in the article.

Is the method for measuring noise used by dpreview valid? Ken says no and I don’t know yet what you think since you seem more interested in attacking Ken’s credibility than answering the question.

-murray
Are you a moron??? My goodness. Why did you leave out

It was not about any lens review, it was about him making a ridiculous point about a Canon EOS 5D, a camera he did NOT test. His remark was based on something from a magazine, which he pulled totally out of context for one, and also his conclusion about that is ridiculous.
when that EXACTLY refutes what Ken's point was (look at what this thread is about again, it is not about what YOU posted, an article about Ken talking about Ken). He did NOT MEASURE OR ASSESS A 5D OR ITS NOISE yet he makes a wrong statement about it (namely: the 5D has no reason, its full frame sensor is more noisy than d200).

Where did he base that on? On a line from a popular photo magazine that he took out of context too. So what the hell are you talking about here?????
Everyone who sees Ken type up such crap is entitled to post about it, and you can read it back yourself anyway. It is not that I am saying anything about Ken that I made up, it is about an article of him.

Then I show how AND in pictures AND in measured graphs the 5D is not noisy. Did you bother to LOOK at the link I gave a post up? It shows the D200 compared to the 5D and the 5D is a lot less noisy.

Now I wonder how I can more refute Ken's statement about the 5D than I already have. If you LOOK at the photos of the D200 and 5D then you TOO will put to question Ken's credibility on THIS issue.

*sigh* quit responding please if all you can do is mindless unfounded responses in defence of Ken Rockwell, I expect critical and intelligent views here, not follow the herd type of nonsense or taking out of context crap.

If you want to discuss what we see on that Japanese site, and which pictures I mean in regards to noise difference, fine. But lets be factual and not stray off into weird directions like "Ken says this and that about others".
I enjoy a good debate, but only GOOD debate, not silly blahblah.

phatkid77
01-05-2006, 09:28 AM
i just looked at the pics!! the 5D looks fantastic, pretty sure i dont need a $5000 camera, to my eyes the skin tone looked better compared to d200 which seemed purple/blue...it appeared that the Nikon was out of focus more often than not

good thing there is knoweledgable people here

cory

murrays
01-05-2006, 11:02 AM
I'll ask again: Are the tests run by dpreview meaningful? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.

I'm not trying to defend Ken Rockwell, I would just like to see an informed response to his claim that static noise tests are not very useful.

-murray

erichlund
01-05-2006, 01:54 PM
I'll ask again: Are the tests run by dpreview meaningful? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.

I'm not trying to defend Ken Rockwell, I would just like to see an informed response to his claim that static noise tests are not very useful.

-murray
The point Rockwell is trying to make is that, despite all the tests, you can make any of the cameras produce a good photo with enough effort. In the end, in real use, it's how easy it is to get to that good photo that counts. If I see a great sunset, and it takes me 3 minutes to set one camera up to capture that sunset, and 15 seconds to set the other up to get the same quality, guess which one I want to reach for? In 3 minutes, that perfect light may be gone.

Of course, he perhaps goes a bit overboard in saying that the static tests are useless. They are discriminators. It's just that some people give way too much emphasis to the static tests and not to the handling of the camera and how it performs in actual use. If my job was to photograph steel and glass architecture, perhaps the D70s should not be at the top of my equipment list. That can be determined from static testing. OTOH, if I have tools that allow me to deal with the moire issue that fit well in my workflow, then maybe I can still consider that camera, because it becomes a non-issue. Nikon Capture gives me just such tools.

An example: While mostly I love the controls of my new D200, I'm not real happy with the "Mode" button and thumbwheel method of selecting shooting mode. I keep turning the thumbwheel the wrong way, and my short fingers make reaching the mode button and turning the thumbwheel one handed a bit awkward. I preferred the rotary mode switch of the D70, even though it did not have a lock. I will adapt, but it's one of those things that Ken is talking about in dynamic testing. BTW: I'm way overstating the case here. I'm already much more comfortable with this than I was. It's just something I noticed.

OTOH, when I picked up a 350D, I immediately knew the camera was not for me. It just didn't fit. Doesn't matter if it takes the best technical images in the world, I wasn't comfortable with it in my hand. Can't call me a Canon hater. I had a Canon A-1 for 20+ years and loved it. Just didn't like the 350D.

I'm not sure how much emphasis should be given to relative noise, especially in the current crop of dSLR cameras. We tend to look at the intermediate screen output and blow it up until we can see each and every pixel. In reality, our final output is much lower resolution than that, and much of what we see when we micro manage our images is simply not visible in useful output. Even if we are creating ultra-large final output where the noise differences may come into play, there are tools for dealing with it, and the volume of such large images is such that we aren't going to be dealing with it on an every image basis, but the occasional image basis. Now for an individual who deals largely in poster size creations, perhaps a better source tool relative to noise is required. But, for such people, we are often talking about medium format input, or very high end pro gear in the 35mm format.

To summarize, no, the static testing is not irrelevant, but it must be considered in the overall context of evaluating all aspects of the tool. Not every number is going to be important to you, but for specialized applications, some numbers may be critical.

Cheers,
Eric

murrays
01-05-2006, 02:34 PM
I'm not sure how much emphasis should be given to relative noise, especially in the current crop of dSLR cameras. We tend to look at the intermediate screen output and blow it up until we can see each and every pixel.

Another example of this is dead pixels on my LCD rear projection HDTV; I'm sure there are some, but from 10-12 feet away, it's impossible to see them. OTOH, I had a grouping of 8-10 hot pixels together that was clearly visible.

Are you going to see 1000 individual noisy pixels on a large print if they are scattered as opposed to 30 in a cluster?

-murray