• Canon and Nikon: A Photographer's Comparison (Part 2)

      In the first part of this series of articles, we talked about the comparison of Nikon and Canon in terms of Skin Tone Tests and Color Tone Test (link of first part here).

      As promised, we will now discuss about Controls and a Color Test through a High ISO setting.

      3. CONTROLS

      Canon 5D Mark II (left) and Nikon D3S (right)

      The Nikon D3S has more options compared to D700 and their lower end models, but 80% of the layout is similar to all.

      Clearly in this comparison, Canon has a simpler layout. Easier for newbies like me to learn quickly. "The Big Dial" for your thumb makes all things easier too.

      As for Nikon's side, there are more buttons and it seems a bit complicated most especially to its "HOLD this button + this button for this function" thing (like the old Canon 1D models) and its scroll wheels, somehow it provides bad locations for your thumb and point finger. In other words, it takes time to get used to. But if you are familiar with it, it's going to be an advantage as it has a quicker and faster access to changing camera settings compared to Canon.

      In summary for this comparative aspect, Canon gets an advantage here for its user friendly controls (THE BIG DIAL!), good for young and beginners like me. But Nikon gets the advanced part, split second changing of settings is possible.

      PS. Another plus to Canon on this review due to the fact that the photo here was taken with a 5D Mark II. LOL!

      4. High ISO Color Test


      Settings Used:
      1/80s, f2.8, ISO 12800, Canon WB - 5100 K, Nikon WB - 4800 K.

      Both cameras have problems in this case, something most of us don't know or don't really mind at all.

      Testing the 5D Mark II. Check the photo in the left, if you look closely it has a bit of MAGENTA cast most especially in the BLACK parts of the image, which for me on what I saw from the light source, is not really that Magenta-ish. But somehow, try to check the small photo frame on the lower left part. Skin tone looks... not perfect but OK.

      In the right corner is the photo taken for the Nikon D3S. Before I go to this image, when I downloaded their RAW files and loaded both in Lightroom, the image felt like it was pre-photoshopped to fit in a horror film.

      So according to my previous test, Nikon's white balance needs to be dropped by 300K to at least get close to what you see in the actual scene (if you are not color blind, that is. Luckily, I'm not). So from 5100K, through Lightroom, I changed it to 4800K (leaving their default TINT setting of +10 magenta).

      Now what you see in the posted sample is a modified Nikon color, but again I didn't modify any green / magenta settings, just the temperature, taking out 300K of yellow. Look closely, it has an obvious green cast or green shade or simply the image is GREENISH. Before adjusting the temp of this image, the green w/ the extra yellow created more greenish color. Also, some traces of extra color saturation is still there. Now, I tried to fix this image by using a WB eye dropper tool to the white surface below the small frame and adjusting some number by my own taste, the green cast was gone, but the skin tones of the photos (in the photographs) added some saturated orange shade.

      Again, colors depends on the artist's taste, but because of the harsh green, orange cast and saturation on Nikon's and Canon's magenta tint especially on the black parts, no camera wins in this part of color test. Let's discuss some noise test in the next article.

      Here are some links to bigger images:

      Nikon Untouched

      Nikon color fixed:

      Canon fixed:

      Keep posted for our next comparison topics: Noise Test and Auto Focus, Speed and Accuracy

      Comparative Analysis by:

      Lito C. Inso
      Forever Amateur/Newbie Photo Enthusiast
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      Comments 8 Comments
      1. sevmik's Avatar
        sevmik -
        Note to self: read this again later on a Mac, haha.

        I'm using the office PC right now and it only has a Philips LCD. I had to adjust a lot of settings to see what you were pointing at (the magenta tint on the mk II and the greenish cast on the D3s), but I did see it eventually.

        Intriguing points though, I'm tempted to test out a Nikon D90 vs a Canon 500D (or something else, I'm not really familiar what's D90's Canon counterpart). I'd like to see if the temperature difference is also present in the lower end models...

        Again, a nice and informative article. Thanks
      1. harlems's Avatar
        harlems -
        nikon d90 vs canon 50d
      1. 3enson's Avatar
        3enson -
        Both brand renders color depth differently,
        i have used both camera brands and others...
        I'm a pixel peeper and always get in trouble with canon and nikon colors
        and this is absolutely true,

        Sensor's (CCD/CMOS/BSI-CMOS) and camera IQ affects this color process
      1. dalebryan's Avatar
        dalebryan -
        sir, personaly.are you a canon or a nikon user?
      1. CrasHBURN's Avatar
        CrasHBURN -
        dalebryan: I am an open minded Canon user.
      1. mushy08's Avatar
        mushy08 -
        nice kaayo ang article!
      1. brian joshua's Avatar
        brian joshua -
        magenta and the green cast are very obvious even in ordinary lcd monitors...
      1. neobe24's Avatar
        neobe24 -
        im a canon user but nindot sad ang nikon..both are good actually..

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