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Thursday, 09 July 2015


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Start (and finish!) with the lenses. Personally I'd like to use a camera that accommodates the Canon 17mm and 24mm Tilt & Shift lenses...so that'd be a Canon camera for me then.

Sony - image quality and for being adventurous.

The Nikon D810 still has a couple more stops of dynamic range over either the Sony or Canon. Having more megapickels makes for easier marketing but I still really like the D810, it is a well-rounded do-it-all camera.

I'm going with my 10 year old D70 and a couple of house payments.

Sony a7R II

Mirrorless is the future. It also looks like it won't weigh you down while out shooting.

"We must have a champion"

Not me. I just bought a discounted Olympus E-M5 and have all I need.

Why would I buy a Ferrari when all I need is a car to drive around town.

I know this is a cop-out, but it depends on what makes a camera an übercamera.

- Size (Note that this can go either way: what camera is biggest / what camera is smallest)
- Build quality / ruggedness
- Speed / FPS
- Resolution
- Versatility

The Sony A7R II and Canon 5DS don't have much of a chance when it comes to the first 3 categories, and arguably the A7R II can't compete with the 5DS when it comes down to versatility.

So you have to ask yourself: (1) Is the 5DS the most versatile camera out there? and (2) Is either camera the highest-resolution camera out there (that is available at a reasonable cost)?

I would argue that the answer to both of the questions above is probably "no", although the 5DS could make a case on resolution.

But let me make three further points:

1. If you're thinking the 5DS easily wins on resolution, it would be interesting to see how it compares to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, which can capture full-color 40MP images without moire.

2. The Nikon D800 (or D810? I've lost track) arguably competes (quite favorably) with both of the cameras above.

3. This isn't about capability or measurements, but about lust. On that count (for me at least), the A7R II wins by a mile. :-)

Best regards,

On paper the A7RII fixed all the problems I had with the A7R (which I owned and returned), with the exception of the lossy compression in RAW files. In addition I will have to assess the performance of the Sony with old manual lenses (of which I own a lot and use heavily) - the A7R had some heavy internal flare with those old lenses that the 5DII does not have. My guess was that the short flange distance meant the internal reflections were stronger (as the light traveled a shorter path), plus the bigger mirror box of the 5DII was dampening them further. We'll see how the new A7RII behaves - a priori it seems almost perfect.

Let me think I would go for the Sony with a 50mm and be happy, if like me you prefer a smaller and lighter camera then the Sony is a winner. Now if you have a Canon 50mm or prefer a bit more heft and weight to your camera the Canon is a superb choice. Alternatively there are lots of other good cameras that you can put a 50mm lens on or a lens that works out the same if it has a smaller sensor. You might be one of the people who a 35mm lens is a better choice, in that case just swap the 35mm in place of the 50mm.

One consideration is going-forward support from the manufacturer, in terms of lenses and newer models. I've owned all three models of the 5D with excellent results on that score. I purchased a Sony NEX-7 with promises from Sony for superior lenses to come. They never came, by and large, and Sony promptly abandoned the line to move to a full-frame sensor. For that reason, I'll go with Canon. Sony seems to approach photographic equipment the way it did electronic equipment -- put multiple models and variations of everything on the market, and just abandon what doesn't sell as well as something else. OK for a Walkman-type device but not for an expensive camera.

The real ubercam has got to be the new Phase One as reviewed recently on Luminous Landscape.

However for those without $50,000 to spend, and choosing between these two -- the Canon and the Sony -- well the Sony is the no-brainer IMHO.

To paraphrase Bill Gates, 42 Megapixels ought to be enough for anyone. And 4K video in camera, with not much rolling shutter from a super-35 crop is definitely something to write home about.

Sony has an impressive record on innovation in sensors and cameras. I'm reading there is even now an adapter that offers fast autofocus on Canon lenses (on the Sony). No doubt something similar is in the works for Nikon lenses. I see this as a watershed camera for the ascendance of mirrorless.

Now Fuji fans might say, sure the camera's small but what about the lenses. I'd say, well if small lenses are important to you, run it in APS-C mode and use E-mount lenses like the Sony Zeiss 16-70 f/4. That's my personal favourite zoom range, equivalent to 24 to 100 mm on 35mm.

And then, should the occasion arise when you want to take advantage of that massive full frame sensor, you can just fit a bigger lens, probably one you already have if you are a Nikon or Canon or Leica user.

Good topic for discussion, but I'd be surprised if the Canon wins many votes.

Why is this even a question? The Canon is just a too expensive 5DIII with too many megapixels and nothing else. The Sony is an A7II with fewer too many megapixels, but at least it also has better AF, probably better low light capabilities, better shutter, and software improvements that may never make it into the A7II.

I see no reason to pick a Canon 5Ds over a 5DIII, but can see a few reasons to pick a A7rII over a A7II so the champion has to be the A7III (err, A7rII).

Hard to see appeal of 5Ds (spoken as a user of Canon digital cameras for 10 years). Feels like a sports car - goes really fast at the expense of everything else.

Recent DxO test confirms my sense of it (http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Canon-5DS-5DS-R-Review-New-top-ranking-Canon-EOS-sensor/Canon-5DS-5DS-R-Comparison-3-EOS-5DS-vs-Nikon-D810-vs-Sony-A7R) - no improvement in dynamic range, worse ISO than 5DIII.

When 5Ds was first announced, it convinced me to finally pull the trigger on a D810, switching to Nikon after almost 15 years with Canon film, then digital cameras.

I have my champion and it's a Fujifilm XPRO-1 with the 27mm f2.8 pancake lens.

Can't wait to see what improvements they have for the XPRO-2.

FWIW, DxO just tested the sensor on the 5DS and found it to significantly underperform both the D810 and the A7R in terms of DR and SNR. The A7Rii has not yet been tested, but it is expected by many to come in higher than both the D810 and A7R. Of course, there is more to a camera than DR, SNR and MP, and for certain purposes, an SLR is preferable to a mirrorless camera, but in my book, the A7Rii is the new king of the hill.


So much excitement about Sonys, and Fujis, and all the rest.

Camera SYSTEM is what counts. Not camera bodies.
17mm/TS-E, 24mm/TS-E, 85mm/1.2L etc., etc.

You buy a 5D, you don't have to make decisions any more - just replace it with the next model every 5 years or so. Good for people who are interested in taking pictures, not so good for people who are interested in cameras.

DxOmark just gave the Canon a low score compared to the Sony a7r, but it's a matter of horses for courses.

Being a Nikon and Sony user I am considering the a7rII and not the Canon. But I am looking for a working tool, not awesomeness.

Nikon D810? Leica S?

I've been shooting Canon SLRs for 17 years now. My first DSLR was the Canon D30 and I've owned (and still do) several Canon DSLRs.

There's no doubt for me the Sony A7R2 is a better camera.

Without a doubt the Sony A7R II.

Not sure I can go with a "full size" DSLR anymore. I own the D70, D300 and D700 along with some of Nikon's best lenses but I don't think I will acquire the D810. So I won't vote for the 5DS.

I am currently using a combination of iPhone 6s and Fuji Xe1 with the kit lens and 23mm f4. Happy if not fully satisfied.

Would go Sony but the key lens (24-70 f4)is not good enough, in my humble opinion . They need to cowboy up in that department.

But so do Canon and Nikon. Their tentativeness in the compact body mirrorless arena is puzzling to me. I am a stellar lens 24-70 f4 away from switching to Sony, who at least is innovating.

In the meantime, I will keep to the sidelines knowing things will probably just get better.

As a previous owner of many Canon DSLRs and a current owner of an A7 II, I am going to have to vote for the Sony here. These mirrorless full-frame Sonys are amazing!

Dear Mike
Sorry, but you have gotten in wrong. Did you already forget what you have experienced and written about cca three years ago? (;-))
It is still D800/D810!

Must be the Sony A7RII. I'll trade a little resolution for the better dynamic range. Throw in the 4K video and it's no contest as to which I would buy for the relatively static type of shots I usually shoot.

However I'm still holding out for a Nikon version of the A7RII.

I gotta say that for most, the Sony wins, especially if it's AF abilities with Canon AF lenses proves out. A multi-lens mount full-frame system, in a compact package? Way more sellable in an online forum:) AS for which is the better camera, well, 'the best camera' is never about the actually better machine...

The A7R II is awesomer.

But most people would would choose the Canon.

Because at the end of the day, you still have to put lenses on it. And yeah, I know the Sony supposedly focuses faster than a speeding bullet with Canon lenses, but the Sony is only awesomer with Sony lenses; with Canon lenses it's a Frankencamera, not an ubercamera.

These king of the hill comparisons don't always consider individual needs or workflows, but at least help one flesh out what technology can do. I lean towards the Sony although there still is room for improvement in their design and lens options. Canon moves far slower, and at this rate Sony will surpass them in many areas in just a few years.

My vote is for the Sony a7R II. It is an improved Sony a7R. I have been using my Leica R lenses on my a7R. Due to budgetary constraints, I cannot buy those new Zeiss Lenses for the Sony. For dSLRs, I somehow prefer the ergonomics of the Nikon bodies needless to say I love using my D300, D3S and D800E. I am not a Canon hater - I still own a Canon AE1 Program from my film days :)

Can the Sony sensor open up shadows like the one in the Nikon D800? If so it could swing the deal for me.

I'd much rather have the Sony. The Canon is an ageing crippled dinosaur in comparison. Especially now that Sony has implemented extremely fast AF for Canon lenses, the choice is that much easier even for people with an arsenal of Canon lenses

Sony, No Baloney !
That's my vote.
Not brand loyalty as much as the concept.
After 44 years of 4 Nikons and one Canon, this mirrorless thing really suits my needs, wants, and desires. I sold my D200 and D700 (DSLR's) and bought an A6000 and an A7r. (mirrorless) Although I did buy a quality adapter for some of my legacy Nikon lenses that I enjoy focusing manually.

What makes something an Übercamera? Why might I want one?

What if one wants an Ünterhund?

My $ went for something smaller, lighter, with a smaller sensor; something that meets my personal photographic needs far better than either of these.

I used the original 5D as my primary camera for five years. A truly wonderful camera, but larger and heavier than I need/wanted. So I know the physical package intimately, and why I want something else.

The Sony has never appealed. It seems aimed at people other than me. I revel in small, light, AF lenses. I have friends who love working with large, heavy, preferably "brass and glass", FF MF lenses on FF Canons and/or Sonys like these.

My candidate for Ü-whatever camera of the year is Olympus E-M5 II. For lens, the M.Zuiko 75-300, because the improved IBIS of the E-M5 II and EFC shutter make it like a new lens at the long end.

The Sony is awesomer! It has got the lot. The Canon doesn't interest me too much. Problem with all these pixels is that I would have to upgrade my computer in order to process the darn files.

Current camera is a Canon 550D - well used and abused over the years (still running sweetly). I'd love to make the leap to the Sony but gotta save the pennies first.

Don't have to really think about it; the Sony.
If for no other reason, the size/wright difference would make it a no-brainer for me.

The A7rII gets my vote in terms of technological advancement, versatility, backwards compatibility and size.

The Sony is awesomer, by a long shot. That big dinosaur lump of a Canon isn't even in the running, IMHO.

Guess it depends whether you want to take pictures, or hit someone with it.

Sony has one card slot, funny.

Does the Sony have greater dynamic range?
Lots of pixels are fine but don't help much when they can't hold shadow detail.

Canon has given birth to an instant dinosaur. Sony is hitting the big times for sure.

A7RII - since I think you need an EVF with magnified view to be sure those 40-50 megapixels are in focus.

Dynamic range of the A7s wins for me for landscapes

Resolution of the 5Ds (and specifically, the 5Ds R) wins for me for the studio.

Once again, one tool does not rule all.

Quite seriously, who cares...?

ALL the cameras in this range are of such incredible quality that from a performance standpoint they can do things we only [i]dreamed[/i] about with film.

Any modern full-frame camera is the equivalent of what we joked about (but longingly wished for)long ago, the 35mm that magically swells up to 4x5" during processing.

The only camera you need to worry about is which has the [i]lenses[/i] you need/want -- the bodies are all so amazingly competent that it honestly doesn't matter anymore.

A7R II - the future rather than a blast from the past.

I'd go with the Canon because I already have Canon lenses and I've never seen or used a SONY. I don't buy cameras just on specifications. I want to like the way they handle.

Yeah, I'm gonna say that the Fuji X-T1 is making me ridiculously happy. Kinda hard to beat the size and a really nice lens ecosystem.

"We must have a champion.''

Why? No-one will pay anymore attention to your "champion", than they do to your "camera buying advice". 8-)

The question is one of those tried and true vs. new and innovative things. Neither is wrong, but different people will gravitate toward different choice.

Personally, I'd be much more likely jump into the Sony system... once they fill out the lens catalog a bit more.

Mirror, mirror in the camera, who is the coolest of 'em all?

Simple, simple, the smallest of them all it is. By far.

For those who like/enjoy/prefer a clear optical viewfinder there is only one choice. The other aspect is image 'look'. Canon and Sony images have a different look and native color balance, and in my experience post-editing does not equalize them.

Although I am a mirrorless user, the Canon simply because everything you need (lenses) easily available and fully suited. If only Fuji/Oly had a full frame with their lens ranges matched!

If you have to have a winner, it's Sony for now. Lots of very interesting tech in this camera. However, Sony will probably release a new model in 6 months and the price of your used camera will drop like a rock. No firmware updates, no fixes to any potential problems. That's the way Sony rolls.

It's a strategy that may work for some. It certainly moves camera tech forward at a faster rate.

Canon on the other hand is very old school. Very slow to add new tech to a camera line. Incremental improvements is the game and like Sony, not many firmware updates, just slow major releases every 18-24 months. I have a 5DS, been working with it for about 3 weeks now. It is a great camera, the best 5D"n" yet produced. But why Canon did not add UHS 11 or CFast 2 support is simply stupid with a 50 megapixel camera. These more than a year old new card formats would have greatly enhanced this camera. But Canon is very slow to upgrade these type of features. The 5DS is the first 5D"n" to support USB 3.

But, I don't have to have a winner like you do. As a commercial photographer I have Canon's, Nikon's, Sony's and now even Samsung NX1. Of all the Camera's I have now, the one brand that is currently impressing me the most is Samsung. A about 8-10 month old camera that has already had three major firmware updates. This is a company that is truly supporting it users.

So, I realize that full-frame, gigapixel cameras are where the money is, but, having briefly used a FF camera, I find there appeal lacking. They are heavier, bulkier than their aps-c or 4/3 counterparts. Their larger, generally more expensive lenses aren't as sharp in the corners and tend to need stopping down to be sharp. And the huge megapixels amplify mistakes in focusing.

Yeah, sour grapes or something, but I'm very pleased with my little Olympus EM1.

I am a Canon user with some nice high-resolution-camera-worthy lenses. I think that it is too early to make a decision, because there is very little independent testing and no user experience with the Sony A7RII and its new sensor. The Sony sounds great on paper, but so did the A7R, and the older camera had issues with shutter shake, not apparent until the camera got into the hands of users.

Definitely the smaller one!

5DS - it would fit all my lenses

The Canon 5DS clearly lags behing the Nikon D810 in terms of dynamic range and in this resolution category (i.e. high), itäs what matters. I'm guessing that the new Sony will beat the Canon in dynamic range. Throw in 4K video and sensor stabilization and the Sony is much more exciting than the Canon.

Olympus OM-D EM1 with a 25/1.8.

Alright, if you must have a winner, I'll give the nod to the Sony. As an academic argument, I'd prefer it due to size and weight, and its undoubtedly superior video abilities. But I won't be buying either soon.


Obviously the Nikon d810. Whoops! Sorry. Tee hee!


Why, oh why, does Sony use lossy compression on its raw files? That, I'm afraid, would be a deal breaker for me. A site that describes this far better than I could:


I wish I were in with the "choosing between them" set. It would be a difficult choice. The Canon has, in my opinion, too many pixels for the sensor size (I shoot at night a lot). The Sony has the crippled raw file. I have had two Sony cameras, and I have had horrible difficulty with both. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. And then I read about the way Sony has chosen to provide us with a lossy raw file. It seems an oxymoron to place "raw file" and "lossy" together. The problem is real. I'm saving for a Nikon; Sony sensor and full, juicy raw file.

Photography for me is profession, entertainment, excitement, challenge and more. More DR sounds better for all of this than more resolution. High resolution was with us through a big part of the last century. We just needed to buy a large format camera and we were done. High DR, especially well deep in the two-digit stop scale is a thing of the 21th century.
Do I need this much dynamic range? Maybe, maybe not, But I want it. It is a new different challenge. For my personal work I mainly used Kodachrome 64 for 20 years. It had less than 5 stops of DR and I did great (I think). This is the new photography and I want to be part of it. Canon became a very boring company. Even Nikon with less resources is more interesting these days. Sony is the champion of cool!

I am so stuck in a time warp.
OM-4 to a OM-E-M5; Canon 5D to a Canon 6D. There is Fuji 35mm film in my freezer for my Canon EOS 620!.

I recently (like 2 weeks ago) bought a Canon 200-400 w1.4 tc lens and a 5Ds.
They make amazing pictures.
No such lens for the Sony, is there?
And while I use a Fuji-XT-1 quite a lot, an actual optical viewfinder is really much better for lots of things.

But the real question is - in 5 or 10 years, will Sony still be in the camera business?

Neither to be honest.

If they were the only two cameras on the planet, then the Sony. No competition. Resolution is not much use without good low ISO DR which the Canon doesn't have. It's about the same as a 1" sensor.

But if the rumoured Fuli Xpro2 is indeed 24 megapixels, then with Fujis faster lenses I have the equivalent of the A7ii.

Mind you, 16 megapixels can make some exceptional prints.

Sony. Indisputable.

Good time to get used A7, or A7R.

The only advantage I can think of that the Canon has over the Sony is that people will assume that you must be real professional photographer. On the other hand, there must be a lot of Sony photographers who have to persuade their clients that this small and cheapish looking thing is just as good or maybe even better than a Canon or Nikon DSLR.

Both cameras can produce images with a stunning resolution that will certainly start being visible in prints over 20 X 30 inches or so, looked at from a very short distance.

The problem is not a Ferrari or a Porsche, but where to find a racetrack.

I am primarily a landscape photographer and I have a set of C/Y lenses along with a couple of Canon T/S lenses, so I can use either camera with adaptors. Both require manual focusing, so its a no brainer for me, the Sony wins due to the focus peaking in the evf, plus every lens will have IS due to the IBIS and the sensor will have at least two more stops of DR.

I'm going with anything from Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony (FOPS!). They tossed out 60+ year old design and operational requirements to build cameras that incorporate sensors as components of the camera. Sure, Nikon and Canon have live view but that's a bolt-on rather than integral to the camera's operation.

Those hulking magnesium beasts have some speed advantages but not for long.

I'm really hoping the A7RII is going to live up to expectations.

I jumped ship away from Canon to go with the A7R over a year ago and have bitterly regretted it ever since. Sure the sensor is great, but the camera is horrible and the AF is without doubt the worst I have ever used on any camera. (And I was happy enough with the X100 firmware 1.0!)

The DXO results put things in perspective if you just dig into them a bit. At anything below ISO3200 the 5DS is a superb camera, and if you control the lighting even more so.

The 'S' is the thing - this is their Studio camera back again, and Canon's lens quality and range is still unmatched.

This time I wait and see, and will not rely on online reviews - I will rent it for a weekend before I buy the A7RII.

From the spec sheet it looks amazing, but that was true of the A7R too. An expensive lesson in humility.

The Sony, no question. Files from my A7R are wonderful, and the haptics of the camera are almost all good. This new one corrects the issues with the old. If I hadn't already gotten a 645Z (I already had a lens lineup from a 645N, and added to it wonderfully and cheaply) and an A7R, I'd jump at this new Sony. I probably will keep my eyes peeled on it as it moves through the sales cycle towards discounted pricing.

Canon is reminding me of another 5 letter photo giant no one thought would ever fail.

I'm so tired of this automatic assumption stating that cameras with the most megapixels are the "uber-cameras" I could scream.

These are "niche cameras" that are only effectively used for a quite narrow range of scenarios when using the the highest quality lenses available and extremely disciplined shot control.

This constant "pressure" by the media pushing for more and more megapixels is not best serving customer needs because it reinforces the notion that photographers constantly need better and better gear to make better photographs.

Mike if you want that BMW 2002 to make life complete- buy one. CA is a good place to look (no/little rust). Find a good mechanic who knows their way around the car. Have a few thousand $ in the bank for inevitable upgrades/repairs.
See- car of your dreams and a new friend:your mechanic.

Sony, for me. Though Canon is a close second, especially for guys who do wildlife.

I tried Nikon, the D800E, and kept fighting the autofocus system while i owned it. Lost too many shots with 300/4 and few other lenses. Eventually, gave up and tried Canon. My subjective openion is, that Nikon AF system is hit and miss. Canon's are miles ahead. Just nail focus every time, well, almost. I also like how Canons are built, looks and handling. I hated that raised monitor on my D800. Canons are flush, and neat. I also prefer Canon colors. Now i am going to try Sony A7r II, let's see.

DSLRs require you to shoot live view for blur free images but live view is an after thought there, not so enjoyable, and a chore really. I am excited about manual focus on Sony and of course they are built around a live view system.

So the bottomline is:
For landscapes Sony is better. If you have to shoot live view for optimum results, why do that on a DSLR? And now Sony has good lenses also, on par with EF lenses for this type of work. Well, not yet there if you consider T&S lenses but still.
For wildlife, 5dsr is better because for one, you don't have lenses in Sony system, and then you can't be quick with them.
For candids/people, Sony, because its going to be compact if you want it to be. They will have there 50 and 85/1.2s eventually, but atleast they have 1.4s, 1.8s, 2.8s and 4s and good ones at that.

And yes, Sony. Because i want to use 135 STF.

Those early comments about lenses being important speak to me; my primary lens is the Canon 17mm TS-E, and no other system has anything like it. But come the fall, I'll be shooting with it on an A7R ii.

Several reasons for that. Sony has focus peaking in the viewfinder, which I expect to make the manual focus experience much easier than Canon's clunky system. 4K video. IBIS.

I was worried about the handling of the small camera, but in the spring I got to play with an A7 ii with battery grip, and found it completely practical for serious work with my large hands and large Canon lenses. And I love the idea of just being able to take the grip off, stick on a small lens, and have an easy high-quality walkaround camera for the days when I don't want to be carrying gear.

I expect I'll be keeping my 5Dii as a backup and for when I need high-speed AF. It's good enough for those times.

A year ago I tried mightily to be satisfied with the Sony a7R full frame cameras. I was moving from medium format film and the new units from Sony were getting a lot of attention. Amid the excitement there were reports of motion problems affecting image quality and it was clear (then) there weren't many fine lens choices. I expected things to improve (they did) but I still didn't like them because they didn't feel right in my hands. Through the same period I carefully considered the Canon DSLRs. They were everywhere you looked. But, at the same time they were being panned for not stacking up with the specs and features of the Nikon 800/E. I voted for Nikon with my checkbook and am content with my decision. In the field or during a commercial shoot the system feels "right." I'm regularly astonished at the caliber of image I can pull out of impossible situations and high ISOs. If I was given the choice to choose and own the Canon 50 mp, the Sony 36 mp or the Nikon D810 36 mp and their brand's best 24-70 zoom, free, I'd go with Nikon. It falls short of the new PhaseOne in some ways, but in most ways it would be the heart of my working kit.

For personal use, the Sony, Fuji, Olympus....
For professional, Canon or Nikon.

I have come to this discussion rather late but if anyone is still reading I would like to put right a common misconception.

Someone suggested that the A7RII has a restricted dynamic range because it has 'only 11 bits'. The bits that are talked about in camera specs refer to the resolution of the analogue to digital converter that is used to digitize the analogue signal from the photo-diodes in the sensor. The number of bits does not in itself define dynamic range but if there were insufficient bits to describe the available range then yes that would be a problem. The dynamic range is defined by the signal to noise ratio which is the difference between a sensor diode being fully saturated and the signal disappearing into noise.

What this means in practice is that as the sensitivity (ISO) is increased the noise floor rises so that fewer bits are needed to do the job. That is why dynamic range decreases as ISO is increased and this is why 'lossy' compression can be used as ISO is raised. The 'lost' bits are only describing noise and so are useless, and so in this case the compression is not really lossy at all. The A7RII uses 14 bits which are described as 11 + 7 bits. Now we can guess at what Sony are doing. It is clever and is aimed at increasing processing speed. It possibly might result in some degradation at pixel level (pixel peeping is totally pointless of course) but I very much doubt that the dynamic range is compromised. That really wouldn't be in Sony's interest. No doubt DXO Labs will test the dynamic range in due course. I bet it will be better than the Canon.

There is no winner, except photographers who get to choose among a group of very good cameras, any one of which is an excellent tool for photography.

Dear Mike,

Well, the moment you burden it with the machismo-ish “Übercamera” moniker, the answer is really obvious. The Canon, of course. Because it's bigger, and all of us macho types know that size matters.

Discussion over. The matter is settled.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

Dear folks,

Following on Bob Johnston's comment, and possibly beating a dead horse,...

…but the horse doesn't ever seem to want to stay dead (oooh, zombie equines on the internets)…

Bit depth and exposure range are two different aspects of image quality. One does not convert to the other. If you need a visual metaphor, think of the total exposure range as being a staircase. How many stories up the staircase runs is how long the exposure range is. How many steps are on the staircase is the bit depth.

Along with what Bob explained about the difficulty of relating bit depth to exposure range, there other primary factors that come into play. One is that at the shadow end of the scale, where the sensitivity floor is limited by statistical noise, you don't get quantized gray levels in the real world; what you get is a quasi-continuum, with adjacent pixels having slightly different values, faintly akin to film grain. See this column:

“Noise is Your Friend” ––


This dose of reality pretty much trashes the hypothetical argument about needing additional bit levels to distinguish between darker tones. The real world just doesn't work that way.

Even in a (nonexistent) noise free system, you still can't map bit depth onto exposure range, viz. these two columns:

“Why ISO Isn't ISO” ––



“RAW is not Raw” ––


For folks who found that all “longissimus, non legi,” the essential bit is that the staircase isn't even straight! RAW files have their own innate characteristic curves that deviate considerably from linearity, and that prevents you from saying that so many bits equate to so many stops of exposure range, even in theory.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

Neither do much for me. I sold off my Sony A7 Kit because it didn't make me all the happy, seemed clunky. I sold off my Canon kit a decade age because I wasn't thrilled with the lenses.

Überkamera? Doesn't exist. No one camera is all that special.


Shift to em5 II plus d810. Well, have to be both as the d810 video button cannot start video after doing it once. Nikon said they are waiting for spare parts.

Not interest in sony or canon.

Since I no longer shoot professionally and I don't have to care about image quality (my favorite camera is a compact), what remains is having fun while taking pictures. And on that front, a big FF optical viewfinder trumps everything. On the other hand, the gigantic and overly expensive FF DSLRs are a bit crazy. But if it's not a FF DSLRs, then I want a small cheap camera, and the Sony certainly isn't that when accounting for the lenses.

So, no winner here.

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