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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Nikon photos vs Canon ones
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02/19/2005 05:29:18 PM · #1
Being a solid Nikon user, I'm a bit biased.
But even so, I can almost clearly see whether a photo has been taken with a Nikon or a Canon. Most Canon photos I've seen are sharp beyond everything while Nikon photos come out so and so. I'm not generalizing anything here, it's just something I've noticed since I got my D70.

Maybe it has something to do with the lenses. Or maybe just the percentage of Canon users compared to Nikonians. Anyway, this is becoming quite discouraging..

Any thoughts?

--MrOlafsson
02/19/2005 05:33:13 PM · #2
I doubt it's your camera. Nikons are probably every bit as sharp as canons. Maybe you don't have your in-camera sharpening turned up or you're not sharpening in PS after???
02/19/2005 05:34:33 PM · #3
Originally posted by deapee:

I doubt it's your camera. Nikons are probably every bit as sharp as canons. Maybe you don't have your in-camera sharpening turned up or you're not sharpening in PS after???


It's not just my camera, I'm fairly happy with my photos, but just Nikon D70s overall.
02/19/2005 05:35:56 PM · #4
And what were you using before you got your D70?
02/19/2005 05:38:39 PM · #5
A 2mp Kodak :P
02/19/2005 05:44:37 PM · #6
Maybe you got sharper results with the 2MP Kodak because it was designed to give you processed (sharpened) images out of the camera which you didn't have much control over. You can adjust your D70 to do the same, but I wouldn't suggest that.
You have decide to go for the D70 - it's a great camera. I don't know how you came to that conclusion that Nikons, especially the D70 isn't good enough.

Message edited by author 2005-02-19 17:46:49.
02/19/2005 05:55:56 PM · #7
Nonono, I didn't in any possible way say that the D70 isn't good enough. I love it deeply. It's probably just the fact that more people seem to have Canons nowadays and therefore there should be more photos from Canon around.
02/19/2005 05:58:23 PM · #8
Since this subject is open.... what should the settings be on the Canon 20D (in camera)? I have them on default... which is halfway on everything. Should they be changed or left alone?

02/19/2005 06:02:31 PM · #9
Originally posted by Truegsht:

Since this subject is open.... what should the settings be on the Canon 20D (in camera)? I have them on default... which is halfway on everything. Should they be changed or left alone?


Are you happy with the results? If so, leave them alone. I left mine as is. I find most images need a little extra sharpening. I usually use lab sharpening at like 200% or so radius of .8 to 1 on just about every shot. That's before i process at all and I usually will sharpen as a final step as well.
02/19/2005 06:07:08 PM · #10
Leave them alone and shoot RAW! People get these geat cameras that are suppose to be used in a way that YOU make the decisions. You can set up the RAW converters defaults to "process" them to what you generally expect and like (sharpening, hue, WB, etc.), then make the other general tweaks to the pic aftewards. Kind of why it is called a digital darkroom.
If you just want to set them to P or Auto and let the camera do all the sharpening and adjustments, why spend the cash on a DSLR when a point and shoot seems more cost effective.
Just my thoughts on it.
02/19/2005 06:08:05 PM · #11
Well, if there are more Canons that there would probably be more images from Canons as well.
But if you have noticed that most Canon images are sharper, I think the images were probably from people who liked really sharp images. When you resample 6MP images to DPC (max 640px) size you will lose sharpness and later will have to use a sharpening method to produce anything people would notice for it's sharpness.
02/19/2005 06:13:11 PM · #12
Originally posted by dacrazyrn:

Leave them alone and shoot RAW! People get these geat cameras that are suppose to be used in a way that YOU make the decisions. You can set up the RAW converters defaults to "process" them to what you generally expect and like (sharpening, hue, WB, etc.), then make the other general tweaks to the pic aftewards. Kind of why it is called a digital darkroom.
If you just want to set them to P or Auto and let the camera do all the sharpening and adjustments, why spend the cash on a DSLR when a point and shoot seems more cost effective.
Just my thoughts on it.


I know I personally don't have the patience to sift through a gig worth of raw files after I go out shooting. That's the main reason I shoot JPG. I have no problems with letting my camera sharpen (I've never had it oversharpen an image) or set the saturation. I can always tweak that stuff later.

If you know your settings, I see no real benefit to shooting raw unless you like the spend A LOT of time afterwards sorting things out. And if you just run your RAW files through a batch program -- you're technically just letting the program do what could have been done in the camera (which is adjustable in JPG mode as well btw probably just as much so as in your program).
02/19/2005 06:24:41 PM · #13
so essentially, you are throwing away the negatives.
After reading the Real World Camera RAW book...no way I would shoot other than RAW.
The time issue is irrelevant, considering I CAN batch them to MY settings and don't have to do them individually for a whole set of same conditions (yes you can do an action for jpg, but I don't see the results coming out the same...anymore). Plus I can convert them a little over 2 times in size through RAW, for ones I know I will want to print. BONUS!!
02/19/2005 06:29:26 PM · #14
Originally posted by dacrazyrn:

Plus I can convert them a little over 2 times in size through RAW, for ones I know I will want to print. BONUS!!


You're using NC4? Amazing how it upsamples to 24mp+ (=2x6mp dimensions).


02/19/2005 06:29:59 PM · #15
Adobe RAW converter
02/19/2005 06:48:02 PM · #16
Originally posted by dacrazyrn:

so essentially, you are throwing away the negatives.


No. I just personally take more pride in viewing my photos and sharring them with others than tweaking every last detail in them. My properly exposed, properly white-balanced .JPG is of no less value to me than your RAW file but in the end, it takes up a bunch less space.
02/19/2005 07:02:11 PM · #17
Personally I agree with deapee that it takes a discouragingly long time to process the RAW files but having tried it myself I now shoot RAW all the time. The simple fact is that the pictures I get out at the end are better. Tweaking white balance, exposure, contrast etc on my PC gives me better results because (a) I can see the image better on my screen than on the the back of the camera and (b) because I can tweak the settings per image rather than the "set and forget" on my camera.

I agree that theoretically you can get the same picture if you use the settings in the camera correctly. But my real world experience is that you don't.

John

Message edited by author 2005-02-19 19:02:29.
02/19/2005 07:04:23 PM · #18
If your exposure is dead on, shooting JPG is just fine. That said, I always shot JPG until September of last year when I decided to shoot RAW for a weekend after upgrading to PS CS. I never went back. Bought bigger cards, changed my workflow, and have not looked back. Yes, RAWs take up more room, but no I don't spend more time editing. The ability to optimize exposure, contrast, white balance, etc. before converting to JPG ensures that I have to do a minimum of editing afterward, which saves me time. I can't count the number of times I've saved blown highlights because the additional data was actually there in the RAW file, but would ave been lost if I'd been shooting JPG. You also cannot save back over your original when using RAW, since you don't ever write to the RAW format from your editor.
RAW is not for everyone, but for myself, it has been a great benefit.
To ster the thread back to the OP's intent, I've worked with enough D70 files (we use one at work) that I am confident the D70 can produce images that are jsut as clean, crisp and contrasty as my 10D. Both must have glass of equivalent quality, of course. I will say that the Nikon kit lens blows away the Canon 18-55 from what I have seen.
02/19/2005 07:05:38 PM · #19
Originally posted by deapee:

...but in the end, it takes up a bunch less space.

and has more compression artifact. (C:
02/19/2005 07:39:30 PM · #20
To add to the OT - I find white balance adjustment to be the biggest advantage of shooting RAW. Trying to correct for WB with a JPG is, well.. frustrating, to say the least. The AutoWB of most every Canon I know is sketchy in a lot of situations. And those are the situations where I don't have the chance to shoot a gray card to set my own WB.

More ON topic - perhaps some folks (Canon and Nikon included) should check out the CSPro plugins from FredMiranda.com. The way the plugin sharpens is great and you've got a good bit of control over it. It works best on full-size or near full-size images, but could be applied to web-sized images, too.. I haven't bothered because High Pass sharpening works so well for that.
02/19/2005 08:01:31 PM · #21
Originally posted by MrOlafsson:

...Most Canon photos I've seen are sharp beyond everything while Nikon photos come out so and so. I'm not generalizing anything here, it's just something I've noticed since I got my D70.


Actually, you *are* generalizing :)

I think you'd be hard pressed to make a scientific case for that statement since both brands are equally capable of creating mind-numbingly sharp images when wielded with proficiency. I use a D70 with a low-end zoom (70-300 mm f4-5.6G) and can resolve individual feather strands on shotds of goldfinches I'm shooting from 10' away. That's sharp, and on cheap glass no less. A D70 which produces so-so images consistently is either broken, has wrong settings, or is incurring user error ;)

If you're not looking at 100% crops, then you're more likely looking at downsampling artifacts, and the products of people's workflow rather than the capability of cameras or lenses. At the 640px DPC size you're not seeing anything close to the potential of a given camera.

02/19/2005 08:14:16 PM · #22
Getting back to the original statment, about pictures taken with canon cameras being sharper than those taken with nikon, I belive it may be that there are a lot more people using canon DSLR's than nikon. This may be because canon was the first to have a DSLR priced under $1000.00.
I don't beleave that there is much difference between the two.
02/19/2005 08:22:15 PM · #23
Originally posted by deapee:

I know I personally don't have the patience to sift through a gig worth of raw files after I go out shooting. That's the main reason I shoot JPG. I have no problems with letting my camera sharpen (I've never had it oversharpen an image) or set the saturation. I can always tweak that stuff later.


You can always tweak it later if you aren't tweaking it very much, or many times. JPEG is starting with less data, so changing levels or curves. Editing in a 16 bit space via RAW workflow give much more leeway.

Originally posted by deapee:

If you know your settings, I see no real benefit to shooting raw unless you like the spend A LOT of time afterwards sorting things out. And if you just run your RAW files through a batch program -- you're technically just letting the program do what could have been done in the camera (which is adjustable in JPG mode as well btw probably just as much so as in your program).


Not necessarily. Different images respond to sharpening differently. Even the best photographers miss exposure by a stop once in while. RAW allows that to be corrected without negative side effects. The algorithms available in some of the converters also do an incomperable job of highlight recovery.

If you're *really* god with exposure, and know your camera settings JPEG is more convenient, but after working on bird photography for the past 2 months I have noticed that I get better color accuracy and image quality with a raw workflow. It takes longer than straigth JPEG downloads, but only a little. In the end the quality is worth it by a long shot.
02/19/2005 09:05:49 PM · #24
There are several factors that influence the sharpness of digital camera images. These factors include: the resolution of the sensor, the sensor mask pattern, sensor technology, the interpolation algorithm, anti-aliasing filter, hot mirror filter, in camera post processing which may utilize some type of noise reduction, and of course, the lens,it's focus, and exposure. Many of these factors differ from one manufacturer to another, but most will provide comparable images with an experienced user that post processes with a computer. All the various technologies have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally prefer a razor sharp image that only a few cameras provide out-of-the-box. But I have noticed that the newer 8mp and better cameras all have superbly sharp images. When I replace my antique Kodak/Nikon DCS460 it will be with one of those new super cameras.
02/19/2005 09:46:07 PM · #25


Its funny, I know exactly what MrOlafsson is talking about.

When I view submissions, most of the time I can guess which camera has taken a photograph before I read the information panel below the picture window.

EOS 300s seem to have a nice sharpness to the exposure (probably due to in-camera processing algorithms) where the D70 shots seem to be a bit more "RAW" and un-processed.

If one has a good skill for editing, I think taking the digital photograph is only half the equation. A well edited D70 photograph (I think) looks far better than an EOS shot (personal opinion only guys, dont hurt me)

Of course I'd say this, I own a Nikon! LOL

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