John Harrington: Nikon D3 vs. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

John Harrington, who bought both cams at the same time, did a comparision by uprezzing the D3 files to match the 1DsIII resolution – with interesting results.

For large commercial jobs, where I am thinking I want a higher native resolution, it’ll be the Canon I reach for. For low light situations, which are all too common, it will, without a doubt, be Nikon


Focus instead on the noise- or lack thereof. It’s absolutely amazing. The color is smoother, and, as you’ll see in the megapixel section, it up-rezzes better.

D3 ISO noise comparison by Bjørn Rørslett

Bjørn Rørslett has posted a noise comparision for the Nikon D3….

Nikon D3: dynamic range and noise

There is an interesting discussion at Dpreview (one of the better threads) about the D3 and the way Nikon handles dynamic range and noise in comparision to Canon. Emil J. Martin explains how to measure dynamic range with dcraw.

D3 and dynamic range

D3 and sensor efficiency

D3, D300 and 5D studio comparision

Christian Handl has done a very interesting comparision between Nikon D3 and Canon 5D at lower ISO settings and in the studio with some interesting comments on dynamic range and the ability to boost shadows without noise:

“The propagated fantastic high ISO-performance is actually very good, but for a Canon photographer less of a sensation, with a maximum of 1 Aperture advantage over the Canon 5 D, I would say after the first comparisons. But in other words, for a Nikon photographer an improvement of 3-4 steps to the D2X, which is a very impressive difference.”


Most surprised me the far greater dynamic range, here are the differences in my recordings to the Canon 5D very large, the cameras were in similar light (same flash unit and similar ISO from 250 to 320) to allow a good comparison. While the black clothes of the model in the 5D were only partly illuminable, with the D3 even the seemingly blackest parts of the dress showed structure without disturbing noise. Very impressive, and in everyday life in many photographic situations more important than MP