YXD172
Topic Author
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:38 am

Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:51 pm

Hi,
I've been using an Olympus E330 for a while now, and while I love the camera I'm looking at switching over to either the Canon or Nikon systems. Olympus seems to have almost deserted their standard DSLRs, and I'd like to 'upgrade' from the microFourThirds lenses to something with a bigger sensor, mostly for low-light performance.

That said, does either Canon or Nikon have an advantage in low-light situations? I'm thinking mostly of the entry or mid-level cameras, as my budget is fairly limited by school and flying. How do they compare in:

-Autofocus speed (without flash my Olympus is usually lost, with 'AF flash' it still takes a long time and the burst flash that it uses is annoying)

-Image Quality / Noise (my current camera struggles here, though image quality during the day is great)

Any advice?

Thanks!
Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
 
oly720man
Posts: 5761
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:14 pm

Nikon are usually regarded as better than Canon in low light, but for most situations there is little between them.

Check this site for impartial comparisons.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cam...nsor-Ratings/(type)/usecase_sports

Pentax and Sony make good cameras as well, but they don't come with the pro lenses that Nikon and Canon do.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
angad84
Posts: 1861
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:06 pm

At the entry/mid level, Canon and Nikon are roughly equal, with a slight edge to Nikon (actually that holds true almost across the board, haha!) So almost any body/lens combo from either manufacturer would be all right.

Glass is important, but without knowing your budget and requirements, it's difficult to reccommend anything specific. If you have the budget and just want to roll with general spotting, Nikon has just released an 80-400mm lens that blows Canon's vaunted (but ageing) 100-400mm lens out of the water.

On the other hand, you can get a Canon 70-200 f/4L lenses pretty cheap (compared to retail) on the used market as people tend to upgrade to longer or faster lenses over time. The 70-200 is a stupidly sharp lens, so that's a consideration that might swing you toward Canon.

Good luck
 
YXD172
Topic Author
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:38 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:02 am

Quoting oly720man (Reply 1):

Check this site for impartial comparisons.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cam...ports

Thanks! The low-end Nikons seem pretty impressive, I'll have to check them out.

Quoting angad84 (Reply 2):

Glass is important, but without knowing your budget and requirements, it's difficult to reccommend anything specific.

Right now I've only got about $1000, which I realize won't get me much new. I may save up a little more so that I can get some better glass from the start.
Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
 
Dehowie
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:41 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:21 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 2):
Nikon has just released an 80-400mm lens that blows Canon's vaunted (but ageing) 100-400mm lens out of the water.

Mmm the only area the new Nikon blows anything out of the water is the damage it does to your credit card...
 

As for the 100-400 its minutely sharper if at all..200g heavier..non pro build and a thousand dollars more expensive!
Well at least 15 years after the release of the Canon the Nikon guys will have a decent 400mm zoom..  

As for DXO if your after a comparison of one aspect that makes a camera body they are fine. However if you want a review of the "package" that a camera represents that includes AF,build etc then DXO is so far from practical as to be on an orbit in a galaxy far far away. Sensor alone does not a package or body make..
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
angad84
Posts: 1861
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:07 pm

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 4):
Mmm the only area the new Nikon blows anything out of the water is the damage it does to your credit card...

I only shot 15 or so test frames with the 80-400 and D7000, but they were significantly sharper than anything the 7D & 100-400L combo could put together. It certainly is pricey, although Nikon reacts quickly to the market and prices will likely drop to saner levels in a few weeks.

Personally, I'm all but fed up with the 100-400L and mostly use the 70-200L as much as possible.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4661
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:53 pm

I suppose it depends on the 100-400. One of Canon's Achilles heels is the fact that there are so many sub-standard copies around. My 100-400 produces images as sharp as anything any of the three 70-200 f/4s I've owned have ever produced - and that's throughout its entire range.

People will say, "Nikon this..." and, "Canon that..." but ultimately the decision should be based on which system suits you best. There is no clear winner and I guarantee you won't notice the areas in which one is better than the other, because the margins are so incredibly small. A Nikon owner is going to tell you his camp is better, and a Canon owner vice-versa. It's a bit like comparing apples with apples....

What produces less noise depends entirely on the situations and conditions in which you shoot. There are many great professional images online these days (and I don't just mean here) - but could you tell which were shot with Nikon and which were shot with Canon? After they've been through Photoshop it won't make a scrap of difference.

Karl
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 6):
People will say, "Nikon this..." and, "Canon that..." but ultimately the decision should be based on which system suits you best. There is no clear winner and I guarantee you won't notice the areas in which one is better than the other, because the margins are so incredibly small. A Nikon owner is going to tell you his camp is better, and a Canon owner vice-versa. It's a bit like comparing apples with apples....

It depends on what you want to accomplish. Not very relevant here, but for people interested in high dynamic range and the ability to squeeze every ounce of detail and push pixels to their limits, Nikon has the current advantage as the amount of detail that can be pulled from shadows and highlights is incredible. Landscape photographers are flocking to Nikon for this reason. I know many Canon shooters who have switched, or are interested in switching over to Nikon since the release of the D600 and D800.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4661
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:47 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 7):
Landscape photographers are flocking to Nikon for this reason

Like I said, whatever suits the photographer. Folks will always switch from Canon to Nikon, and vice-versa. What may suit a photographer one year may not the next.

My point is, once you reach the high-level bodies of either manufacturer, noise performance shouldn't really be an issue for anyone. Detail resolving should also be able to please even the most ardent pixel-peeper, irrespective of who has the slight advantage.

Proper research will determine which system is best for your needs. As a Canon user I'd love to say my camp has the edge, but I can't. There may be periods when one comes out on top for a few months but the balance is always restored in some way. It wasn't so long ago that Nikon's CCD sensors were a touch behind Canon's CMOS alternative.

Karl
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:12 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 8):
Like I said, whatever suits the photographer. Folks will always switch from Canon to Nikon, and vice-versa. What may suit a photographer one year may not the next.

My point is, once you reach the high-level bodies of either manufacturer, noise performance shouldn't really be an issue for anyone. Detail resolving should also be able to please even the most ardent pixel-peeper, irrespective of who has the slight advantage.

Isn't that contradictory though? Performance is an issue for some, based on their needs.

Things are changing. We've always preached here that neither brand was significantly better than the other and one should choose based on feel and preference for ones system. While still true to an extent, there is an increasing divide between the two brands. Basically for landscapes Nikon has the edge because of low light and dynamic range while Canon is preferred for portrait and studio photography.

For airliners.net, correct...there absolutely is no need for one over the other.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4661
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:29 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 9):
Isn't that contradictory though?

Not really. If the top-end Nikon has only ever-so-slightly better noise performance than the equivalent Canon there are other factors which may sway the decision. A better price may suit one photographer; a more navigable menu system may swing if for another.

I don't think either Canon or Nikon will allow the other to gain too much of an advantage long-term. I'm not really convinced about this old adage of Nikon being for landscapes and Canon being for portraits either. A lot of truth in it maybe, but it's not a fact set in stone.

Go to any major sporting event and chances are you'll mainly see Canon's L lenses poking around at the sidelines. Do I think that's a sign of Canon being better for action photography? Not necessarily, but there's perhaps something in it that makes Canon a more attractive prospect - even if it's only something relatively trivial.

At the time I bought my first DSLR, Canon ticked all the right boxes. If I had to make that same decision again now, perhaps it'd be different; then different again in another five years.

Karl
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):
Not really. If the top-end Nikon has only ever-so-slightly better noise performance than the equivalent Canon there are other factors which may sway the decision. A better price may suit one photographer; a more navigable menu system may swing if for another.

Karl, it's not "ever-so-slightly". I know many who have switched specifically because of Nikon's superior handling of dynamic range. It was enough for them to ditch their entire canon lineup and start from scratch in building a Nikon setup. That's significant!

Take the D800, for example. Clearly designed for the landscape photographer.

[Edited 2013-04-19 10:50:22]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4661
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:08 pm

I'm not denying the resolving power of Nikons. I'd personally say that Nikon's mid-range and high-end bodies are superior to Canon's. What I am saying is that both systems as a whole have their pros and cons. Like I said, it is extremely unlikely that one will allow the other to get too far in front. What's perfect for landscapes may not be so hot at other things.

Nikon has never had a serious competitor to the 70-200 f/4 L, and has only just released something equal to (in fact likely better than) the venerable 100-400 - albeit at a price. So for a long time Nikon were lagging behind in the lens department. That's now sorted, but the two giants of photography will never stand still.

If the O.P. wants better noise performance than he has already, a mid-range camera from either manufacturer should do the trick. My responses were based on his needs, so it's pointless starting a debate on whose FF cameras resolve the better detail or control noise best.

Bottom line? What's the point in entering another 'N vs. C' debate? Some of us use Nikon, some use Canon; we ALL produce images more than good enough for here. And I'm sure the Canon users are happy with their setup, like the Nikon users are satisfied with theirs.

To the O.P......

Go out, try the different systems, and buy whichever makes you happy. Don't base your decision entirely upon written specifications.

Karl

[Edited 2013-04-19 11:16:07]

[Edited 2013-04-19 11:23:44]
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:23 pm

In all of this people talk about 'noise' as some sort of absolute - does one have more than the other? Tests done by DXo rather encourage that belief.

But there is a qualitative aspect to noise as well as quantitative. Noise from my EM-5 is very different to that of my Canons - almost film like, and quite attractive in B&W shots.

Then there's how "workable" the files are. While on the test bench exposures from 2 cameras may look the same, when you start trying to pull a bit of shadow detail you may see a very different story,

However, since the OP seems concerned with low light photography, I would suggest that fast lenses would be a more significant factor than the camera - so have a look at what is available in fast glass at your price point.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4661
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:19 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 13):
I would suggest that fast lenses would be a more significant factor than the camera

I was going to mention this but didn't want to edit my post a third time!  

To be fair I feel that Canon bodies have lost their way a bit recently (not least in build quality) but the range of lenses for most applications just pips Nikon I'd say. I was looking on behalf of a friend at Nikon/Nikkor lenses yesterday, and was surprised by both the prices (very expensive generally) and how slow many are.

A deciding factor for many people will be the range of lenses available, and that will often be more important than how well detail can be resolved. Sorry to say but for many cost will also play a big part.

I may get flamed for this but I really don't see a point to this whole Nikon versus Canon debate - especially in response to a request such as that of the O.P. Both companies have a roughly equal market share so they are both clearly doing something right.

You can look at specifications and resolution charts until blue in the face but if the system as a whole doesn't suit it's irrelevant. Any difference between top-end cameras of any brand is like comparing a base model Ferrari to the top model - whichever you choose you'll be getting the very best and they'll perform comfortably to expectation. One may go just that bit faster, but if the slower one is fast enough for you......

Karl
 
megatop412
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:40 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:21 pm

There really isn't going to be much of a discernable difference, both manufaturers are pretty much neck and neck in the IQ department. They do a good job of keeping each other on their toes, and we benefit from it.

The differences you're going to see when considering entry-level bodies will be between different generations of those bodies(i.e. D60 vs. D3100 or 40D vs. 60D). People get too damn nitpicky about this minutae, which is fine if you're being paid to do this, but most people aren't and need to focus on nailing their exposures instead of how much detail they can lift out of the shadows.

You may want to consider going used so you can get both a body and a couple decent lenses with that $1000
 
YXD172
Topic Author
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:38 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:02 pm

Thanks for all of the help, and I apologize for starting a mini C vs N war here. I only asked the question because I've heard many people mention that Olympus (my current DSLR) suffer from trouble in low light, and my experience with the camera backs this up. I guess it won't be an issue when deciding between Canon and Nikon then!
Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
 
cristianbucur
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:27 pm

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:32 pm

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 4):
Right now I've only got about $1000, which I realize won't get me much new. I may save up a little more so that I can get some better glass from the start.

That is the best option. No matter what you choose, Nikon vs Canon or Canon vs Nikon. Bad lenses has both. In most of the cases, expensive lens=good lens.
 
trvyyz
Posts: 1331
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:19 am

RE: Canon Vs Nikon, Low-light Performance

Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:02 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 11):
Karl, it's not "ever-so-slightly". I know many who have switched specifically because of Nikon's superior handling of dynamic range.

so true, you may not see the differnece if you shooting only planes  

See here More dynamic range 13.7 EV vs 11.7 EV 2 f-stops more dynamic range
http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon_EOS_7D-vs-Nikon-D7100

I switched from Canon to Nikon. the IQ is better now. But handling wise and lens choices, i still miss the Canon but in the end the result from the Nikon makes up for it. but while shooting planes, I don't see any difference or the Canon may be more suited for the high fps.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos