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Canon 5D Mark II image quality

I’ve been preferentially shooting my Nikon D3x for the past several months, with the Canon 5D Mark II and 1Ds Mark III sitting mostly idle. The D3x must now must go to Nikon for repair due to the recent damage. Both cameras have review coverage in DAP, especially the D3x.

I recently started shooting the 5D Mark II again (for my review with the 24/1.4L II), and I’m amazed at how much I dislike its image quality now— it’s just not in the same league as the D3x ( I noted this way back in January). Simply put, 5DM2 images look muddy and struggle to look real, lacking the depth and clarity that the D3x offers; they just don‘t come together, looking like digital images, not the real thing. Maybe that’s why the results with the Hartblei 40/80/120 look so good: the marriage of top optics and top image quality are magic.

Of course it’s unfair to compare a camera costing $8000 to one costing $2700, but professionals make such choices all the time based on image quality; that’s why a market for medium format digital exists (but is under severe pressure).

I do hope that Canon ups the ante with a next generation camera sometime this year, the image integrity just isn’t there with the 1Ds Mark III or 5D Mark II— which is why the Nikon D3x remains king of the DSLR market and the “poor man’s medium format”. All the reviews in the world won’t change this fact, but viewing thousands of real images make it plain to see.


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