Fstoppers Reviews The Canon 5DsR, Sony A7RII, and Nikon D810

If you thought the megapixel war was over years ago then you might shocked by the latest cameras released by Nikon, Sony, and Canon. The D810, A7RII, and 5DsR are the biggest and baddest pieces of artillery on the front line, and today the team at Fstoppers is going to determine once and for all which camera is the best. With enough megapixels to challenge some of the most popular medium format cameras, these compact full frame cameras pack a lot more punch than you would think. Don't believe us? View the full high res images and take the poll yourself!

 

 

Preface

Before we get deep into our thoughts about all three of these cameras, let me make this clear that we are not here to bash or praise any one of these cameras without good cause. Yes, both Patrick and I shoot with Nikon but as most of you know we are the first ones to point out when something isn't up to speed, is disappointing, or flat out sucks. The truth be told, if you simply want to create photographs, all three of these cameras are absolutely amazing in image quality, and if your photos aren't great it probably isn't because of the camera but instead you probably don't know how to take a good photo with the gear you already have.  

It is very clear that the most talked about camera of the three is the Sony A7RII which is creating a media buzz storm in the photo world. Sony has taken on a very different approach with their A series cameras and because they are the only mirrorless camera in this test, the Sony will have some extra challenges to overcome. Canon and Nikon have become the industry standard for high quality DSLR cameras and it would be foolish to think that any brand could just come in and take the crown away from them overnight. So while our review might seem harsh at times towards Sony, it is simply because they have a few major concerns to address before they can be viewed as an apples to apples contender with a professional DSLR. That being said, everyone at Fstoppers is extremely excited to see this new underdog take on the big boys. It is clear why Sony is gaining so much ground because they are implementing features and upgrades that professional photographers actually want while Nikon and Canon keep slowly releasing uninspiring cameras year in and year out. 

With that preface, let's get on with the tests!

 

Ergonomics 

Let's first start with how the actual camera feels in your hand. Everyone is already pretty familiar with the Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras (and even the Sony Alpha series) and how bulky and large they are next to smaller cameras. It seems that in most cases people typically believe smaller is better (except for the recent wave in smart phones lately). While it is true that smaller and lighter cameras are easier to travel with, they don't always feel great in your hands especially when you mount professional 2.8 lenses to them. 

This is where in my opinion the Sony falls short. For a travel camera, yes the Sony is absolutely the camera I'd prefer hanging around my neck, but the A7RII isn't aimed at travel photography. It is being sold as a high resolution studio camera for professionals. By the time you add a professional telephoto lens, a battery grip to balance out the heavy lens, and strap on your Sony or Metabones lens adapter, this lightweight camera becomes VERY similar in weight and size to a full sized DSLR. As we address later in this review, you are going to need a lens adapter and a ton of extra batteries which completely takes the "small and lightweight" argument completely out of the equation for me.  

To be perfectly fair here, Sony does win part of the ergonomics test by having the best ISO, Shutter, and Aperture button layout. As a professional photographer, these three settings are going to be adjusted more than any other setting besides maybe White Balance. Nikon and Canon both require you to push and hold an extra button to change ISO while Sony has wisely attached ISO to the right hand lower thumb wheel. This means you can easily and quickly change ISO, Aperture, and Shutter without taking your eye out of the viewfinder (EVF in this case) and make every change with one single hand. The Canon 5DS R is the next easiest with the ISO button on top of the right hand grip and the Nikon D810 is the worst by having a dedicated ISO button on the left side which requires your left hand to leave the lens to make this change. 

Dynamic Range Test

Dynamic range represents how much data the camera can capture in both the highlights and the shadows. Typically digital cameras can capture between 11 - 15 stops of light without crushing data on either side of the histogram. For this test we decided to take some test photos of a high contrast image and see how much detail we could pull out of the shadows while keeping the blown highlights to a minimum. I'll be the first to admit this is not the sort of situation you will be shooting in often but it does offer a unique environment to really pull out the shadow and highlight recovery.  

 

Our test results are pretty consistent to what other more sophisticated review sites have found. The Nikon D810 revealed just a little more detail in the shadows under the car than any of the other cameras, and the Canon 5DS R was the clear loser. The dynamic range on the Sony camera was between the Nikon and the Canon but the lens flair from the Sony 24-70 f/4 lens was so bad that the resulting image was actually worse than the Canon. I wish we would have been able to use the same Tamron 24-70 2.8 lens on all three of these cameras because it would have removed the lens as a variable but unfortunately the lens selection for the A7RII is pretty small even from third party manufacturers.  

It's pretty amazing to see how far dynamic range has come in the last 10 years. Having the ability to recover bright highlights and open up deep shadows is a very valuable tool for any photographer, and we were shocked how much details was still there hiding in these grossly underexposed night photos. That being said, these cameras seem to be aimed at studio photographers who have more control over their lighting ratios than other casual shooters. In the studio I don't think any of these 3 cameras really gives a huge advantage over the others especially if your total scene contains less than 12 stops from shadow to highlight. If you are a landscape photographer, you will either go with the Nikon for the best dynamic range, the Canon for the most resolution, or maybe the Sony just to have a lighter camera while sacrificing both dynamic range and resolution just a little bit.  

The ISO Test

One of the most exciting upgrades with each new camera is better performance in high ISO ranges. Both the Nikon D810 and the Canon 5DS R have maximum native ISOs of 12,800 while the Sony A7RII has one extra stop of native ISO at 25,600 (all three cameras have a few extra stops of software expandable ISO). For the sake of making our tests as fair as possible, we decided to only push the ISO to the max native ISO of the Canon and Nikon. Therefore, ISO 12,800 was used as the main high ISO mark for all three cameras.  

As you can see from the small jpegs above, all three of the cameras produced a pretty incredible image at these insanely high sensitivities with very little ambient light on the subject. After processing the RAW files through Lightroom, we had a very hard time distinguishing the 3 cameras from one another and ultimately decided that all three cameras tied when it came to the signal to noise ratio. We found this fairly shocking since there has been so much hype behind Sony's new Back-Illuminated CMOS sensor technology.  

As stated in the video, we did push the Sony ISO even higher to see how it performed but honestly the noise was so bad that in our opinion it really shouldn't be considered an option for professional photographers. That being said, we find it hard to justify shooting anything above ISO 6,400 unless you are just trying to capture something in pure darkness. Most professional photography and video work is always done with some sort of supplemental lighting even in "low light" nighttime scenes. So while the excitement of having these new insanely high ISO options is pretty neat, ultimately it is still pretty much a novelty and produces unprofessional looking results. 

Auto Focus Test

If there was one test I was really curious about it was the Auto Focus Test. So many people have told me that the one thing really holding them back from jumping onto the mirrorless bandwagon has been the slow auto focus compared to the traditional DSLR. When Patrick and I traveled to Photokina last year, we took a Sony A7s along with us to test out during our European journey. We were absolutely amazed at the extreme low light performance of that camera but the autofocus was so bad that we concluded that neither of us would feel comfortable shooting the A7s at a wedding reception (we had the same 24 -70 f4 lens with us too).  

Times have changed in just a year or two though. While we were skeptical that any of the photos would be in focus for this test, the Sony A7RII performed as well as the Nikon and only slightly less than the Canon. To be fair to all of these cameras, our "Miley Cyrus" test was a beast of an autofocus test. All the lenses were shot at 70mm and the swing of our wrecking ball celebrity spanned a good 7 feet from apex to apex. As a whole, the entire group of cameras locked onto focus about 30% of the time with the Canon 5DSR just barely winning out. 

If you were one of the photographers who warned us that AF performance on the mirrorless system would be a deal breaker, you need to give the A7RII a try (and the new A7sII as well). It is too early to tell if the increased performance of the A7RII is going to become the standard for Sony auto focusing but if this is the future then we are pleasantly surprised.  

4k Video Test

For some reason photographers like to complain about the added video functionality being packaged into each new DSLR that hits the market. Video and photography is a converging market, and those professionals who want to remain successful in their craft are going to have to learn how to create content through both mediums. For this test we wanted to see which camera would give us the clearest and sharpest image straight out of the camera.  

Obviously the Sony outperformed both the Nikon and Canon because it is the only camera that can shoot native ISO directly to the memory card. Prior versions of the A7 series cameras could also shoot 4K video but required an external recording device to process and capture the footage. As we found out from our tests, the main reason an external recording device is needed is because these larger megapixel sensors tend to overhead when processing 4K footage internally.  The Sony A7RII locked up on us a few times while filming, and the only warning it displayed was a short "Internal Temp High, Allow it to Cool" error.  

While I have to applaud Sony for pushing the envelope and giving us the high 4K footage we desire, this overheating issue is simply too risky for me to fully adopt this camera for my video work. Many online reviews have said that in order to mitigate this problem you need to shoot in cooler temperatures and also pull the LCD screen out to allow proper cooling of the camera. Our video test was done in about 70 degree weather (while raining on us) and the LCD screen was tilted away from the body of the camera. The failure happened about 30 minutes into recording which is an all too typical continuous record time for interviews, timelapses, and other extended scenes.  

100% crops of 1080 footage (Sony 4k exported to 1080 first)

In terms of 1080 video quality, we found the Sony to win this category easily as well. The Sony does produce the highest quality since it can record at 50mbps in 1080p (100mbps in 4k), but the Nikon and Canon footage still looked pretty good with their lowly 23mbps and 30mbps data respectively. Many people get caught up on the resolution alone when it comes to video quality but the truth be told, the total bitrate is more important since it gives you more information to color grade the footage in post. The Sony also offers an sLog profile which gives you the dullest image with the most dynamic range possible but you do have to dig deep into their menu system to find it since it is not labeled anywhere.   NOTE IN THE VIDEO: we accidentally wrote kbps instead of mbps but the overall results are still the same. 

Slow Motion Test

Since we produce a lot of youtube videos, having extra features like being able to record in slow motion are really important. The results for this test were similar to the previous video test in that the Sony was the clear winner in overall image quality. I would say the Nikon did okay in this test but the lower 38mbps bitrate still doesn't compare to Sony's significantly higher 51mbps files. The clear loser here is Canon which is a bit shocking considering they have always been the leader in DSLR video. This flagship camera cannot even shoot 1080p at 60fps and all of their footage had to be upscaled 100% which caused a major decrease in image quality. One might argue that Canon has divided their photo and cinema cameras into two different offerings but when you see that Nikon and Sony are offering 1080p at 60fps in their lesser expensive cameras it doesn't really make sense.  

One thing that these cameras are all lacking is the ability to shoot faster than 60 fps.  The iPhone and many other cell phones can now shoot 120 fps at 1080p and even 240 fps at 720p. Obviously the quality from the iphone isn't going to be up to Hollywood's standards but it's still pretty amazing for web usage. As mentioned above, Sony has found a way to push 4k into their small camera body even with the overheating issue so maybe there is a similar barrier at the moment with large sensors and super fast frame rates. Even so, 120fps seems like a useful feature we would like to see in future full frame cameras even if it is only intended for short 5-15 second clips. Apparently the brand new Sony A7sII will shoot 120fps at 1080 which is exactly what we are asking for (let's just hope it doesn't over heat).  Why none of these cameras shoots 120fps even at 720p is beyond me. 

 

High Resolution Photo Test

Without a doubt, the most important test for all three of these cameras is how well they resolve detail in a real world studio photoshoot. Since the Nikon, Sony, and Canon cameras are 36mp, 42mp, and 50mp respectively, these cameras are clearly aimed at delivering the highest quality photographs ever produced by a DSLR style camera. This amount of clarity has never been available to the general public outside of having to buy a medium format camera, and in many ways these three DSLR cameras are directly competing with the larger sensor format.  

For this test we wanted to give you the reader the chance to guess which file came from which camera. All three RAW files were shot at the same settings and then tweaked ever so slightly to get the same WB and shadow/highlight detail, and overall color. We then exported the files and resized the Canon and Sony down to 36mp to give Nikon a fair playing field. You can download all three ultra high resolution images below (click image to open full res file) and take the quiz.  We will release the results in a few days.  

Camera 1 

Camera 2

Camera 3

 

 

 

One final thought, although all three of these cameras have a massive amount of resolution, the difference between 36mp, 42mp, and 50mp is not as much as you might expect. Sure, every little bit of increased resolution lets you crop a little tighter and print massive images that you can walk right up to and examine in full detail. However, when you stack the three resolutions up next to each other you can see that all three of these files are pretty similar in size. The advantages are no doubt HUGE when compared to another flagship cameras like the Nikon D4s which is only 16mp, but the difference in resolution between 36mp and 50mp might not warrant you to upgrade and jump ship to another camera brand. In fact, some of you may be surprised by your findings in the above resolution test when you look at all the images scaled down to 36mp for comparison.  

 

A few thoughts on what WASN'T covered in the video

Lenses

Everyone knows that Canon and Nikon have the widest selection of lenses for their cameras, and they should since they've been in the photo game longer than most of the other manufacturers. I'm sure some physics guru can explain why Sony HAD to change their lens mount from the A mount to the E mount but that decision could be the most costly decision the company has made. Not only does it limit Sony DSLR users from using the Sony lenses they already own, but it also makes it increasingly difficult for 3rd party lens makers like Tamron, Sigma, and Rokinon to offer their contributions to the Sony platform because they have to make 2 different mounts now. If mirrorless is the future, you would think it would be wise to make the jump from DSLRs as easy as possible. At the moment Sony does not have the two most flagship lenses available at all, the 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8. For this reason alone, I would not consider the Sony system for most of the portrait work I do both inside and outside especially if you rely on zooms over primes.  

But what about all those people who say "just add an adapter and you can use every lens ever made by anyone?" It is true that we have not tested all of the adapters made by Sony, Metabones, and others, but we were disappointed to find that our Metabones adapter did not allow the autofocus to pass through. Adapters are fine and many videographers and film makers have been using them for decades to get the specific lens look they want out of their cameras. The issue I have with adapters like the Sony LAEA 4 is that 1) it is another piece I have to keep up with in my bag, 2) it adds even more weight  and lens torque to a system whose main selling point is that it is so much lighter, and 3) it decreases your image quality and AF in a not so negligible way. Sure, lens adapters are a solution but that solution seems more of a work around rather than the most professional option. 

There is no doubt that Sony will release some killer lenses for the E mount in the next few years and they have a close relationship with Zeiss which creates the top rated lens of all time. For me though, I like to buy into a system with lots of options and I do not like jerry-rigging my camera to work with other brands' lenses. It is obvious that Sony is making a huge splash in the camera market which is great for us consumers but at the moment their lack of lenses shouldn't be overlooked for those lusting after the greatest and latest camera technology.  

Battery Life

If there is one thing that really plagues the Sony camera it is the battery life. When we recently traveled around the world for Elia Locardi's Photographing the World tutorial, we took one Sony A7s with us to help capture super low light video. What we noticed with that camera was the battery would deplete right before our eyes. You literally could turn on the camera and watch the battery percentage drain down every minute. Unfortunately not much has changed with the new A7RII. The camera even ships with 2 batteries so it's pretty clear Sony acknowledges how bad their battery life is but I would suggest having at least 5 batteries with you at all time if you are going to shoot anything important like a wedding or a full day photoshoot. Don't forget to bring the charger too!

Many people who love the Sony love it because the camera is so small, the batteries are 1/3 smaller than the Nikon or Canon, and the whole thing weighs a few ounces less than a full DSLR. While all of that is true, the sad reality is you will more than make up that weight and size difference by having to carry more batteries around with you (plus the charger). Being the owner of almost every Nikon DSLR camera to have come out, I can confidently say that you can easily shoot a full wedding with only 2 charged batteries. When we produce Fstoppers videos, we do use more batteries than during a wedding but they still deplete at a respectable pace. Luckily there is a Sony Power Adapter that allows you to plug into AC power which is a crucial accessory if you decide to go this route.  

Camera Flash Sync Speed

I really do not want this review to feel like a Sony bashing but we honestly did have so many little issues come up with this camera that need to be addressed. During our final studio High Resolution Test above, we found that although the Sony claims the camera can sync up to 1/250th of a second with studio strobes, it actually had a much lower sync speed. In the above test, we set all the camera shutters to 1/200th of a second and noticed the Sony had a lot of vignetting along the left side of the vertical frame. Since maximum sync speed is a huge feature for photographers using flash, we decided to leave the image in the test but we also did a separate test on the Sony just to see what was happening. Here are the results we found.

 

As you can see, using our Profoto Air Remote and 2 Profoto D1 heads, the Sony A7RII could not sync beyond 1/125th of a second. That is about a full stop of lost flash sync compared to the Nikon which syncs at 1/250th and the Canon which syncs at 1/200th. According to Sony's website, the A7RII can sync up to 1/250 just like the Nikon but in the real world it is going to sync well below that shutter speed. In a future video we are going to test a few common speedlights and studio strobes to see what the actual flash sync is on the Sony but after reading a lot of reports online, it looks like the only system that will give you the full 1/250th of a second sync is the proprietary Sony flash system.  

Conclusion


When I first got into photography I always had to have the latest and greatest technology. I thought it made my photography better. The truth is that technology is so good now that you could use almost any current camera to get amazing professional results. A few more megapixels or a stop of dynamic range isn't going to effect your pictures at all. 
The Sony A7RII is a great camera. If you don't already have a lot of money invested in a camera system and 2.8 lenses aren't a necessity right now, the A7RII may be a fantastic choice. I just didn't feel like the Sony was able to outperform the DSLR competitors in an area other than 4k video recording. That leads me to conclude that the A7RII isn't actually better than the D810 or 5DSR, it's just a really great smaller option. 


Mirrorless cameras are the future and eventually this type of camera will be better in every way than our current DSLRs, but we aren't there yet. You may be tempted to jump ship on Canon or Nikon and move to the "newer" technology that Sony is producing but I can't recommend that. Nikon and Canon will eventually create an even better camera and you'll feel like switching  back. This happens every 4 or 5 years. 


Take a deep breath and know that your DSLR isn't obsolete. It still takes amazing pictures and it will for quite some time. 

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151 Comments

Patrick Hall's picture

We have the LA-EA4 adapter now as well as the non glass version of the Metabones. We are doing another image test with the results from this one. Should be interesting to see if people can tell the difference still

Word of warning about the LEA-4. The translucent mirror is a very thin, very easily marred / damaged piece of plastic. That and a very shallow throat means you should attach your lenses gently and never have the LEA-4 uncovered for any reason. Keep that body cap on when not in use.

The E mounts have been the Achilles heal of the Sony system. For a company that was having issue getting independents to support the A mounts, tossing another mount in the mix was a strange decision. But from the looks of things A mounts in full frame are a thing of the past. The A77 got an upgrade (APSC) but it's bigger brother, the A99 did not. Lens manufacturers are seeing this and are moving over to the E mount. Lensbaby did, other are as well. Only Sony will be supporting the A mounts in the future is my guess as DSLR sales keep headed for the basement while ILC mirrorless sales grow.

As for battery life, meh, get a nice little off-brand holder for Sony. It queers the whole smaller is better drill but it does double the battery life.

I own an A7Rii (owned several Nikons in the past and loved them). I love my A7Rii as well. I've tried and tried and I cannot duplicate the issue you had with the max sync speed. I have no problem at all syncing at 1/250 sec (with HSS disabled) with off-camera strobes/flash. I wonder why you had that problem. I've never seen it with this camera.

Its got EFCS on. The manual has been very clear with Sony cameras: turn off efcs for flash use.

What about wifi capabilities, application, in body stabilization, micro usb plug (charge using micro usb) etc. ? Also, this could have been tested with metabones (Canon -> Sony).

IMHO, this review is really interesting but too conventional. Canon/Nikon/Sony does awesome cameras, and I would love to see a review telling us in which regards each camera would shine :)

This is a good balanced review. One comment. I do have the A7rii and shoot in two modes: unobtrusive, meaning with the Fe mount Sony 28mm f2 or the Zeiss 55mm f2.8; or ultimate photo mode meaning with the Tamron f 2.8 24-70 used with the LAEA3 adapter. The latter lens delivers photos incredibly better than the Sony Zeiss F4 24-70, for clarity and everything else you can think of (I have both). But the size is also MUCH bigger. Think you should try it though...it might change the quality comparisons quite dramtically.

charlie sanders's picture

I have the 5Ds r and a few L lens. The images taken have amazing detail and loads of info for edits . In the future dslrs will oust medium format. The technology is already there but we're going to get nickle and dimed until they take our very last shiny penny. Ive looked at images from most manufacturers and have owned various digital medium format cams. They have come a long way .

Patrick Hall's picture

The one thing that I think medium format will win over DSLRs is the leaf shutter in the lens. That is the single feature that I lust for in a DSLR....the ability to sync at any shutter speed you want with flash. Being able to shoot outdoors in harsh light, wide open, with one single Profoto B1 strobe would be unbelievably ground breaking.

If you look closely at all three hi res images # 2 is the only one without chromatic aberrations. If you look at the turtles costume eye you will see the purple fringe in images 1 and 3. Sorry but the Sony won this one.

Patrick Hall's picture

check the new test we did at /camerashootout2

It's funny how some people say the Sony lens is garbage and that's why it lost and others say it is the best of the crop. The poll shows as a whole no one could tell the difference in the 3 images but the Nikon did have the most votes.

The a7R II does shoot at 120 fps, albeit at 720p.

Patrick Hall's picture

yeah we realized that but since 1080 was the base for the test we didn't use it. The reason we mentioned Canon at 720 was because that was all it could do

Patrick - I was just mentioning it b/c in the review you incorrectly state 'Why none of these cameras shoots 120fps even at 720p is beyond me.' Just suggesting it might be worth updating. Cheers.

Dan Desroches's picture

Long exposition; did you made test for long exposition photography, 10 sec, 30 sec, up to 4 minutes? I heard Sony is not in the game for that???

Guys, that was an awesome review, and also very funny. I own both the A7r2 and the 5dsr and I must admit all said here is true. It's also fun to read the angry Sony fanboys comments. As a Sony fanboy myself I was forced (by Sony) to convert from the dying A-mount to the E-mount and I had to adapt a bunch of Canon lenses that were superior the A-mount offer and eventually ended up buying a 5dsr... So now I have 2 camera bodies, a bunch of EF lenses (mostly Canon and Zeiss), and just 2 Sony E-mount FF lenses (the 55 1.8 and the 35 2.8). What's really frustrating in the E-mount is the limited lens selection (I mean decent lenses, not like the 24-70 f/4 garbage) and the slow, barely usable AF. I've also noticed the a7r2 can't go over 1/200s with the Einstein E640. The good thing about the A7r2 is the IBIS: I can get outstanding results shooting the top Zeiss ("Zeiss" Zeiss, not the blue-badge Sony) lenses handheld. The 5dsr is a nice camera, my only wish is 1/250s flash sync and a wider PDAF area.

JJ Backer's picture

Lee I am curious why you did not simply use the Sony/Ziess 24-70 2.8 A-mount lens which you had 2 copies of on hand in the video? All you needed was the Sony A-mount to E-mount Adapter (P/N LAEA-3) readily available from any Sony camera reseller for $100.... It is made specifically for using A-mount lenses on Sony FE mount bodies and allows full 399 point phase detect Auto focus and other new Sony amount features.... The image quality of the Sony/Ziess 24-70 f2.8 is significantly superior in sharpness, contrast and color rendition than the FE24-70 f4 Lens you used in the tests... Seems like even though this was not a 'technical' comparison, you gave Nikon and Cannon an edge by using their higher quality glass over the mid quality f4 Sony lens... I think you would have seen a significant improvement in stills IQ if you had used the better Sony lens. An additional alternative would have been to simply use any Cannon or Nikon to Sony E-mount adapter.... so you could use the same lens on all 3 bodies.

Hey dummy, A7Rii works flawlessly with LAEA3 Adapter and Tamron SP 24-70mm 2.8 - this is the only adapter that should be used for Sony Amount lenses in my opinion. Loved everything else but you should really have checked that out.. :-p

Not sure if anyone posted this yet, but you gotta toggle the electronic first curtain shutter setting on sonys to get the maximum sync speed. Makes your camera sound extra clicky when taking the shot, but I'd trade audible noise for faster sync any day.

hold on a minute ,scroll down the 3 pic and focus bottom right where the cable crossed the floor,and you will see a different story ,t he sony is pin sharp while the canon and nikon are blurred and have lots of chromatic aberration.

michael prudhomme's picture

That was fun! Well done humor and solid results to gleam information from.

Canon displayed the most detail but Sony has better color (in my opinion) and does not suffer the artifacts that both the Canon and Nikon produced: Pronounced green and magenta color fringing around high-contrast areas, namely the turtle's eye, the chair legs, frame struts, and power cables. I also noticed something odd about these pictures: The Sony's focus is slightly softer at the edge of the costume and the backdrop when you look towards the rear of the model's head on the left side, and yet it also shows more detail of the marks in the floor when you look between the chair legs. This leads me to believe that the focus point was different by an impossibly slim amount. If that's not it then I don't know what could've caused this. Either way, when you're dealing with this much resolution and need to pixel peep to find the difference, you guys really should've used a static object. Perhaps a re-shoot is in order? Other than that I think this was a great review. Also, Sony just announced their new 2.8 zoom line, take a look at b&h

There is something wrong with the high res test - look at the "turtles" eye - on the Canon shot It has so much magenta color fringing - that is a lens problem not a sensor problem - color fringing result in mushy images. The only camera that does not show color fringing in the "turtles" eye is the Sony - but actually that part of the image is not even in focus. Non of the models eyes look to be in focus on any of the cameras. I couldn't care less what camera is the sharpest but I would be a more useful test if all cameras had been tested with primes tested and calibrated for back-focus issues - to me this test show a bad lens choice on 3 great cameras Furthermore why downsize the pictures - that is kind af choosing the lowest common - instead the Nikon and the Sony should have been up sized to match the Canon.

Too funny! Great content, love the mud videos! As far as which photo is best, they are all excellent, then it comes down to the usability of the camera.

I think everyone blasting on the canon is forgetting that is had to shoot DOWN in the megapixel shootout....if it would have boasted it's full 50.6, and not had to use the 36...Canon would have tore the competition a new @$$! Nikon pita it's best forward, Sony did, and Canon did, and it had to use shed 15+ megapixels to participate on an even playing field

I have done a lot of research on weather i should pick the d810 or the 5dsr i have seen a lot of sample images and i usually prefer the 5dsr but how did the d810 demolish it here? just compare her hands n the sample images is it possible you switched the images?

Corinne Standish's picture

To make fair comparisons you need to have ONLY ONE variable and all other factors exactly the same. You did not and so you cannot claim to solve the issue which is best, finally. You tried hard is all you can claim.

I've shot all three and i can make all 3 work pretty close - AS YOU DID HERE. But your multiple variables you could not control is a huge problem for your claim.

Lens has a big effect in image quality. A good vs bad lens can make a very noticeable difference in image quality, do we agree? I commend you getting such good results using a lens on Sony that as others have pointed out has many shortcomings and rightly got many not-good reviews! If you were at all knowledgeable on Sony you would have known this and known further that f/2.8 coming in Feb for 20-70 and 70-200. No pro would plan to shoot with old IMO bad lens you used.

You also neglected many unique features. Deal maker for me (long time Nikon and Canon user sold all Nikon, bought Sony a7rII) is Sony's Silent feature (one of many others you neglected). This allows me to shoot performance while standing beside the orchestra - finally, no complaints if i shoot pianissimo phrases, nor complaints my click spoils mood. I can shoot in church, silent moment- not one sound! Sit in audience, person beside me hears nothing. Canon, Nikon, could not shoot then - meaning, I got nothing! No image! Zero - when forbidden to shoot. Now, Silent, I have sharp, clean, great color, resolution image. My clients love love love this! No complaints now from artistic staff.

So, people, another good, hard-working try but miss. If you cannot isolate to one variable, guess what? You can't do a valid comparison, either! Also agree, learn more about Sony system before u attempt again. Zebra, focus peaking, etc

David Besnette's picture

The poll results thing doesn't work for me - which camera won the studio shootout?