Yesterday I posted a night shot from Gordes, Provence taken with the Canon 5DSR. Today it`s time to compare this same night scene with the results made with a Nikon D810 camera. They were shot ‘neck on neck’ on this location. The settings of the Nikon D810 were ISO100 with a 15s exposure at an aperture of f8.0 on a Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR lens. Mirror Lock-Up enabled from a Tripod to avoid any possible shake.
I tried within Lightroom CC2015 to get the same ‘all around’ colors from the Canon/Nikon RAW files in this scene. It`s a bit tricky as you have to play around with the color settings of those cameras differently. Both cameras have their ‘own behavior’ with color renderings, same with ACR interpretation. But I think I came quiete close.
I raised in LR the exposure by +1.10, reduced the highlights and shadows, modified the Nikon Raw color settings to match with the look of the processed image from the Canon 5DSR. The Dynamic Range of the Nikon D810 is simply stunning. A ton of reserve to raise shadows or reduce highlights. I think in regards of DR nothing beats the D810 as of today. You simply can`t underexpose a shot as there is that much reserve in the DR of the D810 RAW Files. So this baby is a real ‘fire and forget’ camera. Regarding exposure settings it`s really hard to shot an unrecoverable image. In opposite to the Canon 5DSR or Canon 5D MK III (and also Canon 1DS MK II) to achieve the best dynamic range with the Nikon D810 it`s better to expose to the left side of the luminance histogram. So a tick of underexposing helps to have the maximum flexibility, as you can raise dark areas with the D810 drastically in post processing from RAW files.
With the Canon 5DSR and the other Canon Pro cameras its in my experience much better to expose towards the right side of the histogram. Which means a bit of over exposure. With Canon RAW in Lightroom it`s easier to recover highlights, than to push up shadows! So a simple rule to achieve the best results is: Nikon D810 exposure towards the left side of the histogram – Canon 5DSR/MKIII/1DSMKII expose to the right side of the histogram. It`s like how they mount their lenses in different directions to the camera body :)
I was also surprised by the sharpness of the image! The Nikon 24-120 VR f4 is not well known as the best lens ever made, but I simply love this lens for it`s focal length flexibility and VR stabilization etc. A perfect travel companion. I stopped down the lens to f8 to have a sweet spot aperture. Within the post processing I applied the same amount of clarity +33 and the exact same sharpening settings I used for the Canon 5DSR file yesterday, same curve too.
Again this is not a scientific comparison. It`s more a personal real world comparison for my shooting style. The 50.1 MPixel of the Canon 5DSR are stunning, but the Nikon D810 is not far behind. If you downsize the 5DSR files to 36.1 Pixel of the D810, the advantage of the Canon is a bit more obvious. BUT 36.1 Pixel is more than enough for most usages. So if you already have a Nikon D810 imho there is no need to even think about switching into the Canon 5DSR Camp. Both cameras are neck on neck, with a slight advantage to Canon in terms of resolution.
I`d like to add that with using Lightroom CC2015 I prefer the colors of the Canon Raws compared to the Nikon RAW. In ACR Canon Raws are a bit more vibrant, more ‘blueish’, where the Nikon RAWS then to be a bit more “green-yellowish’. Shooting People and Portraits the Nikon & Canon are fine. In regards of Landscapes and Architecture, Nightshot Scenes etc. I prefer the Canon RAW. Anyway as you see with the samples it possible to get close to the same result with both cameras – but with the Nikon i need more time to achieve the desired style.
Whats your opinion comparing the files? I love both cameras. In regards of – bang for the buck – of this combo : Nikon D810 + Nikon AF-S 24-120 VR f4 vs. Canon 5DSR + Canon EF 24-70 f2.8 II the clear winner is the Nikon D810 in this Nightshot Usage.