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5D Mk III vs D800 tests - unfair comparisons?

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Rupert49, May 2, 2012.

  1. Rupert49

    Rupert49 Well-Known Member

    In consecutive recent issues of AP (21st & 28th April) the Canon EOS 5D Mk III and the Nikon D800 were put through their paces and a Verdict percentage rating duly given.

    It seems that the reviewers thought the D800 worthy of 90% compared to the 5D Mk III's 88%. However, I couldn't help but notice that the 5D Mk III was tested as Semi Pro DSLR whereas the D800 was tested as Enthusiast DSLR. Yet in both reviews the Competition included the other camera.

    If the 5D Mk III had been tested in the same category as the D800, are we to assume that it would have come out ahead of the D800 with a mark somewhere in the mid to high nineties?

    Apples with apples guys, please! :cool:
  2. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I doubt it. I think the comparision is based purely on the use of the cameras.

    AP I reckon ignore such terms. Because many APs use what is classed as pro kit.

    I would suspect they just go on the performance on each camera under the same conditions or similar.

    The orginal 5DMKII was classed a semi-pro when it was launched I believe.

    I have also read that the D800 is classed as semi-pro and the 5DMKIII is classed now as a full pro by some. :D
  3. Tim Coleman

    Tim Coleman AP Deputy Technical Editor

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    The reviews have been carried out in view that they are the same level, and the reviews have been written and scored in this way. So no, the Canon would not receive a score in the mid nineties! The D800 has edged the Canon on its score, at the same level.

    We discussed at length in the office what 'level' we should review the cameras at. It is becoming increasingly difficult to class cameras. To one degree, the resolution of the Nikon D800 places the camera as Nikon's flagship professional model. However, its build quality is in line with its enthusiast-level cameras, like the D300S. The fact that the 5D Mk III has no built-in flash (and therefore its body is better sealed against the elements) puts it in a category higher, however like the D800 its body is smaller than the pro bodies, with smaller battery, putting it below professional level status. As you can see, this is just a taste of what we discuss when we class these cameras.

    Unfortunately, the fact one camera is written as a Semi Pro-DSLR and the other a Enthusiast DSLR is a typo. The cameras are the same level in our eyes and in direct competition.
  4. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I'd forget all this "class" stuff and compare dSLR cameras in price bands.
  5. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    I'm confused, Nikon themselves class the D300s as a 'professional' camera. I would have thought that, like all the versions of the 5D it would be seen as nothing less than a semi-pro body.

    Certainly, I don't charge any less for the images taken with my D300 than I do with those taken on my D3. :cool:
  6. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    The D800/E is listed under pro cameras on Nikon's website :).
  7. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    What is a "semi-pro"? Someone who works to one set of standards using one type of camera on some days, but not others? Surely you are either a pro or not. If you are a pro, it doesn't necessarily follow (to me) that this is your sole source of income.

    As a parallel, I am an engineer. If there were a term "semi-pro engineer" what would that mean? I do some jobs "properly" but the others I deliberately bodge as I am in "amateur" mode :p
  8. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I've always taken the phrase semi-pro to mean someone who makes only part of their income from a particular profession. In photography terms semi-pro would typically apply to someone who has a "normal" weekday job but also does paid wedding photography at the weekend...

    As far as classifying cameras by cost could I suggest the following catgories:

    Budget, Affordable, Getting Pricey Now, Bit Steep That & You Gotta Be Joking!!! :D
  9. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    You do realise such a sentence suggests that amateurs bodge jobs. :rolleyes:

    Dangerous words on a forum connected to a magazine call Amateur Photographer. :D

    As for semi-pro it is quite simple it has nothing to do with the status of the photographer more the workload. IMHO.

    In that a semi-pro is not expected to be used 24/7 in all conditions unlike a pro body which should be able to handle shooting more. Either by a AP or pro.

    You would expect a pro camera to still be working fully after several years of hard work.

    But as cameras become more electronic ie no moving parts. The seperation between the model maybe come a problem. Weather sealing might one factor or material used for bodies. But there has been some debate about whether alloy and polycarbonate can give the same performance. Protection against temp might be one other issue as well.

    As pointed out Nikon only have two sections consumer or pro. That's it as far as they are concerned. :)
  10. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    Should the point not be that the tests are being conducted by AP on behalf of the amateur photographer? Let the manufacturers marketing folk fret about their notional markets....just test the camera feature by feature and let us know how it performs.

  11. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    ...missed one off......Leica
  12. Rupert49

    Rupert49 Well-Known Member

    While on the subject of the reviews of the two cameras under comparison here, I thought I'd make one other observation within this existing thread, rather than start another one with a similar title ...

    On the page of each review where the Facts & Figures are printed alongside thumbnails of the Resolution & Noise tests, I thought it would be a fun exercise to lay the same page from each review alongside each other to see how similar the results actually appeared.

    The Nikon review went through all the steps from RawISO 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and 12,800 but for some reason the Canon review only featured RawISO steps 100, 400, 3200, 6400 and 12,800 - thus it was more or less impossible to do the comparison thoroughly.

    Both these cameras represent significant advances for their respective companies and will undoubtedly be going head to head in reviews for a long time to come. I feel that the test results should have been presented more fairly than this. :cool:
  13. mark_jacobs

    mark_jacobs Retired

    In reply to this post alone, unfortunately I haven't the time this Bank Holiday weekend to read or respond to all posts, - without having the issues in front of me - I would guess that the space taken up by any missing res charts was given over by the reviewer to the illustration of a point that they felt was of wider interest. I do know that all cameras receive exactly the same lab test and consideration whether or not the pictorial results are published :)
  14. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Certainly the same on the website too. You only have as you have quoted 100,400, 3200 etc.

  15. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    They're both in excess of £2500, so putting them in the same review is no issue. When the nearest equivalent to the 5D iii in Nikon comes out in terms of spec, they will probably both be put together in another head to head.
    As to the Pro/SemiPro thing, at this price both manufacturers build their machines to take Pro abuse, so labels are meaningless.
    I don't doubt that step by step ISO tests are or will be available, but it really comes down to what is the latest release at a given price bracket, and anyone who doesn't like the testing should send their D800/E along to me for an in depth analysis;)

    In respect of the steps in ISO, the only thing to worry about is this:
    Is there much noise at ISO 100? No
    Is there much noise at ISO 400? No
    Guess what the noise is like at ISO 200
    Etc. etc
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  16. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    These are both quite excellent cameras Suitable for most forms of photography by professionals and amateurs alike.
    They do have slightly different "feature sets" and strengths and will no doubt appeal to different people.
    However the differences are not so dramatic as to persuade many to change their camera system between Canon and Nikon.
    This is all no more than the usual chase up the ladder.

    For many, and it seems the "AP" reviewer, the Nikon is a couple of rungs ahead at the moment.

    The "score system " is about as good as it is likely to get, and should always be considered in the light of the actual review and your own needs. No score system can be definitive.
  17. mark_jacobs

    mark_jacobs Retired

  18. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Lowepro have an interesting definition of a pro-camera as one+lens plus 2-3 other lenses + flash that will fit inside a Nova 180 AW sac.
  19. singingsnapper

    singingsnapper Well-Known Member

    i have to say that the number of typos in the magazine is increasing. According to 12th May edition the year being looked at is 1880 then states that this was 12 years ago. Is anyone actually doing any proof reading nowadays? it may seem harsh, but in some instances this can bring into question AP's objectivity. I asked the other week whether the headline on the front cover about D800 being a medium format beater was a statement or a question as if it was a statement I would have expected an exclamation mark, otherwise a question mark.

    I'm sorry but typos in gear tests of this kind are unacceptable as they affect the reader's assessment of a product. Some may be using it to help them decide which to buy.
  20. mark_jacobs

    mark_jacobs Retired

    32. See here :)

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