The debate over low-light performance in Nikon models vs Canon models is one that has a long history and isn’t coming to an end anytime soon. The issue with many high-ISO, low-light comparison between Nikon and Canon seem to focus purely on noise. Don’t be mistaken, noise can be hideous – but very few take into account the differences in overall brightness and the brightness in the shadows. Remember this as you examine the Nikon D600 ISO performance.
We’ve included two videos – one new video from CheesyCam who put the new Nikon D600 up against the Canon 5D Mark III in a high ISO test. You can see in the video that even at equal ISO values, the Nikon is much brighter than it’s Canon counterpart. With that in mind, it may be possible to use a lower ISO on your Nikon than you’d need to use with a Canon model in order to achieve the same amount of brightness.
The most noticible noise in the Nikon models comes from the dark, shadow areas of the image. While there is more noise, there is also more detail – detail in which the Canon isn’t capturing. If it is capturing the detail, in order to see it, one would have to bring up the shadow levels in post, which would inevitably produce more noise – perhaps nearly to the level evident in the original Nikon file.
In our opinion, there isn’t necessarily one that is better or worse than the other – depending on what your application is. Yes, the Canon has less noise – but it also has less detail.
Though we wish we could have the best of both worlds – Canon’s low-noise and Nikon’s detail, since to achieve that one has to use a separate plugin such as Neat Video on the Nikon file – an extra step which can be time consuming and CPU-heavy operation depending on how long your clip is.
Image credit: still frame from nofilmschool.com’s video.
Nikon & Canon ISO Comparison Videos
Check out the videos below from CheesyCam and NoFilmSchool.com.
Nikon D600 ISO Noise Video vs Canon 5D Mark III:
Nikon D800 Noise ISO Video Comparison vs Canon 5D Mark III and 5D Mark II
Nikon D800 Noise ISO Video Comparison vs Canon 5D Mark III and 5D Mark II with color correction and noise reduction using neat video.