Nikon vs. Canon, pt. 1: the bodies

21 Feb

The Nikon D5300 and Canon EOS 70D are the two highest resolving APS-C cameras from the two makers that have been thoroughly tested by DxOMark, and it gets quite interesting when you look at the data. Sampling 33 lenses that are shared between the two systems (13 Sigmas, 7 Tamrons, 5 Zeiss, 4 Tokinas and 4 Samyangs)

Even on APS-C, none of the tested lenses yielded less than 8 “perceptual megapixels” – when used on full frame, the effective resolution is expected to be greater.

Results for sharpness and aberration give the following picture:


The fact that the Nikon offers more resolution is to be expected, given its 24 vs 22 megapixel advantage and omission of an anti aliasing filter. On top of that, the 1.6 crop factor of the 70D amplifies any flaws in the lens by about 7%, including chromatic aberration. There is also a difference in flange distance, but at 44mm (Canon) vs. 46.5mm (Nikon), this might actually favour the Nikon, and in any case is not sufficient to explain the difference. Even though on account of the crop factor, one would expect the Nikon to have an advantage w.r.t chromatic aberration as well, the difference is statistically not as significant as the difference in resolving power, but I thought it worth mentioning in passing.

Overall, it is clear that the Nikon is able, in theory, to give a significantly more detailed image, but let’s wait for part 2 to see if this holds up to further analysis.


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