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David Kilpatrick | profile | all galleries >> D300 and A700 comparisons tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

D300 and A700 comparisons

The files here are taken using a small still life set up for the purpose. It is hard to invent new still life shots and I don't like repeating set pieces or having a static subject. This time I noticed one of our tapestries showed a mandolino and Venetian mask, and realised I had a couple of feather masks which provide a truly challenging subject for digital. So, with some instruments and props, I echoed the tapestry in the still life (art students will know the precedents!). It has worked, because there are moiré patches showing extinction resolution present in the sharpest images, and stopping down to f16 has removed this, showing that the f11 setting was right on the diffraction limit of the lenses/sensors involved.

The Nikon D300 images are studio flash at ISO LO1 (100) and 200, tungsten exposures from 400 to 6400 (all with NO noise reduction) then 6400 at Low, Normal and High NR. All JPEGs are Standard look AdobeRGB, fine, shot as 14-bit RAW+JPEG. The originals were AdobeRGB and have been converted to sRGB for viewing. This corrects what may appear to be over exposure when in fact the images are normally exposed.

The Alpha 700 images are studio flash at ISO 100 and 200, tungsten 400 to 6400, with NR set to Low, followed by 6400 at Normal and High NR. They are Fine JPEG, Standard, AdobeRGB, RAW+JPEG (not cRAW). It is not possible to entirely disable High ISO NR with the A700, and it affects the 800-6400 examples.

The lighting is via two Bowens Esprit Gemini 200 heads as shown, flashmetered with a Minolta Flashmeter IV at an average of f11 across the image width, ISO 100, 1/125. All flash exposures are with Flash fixed WB, and tungsten exposures with Tungsten WB. Mirror lock up or 2sec self timer was used, with the eyepiece covered for tungsten exposures. Wide area type AF was used in all cases and small focus variations may be present. Normal auto aperture-priority exposure was used at f11 for the tungsten exposures.

The pictures appear in order Nikon D300, Sony A700. The Nikon was fitted with the new 24-70mm f2.8 G series lens, and the Alpha mount cameras used the 28-75mm f2.8 Konica Minolta D lens.

Dynamic range - check the reed of the Arabic bombarde pipe, which rests on the tapestry frame; the specular reflection of the direct skim light flash in the bell of the pipe; the gilding on the picture frame (highlights). Check the dark area inside the eyes of the brown feather mask, and the black thread round the eye.

Comments - the Nikon D300 LO1 (ISO 100) sensitivity seems to be more like ISO 64 based on the flash exposure results, and the 200 setting more like ISO 160. The tungsten light exposures seem more accurate but you will note they are double the exposure times of the A700 for the same nominal ISO (this is what the camera metered and exposed for). It seems that the actual sensitivity of the D300 may be something that needs further investigation.
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studiosetup.jpg
studiosetup.jpg
D300iso100flash.JPG
D300iso100flash.JPG
A700iso100flash-sRGB.JPG
A700iso100flash-sRGB.JPG
D300iso200flash-f16.JPG
D300iso200flash-f16.JPG
A700iso200flash-f16.JPG
A700iso200flash-f16.JPG
D300iso400tungsten.JPG
D300iso400tungsten.JPG
A700iso400tungsten.JPG
A700iso400tungsten.JPG
D300iso800tungsten.JPG
D300iso800tungsten.JPG
A700iso800tungsten.JPG
A700iso800tungsten.JPG
D300iso1600tungsten.JPG
D300iso1600tungsten.JPG
A700iso1600tungsten.JPG
A700iso1600tungsten.JPG
D300iso3200tungsten.JPG
D300iso3200tungsten.JPG
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