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― Architecture ShowcaseTower of Sharpness take Two, More Tests, Sony RX10 and Nikon P7800

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Charles Haacker
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Tower of Sharpness take Two, More Tests, Sony RX10 and Nikon P7800

Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:01 pm

As suggested by Ed, I went back out and tried to do a series of tests at various apertures from wide open (f/2.8 on the Sony, f/3.5 on the Nikon) to stopped all the way down (f/16 on the Sony, f/8 on the Nikon). Mistakes were made: I'm pretty sure I bumped the focus on the f/11 and f/16 on the Sony. It's easy to do. The focus ring is just ahead of the aperture ring and breathing heavily on it will move it. The problem with having done that is that it's now impossible to tell if the softness is due to stopping down or focus error. That said, however, both cameras seem absolutely wire sharp at f/5.6.

The Nikon behaved well but has a much more limited range. Technically it is f/2.8 to f/8.0, but at aprx. 100 mm equivalent focal length its maximum aperture was f/3.5. That's why there are only 3 shots with the Nikon. Careful examination of the last one, stopped to minimum at f/8.0, I think I see a very slight softening. The manual focus on the Nikon cannot be "bumped" so if I do see a little softening then it's the aperture at that focal length.

Both cameras were solidly tripod-mounted in the same position (swapped out), and tripped with remotes. There was no wind so no reason for either the cameras or the tower to be swaying. Both cameras were preset in full manual mode, manual everything, and I tried to keep the focal length equivalent between the two. The Sony has a convenient reference right in the finder that told me my focal length was equivalent to 100 mm on a 35 mm full frame. I got the Nikon as close to the same framing as possible. I cropped a center section out of each picture but made an error when I exported them. I should have checked do not enlarge. I didn't so the crops pixelate rather badly if you click to enlarge them. Everything shot in raw, processed in Lightroom, some sharpening applied as raw always seems to need it.

The full set may be seen here.

Below are the two made at f/5.6 on each camera. They are remarkably comparable! The Sony RX10 has a 1" sensor, the Nikon P7800 has a 1/1.7 sensor. Both are backlit CMOS type.
ImageSONY RX10 f/5.6 by Charles Haacker, on Flickr
ImageNIKON P7800 f/5.6 by Charles Haacker, on Flickr

So who says small sensor cameras ain't sharp, huh? Huh? :p :cheers:
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All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:17 pm

It looks like the Sony wins the sharpness war to me.

But as you say, they are comparable. But most of our modern cameras do a darn good job if we don't get overexcited and do something crazy. I recently had a separation of several weeks from my camera and had to go back and use an old one with a small 10 mb crop sensor and 10 year old technology, and it performed pretty darned well.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:23 pm

minniev wrote:It looks like the Sony wins the sharpness war to me.

But as you say, they are comparable. But most of our modern cameras do a darn good job if we don't get overexcited and do something crazy. I recently had a separation of several weeks from my camera and had to go back and use an old one with a small 10 mb crop sensor and 10 year old technology, and it performed pretty darned well.

I agree, most modern cameras do very, very well. I'm not gonna say I wouldn't take a full-frame if someone gave it to me (hint hint), but I would prefer it be a mirrorless (more hinting). I still have that tiny Nikon L-12, 7-ish megapixels, 10 year old technology, and every time I go back and pull up something I made with it I am still astonished at how good it was, and all it could output were jpegs. Sure, banding in the skies and blown highlights (my fault for not understanding digital exposure at the time). Not as crisply sharp as I like, almost a little impressionistic sometimes, but still, a camera that you can drop in the pocket of your polo shirt? That can do, like, pretty much anything? Jeepers! :love:
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Post by St3v3M » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:42 pm

This is a test we should do with all our lenses. Thank you for keeping us updated! S-
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