Sony A7II vs. Nikon D5600 vs. D3300
Sony 24-70/2.8 GM vs. 70-200/4 G vs. Nikon 18-55mm AFP VR
24 MP Full Frame vs APS-C Showdown!
Just for fun, I had three 24MP cameras in my hand: the Sony full-frame A7II and the DX Nikon D3300 and D5600. I had a sneaking suspicion that the excellent Nikon APS-C cameras and their superb plastic 18-55mm AFP lens would be about as sharp as the superb full frame Sony 24-70/2.8 GM lens, simply because when you're shooting under normal daylight conditions, all cameras with the same resolution are about as sharp. Since I wound up shooting at 70mm equivalent, I also threw the Sony 70-200/4 G OSS into the comparison.
All were shot at f/8 at 70mm, or 70mm equivalent on DX/APS-C.
All are camera-original JPGs set at my usual settings, which are VIVID and +3 (maximum) saturation for both the Sonys and Nikons.
The crops are 1200 x 900 pixels from each 6,000 x 4,000 pixel original. If the cropped images are about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, then the complete images printed at these same extreme magnifications would be about 20 x 30" (50 x 75cm). If the cropped images are about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, then the complete images printed at these same extreme magnifications would be about 40 x 60" (1 x 1.5 meters).
Click any image for the camera-original © JPG file. For whatever it's worth, the Sony files are twice the size (8MB vs 3.5MB) of the Nikon files; that's just how they came out of the camera at the NORMAL (Sony) or BASIC (NIKON) settings.
As I expected, sharpness is identical. We always can see slight differences in these samples without looking too hard, but these are completely insignificant in actual prints.
The biggest differences in sharpness is actually more JPG artifacts in the Nikon images because the file sizes are half of the Sony file sizes; a fairer comparison would have been to have shot them all at NORMAL and not shoot the Nikons at BASIC. JPG artifacts are the slight noise you see buzzing around the hard edges of the palm fronds against the sky.
The biggest overall difference are the color balances. It's intriguing to see how closely the overall colors match between the two brands; I have each camera set to its maximum saturation, and relative saturations match pretty well — not something I'd expect at an extreme setting.
I see the D3300 as a bit greener and the Sonys a bit bluer, with very similar rendition of orange.
Honestly, if I re-ran this with a different subject, the colors would skew differently; these are all shot at Auto White Balance and with a different subject each camera would do something different; so don't read any more into this.
Feel free to form your own opinions, but from my experience I'm actually quite surprised at how closely these all match for color, sharpness and texture.
I expect that all lenses look as sharp at f/8, and that cameras of the same native resolution have about the same sharpness at ISO 100, but didn't expect to make this point so strongly showing how a $2,200 lens on a full-frame camera wouldn't be any better than a crop-sensor camera and plastic kit lens combo I bought gray-market for just under $450 brand new!
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15 February 2017