Nikon and Sony crush Canon yet again on DxOMark

There are a few interesting new reviews on DxOMark:

The Canon M turns in a dismal sensor quality score, with a dynamic range of 11.2 Evs. That is two f-stops worse than the Sony NEX-6. The Sony (which I own and like, especially for photographing toddlers due to the flip-up waist-level viewfinder (something else the Canon lacks; its screen is fixed)) does everything better than the Canon: color depth, dynamic range, low-light performance.

If that were not bad enough, the latest Nikon 28mm prime lens ¬†turns in a fantastic performance, 19 perceptual megapixels compared to just 15 megapixels for Canon’s 28/2.8 (more than one f-stop slower). The Nikon also handily outperforms a manual focus Zeiss 28/2 lens that costs twice as much.

[Separately, I just discovered an amazingly bad user interface feature of my Canon EOS 5D Mark III. When recording simultaneously to two cards, e.g., RAW to the CF card and JPEG to the SD card, if one deletes a goofed-up out-of-focus or eyes-closed image it is deleted only from one card. So you come home with 500 RAWs and 600 JPEGs, for example.]


  1. alaska

    January 6, 2013 @ 6:33 am


    Hi Phil,

    Have you tried Olympus omd-em5? Olympus seems to be similar to Sony, but it has more buttons and more native lenses. Any particular reason that you went with Sony?


  2. philg

    January 6, 2013 @ 9:29 am


    Alaska: Given Olympus’s precarious financial state I did not want to invest in their system. Also, the Sony makes a better complement to my EOS 5D according to the DxOMark numbers because the Sony is strong where the Canon is weak (in dynamic range).

  3. prime lens

    January 7, 2013 @ 2:56 am


    Sony and Nikon are using the same sensor.
    they have joint deal.

    I think you should get the Sony RX1 and
    be done with it but it is a leicaesque in the focus system.

    Now if Nikon comes with Full frame compact with prime lens
    like RX1 and price it less than $2000 would be
    the ultimate camera.

    Aren’t the RAW and JPG have the same filename.
    It should be easy to write a script to clean it up.

  4. philg

    January 7, 2013 @ 9:05 am


    prime lens: Thanks for the advice on the RX1. It has a fixed 35mm lens, which is not a focal length that I tend to choose. It also lacks the optical viewfinder of a standard SLR, which I find very useful (perhaps because I have been depending on it for nearly 40 years).

  5. prime lens

    January 7, 2013 @ 2:40 pm


    It doesn’t lack it. It is offered as an accessory.

    Optical viewfinder is $600 retail.
    Electronic viewfinder is $450 retial.
    Lens hood is $180 retail.
    Thumb Grip is $250 retail.

    you can see in luminous-landscape’s review for more cons.

    Then again you are wedded to Canon like most engineers
    unlike photographers.

  6. philg

    January 7, 2013 @ 2:49 pm


    prime lens: An accessory that can be plugged in somehow is not the same as having the capability built in. It is not an issue of price, but of mechanical integrity, ruggedness, and weather sealing. I have a tough time believing that I could take an RX1 out in the rain with its electronic viewfinder attached and return home with a system in which the connection between the camera and viewfinder had remained dry. The RX1’s main selling point seems to be compactness. If I need compactness I already have the RX100 and the NEX-6. If I am on a specifically photographic endeavor I don’t mind carrying a digital SLR and lens or two. So the camera with Sony sensor technology that tempts me the most right now is the Nikon D800 (a friend has one that I should borrow to see if it delivers much better real-world results than the 5D III).

  7. Jack Crossfire

    January 7, 2013 @ 10:41 pm


    It’s a bit of hair splitting to worry about 19 vs 15 megapixels, 11 vs 13 stops, on tiny cropped sensors, in an age when full frame sensors have been around for 10 years. Someone just needs to sidestep the Japanese bureaucracy & make a full frame mirrorless camera.

  8. prime lens

    January 7, 2013 @ 11:16 pm


    I was just correcting the facts whether there was viewfinder at all or not.
    but RX1 claim to fame is that its sensor resolution
    is matched with the right lens to bring out maximum
    quality and it is built like a Leica quality.
    still it is version 1 of the product.

    I am just impressed with the picture samples of RX1 people have shared in Twitter.
    jusr looks different from the usual full frame nikon/canon.

    D800 is even more picky about the lens it goes with
    because of the 36 MPix. not to talk about gigantic
    files which really need ssd drives or thunderbolt.
    There is also D600. All are software crippled because of
    not competing with D4.

  9. philg

    January 8, 2013 @ 8:49 am


    Jack: 11 vs. 13 stops of dynamic range is not “splitting hairs”. Both are inadequate to deal with the real world’s range (at least 16 f-stops). “Someone needs to sidestep the Japanese bureaucracy and make a full frame mirrorless camera”? The comments above concern the Sony RX1… a full frame mirrorless camera (albeit this version does not have interchangeable lenses).

  10. Gordon Haff

    January 9, 2013 @ 2:21 pm


    Sounds like a tough user interface decision. I see your POV. On the other hand, I don’t necessarily want a camera to delete something I didn’t explicitly tell it to. It could be a menu choice of course. It’s not like the 5D Mark iii is exactly parsimonious with those:-)

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