A comparison of the Nikon D500 with 18-200mm (14-bit RAW), Nikon 1 J5 with 10-100mm (12-bit RAW) and the iPhone SE (ProCam 5 – 12-bit RAW – cropped to 3:2 ratio), after some editing in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.
From top to bottom: The Nikon D500 with 18-200mm, the Nikon 1 J5 with 10-100mm and the iPhone SE.
The difference between the cameras, apart from resolution (20MP for the D500 and the J5 and 12MP for the iPhone) there is a difference in sensor size.
- The Nikon D500 has an APS-C size sensor (23.7×15.6mm)
- The Nikon 1 J5 has a one inch sensor (13.2×8.8mm)
- Te iPhone SE has a 1/3.0″ sensor (4.8×3.6mm)
The smaller the sensor the more noise you often see, but mainly in lower light.
The unfair advantage of the D500 over the other two is the ability to shoot in 14-bit RAW format (or 16,384 shades per colour) over the 12-bits (4,096 shades) in the J5 and the iPhone. This gives us a greater dynamic range and less banding in subtle colour changes, such as the sky.
Does it really matter if you only publish to Facebook and Instagram? Not in good light! The above pictures were taken at near native ISO for the 3 cameras and the only difference you can see is the greater detail in the picture taken with the Nikon D500.
In less than optimal light the difference will be bigger… (to be continued)