Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens, we’re going to take a look at the Z9 and the R5 C. I’ve been excited to compare these two cameras. I’ve been excited about the R5 C for a long time. So I asked Maddisyn to join me here today. She’s going to help us do some images and some video and take a look at these two cameras comparing to one another.
I absolutely love the way the Z9 is set up to be able to record raw because it not only records a raw file, but it also gives you a more compressed file, same name, same number that’s right there with it. So you can look at those preview images and give you an idea of exactly what you’ve got without having to delve into DaVinci or some of the programs to figure out exactly what your files look like.
When it comes to the R5 C everyone was upset about overheating with the R5. And it did overheat. Everyone knew it did and Canon knew they had to fix it. So we got this big fan on the back of the camera. That big fan has now made it, so does the camera overheat? No, the camera never overheats now, literally never overheats.
Okay, so let’s get started. Let’s look at dynamic range. Let’s look at an image quality both in video and in stills. Let’s take a look at the autofocus in video and stills. Let’s just see exactly what these two cameras, how they compare with one another and see exactly where they end up. So let’s get to it. I want to see what’s going to happen.
Let’s kick this off. Let’s get an image quality test started. We’re using a 100mm and a 105mm. It’s an RF lens and a Z lens. So these are great lenses, f/2.8 lenses, super sharp. They’re longer. They also do macro. But we’re not going to play with that too much today. But that’s going to be our basis for comparing these two cameras. But let’s get an image quality test started right now. Let’s go.
Here they are. We have the Canon up and we have the Nikon up. They are both tack, tack sharp. They’re on sharp lenses, you guys, sharp. I mean, they’re just beautifully sharp images. Canon is a little bit, a little bit warm-ish. It could be corrected. If we had corrected these, which we did not we did not put a Spyder Checkr in there and correct these, these two would be identical as far as color goes. If I had to look at these two pictures as they are right now, I would say the Nikon has a nicer color palette here. But I know that that’s just a simple color adjustment. And I think the Canon is going to be very similar. I think they both have beautiful, beautiful images and beautiful, beautiful color science. I could shoot and be super happy on either one of these cameras, there’s no question about it. There you have it image quality test. Tell me which one you like, which one is better.
Let’s compare the dynamic range of these two cameras. We’re going to give a correct exposure, then we’re going to overexpose them by three stops, one stop at a time. Then underexpose them by four stops, one stop at a time. And see if we can bring all that information back in camera, and it’ll show us exactly which of these cameras has a better dynamic range and where that range is set on the scale. So let’s get the images and take a look at them. If I look at these first two images, they hold a lot of detail here. It feels as though the Canon is holding a little more detail back in the background. But sometimes I look on one side and it feels like I see it better on the Nikon, but it feels like the Canon may be holding just a little more detail. But it is not more than a quarter of a stop.
If I look at minus one, now we are under exposing. The sensor likes that because it’s giving us more detail and we’re not over exposing our highlights. Even though we’re under exposing, the Nikon just seems a little bright in the background.
When we go to two stops there’s a white spot in the middle here, which is fooling me a little bit and I just think that that’s where the camera view was. It gave us a white spot that we didn’t have with the Canon. But I do feel like there’s a little more detail in that background in those really heavy highlights in the background.
We go to minus three and start to get a little bit of transition kind of grain in the shadows to the highlights. I mean they are still pretty good at minus three.
If we go to minus four we see that shadow noise there is really starting to show. It way more in the Nikon then in the Canon. We just see a lot of digital noise in her face and in the background.We see a lot of detail on both these cameras. We really underexposed them, which means we have given that plenty of range. But we’re seeing a lot of digital noise. The grain is building on the Nikon more than the Canon.
So we go to plus one. This is always interesting. Now we’re going the direction the sensor hates. We are losing a lot of detail in the background on the Nikon. Canon is starting to lose detail.
We go to plus two. We’re already starting to see that the noise starts to build just a little bit on her face. That color is starting to shift. Her skin is starting to look a little bit pasty in both these cameras. Not looking real good. Our colors are still looking pretty crisp on that Spyder Checkr. But we are really, we’re starting to blow out. You see the background back there having less detail in the background.
When we go to plus three. They both look very bad. But it seems like the Nikon is holding the color just a little better. If we look at the red and we look at the red on the Nikon is a little more crisp and red, the colors are more crisp. We’re losing detail on the colors. These cameras are head to head. They really are. It would be hard for me to say from what we just looked at which one of these has a better dynamic range. We’re really talking or splitting hairs. But what do you think? Leave us comment, let me know what you think are good between these two cameras. All right, there’s a look at the dynamic range test and stills.
So I’m going to check the autofocus in both a stills mode with both these cameras. And then in the video mode. I want to see in video mode how well it tracks as a person comes up to the camera, turns around and walks away. I think it’s really important to see that, just see exactly what we get. Then I also want to see it in stills as we shoot rapidly as she walks towards us and back. And this is fairly tight. We stay in a tight shot on her. So it should be really good with both these cameras. We’ll just see what we got. When we set this thing up, I wanted to be inside where we have the light changing as the person walks towards us. And so the light does change and become a little more lower light, a little more direct, contrasting light.
And so if I look at the Nikon it is sharp all the way through. We lose a few of them here and there. But for the most part, it’s sharp, pretty much all the way through. The Canon struggled in this situation. We lost a lot of them. Some are in focus, some are close, but we just didn’t gain as many of them. It also when she turned around, she walked away, we lost a lot of images. We’re shooting a 500th of a second. So it’s not image blur. It’s a matter of, is it eye tracking? Eye tracking was on the person and it just seemed like the Canon was struggling just a little bit to keep up. So there’s those two, take a look at them. I’m not sure how conclusive this is because generally speaking, Canon’s auto focus is pretty spot on.
Alright, let’s look at autofocus in video mode. Both of these cameras were really good on picking her up when she stood a ways away from me. As she walked towards me, they both struggled in the middle of that transition. And as she got closer, they both kind of caught up with her. When she turned around, we lost the focus and kind of picked up on the back of her head. Then when she turned around it picked it up again, they’re very similar. So you can show those two. Just take a look at it. See which one you think is holding them better. They were shot at the same time. She’s walking towards the camera. She’s looking right straight between the two cameras. So just see what you think on which one of those holds the focus the best. I think they’re pretty darn similar, it’s pretty hard to tell.
I thought it’d be fun to do a low light video autofocus test. And so I put them in a really dark hallway. I have a little bit of light contrast at the beginning to try to pick up the focus so they can stay you know, at least hit the focus in the beginning. That low light autofocus was a struggle for both these cameras and certainly for the Canon.
Let’s take a look at the image stabilization in the Z9 and just see what it looks like with it on and off. And then let’s look at the digital stabilization here with the R5 C and just see what that looks like with it on and off. Let’s take a look at those and just see what we think. I have a pretty good idea what this is going to look like. So let’s first look at the Nikon IBIS. And here are the two side by side, two clips one with and without it on. And you can definitely see the difference. Even though I’m moving a little bit it is a much more fluid look with the IBIS, it’s just, it really smooths out the move.Of course I’m on our 100mm lens. You would not see this as drastically if you are back to 50mm or 35mm or 24mm, obviously as you get wider. But on that 100mm you really see the difference when you’re using the IBIS and when you’re not.
Now let’s take a look here at the Canon with the electronic stabilization versus no electronic stabilization. And you know what, it’s not as good. There’s no doubt about it. It does have a slight crop, cropping in. And it just is not quite the same. I want to look at these two together. So here’s the Canon stabilized with internal stabilization next to the Nikon IBIS. And boy you can see the difference there. You can see how that IBIS is really a more superior method to stabilize the camera. But you know, you decide for yourself exactly which of those works better for you. You definitely wouldn’t want to be on something long and telephoto. But there’s a look at the stabilization with these two cameras and a great look at the image quality of the video.
Let’s take a look at the ISO capabilities of these two cameras both in video and stills. And when I see that on the computer, we can comment on exactly what’s happening. There are some native ISO issues here we’ll talk about. But let’s take a look at our stuff. In still mode I have here starting at 800 ISO and this is the point where it starts to break for me. I don’t like using it this high. I kind of wish we had done one at 400 ISO to look at that. If you look here at 800 ISO I’m already starting to get some grain. I see it in the background. I start to see it in the shadow transitions on her face. I’m not getting a lot of that kind of shadow transition area. I can see the grain build. Color starts to build in the transition from the shadows to the highlights. I would use them and they’d be acceptable.
If you can come up here to 1600 ISO I’m starting to feel like, on the Nikon especially, we’re having problems here. I’m starting to see digital noise in her skin. I am not seeing that as prevalent on the Canon. But the Nikon, the digital noise is definitely there at 1600 ISO.
When we go to 3200 ISO we’re really seeing it on the Nikon. I’m surprised that how quickly you see a lot of color noise. We see more grain with the Canon. But the color is holding pretty good. It’s not really falling apart as much.
And then we go to 6400 ISO. And of course, everything in the world falls apart at 6400 ISO. I’m surprised at how quickly this Nikon has, well not have quickly, but just how broken up it is. I’m really surprised how good the Canon is looking at this rate, at this speed at 6400 ISO.
If we go to 12,800 ISO we are really seeing major grain. Everything’s falling apart on the Nikon. I could live with this.
Looking here now, if we go to 25,600 ISO there’s just major grain, my oh my. The Canon, the color stayed pretty clean, I’m not getting all this color, kind of artifacts that we’re getting with the Nikon. But by 25,600 the Nikon is just it’s obliterated, it’s just really interesting looking.
Alright, so there’s a look at the ISO comparison. Let’s take a quick look at a piece of video shot at 1600 ISO. When I look at 8k video with these two and I compare it with one another, I mean I’m looking at the Canon, I’m looking at the Nikon. It’s fascinating to me because this is pretty clean from both these cameras at 1600 ISO. I feel like it’s cleaner in video mode. That certainly wasn’t in stills mode.
So I’m looking at 3200 ISO and both these cameras, the actual performance is really very good. So there’s those two clips next to each other. The color is off obviously on these two, the Nikon is a little off from the Canon. And I think that’s more camera settings than it was anything. But look at the ISO, the way it plays.
Now look at 6400 ISO and I just I feel like we’re seeing a lot of artifacts going on. Now it’s a little more dancey in the shadow areas. But the Canon feels pretty clean to me. You know, I think the canon is pretty impressive when it comes to the ISO here. Anyway, take a look at that, see what you think. And there’s the video ISO up to 6400.
All right, let’s talk about the ergonomics of these two cameras because they are very different. The Nikon is built on that larger battery platform. It’s big, it’s heavy, but it gives you a great battery with huge battery life and that I found very, very, very useful. I mean we did not kill a battery the whole day that we shot. Whereas on the Canon we went through five or six batteries for the day we shot. If you’re doing still photography only I don’t think it’s a problem. I think it’s going to be just like any other stills camera. Things are going to run just fine.
It’s kind of weird that the Canon has this kind of on the back, little fan thing. I thought that would really bother me. But you know what, the way it’s placed and the way my hand works on it as a right handed person, I didn’t have any problem with it. It’s got a nice grip right and hold on to the camera. This was not in my way at all. I didn’t feel any issue about it being on there at all. The buttons on this camera really have a two-fold mission. When it’s on the photo mode, which is gray, all the buttons inside have gray markings that tell you what they do. When you switch over to video, and that’s what you do, you switch from either stills to video, you completely reset the menus in this camera. And it gives you a clean new menu. Set one for video and one for stills. So when you go to video mode in this camera now the white names underneath the buttons tell you what those buttons do. I just felt like there are a lot of buttons here you can program to do different things. You can completely customize this camera. It’s not heavy. It’s a nice lightweight, lightweight platform and really easy to carry around with you. Which is something. That compared to this Nikon is not the case. This is very much a heavy platform. But great battery life and it’s built like a tank. It’s going to last forever, I do feel like with the Z9. One thing I want to mention on here. I really do love the fact that Canon is now switching over to a hot shoe that allows you to use sound and pull sound through the hot shoe. I am not familiar with the menus with Nikon as much as I am with Canon or Sony. But you know what, I have used them enough and now as I use this one, I think they are very simple to use and easy to access.
Obviously both of these cameras are flagship cameras for these two manufacturers. Canon has fixed the issues with overheating with this camera. There are not issues with overheating. Nikon has given you a better video camera. Everyone has said Nikon was falling behind with video. Not anymore. I think Nikon has made a huge leap forward with regards to video and this camera in a lot of ways surpassed a lot of the other cameras on the market. So Nikon came to the party in video and Canon finally got their video camera to not overheat.
Alright, let’s wrap this up. I think these are very, very close head to head kinds of cameras. They are high end cameras, flagship cameras. I feel like though, the Canon was struggling a little more than Nikon when it came to autofocus. But I feel like the Canon was a little better when it came to ISO performance than the Nikon. There’s some trade-offs there with regards to ergonomics. Obviously the Canon is much smaller, lighter weight. The Nikon is much heavier, better battery life, and those kinds of things make that a positive for the Nikon. And a bit of a negative for the Canon because you’re going to have to have some kind of external battery support, I believe, if you’re going to really use this as a serious cinema camera. And maybe that’s what Canon’s thinking. You know, you’re going to need to put an Anton Bauer or a V-mount battery on this camera and to be able to have a dummy battery so you can adapt it and really have the power necessary to run this all day long. So excellent cameras. Leave your comments below. Tell us what you think about these two different cameras. Tell us what you think you would buy or why you would buy it and what the future of Canon and Nikon is. So leave some comments and keep listening. Keep those cameras rollin’, keep on clickin’!