Crazy Comparison Day! Canon 7D, Nikon D300s and Olympus E-P2!

What do the Canon 7D, Nikon D300s and Olympus E-P2 have in common? They are all sitting in front of me begging for a crazy comparison! I was bored last night and stuck in the house. Pretty sad for a Saturday night huh? While everyone else in the world was out having a great time I was sitting in my bedroom taking pictures of a lamp and humidifier. Ha ha.

In any case, I am working on a few reviews right now and decided I would throw this up in the meantime. I would have thrown my M9 in to the mix but I will not have it back until Monday. Anyway, here are three shots, three crops, and three links to full size images. Each camera was on a tripod and set to the same exposure, same ISO and AWB. These were processed from RAW with ACR 5.6 using default settings. In other words, pretty much straight from camera. Here we go…

First up the feature packed Canon 7D. This camera feels so much better in my hand than previous Canon DSLR’s. It feels nice, solid and NOT cheap like the 5D kind of does. The camera had the Canon 50 1.8 attached set to F5.6, ISO 200, 2 seconds.

You can click the image for a 1400 pixel wide version OR click HERE for the full size 14MB  file – I believe the lens back focused here (took the shot 3X, same result. Focus was on the “Air-O-Swiss” text)

Now the Nikon D300s which is the closest camera Nikon has to the Canon 7D. The Nikon “only” has 12MP compared to the Canons 18mp but IMO 12 is plenty for just about anything. Same setup. Tripod, 50 1.8 at F5.6, ISO 200 and 2 seconds.

Click image for larger 1400 pixel wide version or click HERE for full size 8MB file

Now the little Olympus E-P2. This is why I call it “crazy” comparison day because the little M4/3 camera is not meant to compete against the big guns like this. Still, since I have an E-P2 here and a 20 1.7 lens I figured “why not”? Same settings  – F5.6, ISO 200, 2 seconds.

Click the image for a 1400 pixel wide version or click HERE for the full size 8MB  file

Not bad for the underdog E-P2 huh? Still, with these images I would have to give my vote to the Canon 7D for the most pleasing file. Just my opinion. It does seem to be the noisiest though. When I saw how good the E-P2 file looked I decided to bump up each camera to ISO 1600 and see how it went. Here are just the crops, all at ISO 1600, F5.6, 1/4 second.

So here are the ISO 1600 crops from each camera:

7D – ISO 1600 – 100% CROP

D300s at ISO 1600 – 100% crop

E-P2 ISO 1600 – 100% CROP

So there you go! Hope someone out there found this interesting! I hope to have my review of the Canon/Nikon soon. Still working on them. The Panasonic 20 1.7 lens review will be up later tonight or most likely tomorrow (Monday)!

Some of you have asked which camera I prefer between the two DSLR’s. Well, first I was digging the 7D, then the D300s. Right now I feel the 7D is the better camera due  to everything that it offers as well as Canons stellar line up of glass like the fast primes that are lacking in the Nikon lineup.  Nikon needs a 35 1.4, 24 1.4 and a fast 50 to match the Canon 50L (which is an awesome lens for the Canon system BTW).

I’m not really in to DSLR’s these days but if I had to buy one today it would be the 7D…well, maybe the D300s. Ugg. Cant decide just yet. Man, I cant wait for Monday and my M9 to get back in my hands!

Thanks for looking!


  1. Not sure if the the Canon 50 f/1.0 deserves mention. By all reports it was a crappy lens just designed to hit some absurd (on a SLR) aperture target that deserved the marketting death it got—noticeably worse than even the Canon f1.4 when stopped down. Not so with the Canon 50 f1.2 (which I hear great things about). Similarly, Canon has baby L’s, Nikon doesn’t —that might be important to some.

    All in all, seems to me a bit of picking small differences to rationalize a larger purchase. I’m a Nikon guy who thinks both systems are great. IMO, user interface differences outweigh a lens gap which seems temporary at best. After all, Nikon can point out that while the iterations of the Canon 50 1.4 were good for their time, tests now show that the Nikon 1.4G has it beat optically, esp. in corner sharpness—the photographer notes that the bokeh of all SLR 50/1.4’s is obvious and atrocious even to non-photographers so lets not even go there. The same performance gap be said for the 24-70/2.8 range and the 70-200 2.8 IS/VR performance (until this month, assuming the 70-200 2.8 IS II is anything like Nikon’s). And there was a while there was no Canon 14-24 2.8 or 200 2.0 (though that isn’t true now).

    Seems to me gains of this sort are temporary for both Nikon and Canon. Today one might be talking about how Nikon makes great PC-E lenses only to be totally destroyed by Canon’s AF offerings a year later.

    Buy the camera you like, but be careful not to diss the other brands, because they’ll leapfrog you. 🙂

  2. Steve, your reviews are a must read every day now. Thanks for the valuable information. Just bought the E-P2 a few days ago and it is really amazing. Have been a keen user of Leica M’s and Nikon DSLRs but an E-P2 with Leica M lenses, using a Novoflex lens adapter is another real pleasure. Have been trying to take some pictures for children over the weekend with this EP-2 compination and can confirm now that nothing will beat the speed of a Nikon with a few SB 900 unites around your subject. A S-90, an E-P2 and a DSLR will still be my choice of equipment for the year to come. Will be looking forward to your reviews of the Zeiss and Leica lenses on the E-P2

  3. Thanks for the sneak peek of the review. It’ll be interesting to see how the D300s compares to the all new 7D. It’ll be interesting to see how Nikon can improve on the image quality of the already great D300.

  4. Hey Rick, I agree 100% on the Nikon vs Canon lens issue. Canon has some GREAT primes and the 50 1.4 is a lens I shot with my old 5D for 6 months as my only lens. Thx for the comment.

  5. I always go with the Canon if I’m upgrading my DSLR outfit. I prefer Canon lenses , especially L series lenses and I like primes over zooms. Needless to say, I already own some of Canon’s L series lenses. They are terrific. However, the Canon 50 mm f/1.4 is no chump. Nikon is too zoom oriented and everything is too big and too heavy for me to carry around. If you go Nikon, you’d better buy some barbells and develop some muscles.

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