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CoolPix 5000 Gallery

An informal shoot out between Nikon's Professional D1X and Prosumer CoolPix 5000
by Chris Maher

For the bottles picture I cropped to keep the composition as close as possible but left the full image to be downloaded. For the Iris picture I left the resized and full image the same as they came out of the camera. None of the pictures have had unsharp mask applied so the resized Jpegs you see may look a little soft. Please click on them to download the original files for comparison.

Click on the pictures to open the full size Jpegs for comparison

Nikon CoolPix 5000
CoolPix 5000

Nikon D1X
D1X
I was curious to see how the Coopix 5000 stacked up against its big brother, the Nikon D1x. I called David Smith, a professional photographer who has been working with the D1x since it came out. He graciously made time for us to get together at his house in Ann Arbor, Michigan and shoot some side-by-side comparisons. 

Several interesting things were immediately apparent. First, the formats are quite different. The D1x creates a 3008x1960 pixel image, which is an aspect ratio of about 1.5 to 1. The CP5000 creates an image, which is a maximum 2560x1920 pixels, an aspect ration of about 1.3 to 1. 

The next thing we noticed was the difference between the LCD's on the two cameras. The LCD on the back of the CP5000 was clearly superior in several ways. First it appeared to have a fuller tonal range, while the LCD on the D1x had more contrast and showed less highlight and shadow detail. Second, the CP5000 LCD pivoted, allowing easy viewing from a far greater range of angles. 

Another element that was apparent was the difference of depth of field. The CP5000's lens has quite a bit shorter actual focal length for the same angle of view. This translated to a greater depth of field when doing macro work. 

At one point, we were shooting a still life in the sunlight coming through a window. Wind was moving branch shadows in and out of the light, and when I tried to shoot at the exact time I wanted, one of the differences between the CP5000 and the D1x became painfully clear. The shutter delay on the CP5000 made it impossible to capture the moving light exactly as I wanted it, while the D1x captured the moment when the shutter was pressed. 

In evaluation the images, the first thing that stuck me was how good the CP5000 images were. The D1x costs about 5 times as much (without lens) as the CP5000, and yet the CoolPix's images were really quite impressive even in direct comparison. Were they as good? No, in many ways they were not. The D1x's images had a fuller tonal scale; the CP5000 images appeared to suffer from over sharpening. Colors were truer on the D1x images, especially the close ups of the African Violets. And the dynamic range of the D1x images was better. Shadows were more open, and the bright highlights were less likely to block up.

Nikon D1X
D1X

Nikon CoolPix 5000
CoolPix 5000

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