Originally Posted by Stephen
Indeed there are, they have certainly surprised me when comparing some cameras. The widely held belief that the Canon 5D has a much wider DR seems to be a myth, though its Low light ISO score is better than many of a similar age. I see also they have some results for 2 Olympus cameras, I wonder how owners will respond to those scores ?
Low light high ISO noise and dynamic range are not exactly related. Dynamic range is a quality of the sensor that is measured across the ISO range, not just at the top end. The DR of the 5D is very good at high ISO. But at ISO 100, there isn't a great difference. So the figures still show that the 5D can be pushed very easily, thought at ISO 100 it's not as spectacularly better as other cameras as it can be at ISO 1600, for example.
Olympus and Four Thirds in general has always had a sensor disadvantage. Without the in-house sensor manufacturing expertise of Canon or with the dominant DSLR supplier - Sony - as a partner, Olympus has had to depend on, first Kodak, then latterly Panasonic, for its sensors. Three years ago Panasonic had not produced a sensor for a DSLR. Panasonic's LiveMOS sensor technology is getting better with each generation and the the current sensor in the Olympus top model is measurably better than that of the previous Nikon flagship, the D2X, despite having a smaller pixel pitch.
In the end though, as long as you can work within the limitations of the platform you use and you can exploit its advantages, you should be able to get good results.
What is quite amazing is the compact camera comparisons. Look at the Canon G10, for example - on every measurement it is radically poorer in performance than all the DSLRs apart from the rogue Nikon D2H. But I'm not hearing a lot of complaint about the G10's image quality? So what must we conclude from that?