Previous page Next page


ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels

ISO equivalence on a digital camera is the ability to increase the sensitivity of the sensor to enable faster shutter speeds and/or better performance in low light. The way this works in a digital camera is by "turning up the volume" on the CCD's signal amplifiers. Nothing is without its price however and doing so also amplifies any noise that may be present and often affects color saturation.

The EOS-D60 provided five selectable ISO sensitivities between ISO 100 and ISO 1000. The EOS-10D has a normal range of ISO 100 to ISO 1600 as well as the additional ISO 3200 which is indicated by a 'H' on the status LCD panel and can only be accessed once enabled through the camera menu.

Our noise comparison test involves shooting a GretagMacBeth ColorChecker at a selection of ISO sensitivities and then measuring luminance and RGB noise at a 'mid' grey patch (patch 22).

Canon EOS-10D vs. Canon EOS-D60

Camera settings / test notes

  • Canon EOS-10D: Parameters: Standard, Large/Fine JPEG (3072 x 2048), Manual WB
  • Canon EOS-D60: Parameters: Standard, Large/Fine JPEG (3072 x 2048), Manual WB
  • Measurements taken at approximately 21°C (~70°F)
  • Lighting was daylight
  ISO 100
Canon EOS-10D
1/40 sec, F7.1
Canon EOS-D60
1/40 sec, F7.1
 Original crop
 Red channel
 Green channel
 Blue channel
 
  ISO 200
Canon EOS-10D
1/80 sec, F7.1
Canon EOS-D60
1/80 sec, F7.1
 Original crop
 Red channel
 Green channel
 Blue channel
 
  ISO 400
Canon EOS-10D
1/160 sec, F7.1
Canon EOS-D60
1/160 sec, F7.1
 Original crop
 Red channel
 Green channel
 Blue channel
 
  ISO 800
Canon EOS-10D
1/320 sec, F7.1
Canon EOS-D60
1/320 sec, F7.1
 Original crop
 Red channel
 Green channel
 Blue channel
 
  ISO 1600
Canon EOS-10D
1/640 sec, F7.1
Canon EOS-D60
n/a
 Original crop
 Red channel
 Green channel
 Blue channel
 
  ISO 3200 (H)
Canon EOS-10D
1/1250 sec, F7.1
Canon EOS-D60
n/a
 Original crop
 Red channel
 Green channel
 Blue channel

As we had expected these test results were virtually identical to those produced for our pre-production preview. Things seem fairly close at ISO 100 and 200, at ISO 400 the EOS-10D is beginning to look cleaner, at ISO 800 the difference is more noticeable and the EOS-10D's ISO 1600 performance is very good indeed, actually exhibiting less noise than the EOS-D60 at ISO 800. It would appear that Canon's changes to image processing (probably enhanced high sensitivity noise reduction) and improved CMOS manufacturing processes have made a more significant difference to noise at higher ISO's.

Luminance noise graph

ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation (average) is on the vertical axis.

RGB noise graph

ISO sensitivity is on the vertical axis of this graph, standard deviation (average) is on the horizontal axis.

Previous page Next page
105
I own it
0
I want it
224
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments