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ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels (vs. Prosumer)

Tests on this page were carried out as described on the previous page. As promised in our pre-production review we have updated this noise test page with results from the eight megapixel Sony DSC-F828 as well as the Sony DSC-F717 and Minolta DiMAGE A1.

Test notes:

  • Shots taken at approximately 21°C (~70°F)
  • Lighting was simulated daylight
  • Manual white balance
  • Aperture Priority

Canon EOS 300D vs. Sony DSC-F828

By comparing the exposure values below we can state that the Canon EOS 300D is approximately 0.7 EV (three quarters of a stop) more sensitive at the indicated ISO setting than the Sony DSC-F828 at the same indicated ISO (this is exactly the same as our experience when we compared the 300D to the PowerShot G5). Thus the EOS 300D's ISO 100 would be equivalent to an ISO 160 on the DSC-F828 (although it doesn't actually allow that sensitivity selection).

  • Canon EOS 300D: Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority (F4.0), Manual WB,
    Default Parameters (Parameter 1), 50 mm F1.4, JPEG Large / Fine
     
  • Sony DSC-F828: Aperture Priority (F3.5), Manual WB,
    Default Image Parameters, JPEG Large / Fine
  Canon EOS 300D
n/a
Sony DSC-F828
ISO 64
, 1/60 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red|Green|Blue
channels
  Canon EOS 300D
ISO
100, 1/100 sec, F4.0
Sony DSC-F828
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red|Green|Blue
channels
  Canon EOS 300D
ISO
200, 1/200 sec, F4.0
Sony DSC-F828
ISO 200, 1/160 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red|Green|Blue
channels
  Canon EOS 300D
ISO
400, 1/400 sec, F4.0
Sony DSC-F828
ISO 400, 1/320 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red|Green|Blue
channels
  Canon EOS 300D
ISO
800, 1/800 sec, F4.0
Sony DSC-F828
ISO 800, 1/640 sec, F3.5
 Partial crop
Red|Green|Blue
channels
  Canon EOS 300D
ISO
1600, 1/1600 sec, F4.0
Sony DSC-F828
n/a
 Partial crop
Red|Green|Blue
channels

As you can see from the crops above and the luminance noise graph below there is simply no way any prosumer level digital camera with such small sensors can achieve the low noise levels of a large digital SLR sensor at higher sensitivities (because of its considerably larger well size, more signal = much better S/N ratio). At ISO 800 the EOS 300D has less noise than any of the prosumer / compact five megapixel digital cameras below have at ISO 200.

Luminance noise graph

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity (normalized) on the vertical axis. Note that we have standardized on a 0-10 scale.

RGB noise graph

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of each of the red, green and blue channels (normalized) are on the vertical axis.

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Comments

Total comments: 4
reanim888

The camera has a rotation sensor which allows automatic rotation of images. This is a very important feature lacking on other far more expensive cameras. I'm unsure if the images themselves are rotated, which saves a lot of time in post-production, or if just the previews are rotated, which is a lot less useful but still far better than the Nikon cameras I use like the D1H. I can manually rotate images inside my Canon A70, but this only applies to the preview. With the A70 I still have to rotate in post.

1 upvote
Charlie Medina

I purchased an EOS 300D in Bath, 2003, their first EOS product as I had been stolen my professional NIKON in Liverpool. It isn't too bad and using Photoshop you are able to improve pictures' quality. I am a freelance journalist/photograph.
Now, when I asked CANON for a copy of the lost original Firmware/software they refuse to deliver one. "No software is available" they said. My God! CANON forget old customers! Has any one a copy of original CD for an EOS 300D? PLEASE....I pay for that copy.
Tell me at ipanewsuk@eircom.net

Regards
Charlie

1 upvote
Django1

my camera wont do anything when turned on,no image on the sscreen no lights on, tried everything
Peter Rix
Tasmania

0 upvotes
Lassoni

that's weird :(

0 upvotes
Total comments: 4