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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (RAW)

For a (more) level playing field for comparison we also shot our studio scene in RAW mode with each camera and converted it using Adobe Camera RAW (in this case ACR 5.5). Because Adobe Camera RAW applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file in Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 80%, Radius 1.0, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings as per previous pages.

Nikon D3000 vs. Sony Alpha 230

Nikon D3000
Sony ALpha 230
2.6 MB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
2.9 MB JPEG (3872 x 2592)

When their raw files are run through our ACR processing routine the difference in resolution between the Nikon D3000 and Sony Alpha 230 isn't that great, but there is a difference, with the raw files from the D3000 definitely looking sharper and showing fractionally more detail. By comparison the Alpha 230 doesn't gain a great deal at all over its JPEG output.

Although the difference is largely irrelevant for normal photographic purposes, it's obvious that the Alpha 230 lags behind when it comes to very fine detail, such as the fine etched lines in the third crop from the top, and the fibres in the second image from the bottom. Again, there is no moiré patterning evident in the image from the A230, which reinforces our suspicion that there is a stronger anti-aliasing filter on the sensor. On the plus side of course,files from the A230 don't need any moire reduction post-capture.

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