Compared to the Canon EOS-D60

Outdoor scene comparison (part one)

We've seen how well the SD9 is against a three megapixel digital SLR, now lets see if it can keep up with the latest generation EOS-Dx0, the six megapixel EOS-D60. The D60 shot was taken just a minute or so later than the EOS-D30 use on the previous page. All other notes apply including the difference in subject distance to compensate for different FOV crop between the EOS-D60 and SD9.

Due to differences in sensitivity and / or tone curve the SD9 exposure was 0.3 EV slower to produce an image with the same brightness. All JPEG's provided in this section of the review were saved at the 95% quality level, click here for more information.

Camera settings:

  • Sigma SD9: Manual exposure, High resolution, Manual WB, Sigma 50 mm F2.8 EX macro lens
  • Canon EOS-D60: Manual exposure, default params, Manual WB, RAW, Sigma 50 mm F2.8 EX macro lens

Raw converter settings:

  • Sigma Photo Pro: default processing, output 8-bit TIFF (sRGB)
  • Canon File Viewer Utility: default settings, output 8-bit TIFF (sRGB)

Comparison at original image size

Crops below were taken directly from TIFF files converted as per the notes above, these crops were then magnified 200% (nearest neighbour interpolation).

Sigma SD9, 2268 x 1512 Canon EOS-D60, 3072 x 2048
ISO 100, F11, 1/125 sec ISO 100, F11, 1/160 sec
2,537 KB 2,897 KB

As you can see the SD9 image looks sharp and detailed, it's difficult to find any part of the EOS-D60 image which is actually exhibiting more detail than the SD9 and in some places the SD9 manages to pull out detail lost on the EOS-D60. Color balance is similar although it's worth noting the SD9 loses the color at the golden tip of the towers (color clipping problem). You'll also note that I'm not doing any additional processing, you could of course apply an unsharp mask to the EOS-D60 image to improve sharpness (although also introduce new artifacts and amplify noise).

Theoretical reasons why the SD9 images are sharper / exhibit better resolution:

  • No interpolation between surrounding pixels, each pixel has its own luminance / color detail
  • No low pass (anti-alias filter) to blur detail beyond the Nyquist frequency
  • Pixel pitch is larger therefore lens is more capable of delivering adequate resolution