Compared to...

For our studio scene comparisons we have selected the Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT) and the Olympus E-500 EVOLT.

Aspect ratio, lenses

Note that as with all our test box shots we frame vertically which means that the E-500 loses a little horizontal coverage and gains a slight advantage over a 3:2 ratio camera, note that in this comparison it actually brings the vertical pixel count closer to that of the DSC-R1. When shooting our studio test box we always use a 50 mm prime lens on digital SLR's (this may give the two comparison cameras a slight advantage here, most notable probably in the corners).

Studio scene comparison (vs. Canon EOS 350D)

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

  • Sony DSC-R1: Aperture Priority (F8),
    ISO 100, JPEG 10M/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
     
  • Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT): Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1), Self-Timer
Sony DSC-R1
Canon EOS 350D
ISO 160, 1/60 sec, F8
ISO 100, 1/40 sec, F9
4,299 KB JPEG (3888 x 2592)
2,882 KB JPEG (3456 x 2304)

The DSC-R1 carries a 12% vertical pixel count (288 px) advantage into this comparison, and there are certainly a few areas of the image where this advantage can be seen (compare the 'country scene' crop from the Baileys label). However the biggest difference between the two is the per-pixel sharpness delivered by their image processing engines, the EOS 350D just looks more crisp and better defined than the DSC-R1. Tonal balance is similar, the DSC-R1's colors are more saturated but have a fairly similar hue to the EOS 350D.

(Footnote: There is a slightly green color cast near the center of the DSC-R1 image, we saw this in other shots taken with our daylight simulation lamps, we never saw this effect in normal 'every day' shots or in any other shots taken in artificial light).