A55 vs A580?

Started Feb 6, 2011 | Discussions thread
cluening Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: A55 vs A580?

Well, in the end it comes down to the pixel sizes and to the micro contrasts and colors. Logically and practically, it is harder to get distinct statistical edges (contrast) with smaller pixels. You record more points but they are not as distinguishable as the less but larger points in an 12MP camera.*

(* Imagine 100 photons/balls fall into some boxes. While you have a 70 to 30% distribution, with 2 boxes you see a clear contrast (70 to 30, a difference of 40). With 4 boxes already, you may have 40 in 1st, 30 in 2nd, 20 in 3rd, 10 in last. So alway only a difference of 10 photons. It will more look like a gradient.)
See Nikon forum for comparison shots between D90 and D7000.

The newer sensor may have better noise performance but to the cost of color and contrast information. The pictures look "flatter". (Granted, only a bit and it is a matter of personal taste and perception)

For me and on my monitor, the A700 outdoor shots are way more "interesting" and more intense (color-wise, independant of color saturation) than the A55/A580. This goes for RAW and jpg.

While they definitely CAN show a better resolution, depending on the subject, I'd choose the new cams over the A700 for DOF portraits - where I anyway have a lot of blurred parts and I am mostly interested in some very sharp parts with a lot of small details. Color is not so important, sometimes I even reduce it to B/W.

In dark scenes, so high-Iso, it is even better, if colors are not too pronounced.

As I shoot also mostly in jpg, consider also the A700 having plenty of color profiles (which are almost impossible to reproduce in RAW development) and xfine jpg with almost 12MB size, so a lot of info preserved. So, if I shoot jpg only, I would also choose the A700, as I can do the NR in PP and everything else can be adjusted inbeforehand (WB, exposure, etc). A matter of preference.
Noise in A700 is not a problem to me, as it still shows a lot of details.
Just NR off in-camera + some chroma NR in Lightroom 3.3 or ACDSee Pro 3.

But I will have the A850 with almost the same IQ in 100% and a better IQ in print size. NR off should be not a problem here, either.

The A580 will be kept as a light walk-around cam for snaps and small file size shots (RAW files are also smaller than the A700's).

Also it has a completely different look in the pictures (the mentioned detailed but flatter one) which goes into the canon direction. For some shots I prefer that, as mentioned above.

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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