A610 / A620 Comparison

Started Oct 14, 2005 | Discussions
max188 New Member • Posts: 22
A610 / A620 Comparison

I got my hands on an A610 and A620 today and was able to do some comparison testing. My intent was to determine the differences between the two cameras and if one was necessarily better than the other. The main question I wanted answered was the low-light performance, particularly the comparative noise levels of the 2 cameras at ISO 200/400.

I took several controlled test shots (all indoors w/o flash). The shots were extremely consistant within each camera, but I found some unexpected characteristic differences between the two. Here are a couple of representative test photos at ISO 400 (resized, see links at bottom for originals):

A610- 2.8, 1/20, ISO400, auto white balance, wide

A620- 2.8, 1/13, ISO400, auto white balance, wide

Here is what I found:

Sensitivity:

At ISO 400, the 610 consistantly was 1/3 to 1/2 stop faster than the 620. For a given scene with identical exposure, the 610 would typically meter up to 1/2 stop faster (notice the shutter speeds in the photos above).

White balance:

The 620 was slightly warmer than the 610. This was the case whether selecting auto, or incandescent.

Noise:

Well, that is the big question. To be honest, I don't think one is necessarily better than the other. It is only at ISO 400 that any differences can be seen. My impression is that the 620 appears to have slightly less noise, but I also think it uses a bit more noise reduction. It tends to have a slightly bit more mottled appearance. The 610 appears to have a bit more sharpening, which makes the noise stand out a little more. But, this is just splitting hairs. In the end, I don't think one is necessarily better than the other in this regard. They both do very well, on par if not slightly better than my S400.

Here you can decide for yourself (both normalized to 3000x2000 and cropped)

A610- ISO400

A620- ISO400

Other:

The continuous mode is noticeably faster on the 610, the specs of 1.9fps and 2.4fps (I think) are probably pretty representative. Of course, the big difference is 5 versus 7 MP, but I could not discern much difference in detail at higher ISO. The additional megapixels probably don't benefit much except at lower ISO where maximum detail can be captured.

My conclusion:

I didn't test in anything but low-light conditions, but I'm sure in bright light either camera will perform very well. The idea of 7MP is nice, but frankly, 5 million good pixels can do very nicely for me as well. I like the higher sensitivity in low light that I noticed with the 610, where 1/2 stop can make a difference. The faster continuous shooting is a plus as well. Noise between the two is a tossup. The 620, IMO, uses a better looking greyish color for the camera body. In the end, I decided to go with the 610, the kicker is its $70 bucks cheaper. I picked it up from Dell for $235- a steal! Whatever you choose, you really can't go wrong with either camera.

You can look at the original comparison shots here:

http://www.xmission.com/~mmagleby/temp/a610_400.jpg
http://www.xmission.com/~mmagleby/temp/a620_400.jpg

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max188

Jo_Spreutels New Member • Posts: 3
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

I bought a 610 in Belgium yesterday.

My first impressions:very nice design,the speed is amazing,very beautiful pictures even in low light conditions(if you play around with the settings).

It 's gonna be tough for the concurrents to come up with a model that comes even close!
Got here for 300 euros!

PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Can PP do a better NR job for A610

max188 wrote:

My impression is that the 620 appears to
have slightly less noise, but I also think it uses a bit more noise
reduction. It tends to have a slightly bit more mottled
appearance.

By looking first at the 2nd test photos maximized and before reading your comments, I reached exactly the same conclusion as quoted above. Just one word I'd change is "slightly"(twice mentioned, twice changed), I'd say noticeably or considerably. The big question is: By post processing the A610 image can we reach a better overall result --with respect to both NR and the "mottled appearance"-- than what is offered by the obligatory in-camera NR of the A620?

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mjs818 Regular Member • Posts: 256
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

Thank you for posting that. In your opinion which camera was the more accurate depiction of what your kitchen looks like to the naked eye? Just curious. Th anks again.
Mike

Daire New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Can PP do a better NR job for A610

The difference in the exposure times is really strange.

Would it be possible to take a picture of the same scenery again in Manual mode with the exact same settings applied to both cameras?

kgcampbell Senior Member • Posts: 1,260
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

At last.

Thank you so very much for the effort.

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K.G. Campbell

OP max188 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Can PP do a better NR job for A610

Daire wrote:

The difference in the exposure times is really strange.

Would it be possible to take a picture of the same scenery again in
Manual mode with the exact same settings applied to both cameras?

Yes, I thought it was strange too, unexpected at least.

I played around with metering a bit before work today. In manual mode using the same fixed aperature and shutter, the 610 generally showed 1/3 stop overexposure (or the 620 1/3 underexposure). This seemed to be the case at all ISOs. I will have some more time and take a few test shots tonight.

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max188

OP max188 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

mjs818 wrote:

Thank you for posting that. In your opinion which camera was the
more accurate depiction of what your kitchen looks like to the
naked eye? Just curious. Th anks again.
Mike

In both auto and tungsten white balance, I would have to say the 610 was probably closer to the actual scene. The green cabinets have a touch of blue to them that the warmer 620 does not show as well.

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max188

Andreas Roeschies Regular Member • Posts: 267
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

Hi,

Very interesting, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

The sensitivity difference makes sense. The 7 MPixel CCD produces probably more noise than the 5 MPixel version, so Canon uses a little less signal ampification, which leads to a little less sensivity. So ISO 400 with the A620 is probably really more like ISO350 or something.

I am going to buy the A610, because under water every third of a stop counts. It's a pitty that there is no affordable under water housing for my G5.

jydop New Member • Posts: 4
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

Max,

Thanks for the nice comparison. I was trying to decide between these two.

Could you also post what coupons have you used to get an A610 for $235 at Dell? Is it including tax or excluding it?

Jydop

hobster Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

Nice job, thanks for this comparison. Looking at your samples, I also feel that 620 uses a bit more heavy-handed NR, thus loosing some detail. Overall, I am still impressed with the quality of both at ISO 400.

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hobster

PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Is it possible to switch off the NR of the A620 somehow?

I wonder if this is possible by something like selecting "normal" or "fine" instead of "superfine" image quality. Or is that just my wishful thinking? I think A610 has more details (check the brickwork over the sink) and also better colours. Based on that changed my preorder from 620 to 610 today. Very sad to give up the 2 extra megapixels )-:

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cd cooker Contributing Member • Posts: 601
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

Thank you very much.

BTW, you have a very very nice looking kitchen.

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OP max188 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: A610 / A620 Comparison

jydop wrote:

Could you also post what coupons have you used to get an A610 for
$235 at Dell? Is it including tax or excluding it?

Jydop

I paid $235.35, which included shipping and tax (in my state, at least).

I don't see the exact coupons anymore, but if you go to http://www.techbargains.com you will see: $35 off $300 Code: TTH0?HZ0HDNHB8 Expires: Oct 20

The 610 is 10% off at Dell right now with free shipping ($269.10), so stack the $35 off coupon and you should be looking at about $235. You will have to add another small item to get to $300 before the coupon is valid. The coupon I used I think had a lower threshold, but it looks to be expired now.

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max188

Fbio Junior Member • Posts: 39
A620 have true 7MP or is internal interpolated image ???

well friends

maybe im totally crazy but after looking this short test i have a little question.

The A620 have a true 7MP pixels sensor or have a less megapixel sensor and interpolate the images internally to get 7MP ???

The A610 have more sharp images with more details and A620 looks soft.

I interpolated the A610 image to 7MP and to my eyes in 100% image view i get best results than a A620 that have a true 7MP sensor

Why ???.

pingin New Member • Posts: 10
great job and I agree with Andreas

Great job. Thank you so much for that - I was asking myself exactly those questions. I find myself leaning towards the A610 too.

I also agree with Andreas - I think his interpretation is spot on. You would expect the A610 to show a little less noise and I suppose that's in effect what we're seeing.

By the way, what do you think of the build of the cameras? Does it seem robust to you?

Daire New Member • Posts: 20
Re: A620 have true 7MP or is internal interpolated image ???

I guess because this thread focusses on the Iso 400 performance, due to the law of "more MP equals more Noise" the 620 seems to do the following in order to lower noise:
a) expose a bit longer (thus using a lower real Iso value than the 610)

and

b) image is a tad softer, which could mean that noise reduction destroyed more details.

It is to be expected that when used in bright sunlight, the A620 will retain better image detail. But the A610 seems to be more versatile in low light situations.

But all these conclusions are pretty unsure and based on pure hypotheses... lets wait for some more test pictures

Beanboy Regular Member • Posts: 347
A620 brighter?

Does the 620 shot look a little brighter to anybody else? Could be color difference... But under the hood of the stove and under the counter in the lower left.

Fbio Junior Member • Posts: 39
So A610 is better ...

By saving more than U$50

by fast performance in burst mode 2.4fps

by better low light images with more natural sharp and details preserving.

We can say that A610 is better than A620 how to A510 is better than A520 right ???

cd cooker Contributing Member • Posts: 601
Re: A620 have true 7MP or is internal interpolated image ???

Just curious, does it mean EOS 5D has less noise at the same ISO then EOS 1Ds Mark II?

Daire wrote:

I guess because this thread focusses on the Iso 400 performance,
due to the law of "more MP equals more Noise" the 620 seems to do
the following in order to lower noise:

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