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 a beta version of ACR 5.7). 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.

Canon EOS 550D vs. Nikon D5000

Canon EOS 550D
Nikon D5000
2.6 MB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
3.0 MB JPEG (3888 x 2592 )

The D5000 is a much more capable camera in raw mode than in JPEG at default settings, and our standardised sharpening routine has unmasked a lot of detail which wasn't apparent in the JPEG. The Canon EOS 550D still has the edge though, as we would expect with 6 more million pixels to play with. Despite the disparity of pixel count, it is interesting to note the relatively small difference in magnification in these images. The difference between 18Mp and 12Mp isn't as great in practical terms as the bare numbers might suggest.