Compared to...

For our studio scene 'test box' comparison we used the Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) and Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 as the only other currently available similarly priced competition. There should of course be one other camera here, the Pentax K10D, however production units are not yet available, we will include the D80 in our K10D review (whenever that is).

We have also included a comparison to the Nikon D70s (6 megapixel) and Canon EOS 350D (8 megapixel) as a comparison of the increase of resolution with these new ten megapixel cameras.


For comparisons (and the resolution chart) we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down (typically to F9). In the case of this comparison we used 50 mm lenses (Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 for the D80, Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 for the EOS 400D and the Minolta 50 mm F1.4 for the DSLR-A100). We've had a few enquiries asking why we use the Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 instead of the F1.4, simply because the F1.8 is sharper at the aperture we're using for these shots (F9), we've been using the F1.8 for Nikon comparisons for quite a while now.

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

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).

Nikon D80 vs. Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi

  • Nikon D80: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer (+exp delay)
  • Canon EOS 400D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard PS), Self-Timer (+MLU)
Nikon D80
Canon EOS 400D
3,728 KB (3872 x 2592)
3,351 KB (3888 x 2592)

Both cameras deliver excellent detail, the only slight difference being the EOS 400D image having a crisper appearance with some more detail in texture (it's really unlikely you would be able to see this difference, even in a large print). This slight advantage is probably a combination of Canon's better in-camera image processing and slightly stronger sharpening.