Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (vs. Canon EOS 20D)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. All crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings:

  • Olympus E-300: Olympus ED 50 mm F2.0 Macro, Aperture Priority (F6.3),
    ISO 100, JPEG SHQ, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
  • Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1), Self-Timer
Olympus E-300
Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, 1/2 sec, F6.3
ISO 100, 1 sec, F9
5,420 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)
2,931 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)

We'll get the obvious out of the way first, the E-300 is not designed to compete with the EOS 20D. The EOS 20D body is $500 more than the E-300 kit. The primary reason for this comparison is (a) people will expect it and (b) it's the only direct comparison we can do between the E-300 and another eight megapixel digital SLR. Remember also that the E-300 continues its vertical resolution advantage, although with the EOS 20D it's down to just 112 pixels (5% more).

First color and tone, the tonal response between these two cameras is virtually identical (default parameters), however as with the EOS 300D the 20D's blues are a little paler and the E-300's reds have an orange hue shift compared to the EOS 20D. From a resolution and detail point of view it's pretty close, both cameras resolve similar amounts of information from the scene although the EOS 20D image appears to be sharper out of the camera with better per-pixel crispness.

(Footnote: Obviously we could have framed the scene horizontally which would have handed the EOS 20D a 7% horizontal resolution advantage, however in all our scene comparisons where there is a mismatch of aspect ratio we frame vertically).