Compared to...

As with the majority of our studio image quality comparisons we selected the nearest competition by category, specification, price and feature set. As per the previous page this means the Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D300 and Olympus E-3.

Lenses used

For direct comparisons we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down (F8-F9 or F6.3 for the Four Thirds lens). Here we have used the Minolta 50 mm F1.4, Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Nikon 50 mm F1.8 and Olympus 50 mm F2.0 Macro.

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).

Sony DSLR-A700 (ISO 100) vs. Sony DSLR-A700 (ISO 200)

We have already established that the DSLR-A700's sensor has a base sensitivity of ISO 200 (although this isn't indicated directly on the camera), hence it's important that we compare our standard box shot at both sensitivities to identify any obvious differences in this kind of scene.

Camera settings:

  • Sony DSLR-A700: Minolta 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100 and 200
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (auto MLU)
Sony DSLR-A700
Sony DSLR-A700
3.4 MB JPEG (4272 x 2848)
3.5 MB JPEG (4272 x 2848)

As you can see there is as good as no difference looking at these crops side-by-side, and indeed if you overlay the images and do layered A/B testing (even at 200%) the differences are fractional, subtle and not clearly better at one sensitivity or the other. With this in mind and considering that we have discovered that ISO 200 is the base sensitivity (and that this is hinted at in the user manual) we have chosen to use the image taken at this sensitivity for comparison to other cameras.