Compared to... Canon EOS 5D

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-A900 vs Canon EOS 5D

Camera settings:

  • Sony DSLR-A900: Sony 85 mm F1.4 ZA Planar lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 200 JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer
  • Canon EOS 5D: Canon EF 85 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority,
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard PS), Self-Timer
Sony A900
Canon EOS 5D
6.1 MB JPEG (6048 x 4032)
3.9 MB JPEG (4368 x 2912)

This is a far more interesting comparison than the last one (which was, in fairness, a rather uneven match). Canon's EOS 5D may well be three years old and 'only' offer 12.8 megapixels (not much more than half the Alpha 900's count), but as the crops above show it can still give the new kids on the block a good run for their money. The combination of a light anti alias (low pass) filter and relatively strong sharpening produce an image that really pulls the maximum possible detail out of the sensor's 12.8 million pixels (excellent per pixel sharpness).

That said, the A900 offers more resolution through sheer weight of numbers - the JPEG output is softer but in terms of absolute detail it beats the venerable Canon - though for normal prints you're not going to see any significant difference. It's worth noting that the Alpha 900's JPEGs don't take sharpening that well - you start to see artefacts and what looks suspiciously like noise if you push them too far.