10 Megapixel DSLR group test introduction
Digital SLRs have never offered better value and if you’re in the market for a new one, chances are you’re carefully weighing up the latest crop of 10 Megapixel models. And while there’s at least five to now choose from, it’s fair to say the greatest attention is currently focused on the Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi, Nikon D80 and Sony A100. These are the big three, all available right now and all generating more excitement than any others.
The big question though is which one’s best for you? We’ve already reviewed all three at Cameralabs, but to answer the burning questions of potential buyers we’re pitching them directly against each other in this group test. Each model has many pros and cons and over the following pages we’ll detail their differences and point out where one takes the lead over the others.
This article is designed to complement our existing full reviews of each product and only highlight their key differences, making it easier for you to make the best choice. So rather than repeat ourselves here you may wish to also have our Canon 400D / Rebel XTi, Nikon D80 and Sony A100 reviews open alongside for reference. Where a feature or specification is similar or identical between the three models, we won’t mention it here.
If you're torn between the various kit lens and upgrade options available, allow us to be of assistance! Potential Canon owners should check out our Canon 400D / XTi lens upgrade group test which details the benefits of upgrading the kit lens to the EF-S 17-85mm, EF-S 17-55mm or EF 17-40mm models. Anyone confused by the wealth of Nikon kit lens options should head over to our Nikkor kit lens group test which compares the DX 18-55mm, DX 18-70mm, DX 18-135mm and the premium DX 18-200mm VR. Potential Sony owners considering the great value twin lens kit option should visit our Sony 75-300mm review to see how this longer lens performs.
So delve in to find out how the three biggest DSLRs of 2006 really compare and ultimately which one will work out best for you. And to see their headline features in the flesh, including a demonstration of their menu systems and discussion of screen, lens and build quality be sure to check out our 10 Megapixel video tour.
The models tested were final production units, running the latest firmware and unless otherwise stated, set to their default factory and best quality settings.
The EOS 400D / Rebel XTi was set to Large Fine JPEG mode, sRGB colour space, Auto White Balance, Evaluative Metering and its Standard Picture Style.
The Nikon D80 was set to Large Fine JPEG mode and sRGB, with Auto White Balance, 3D Matrix metering and the Optimise Image parameter set to Normal for sharpening, tone, colour, saturation and hue; High ISO Noise Reduction was set to Normal.
The Sony A100 was set to Large Fine quality, Auto White Balance, Standard colour space, standard contrast, colour and sharpness, Wide Area AF, Multi-Segment metering and Sony’s Standard Dynamic Range (DR) mode, with Noise Reduction and Super SteadyShot enabled.