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Canon digital SLR upgrade - EOS 350D / XT versus EOS 5D Gordon Laing, November 2006

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting

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Canon EOS 350D with 17-85mm vs Canon EOS 5D with 24-105mm real-life noise


To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot the same scene using the Canon EOS 350D / XT and EOS 5D within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG options, and at each ISO setting. The 350D / Rebel XT was fitted with the EF-S 17-85mm while the 5D was fitted with the EF 24-105mm, both adjusted to capture the same field and set to an aperture of f11 in Aperture Priority mode; f11 was necessary due to the high brightness of the scene.

The image left was taken with the Canon EOS 350D / XT at 100 ISO using the EF-S 17-85mm lens at 26mm f11 (42mm equivalent); the original JPEG measured 2.91MB. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre.

Canon EOS-350D / Digital Rebel XT
Using Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EOS-5D
Using Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon EOS 350D - 50 ISO not available
Canon EOS 5D noise at 50 ISO
50 ISO not available
50 ISO, 1/50, f11
Canon EOS 350D noise at 100 ISO
Canon EOS 5D noise at 100 ISO
100 ISO, 1/125, f11
100 ISO, 1/100, f11
Canon EOS 350D noise at 200 ISO
Canon EOS 5D noise at 200 ISO
200 ISO, 1/250, f11
200 ISO, 1/200, f11
Canon EOS 350D noise at 400 ISO
Canon EOS 5D noise at 400 ISO
400 ISO, 1/500, f11
400 ISO, 1/400, f11
Canon EOS 350D noise at 800 ISO
Canon EOS 5D noise at 800 ISO
800 ISO, 1/1000, f11
800 ISO, 1/800, f11
Canon EOS 350D noise at 1600 ISO
Canon EOS 5D noise at 1600 ISO
1600 ISO, 1/2000, f11
1600 ISO, 1/1600, f11
Canon EOS 350D - 3200 ISO not available
Canon EOS 5D noise at 3200 ISO
3200 ISO not available
3200 ISO, 1/3200, f11

Canon’s digital SLRs are known for their low noise performance and the EOS 350D / XT and EOS 5D certainly don’t disappoint. Both deliver very clean results up to 400 ISO with few artefacts and little or no loss of detail. Interestingly the 5D’s 50 ISO result give the impression of applying greater sharpening than at 100 and 200 ISO – this is most apparent in the foliage and fencing.

At 800 ISO and above, noise increases on both models, especially in terms of chroma levels. As expected though, the 5D’s samples suffer less in this regard than the 350D / XT, and its 1600 ISO mode is much more usable than most DSLRs. Noise levels have become quite clear at 3200 ISO on the 5D, but for smaller reproductions, it’s still reasonable.

As on the previous page, it’s important to note we have compared 100% crops from each camera, this time measuring 282x136 pixels. Since the Canon 350D / XT has a lower resolution sensor, its crop therefore represents a larger area relative to the 5D. That is, any artefacts visible on the 350D crops would be larger and more obvious than the 5D if each image was reproduced at the same physical size. In contrast, the 5D's artefacts represent a smaller area, so would be less obvious on images reproduced at the same physical size.

Canon EOS 350D / XT vs EOS 5D: JPEG versus RAW comparison


To compare the effect of in-camera processing and compression, we took the 100 ISO sample in JPEG plus RAW mode, and have compared both files for each camera below. We used Adobe Camera RAW with its default settings and white balance 'As shot'; the image was transferred to Photoshop with 8-bits of data before being cropped and saved using the same settings as the JPEGs above.

Canon EOS-350D / Digital Rebel XT with EF-S 17-85mm JPEG versus RAW
Canon EOS 350D noise at 100 ISO
Large Fine JPEG, 100 ISO, 1/125, f11
Adobe RAW conversion, 100 ISO, 1/125, f11

Canon EOS-5D with EF 24-105mm f/4L JPEG versus RAW
Canon EOS 5D noise at 100 ISO
Large Fine JPEG, 100 ISO, 1/100, f11
Adobe RAW conversion, 100 ISO, 1/100, f11

Both cameras reveal finer detail in their RAW conversions, and again this is most obvious in the foliage and fencing posts. The bare tree branches in the lower left of the 350D / XT crops are also much better defined on the RAW samples. These results prove there’s visible benefits to shooting in RAW with either camera.

Canon EOS 350D / Rebel XT versus EOS 5D results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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