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Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Gordon Laing, April 2008
 

Canon EOS 450D / XSi results : Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

Canon EOS 450D / XSi vs 400D / XTi vs Sony Alpha A350 real-life noise

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To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Canon EOS 450D / XSi, EOS 400D / XTi and the Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 within a few moments of each other using each of their ISO settings.

We tested each camera with their respective kit lenses and adjusted the focal length of each to deliver the same field of view. The lenses were set to f8 in Aperture Priority mode for optimum sharpness. The 450D / XSi's High ISO NR was set to the default OFF for this first set of results.

The image above was taken with the Canon EOS 450D / XSi at 27mm f8 and the original Large Fine JPEG measured 4.86MB. As before we matched the exposures of the Sony A350 and the earlier Canon 400D / XTi to those metered by the new EOS 450D / XSi. This involved applying positive compensation to the other two models. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre. They're reproduced at 100% and show gradually smaller areas from left to right as the sensor resolutions of the respective cameras increase.

Note Sony has asked us to describe the A350 sample tested as a pre-production model, but running the same version 1.0 firmware as final retail samples, we're confident the output below is close or identical to what you can expect. We will update this page with results from a final retail A350 in the future.

At 100 ISO, all three cameras deliver clean results as you'd expect, although as illustrated on our first results page, there's not a significant difference in terms of real-life detail recorded when each camera is equipped with their respective kit lenses. Increase the sensitivity to 200 ISO and both Canon's are still delivering clean results, but look closely at the Sony sample and arguably some of the finest details in the foliage areas are looking less defined than before.

With all three cameras set to 400 ISO, this difference becomes more apparent. The two Canons are again pretty much neck in neck, but the quality of the Sony A350 image is noticeably reduced, with smearing of ultimate detail. This become worse at 800 ISO, with the two Canon's delivering greater detail.

At 1600 ISO, all three cameras are understandably showing the effects of noise, but again the Sony A350 is suffering the worst. Sony then bravely offers a 3200 ISO option that's missing from the Canons, but the result ain't pretty. Perhaps Canon was sensible not to offer 3200 ISO on the 450D / XSi after all.

So all in all, a good result here for the 450D / XSi, which both beats our Sony A350 sample at 200 ISO and above, while essentially matching the noise levels of its predecessor throughout the sensitivity range, despite the increase in resolution.

The Canon EOS 450D / XSi offers optional High ISO Noise Reduction, which according to the manual is actually applied at all sensitivities. To see the effect of this, scroll to the bottom of this page. Alternatively, to see more real-life images taken with the 450D / XSi across its entire sensitivity range including several taken indoors under low light, check out our EOS 450D / XSi Sample Images page.





Canon EOS 400D / XTi
default settings
Canon EOS 450D / XSi
High ISO NR off (default)
Sony Alpha DSLR-A350
High ISO NR on (default)

   
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
         
   
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
         
   
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
         
   
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
         
   
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
         
       
3200 ISO not available
 
3200 ISO not available
 
HI (3200 ISO)



Canon EOS 450D / XSi real-life noise: High ISO NR off and on

The Canon EOS 450D / XSi offers High ISO Noise Reduction, which according to the manual is actually applied at all sensitivities. To measure the impact of this, we re-shot the same scene moments later at all sensitivities, but this time with High ISO Noise Reduction enabled. We've pictured crops below in the left column without NR (the default setting) and in the right column with NR applied.

Like the EOS 40D before it, the impact is certainly subtle with this composition, but small differences can be seen in shadow areas, like the right wall of the green-roofed house. Chroma noise is arguably a little lower with Noise Reduction applied at the higher sensitivities, subtly at 800 ISO but more noticeably at 1600 ISO. If you shoot compositions with a lot of shadow detail at very high sensitivities, there could be some benefit to applying the Noise Reduction, but from these examples it's not like night and day. Now let's have a look at some more real-life examples including several low-light indoor compositions in our Canon EOS 450D / XSi sample images gallery.

Canon EOS 450D / XSi
High ISO NR off (default)
 
Canon EOS 450D / XSi
High ISO NR on
Canon EOS 450D at 100 ISO (NR off)   Canon EOS 450D at 100 ISO (NR on)
100 ISO
 
100 ISO
     
Canon EOS 450D at 200 ISO (NR off)   Canon EOS 450D at 200 ISO (NR on)
200 ISO
 
200 ISO
     
Canon EOS 450D at 400 ISO (NR off)   Canon EOS 450D at 400 ISO (NR on)
400 ISO
 
400 ISO
     
Canon EOS 450D at 800 ISO (NR off)   Canon EOS 450D at 800 ISO (NR on)
800 ISO
 
800 ISO
     
Canon EOS 450D at 1600 ISO (NR off)   Canon EOS 450D at 1600 ISO (NR on)
1600 ISO
 
1600 ISO



Canon EOS 450D / XSi results

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

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