Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D Gordon Laing, May 2013

Canon EOS SL1 100D vs Panasonic Lumix G3 Noise

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  Canon EOS SL1 100D results
1 Canon EOS SL1 100D Quality JPEG
2 Canon EOS SL1 100D Quality RAW
3 Canon EOS SL1 100D Noise JPEG
4 Canon EOS SL1 100D Noise RAW
5 Canon EOS SL1 100D Multi-shot NR
6 Canon EOS SL1 100D Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D and the Panasonic Lumix G3, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings; my RAW comparison is on the next page. I plan to repeat this test with the Lumix G6 when it becomes available.

The Canon EOS SL1 / 100D was fitted with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 STM kit lens and the Lumix G3 with the Lumix G 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens. Both lenses were adjusted to deliver the same picture height as seen opposite. The narrower 4:3 aspect ratio of the Lumix G3 meant small strips were cropped from either side of the composition compared to the Canon.

The image above was taken with the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D. The camera was set to f5.6 in Aperture priority mode and the sensitivity to 100 ISO; I'd previously confirmed that f5.6 delivered the sharpest result with the new EF-S 18-55mm STM kit lens. I used the same aperture for the Lumix G3, again having pre-determined this to deliver the best results. I disabled Auto Lighting Optimiser and any other contrast enhancers as they can artificially increase noise levels; note I have a second comparison using RAW files on the next page.

The Canon features 18 Megapixels across a 3:2 aspect ratio frame, while the Panasonic features 16 Megapixels across a squarer 4:3 shaped frame. I adjusted their lenses to deliver the same picture height, so the Lumix G3 cropped a little from the sides of the Canon's original coverage. As such, both cameras were sharing roughly the same pixel density across the area evaluated, and hence show similar magnification in the crops. Speaking of which, I took the same crop from each image, indicated by the red square in the photo above left and reproduced them at 100% below.

One quick note before analyzing the results: both cameras metered the same exposures, but the Lumix G3 delivered slightly darker images as a result. So to match the brightness below I applied +0.3EV to a subsequent set of Lumix G3 exposures, but this in turn implies the Panasonic is approximately 0.3EV less sensitive at each ISO value.

Glancing at the crops below the most obvious difference is the white balance automatically selected by each camera, with the Canon delivering a much warmer-looking result under the same lighting conditions. You can of course manually set the White Balance in-camera, or indeed enter it manually when processing RAW files and that's what I've done for my RAW results on the next page.

You'll also see the Canon crops are punchier than those from the Lumix G3 using their default settings. We saw on the previous pages that Canon prefers a punchier approach to processing for out-of-camera JPEGs, but it's easy to match the style with another camera or vice versa if desired. So on this page you'll need to try and look beyond their respective processing strategies to evaluate their performance.

From their base sensitivities up to 200 ISO I’d say there's little to choose between the two cameras. Both are displaying similar levels of detail and clean backgrounds with minimal noise artefacts. At 400 ISO pixel-peepers may notice a minor increase in noise on the Lumix G3 over the EOS SL1 / 100D, but it's really nothing to worry about yet.

From 800 ISO upwards, both cameras exhibit increasing noise artefacts, and while those from the Lumix G are slightly more obvious, it doesn't take more than a second glance to spot them on the Canon too. I'd say the Canon enjoys an edge over the Panasonic at 800 ISO and above, but it really is a minor edge and much of the difference you see below is down to their respective processing strategies.

So what happens when you lift this? Find out in my Canon EOS SL1 / 100D RAW noise results where I'll process files from both cameras using the same settings to really see what's happening.

Canon EOS SL1 / 100D JPEG
Panasonic Lumix G3 JPEG
100 ISO
160 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
12800 ISO
12800 ISO not available
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D JPEG
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D Handheld Night Shot
Single frame at 1600 ISO
Handheld Night Shot at 1600 ISO

Canon EOS SL1 / 100D results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise / Multi-Shot NR

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