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Nikon D3300 Ken McMahon, March 2014
 
 

Nikon D3300 vs Canon EOS SL1 / 100D noise

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  Nikon D3300 results
1 Nikon D3300 Quality
2 Nikon D3300 RAW quality
3 Nikon D3300 Noise
4 Nikon D3300 RAW Noise
5 Nikon D3300 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions , I shot this scene with the Nikon D3300 and the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

Both cameras were fitted with their respective 18-55mm kit lenses set to their wide angle 18mm focal length and both were set to Aperture priority exposure mode with the ISO senstivity set manually.


The above shot was taken with the Nikon D3300 with the AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II kit lens. For these tests the camera was placed on a tripod and the D3300's Active D-Lighting tonal enhancement was turned off. Auto Lighting Optimzer on the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D was also disabled. Noise reduction for both cameras was left on default settings. In Aperture priority mode with the aperture set to f5.6 the Nikon D3300 metered an exposure of 1/3 at 100 ISO.The Canon EOS SL1 / 100D metered 1/2s at f5.6 and 100 ISO.

The 100 ISO crop from the Nikon D3300 is hard to fault, if there are any noisy pixels there you'd have to look very hard indeed to spot them in this 100 percent crop. The text is nice and crisp as are the edges of the memorial panel, but I can't see any evidence of noisy pixels anywhere, including the flat expanse of cream coloured wall behind the panel.

At 200 ISO there's is the faintest hint of noise texture making an appearence in the cream-coloured wall , it's very, very slight though and really not worth worrying about and the same can be said of the equally small increments in noise that occur at 400 and 800 ISO. There's obviously a visible difference between 100 ISO and 800 ISO, but you can use any of these sensitivity settings without risking image quality even at 100 percent output sizes.

1600 ISO sees a bigger drop in image quality as a result of noise, but it's still holding up well and although there's now a fine graininess to the whole crop area, I'd still be more than happy with this at 100 percent. It's not until you get to 3200 ISO that things start to look quite clumpy and medium sized detail is obscured. Even so, the text is still readable and for some subjects a 100 percent print at this ISO setting wouldn't be a problem. At 6400 ISO things are starting to look ugly though, and from here on up it's a question of use only in emergencies, but that doesn't mean these higher ISO settings are superfluous. The saturation and colour balance holds up and at smaller sizes they look almost respectable.

These crops are very similar in terms of their noise characteristics to those from my D5300 tests, in all likelihood these two models are using the same sensor. They are certainly an improvement on the noise performance of the earlier D3200 and don't forget there's also the top 25600 ISO option that the D3200 lacks.

As in the outdoor test, the JPEG crops from the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D look softer and slightly less detailed but, at the lower ISO sensitivities I can't see any more noise in the Canon crops than the Nikon ones. At 400 ISO the crop from the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D looks a tad noisier though - compare the wall on the right of the memorial and you'll see the Canon crop looks slightly more textured.

At 800 ISO the gap widens a little and by 1600 ISO the Nikon D3300 has a clear advantage. At 3200 ISO there's plenty of noise in both crops but the D3200's is fine-grained and you can still see plenty of detail. By contrast the EOS SL1 / 100D's is coarse and clumpy, breaking up finer detail and making the text unreadable. Even at the upper reaches of the sensitivity scale the Nikon holds on to its advantage, with an impressive 25600 ISO crop that somehow manages to eke a little detail from the noise. A clear win for the Nikon D3300, despite packing more pixels into essentially the same surface area.

But how much of a role does processing play in keeping noise at bay in these crops? To find out, take a look at my Nikon D3300 RAW noise results page to see just how much noise is present behind the scenes. Or head over to my D3300 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Nikon D3300 JPEG
 
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D JPEG
100 ISO
100 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
     
25600 ISO
25600 ISO

Nikon D3300 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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