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Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 review with DT 18-70mm f3.5~5.6 Gordon Laing, July 2006

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

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 noise level comparison

 

To measure and compare the Sony DSLR-A100's noise levels we photographed the standard Gretag Macbeth ColorChecker with it and a number of rival models at each of their ISO settings.

The crops are taken from the original images and presented here at 100%. To compare typical noise in skies and dark shadows the crops were taken from patches 3 and 24 respectively.

Up to 400 ISO, the Sony DSLR-A100's noise levels are pretty much in line with the Canon EOS-350D, Nikon D200 and Sony R1, but at 800 ISO and above, the Sony delivers a noisier result than its rivals.


We're not surprised the Canon 350D beats it at higher sensitivities based on both its lower resolution sensor and Canon's reputation for low noise, but the Nikon D200 also out-performs it at 800 ISO and above, despite both models having essentially the same sensor. Clearly Nikon's image processing / noise reduction engine is superior in this respect. We would also like to have seen a 3200 ISO option on the Sony DSLR-A100, even if it had been very noisy.

Note: we have compared 100% crops from each camera measuring 136x136 pixels. Since the Canon 350D has a lower resolution sensor, its crop therefore represents a slightly larger area relative to the others. That is, any artefacts visible on the 350D crops would be slightly larger and more obvious than the other three if each image was reproduced at the same physical size. In reality though, the actual difference in area is very small. The Sony A100 and Canon 350D crops represent 3.5% and 3.9% of their total image widths respectively. So while the Sony A100 artefacts would appear slightly smaller than the Canon 350D on prints of identical size, the A100's noise levels would still be visibly worse at higher sensitivities.



Sony DSLR-A100
Canon EOS-350D
Nikon D200
Sony DSC-R1
Sony DSLR-A100 at 100 ISO
Canon EOS-350D at 100 ISO
Nikon D200 at 100 ISO
Sony DSC-R1 at 160 ISO (100 ISO not available)
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
160 ISO
Sony DSLR-A100 at 200 ISO
Canon EOS-350D at 200 ISO
Nikon D200 at 200 ISO
Sony DSC-R1 at 200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
Sony DSLR-A100 at 400 ISO
Canon EOS-350D at 400 ISO
Nikon D200 at 400 ISO
Sony DSC-R1 at 400 ISO
400 ISO,
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
Sony DSLR-A100 at 800 ISO
Canon EOS-350D at 800 ISO
Nikon D200 at 800 ISO
Sony DSC-R1 at 800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
Sony DSLR-A100 at 1600 ISO
Canon EOS-350D at 1600 ISO
Nikon D200 at 1600 ISO
Sony DSC-R1 at 1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
Sony DSLR-A100 - 3200 ISO  not available
Canon EOS-350D - 3200 ISO not available
Nikon D200 at 3200 ISO
Sony DSC-R1 at 3200 ISO
3200 ISO not available
3200 ISO not available
H1.0 (3200 ISO)
3200 ISO



Sony Alpha A100 results continued...

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