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Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Gordon Laing, February 2008

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 results :
Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 versus Canon EOS 400D / XTi real-life noise

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Sony Alpha DSLR A200 and the Canon EOS 400D / XTi within a few moments of each other using each of their ISO settings in Aperture Priority mode.

Both cameras were fitted with their respective kit lenses, set to f8 and adjusted to deliver the same field of view.

The image left was taken with the Sony A200 at 28mm f8 and with a sensitivity of 100 ISO; the original JPEG measured 4.20MB. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre and presented here at 100%.

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 employs the same 10.2 Megapixel CCD sensor as its predecessor, so unsurprisingly the results below are not dissimilar to what we previously observed with the original Alpha A100. As such the A200 records a decent amount of detail with low noise between 100 and 400 ISO, where it's pretty much neck-in-neck with the Canon EOS 400D / XTi.

At 800 ISO though, the A200, like its predecessor, suffers from a drop in detail due to smearing. At this sensitivity, the Canon delivers a noticeably superior result. At 1600 ISO, there's a further drop, and again a result which falls behind the Canon; indeed we'd say the 400D / XTi at 1600 ISO delivers similar results to the A200 at 800 ISO.

New to the A200 over its predecessor is a 3200 ISO option which exhibits noticeable smearing and chroma noise. It's really only for emergency use, but at least it has a 3200 ISO setting, unlike the Canon 400D / XTi. So ultimately like the A100 before it, the new A200 performs well up to 400 ISO, but falls slightly behind the Canon 400D / XTi at higher sensitivities.

The A200 applies High ISO Noise Reduction by default, but this can be disabled if desired - scroll to the bottom of this page to see a comparison with and without NR. Or to see more real-life examples across its sensitivity range including several taken under low light, check out our Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 sample images page.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 (High ISO NR on - default)
Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi
Sony A200 at 100 ISO   Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi at 100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
Sony A200 at 200 ISO   Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi at 200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
Sony A200 at 400 ISO   Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi at 400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
Sony A200 at 800 ISO   Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi at 800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
Sony A200 at 1600 ISO   Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi at 1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
Sony A200 at 3200 ISO    
3200 ISO
3200 ISO not available

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 High ISO Noise Reduction comparison

By default the Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 applies High ISO Noise Reduction to sensitivities of 1600 ISO and above, but you can switch this off in a menu if desired. So below you'll find examples taken with and without High ISO NR applied, starting at 800 ISO just to make sure.

As you can see, the differences are subtle to say the least. The samples without High ISO NR exhibit fractionally less smearing of ultimate detail, but at the cost of higher chroma (colour) noise, especially at the highest 3200 ISO setting. In this particular example though, there's barely any difference in detail between the two settings, so little reason to disable NR and apply it later in software instead. Of course your mileage may vary depending on the subject matter.

Now for more real-life examples across its sensitivity range, check out our Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 sample images page.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 (High ISO NR on - default)
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 (High ISO NR off)
Sony A200 at 800 ISO - NR on   Sony A200 at 800 ISO - NR off
800 ISO
800 ISO
Sony A200 at 1600 ISO - NR on   Sony A200 at 1600 ISO - NR off
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
Sony A200 at 3200 ISO - NR on   Sony A200 at 3200 ISO - NR off
3200 ISO
3200 ISO


Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 results

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

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