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The DSLR Difference

ISO & Image Noise

Noise is a different story. The DSLR consistently produced pictures with less noise. The visibility of noise depends on the ISO sensitivity used.

  • ISO 100: The noise was virtually indistinguishable even when viewing at 25"x19" in size.
  • ISO 200: Noise is detectable in smooth areas at 25" wide but not at 16" wide on the A2. No noise can be seen at ISO 200 on the 20D.
  • ISO 400: The difference here is very apparent. The A2 shows clearly visible noise at 25" wide. At 16" the noise is barely detectable. At 12" and below, noise cannot be seen. No noise can be found on the 20D up to 25" wide.
  • ISO 800: Noise is now visible at 16" wide and above and disturbing at 25" wide for the A2. No noise to be found on the 20D up to 25" wide.
  • ISO 1600: This is not available on the A2. The 20D only shows some slight softness and barely detectable noise at 25" wide. Below this size, images appear impeccable.
Visible noise levels at various print size show that the A2 is perfectly suited at ISO 200 (or less) up to 25" wide and at ISO 800 up to 12" wide. The outstanding Canon 20D produces perfectly usable prints up to ISO 1600 even at 25" wide. This demonstrates that even though the A2's noise levels are higher at all ISO sensitivities, for most common print sizes (up to 9"x12"), its full ISO range remains very usable. A2 ISO 64
KM A2 - ISO 64 1/400 F7.1
20D ISO 100 A2 ISO 100
Canon 20D - ISO 100 1/250 F10 KM A2 - ISO 100 1/500 F8
20D ISO 200 A2 ISO 200
Canon 20D - ISO 200 1/320 F11 KM A2 - ISO 200 1/800 F9
20D ISO 400 A2 ISO 400
Canon 20D - ISO 400 1/400 F14 KM A2 - ISO 400 1/1600 F9
20D ISO 800 A2 ISO 800
Canon 20D - ISO 800 1/640 F16 KM A2 - ISO 800 1/3200 F9
20D ISO 1600
Canon 20D - ISO 1600 1/800 F16
By on 2005/05/05

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