The DSLR Difference
Lenses & Sharpness
The A2's focal length (in 35mm equivalent) ranges from 28mm to 200mm. This is a 7X range which suits most types of photography with very little weight. With two accessory lenses, the A2 can have 22mm or 300mm focal lengths. This is of great convenience and many photographers are delighted by this possibility.
For the part of DSLRs, a much wider range of focal length can chosen from. Single lenses even exist with 7X to 10X zoom to match the convenience of the A2. However, these lenses come with the price of reduced image quality and slower apertures. Lenses with large zoom ranges usually have slow maximum apertures such as F3.5-F6.3, which at the telephoto end, is much slower than the A2's F3.5 at 200mm (300mm with accessory lens). This is important when considering the need for high ISO settings. A similar shutter speed at F3.5 with ISO 200 and at F6.3 with ISO 800 would produce the same exposure. Therefore, a DSLR with a single lens can't easily match the range, aperture speed and convenience of a non-SLR camera. Conversely a DSLR with a set of interchangeable lenses can have flexibility way beyond that of the a fixed lens camera. Note that the price of fast quality lenses for SLR cameras is very high and must be considered when evaluating its value.
There is a component that can't be matched between these two types of cameras: depth-of-field. At a given 35mm equivalent focal length, the A2 has depth-of-field that is more than 7 times deeper than the 20D. This ratio is much bigger when the focus distance approaches the hyper-focal distance of the lens. A photographer can interpret this as good or bad. Increased depth-of-field obviously allows much more sharpness and is less prone to focus errors. This is particularly apparent in macro shots. Reduced depth-of-field allows for selective focusing and increases isolation between the foreground and the background of a picture. Only the photographer can decide if this is an advantage or disadvantage.
It is known that DSLRs produce better pictures. What matters though is the suitability of those pictures. For many display purposes, differences can become indistinguishable. In order to evaluate picture quality, we viewed the images of both cameras at different sizes up to 25"x19" and compared sharpness, noise, contrast, color and saturation.
Sharpness appears about equal without counting noise (discussed later). Some pictures appeared to be sharper on the A2, others on the 20D. Below are two 100% crops of pictures from each camera. These represent a cropped region from an image 25" wide. At smaller sizes, there was no way to distinguish the sharpness of any images produced by these two cameras.KM A2 - ISO 100, 1/250s F11
Canon 20D - ISO 100, 1/160s F11
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
Fujifilm X-T4 Review
Fujifilm APS-C flasghip mirrorless with 5-axis builtin stabilization mechanism using the same high-speed 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as the X-T3. New 15 FPS mechanical shutter and builtin HDR. Professional mirrorless with mechanical controls, dual control-dials, dual memory-card lots, a built EVF with Eye-Start Sensor and a huge feature set.
Canon RF-Lens Info
Info on all Canon native RF-mount lenses added to the Canon EOS R5 preview.
Canon EOS R5 Preview
Preview of the Canon EOS R5 flagship Full-Frame Mirrorless with 45 MP sensor on a 5-axis stabilization system effective to 8-stops. First 8K video capable digital camera. 20 FPS electronic and 12 FPS mechanical drive.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review
Third-Generation OM-D that packs a 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS on a 5-Axis Stabilization System. Fast 121-Point Phase-Detect AF, 30 FPS Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K Video and more in a weatherproof and freezeproof body. Features dual control-dials and a builtin 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor with 0.69X magnification and 100% coverage.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review
20 MP Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless with 7-Stop 5-Axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect AF 30 FPS Continuous Drive and Cinema 4K capability in a weatherproof and freezeproof body with dual control-dials and dual SDXC memory card slots.
M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review
A review of the M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO added to the Olympus Premium Lens Roundup.
Peak Design Travel Tripod Review
Review of the unique Peak Design Travel Tripod with its own ballhead and the universal ballhead adapter.
Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup
Review of Nikon Z-Mount lenses for APS-C mirrorless digital cameras. Covers all current Z-mount DX lenses available.
Nikon Z50 Review
The first Nikon APS-C mirrorless is built around a 20 MP BSI-CMOS sensor with ISO 100-204800, 209-Point Phase-Detect AF, 11 FPS Drive and 4K Video capability. Compact body with dual control-dials and 2.4 MP 0.39" EVF with 0.68X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor.
Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide 2020
The Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide was fully rewritten for 2020, including all new systems from Nikon, Canon and Leica joined by Panasonic and Sigma. This new extensive 2020 Edition shows in 5 simple steps how to choose a mirrorless camera.