RSS Twitter YouTube

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 100KM A2 - ISO 100, 1/250s F11
Canon 20 D ISO 100Canon 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:

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2018.02.09

  • 2018.02.09

    The Best DSLR & Mirrorless Camera For Every Price

    The Best DSLR & Mirrorless Camera For Every Price

    Neocamera shows which interchangeable lens cameras offer the very best image quality for their price. From $396 to $6500, find out which DSLR and Mirrorless cameras deliver the top image-quality.

  • 2018.02.06

  • 2018.02.06

    The Best Compact Camera For Every Price

    The Best Compact Camera For Every Price

    Neocamera shows which compact digital cameras offer the very best image quality for their price. From $0 to $3300, find out which compact camera has the top image quality in its class.

  • 2018.01.15

  • 2018.01.15

    Nikon D850 Review

    Nikon D850 Review

    Nikon Full-Frame flagship DSLR. 46 Megapixels, ISO 32-102400, 7+ FPS 153-Point AF system and 4K Ultra-HD Video. Professional weatherproof DSLR with dual control-dials and a extra-large 0.75X magnification OVF with 100% coverage and a built-in shutter. Illuminated controls, 3.2" LCD, WiFi and Bluetooth.

  • 2018.01.11

  • 2018.01.11

    Lens Features for B&W Street Photography

    Lens Features for B&W Street Photography

    Important lens features for B&W street photographers.

  • 2017.12.19

  • 2017.12.19

    Key Tips On How To Take Amazing Model Shots For Publication

    Key Tips On How To Take Amazing Model Shots For Publication

    Essential tips for starting portrait photographers to make professional model shots.

  • 2017.12.18

  • 2017.12.18

    Nikon D7500 Review

    Nikon D7500 Review

    In-depth review of the Nikon D7500 professional-grade APS-C DSLR with ISO 50-1638400 range, 8 FPS and 4K Ultra-HD video. Dual control-dials in a weatherproof body. Large 0.94X magnification OVF with Eye-Start Sensor. WiFi and Bluetooth.

  • 2017.12.07

  • 2017.12.07

    Think Tank Photo Spectral 10 Review

    Think Tank Photo Spectral 10 Review

    Review of the Think Thank Photo Spectral 10 photography shoulder bag.

  • 2017.11.29

  • 2017.11.29

    Fujifilm X-T20 Review

    Fujifilm X-T20 Review

    Highly compact mirrorless built around a 24 MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor and X-Processor Pro capable of 14 FPS drive and 4K Ultlra-HD video. Features dual control-dials and a 2.4 MP 0.39" EVF with 0.62X magnification and an Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2017.11.23

  • 2017.11.23

    Digital Camera Viewfinder Comparison

    Digital Camera Viewfinder Comparison

    Global comparison of viewfinders from all digital cameras. Optical viewfinders (OVF) and electronic viewfinders (EVF) all in one easy to compare table.

  • 2017.11.10

  • 2017.11.10

    Best Digital Cameras of 2017

    Best Digital Cameras of 2017

    The Best Cameras of 2017 awarded by Neocamera: Best Travel-Zoom, Best Premium Compact, Best Ultra-Zoom, Best Mirrorless (Beginner, Advanced and Professional) and Best DSLR (Entry, Enthusiast and Professional), now including budget choices.