Sony A200: Entry DSLR Roundupby Wesley Fink on October 20, 2008 1:00 AM EST
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- Digital Camera
Sony A200 vs. Canon XS vs. Olympus E420/E520
All crops are 150x250 pixels, and images were captured at f4, manually focused, on a tripod at the same position. Color balance in all cases was manually set to Tungsten as all images were illuminated with a single tungsten 100W bulb high to the right side of the image. All three entry models are based on a 10MP sensor.
The Olympus E420/E520 uses a smaller 2X multiplier instead of the 1.5X of the Sony A200 and 1.6X of the Canon XS. Therefore a 50mm lens was used for capturing the Canon XS and Sony A200 images and a 35mm Macro lens was used to capture the Olympus images. This was to allow the full-size images, which you can see by clicking on any crop, to represent the same field of view regardless of the multiplier used by the crop-sensor DSLR.
|ISO Comparison - Sony A200 vs. Olympus E420/520 vs. Canon XS|
|ISO||Sony A200||Olympus E-520||Canon XS|
Click on any of the above image crops for the full image.
Note: Full size images are between 3.2MB and 5.2MB!
It should be apparent that all three entry cameras at ISO 800 are all but equivalent in image noise. However, as we move to ISO 1600, which is the highest value available with Canon XS and Olympus E520, the XS and A200 are very similar in noise but the Olympus E520 is a bit noisier. This is most likely due to the slightly smaller sensor used in Four-Thirds cameras. The A200 is the only model in this class to offer an ISO 3200 option. At ISO 3200 the A200 noise is apparent and it is noisier than the Olympus ISO 1600 option. You will likely find ISO 3200 useful in a pinch or when a small print is all that is required, but these actual pixel crops show the ISO 3200 would not be useful for large prints.
Color balance is something we have complained about on Canon before. All cameras were set to the Tungsten preset, but the Canon idea of Tungsten is very warm under our 100W tungsten light source. The Sony is slightly warm but close to accurate and many will find the Olympus the most accurate color balance at the Tungsten setting. In our estimation either the Sony or Olympus colors are fine but the Canon would require custom adjustment under this light source for more accurate color rendition.