My New DSLR: Side by Side Comparison

by | Digital Photography Tips | 1 comment

Ever since the new camera arrived on my doorstep, I’ve wanted to compare the images with those of my previous camera. Without proper planning however, those side by side comparions shots never seemed to materialize – until my recent vacation.

One (or my husband) might say that I tend to hog the camera – so he brought along our FujiFilm S5000 to snap right next to me. And what better way to compare 3 MP and 12 MP than with images of America’s iconic Mount Rushmore. This post will be the first in a series, I hope. I am particularly keen on seeing how different lenses and my old camera compare in low light conditions!

For comparison purposes, I cropped my photo so that nearly the same image filled the frame and saved as a maximum resolution jpeg. No editing has been done to either photo. Without enlarging, can you tell the difference?

Photo A

Photo B

At this size, the differences are small – primarily in the white balance. But let’s take a look at a zoom to 200%:

Photo A

Photo B

In Photo A, taken my with older camera there is noticeable noise at 200% zoom. Photo B is very crisp. While these results are not surprising in the least, they do illustrate the upgrade in quality between the two cameras. However, it cannot be certain whether any of the additional quality is due to the type of camera or solely due to resolution (megapixels).

This wasn’t a scientific study – just an illustration – but there are important lessons to learn if you plan on printing your photos or your layouts.

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1 Comment

  1. Stan


    I’ll weigh in with a few observations:

    I can think of two reasons for the big jump in quality. No doubt the 3MP to the 12MP is a factor, however , a bigger factor is the sensor density ( how many pixels packed onto how big a chip) The Fuji has 3 million pixels on a tiny 5.27 x 3.96 mm chip for a density of 15 MP/cm² while your Canon gets it 12 million pixels on a huge 22.2 x 14.8 mm for a density of only 3.7 MP/cm². Less pixel per cm = way better quality, especially in low light and at higher zooms

    The other factor is the lens. Canon has long experience making lenses (and cameras) while Fuji is primarily a film company. The design of a lens to resolve detail on that smaller Fuji chip will incorporate trade-offs that Canon on the bigger chip doesn’t have to make.

    Born out of experience, I’ll leave you and your readers with this. Megapixels don’t rule. A 12MP point-and-shoot will never give you the same quality as a 12MP DSLR. Actually we’ve seen at the lab 12MP P&S give the equivalent of a 6MP DSLR – all due to that chip size. So when upgrading keep that in mind – a lower megapixel DSLR might just get you better pictures than that super high megapixel point-and-shoot.

    Sorry so long!

    Stan at Scrappers Workshop


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