Sunday, May 16, 2010

HS10 vs D300 – Part 3

This is the third image I will be showing in this series, the first two included the F70EXR, but for this one I focus only on the cropped dSLR as something to be compared.

Again, this comparison is meant to answer the question: “should I buy the HS10 for its reach, or should I get an all in one lens for my dSLR?”

The latter makes sense if you can reasonably expect to get a decent result from a crop of the dSLR. So far, I think the answer is a resounding MAYBE! Actually, I have no doubts that you can get a decent result from the dSLR with an all in one. Part 1 and part 2 so far show a very close result, with low contrast details much better on the dSLR crops and very fine details a bit better on the HS10 images.

I slightly change the methodology for this image. Instead of normalizing both images to 6mp for 8x10 images, I upsize the dSLR crop to exactly match the HS10 image in size. Thus these crops are real pixel level crops for the HS10. The dSLR remains at the disadvantage in this test for obvious reasons, as I have to interpolate all kinds of new fake pixels to fill the image back out to 10mp.

This image is actually pretty simple … a big old sign with a small sign at the bottom, which is where I grab the crop from.

The HS10 image looks like this:


The D300 original and crop look like this:



Not much to choose at this size … but let’s look at the crops.


Click through to see the large version … and here are a few observations:

  • HS10 has a surprising amount of CA. It is not visible at web sizes though.
  • Letters have thickness with the HS10 that is missing from D300.
  • Small dings on sign a bit more defined with the HS10.
  • The weld bead just above the thick join to which the Cheetah sign is a butted is missing from the HS10 image and clearly visible on the D300 image. The bottom weld bead is also much better defined on the D300 image.
  • The pavement behind and below the sign has texture on the D300 image and none on the HS10 image.
  • The grass has much more real texture on the D300 image.

I would not have thought that the HS10 would see the weld beads as low contrast details. But it clearly does because it eliminated the top one and damaged the bottom one.

This is a case where the low contrast details were simply mangled across the board. A clear voctory for the D300 crop in my opinion.

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