I was curious how good the X10 is at 3200 ISO under very controlled conditions. The same telephone shot from a distance of about 10 feet, under identical lighting within minutes.
All the cameras are stabilized except for the D7000, for which I used the unstabilized Tamron 28-75. Very sharp, but slow shutter …
All hand held, but released carefully and checked as per the settings I recommend …
You absolutely must click through to see anything useful.
On my Dell 23” hardware calibrated IPS panel …
- Nikon wins … but the margin of victory is a bit smaller than you might have thought it would be. Vey fine grain for the Nikon, very smooth edges.
- X10 M size JPEG and M size RAW tie for second. The only difference is their relative darkness. The JPEG is very good.
- X10 L size RAW takes fourth. Not great, but better than the previous cams.
- F550 L size RAW takes 5th in a virtual tie with the M size JPEG. The JPEG has the smallest and smoothest grain on the screen and top of the phone, but the L size RAW has the best definition on the numbers.
- F550 M size RAW takes 7th. Not great, but the numbers are legible.
- F200 brings up the rear. Numbers are mangled, grain is overwhelming. This thing is whipped by every CMOS sensor it would seem. Some will be surprised, but I am not.
The dSLR can still do it better. But the X10 can do it. If you want to shoot still life in churches etc, you can probably go safely to 3200 ISO. Certainly 1600 ISO will be very clean, as it is on the F550.
What does this say about L versus M? I find when downsizing to match, I can get excellent sharpness and noise from the L size. But that was at 1600 ISO. At 3200 ISO, we’re really pushing it for this sensor, and M size appears to be better. Even when upsizing to match, it retains cleaner details and finer grain.
So it would probably behoove one to switch to RAW+JPEG for 3200 ISO … the images will be better overall.
At web sizes, none of this probably matters … these crops are the equivalent of staring at a 50” wide painting from 20 inches … not gonna happen very often …
So have fun … shoot still life … something more interesting than a portable phone hopefully …