Digital SLR, or Compact? Part 3

100% crop from a FujiFinepix Image ~ photograph copyright Stephen Bray

100% crop from a Fuji Finepix E900 image

I’ve said it before, and now doubt I will say it again . . . often: “Size doesn’t necessarily matter!” At least megapixel size doesn’t anyway. But the size of your digital sensor may well matter a great deal.

Take for example the Canon EOS D20 and the Fuji Finepix E900. The EOS 20D boasts 8.2 megapixels but the Finepix pips it with 9 million effective pixels. These however are on a sensor of smaller physical dimensions. This has two immediate implications for your images:

Firstly, the rendering provided by the Canon sensor should be better since each light sensor is bigger.

Secondly, the focal length of the lenses each camera uses will be significantly different meaning that it’s easier to create a limited depth of field with the EOS 20D than with the Fuji Finepix E900.

Of course where it’s desirable to have the majority of the image in sharp focus the E900 may be the camera to use, it depends on the quality of the image you’re seeking? Personally I would prefer to use the EOS 20D and stop down, even if this means setting a higher ISO setting.

The picture above is a crop made from a photograph taken with the FujiFinepix E900 and then converted, without modification in CCD Raw to Photoshop format before being saved as a high resolution .jpg. The focal length of the zoom was 28 mm [which gives the same approximate perspective as a 130 mm lens on a 35 mm camera, depth of field is, of course, greatly increased]. The ISO was set at 80, which is the finest setting on the Fuji Finepix E900. The aperture was set at f8, shich is the smallest available on the Fuji Finepix E900.

The photograph below is a crop made from a picture taken with a Canon 20D using the 18-55 Zoom set at a focal length of 55, [approx 90mm if thinking of a full frame 35mm camera]. It’s important to note however that the ISO setting was much higher, [400 ISO] which isn’t Canon’s finest setting yet the 100% crop, without any digital manipulation. shows little, or no, noise. The aperture was set at f8, and the mirror was locked in the up position prior to taking the shot in order to minimise the risk of camera shake.

A tripod was used to take both photographs but the position of the camera was moved slightly in order to ensure parity of view between the shots given that lenses of slightly different focal perspective were being used, and in order to compensate for the Fuji Finepix E900’s 1 megapixel ‘advantage’.

100% crop from a Canon 20D image ~ photograph copyright Stephen Bray

100% crop from a Canon 20D image

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