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New Canon S90 - Sample images ii - 40D Comparison

Posted by
dobbino (Cape Town, South Africa) on 18 November 2009 in Plant & Nature.

A number of folk asked to see the (opening agapantha after it had opened, and I was planning to post an image with more of them in the background, but this turned out to be an interesting subject with which to compare cameras.

To start with, I have to say that the comparison is not exactly a 100% true comparison. The 40D image is the result of a jpg converted from a RAW image, while the S90 image has been converted from a tif file (Adobe's DNG converter doesn't yet cater for the S90 RAW image).

What I have found, though, is that the S90 produces a better image (virtually 100% of the time, if one underexposes by about half a stop). There is also a very significant difference between the two cameras, which I will expand on a bit later.

So here are the two images. I'm not going to ask you to decide which is from which camera (though you are obviously welcome to have a stab at it if you would like to), but would just like you to say which one you prefer - top or bottom image.

All images © Rob Minter, and licensed in terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License

Linerberry from Christchurch, New Zealand

Now you have me bamboozled!!! I like the bottom one for the richness of colour and the top one for the depth of field...but both are wonderful!

18 Nov 2009 5:55am

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

the top one for the DOF that makes the flower pop out the picture

18 Nov 2009 6:51am

Nicholas from Shah Alam, Malaysia

top one for me, the depth of field does it. But like Linerberry said, the colours of the bottom version is better. But the background is a tad too distracting for me.

18 Nov 2009 7:02am

Anina from Auckland, New Zealand

WOW! Difficult one! I have to agree with what was already said. I like the bottom one for colour and the top for dof. If I have to make up my mind and choose one, I'll go for the bottom one. I also like the lighting of the bottom one.
You have to tell us which one was taken with which camera - I'm very curious now :)

18 Nov 2009 9:27am

MrsAmber from West Wickham, United Kingdom

I agree with 'all of the above'. We must find out which is which! I'd be pleased with either myself, by the way..and nice to see the subject in full bloom!

18 Nov 2009 9:47am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

The top one. I would guess the slightly softer colour is more true to life, and could in any case be strengthened by upping the contrast a tad. The narrower depth of field works better too. This is good stuff Rob. I look forward to some big sky comparison.

18 Nov 2009 11:08am

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

the top shot is more EXPLOSIVE. the flower really jumps off the leaves in the background... color in the top shot is a bit more subtle too -- so i go with the top, but have no idea which shot is from which camera! :)

18 Nov 2009 3:13pm

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

STUNNING duo, but I have to say Rob that the bottom one takes my breath away...I can touch it, wow

18 Nov 2009 3:48pm

Cricket-TammyWarren from United States

I like the softness of the first and the color of the second.

18 Nov 2009 6:08pm

Antoine from BOURGES, France

Beautiful capture. The colors are beautiful. Have a good day. Antoine.

18 Nov 2009 6:55pm

jamesy from christchurch, New Zealand

Well Rob in my expert (LOL) opinion I like the bottom one best. I think the contrast is better and the image seems a bit sharper to me anyway. It is a great shot. You had better tell us which one is which after this exercise LOL

18 Nov 2009 7:01pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

ah, this is beautiful ;)

18 Nov 2009 8:28pm

Kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

I definitely like the colour and sharpness in the bottom one. Can even see a little insect on the far right flower.

18 Nov 2009 9:10pm

Stephen Phillips from San Francisco, United States

Mmm... A budding AM3 lab technician specialist emerging? Nice work, dobbino.

18 Nov 2009 9:50pm

Michael from United Kingdom

The top one Rob, as already mentioned it's the shallow DOF that does the work here. But both are very acceptable.

19 Nov 2009 1:13am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

The DoF in the top makes it the winner. Hard to compare when they are so different.

19 Nov 2009 4:03am

Daniel from South Africa

For me it's the bottom which is clearer in every respect, sharper and colours are more vivid. I'm inclided to go for the S90

19 Nov 2009 7:25pm

`Paul from Minneapolis, United States

.. i strongly prefer the top image.

20 Nov 2009 10:33pm

willow from Chelsea, United States

Definitely the top one - it seems to jump out of the screen. The other one is good, but pales by comparison.

22 Nov 2009 2:24am

Andrew Gould from Sydney, Australia

Shallower dof in the top one may make the flower stand out better, but I would say that both cameras have done an excellent job in your hands here.

27 Nov 2009 6:30am

Andrew Gould from Sydney, Australia

I forgot to add that I imagine you'll do even better when you convert from RAW with the S90. This is certainly the case with my G10. I suppose your S90 came with Canon's Digital Professional software. Don't know why the call it "professional", as its options are not that great. The version that came with my G10 has chromatic distortion, but it's greyed out when you load files from the G10. Rather a joke...
I was able to use it for RAW conversion, though, with quite good effect, but changed over to DNG/Adobe Camera RAW, as soon as it the former was available for the G10.
By the way, I'm now converting all my Canon CR2 RAW files to DNG little by little, and deleting the the former.

27 Nov 2009 6:55am

harris irawan from jakarta, Indonesia

the top one is better..

28 Nov 2009 1:16pm

Tim from Brisbane, Australia

To be fair I think you'd need to see both at 100%. I have done a similar test and found the quality of the 40D far better than the S90. But given the 40D has a superb red series lens attached, you'd expect that.

17 Feb 2010 11:37pm

@Tim: Hi Tim - you are absolutely correct. There really is no comparison between the two cameras, with the major differences being the sensor size and lens. The S90, even at widest aperture, gives very little depth of field, but saying that, it certainly has its place. If you are interested, you can see a series of 10 shots taken with the S90, starting here.