I bought my girlfriend a Canon EOS 400D a few months back and I'm impressed with every photo that comes out of it - but I recently wondered if that was just because I KNEW it was a good camera. How good is it really? I mean, my Sony Ericsson K800i has a FANTASTIC camera on it (considering its a phone) and the Nikon E4600 I have (and my girlfriend had before her 'upgrade') took great photo's considering its price and it was VERY rugged. How could I test this... So I took all 3 camera's out and took 2 sets of photo's with each camera. Guess who won?
Sony Ericsson K800i
Lets start with this device - and lets face it, its out of its league. Its a phone - its not a dedicated camera. But bearing that in mind, it holds its own pretty well! These are the two photo's taken.
Ok... They're not bad really. At 3 Megapixels, it has the least detail of the 3 camera and, upon closer inspection, it looks like the JPEG compression is pretty poor too. Also, possibly due to the small size of the lens/sensor, the cactus photo is blurred due to an exposure time of 1/30th of a second (which is pretty high for an outdoor photo).
This is a camera I have used for years and was a step up from a Jenoptiks budget digital camera what was absolutely pathetic. When I upgraded to the Nikon I was immediately impressed with the quality of the photo, however I think its starting to show its ages - hence it not really being sold anywhere anymore!
Clearly these are better photo's - the camera has a much better lense for starters. However, the Cactus photo (same light and position - no flash) required over twice the exposure time - 5/82 seconds (about 0.062s). The colours are much better though - this can especially be seen with the Rose photo. The K800i really washed the colours out.
Canon EOS 400D
Now prepare to be stunned!
WOW! Just look at all that extra colour that the Canon found in the rose! And the cactus doesn't look AT ALL washed out and its so much sharper. Remember - all shots were done at basically the same time. The Canon only required 1/60th of a second to take the cactus - thats half the time the K800i and a quarter of that required by the Nikon!
If you want to be even more impressed - try viewing those images at full size from the Flickr Account (click on the images to go to their Flickr page). The K800i photo's are in my account and the Nikon & Canon ones are in my Girlfriends account.
One final point - the Canon wasn't even in TOP quality. Those shots were taken with JPG compression (it can do RAW) and they're 'only' at 8 Megapixels (only, ha!) - we've not really felt the need to push it up to its maximum 10 Megapixels yet!