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Old Jan 24, 2011, 8:47 AM   #1
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Default A580 on DXOMark

Scored 80. Looking very competitive at the price. This is now my front-running choice ahead of the A55...
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 9:50 AM   #2
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That doesn't surprise me, with the Nikon D7000, Pentax K-5 and Sony A580 now "leading the pack" comparing cameras with APS-C size sensors, all within 2 points of each other on the overall sensor rankings (and it takes 5 points just to represent a 1/3 stop difference)

I actually didn't expect it to score that high on the DxOMark tests, as I've seen some comments from Iliah Borg (developer and co-founder of http://www.libraw.org ) implying that the test results would probably not reflect the sensor's quality compared to models like the K-5 and D7000, with the Sony having about 1 stop lower DR with better color accuracy based on analysis Iliah performed on the images. See some of the comments in this thread about it:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=36859818

I'm a Sony user (A700), and it's nice to see it score that high. But, at the same time, I'd take those types of tests with a "grain of salt" for a variety of reasons.

Sensor ratings can be misleading. For example, Nikon has been known to "pre-process" the raw data with some of their models, which can skew the results (the D90 is one example, and if you compare the detail in images with your own eyes from controlled conditions samples, I think you'll find the D300 outperforms it from a retained detail perspective using either JPEG or converted RAW files, even though the D90 scores higher on the Dx0Mark sensor tests).

Pentax does the same thing. They just aren't as subtle about it as Nikon. So, DxOMark tests show a different graph legend once raw level noise reduction kicks in with Pentax dSLR models (showing where the results are smoothed by processing of the raw data by Pentax cameras, since they did it in a way that DxOMark detected and tries to account for by changing the graph legend when that happens)

IOW, they can be useful in some areas. But, I wouldn't put a lot of faith in those tests, as S/N ratio tests don't usually take actual retained detail into consideration (due to NR at the raw level, AA filter differences and more, which can skew some of the results).

Also, you have to keep in mind what it takes to produce usable images, as you'd probably have very flat looking photos trying to squeeze as much DR into an image as the raw tests show.

In addition, those types of tests don't take lighting temperature differences into consideration (and you can see different sensor response curves with different lighting temperatures, with some cameras doing better than others in tungsten lighting, where you're more likely to use higher ISO speeds, with most of the tests you see using simulated daylight lighting instead).

Yes, the A580 offers a lot of "bang for the buck", with a much lower price point compared to the Pentax and Nikon models using a Sony 16MP Sensor.

But, I'd let your own eyes be the judge of IQ when comparing cameras, versus relying on those types of tests alone (as newer models from Canon, Nikon and Pentax can all produce great images, and in real world conditions, I doubt you'd see much difference in IQ).
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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What is most telling from this information is that the A580 outperforms the A55 by a significant margin, in both SNR and DR. Basically, the A55 does only about as well as the older A550.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 1:07 PM   #4
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I had changed my preference from the A55 to the A580 because of the longer battery life and I figured that while the 1/3 or 1/2 stop lost to the translucent mirror might not sound much, how much would you be prepared to pay to make every one of your lenses 1/3 stops faster?

I think they've got the frame rate wrong though - they say 5 but shouldn't it be 7?
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 1:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinSykes View Post
I think they've got the frame rate wrong though - they say 5 but shouldn't it be 7?
It's 5. See page 118 of the A560 & A580 Instruction Manual.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 1:30 PM   #6
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On page 119 it mentions 7 fps. Is that 5fps with focusing between shots and 7 without?
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 1:46 PM   #7
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Yes. That's Speed Priority. It will take the shot even if it's not in focus.
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