All four of these sub-$1,000 digital SLR cameras produce quite good Raw images, so your buying decision will be mostly based on other features and the feel of the camera. Pentax camera’s images mysteriously lost a lot of sharpness when shooting JPEGs (as in our tests) but it produced excellent Raw images.
We took a photo of a standard test scene with each camera under controlled conditions, with the flash turned off, with the white-point setting at tungsten, and at the same aperture and shutter-speed settings. All other settings and all in-camera image-processing options were set at factory defaults. Images were saved as JPEGs. A panel of experts looked at our test image, both on screen and printed by an Epson Stylus Photo 2200, and rated color quality and clarity as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, or Unacceptable.
Digital SLR Camera Jury Tests
| ||Color Accuracy ||Clarity—Detail ||Clarity—Artifacts and Noise |
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT * Very Good Very Good Excellent
Olympus Evolt E-300 Excellent Very Good Very Good
Pentax ist DS Very Good Flawed Very Good
Nikon D70s Excellent Excellent Very Good
Best results in red .
* = Editors’ Choice.
[ Macworld Lab testing by James Galbraith and Ben Long ]