Canon EOS 1200D review – Noise, resolution and sensitivity

Image: Shooting in raw and processing images using subtle noise reduction will achieve much crisper results than shooting JPEG files

Like most Canon DSLRs, the JPEG images from the EOS 1200D are noticeably softer than the raw files. This is partly due to the DIGIC 4 processor’s in-camera noise reduction blurring the image slightly in an effort to reduce noise. Interestingly, JPEG images shot higher than ISO 800 show signs of colour noise, mostly in the shadow areas. However, the raw files are cleaner, showing only signs of luminescent noise.

Improving the sharpness of the JPEG images is relatively easy. Picture Style has a default sharpness value of +3, but setting it to +5 improves the results. However, far more detailed images can be achieved by processing the raw files using the supplied software or Adobe Camera Raw.

The EOS 1200D’s native sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400, but this can be extended to ISO 128,000. At a sensitivity setting of ISO 100-200, I found both the JPEG and raw files to be almost completely free of any luminescent or colour noise, even when viewing at 100%. When pixel peeping, some noise is evident in the JPEG and raw files shot between ISO 800 and 1600, but this is minimal. As expected, after ISO 1600 there is increased luminescent noise, but the images are still very clean. Incredibly, even ISO 6400 images are perfectly suitable for printing at A4 size, especially when shooting in raw and the noise is reduced in post-production. The extended H setting is usable, but best kept as a last resort.

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections  of images of a resolution chart, captured using the 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS III lens set to 35mm and f/5.6 . We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.

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