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Yosemite 2004: Merced Cascades

Comparison Portfolio by B+U Steinmueller

These photos were taken to get portfolio class photos from a beautiful scene at the Merced Canyon. The test of the different cameras is merely a side effect of this activity. Of course we would not have taken four cameras if this would not be our business as reviewers and educators.

We used four cameras with the following lenses. The lenses were not an arbitrary choice:

  • Canon 1Ds + 70-200 f/2.8 IS (full frame 35mm)

    One of our favorite combinations. Camera and lens are state of the art.

  • Canon 300D + 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS (45 - 216 35mm equivalent)

    If you buy a 300D you most likely not spend tons of money on top lenses. This lens is in combination with the 300D ideal for travel. It lacks clearly in the wide angle range but not a problem for our style of work. The wide angle range can be covered by the kit lens.

  • Nikon D70 + DX AF-S 18-70 f/3.5-f/4.5 G (27 - 105 35mm equivalent)

    This combination is also great for travel. The medium wide angle is well covered while it is a bit short in the tele range.

  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 built in lens (28-200 35mm equivalent)

The scene we photographed at the Merced Canyon was shot after the sun set behind the canyon walls. We used of course tripods for all photos.

Processing: All images were shot in raw, processed with Adobe ACR 2.2 and finally sharpened with Simple Sharpening. Image quality is always the result of camera sensor, lens, camera image processing and the raw converter used.

Now lager, low compressed crops can be found here.

Note: Images are © B+U Steinmueller and may only be used for your personal inspection. They may not be published without our written permission. Please understand that for copyright reasons the full sized images are not available.

Canon 1Ds

f/13, 1/4sec, ISO 100

Crop at 100% magnification


This was the only DSLR in the field that allowed us to use mirror lockup. The Canon 1Ds serves as the reference for this image comparison.

- Switching to mirror lockup cumbersome using the menu


Nikon D70

f/11, 1/10sec, ISO 200

100% magnification


+ very fast handling: startup, write time and histogram shown

- no mirror lockup to avoid camera vibration

- no ISO 100


Canon 300D

f/11, 1/6sec, ISO 200


+ allows ISO 100

- does not handle as fast as the D70

- D70 feels better in our hands


Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2

f/5.6, 1/8sec, ISO 64

100% magnification


Only digicam in the field.

+ Handles very well for such a small camera (very good ergonomics)

- Noise visible even at ISO 64 (won't show as strong in prints)

-/+ best EVF we have seen but not even close to the optical viewfinders of the DSLRs. Perfect framing is close to impossible.

+ Very small but complete and capable camera.




We have made portfolio quality photos with any of the cameras. Clearly the 1Ds photo would allow the largest prints and the noise of the A2 may show in larger prints.


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