Canon XS Review

 
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Canon XS High ISO Noise Reduction

The Canon XS offers "On" and "Off" settings high ISO noise reduction settings. It's not clear that the "off" setting truly eliminates the noise processing altogether, but it is true that it leaves a lot of fine/subtle subject detail there for you to work with. The combination of shooting with NR turned off and using a good noise-filtering program after the fact can produce very clean images with lots of fine detail in them. (And of course, the XS's RAW files have no noise-reduction processing applied to them at all, adhering to the true philosophy of RAW shooting.)

See for yourself how the noise reduction works under daylight-balanced lighting. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.

High ISO Noise Reduction Comparison
Simulated Daylight
Hi ISO NR Off
Hi ISO NR On
I
S
O

1
0
0
Hi ISO NR Off
Hi ISO NR On
I
S
O

2
0
0
Hi ISO NR Off
Hi ISO NR On
I
S
O

4
0
0
Hi ISO NR Off
Hi ISO NR On
I
S
O

8
0
0
Disable
Low
I
S
O

1
6
0
0

The above crops show the effects of the high ISO noise reduction available on the XS, under our studio HMI lighting, which has a daylight white balance. Compared to the Off setting for high-ISO noise reduction, the On option appears to primarily affect chroma noise, leaving luminance noise more or less alone, though there is slight cost to fine detail in areas of subtle contrast. (See the red fabric swatches in the crops above.)  We've included low ISO crops, as Canon says the high ISO noise reduction helps reduce noise in shadow areas at low ISOs.

So how does the XS compare to other, entry-level 10MP SLRs at high ISOs? See the crops below (all shot with default noise reduction settings):

High ISO Comparison with 10MP SLRs
Daylight-balanced illumination
Canon XS
Nikon D60
Olympus E-420
Sony A200
I
S
O

4
0
0
Canon XS
Nikon D60
Olympus E-420
Sony A200
I
S
O

8
0
0
Canon XS
Nikon D60
Olympus E-420
Sony A200
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Canon XS
Nikon D60
Olympus E-420
Sony A200
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
N/A
ISO 3,200 not supported.
N/A
ISO 3,200 not supported.
N/A
ISO 3,200 not supported.
N/A
ISO 3,200 not supported.
N/A
ISO 3,200 not supported.
N/A
ISO 3,200 not supported.


 

Canon XS

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