We have been getting quite a lot of questions about the high ISO ability of the new SL2-S when compared to the SL2, so here are the results of some tests done by Nick Rains. These are simple visual tests, not optical bench tests, but should serve to give you an idea of the differences. All images are straight out of Adobe Lightroom V10.1 using default settings. Noise Reduction is on defaults of 15 (Luminance) and 15 (Colour). The SL2 images have been resized down to match the size of the SL2-S and so this test takes into account the downsampling advantage of the SL2.

The test subject was shot in semi-darkness rather than daylight. This makes it a very realistic low light test and it’s even harder for the camera to record good data under these conditions. Black objects in the dark are very hard to record! The base exposure was 8 secs at f8 @ ISO100, then adjusted from there to account for the higher ISO settings. The lens was the Vario-Elmarit 24-90mm at 90mm and f8.

Please bear in mind that these are 100% crops from unadjusted raw files so are brutally unforgiving. The noise you see in all the images is only seen like this on screen and, when printed or reduced in size for device viewing, this noise is much reduced.  At the bottom of the page you will find a link to download some original DNG files so you can see for yourself.

Executive Summary.

The advantage of the SL2-S over the SL2 increases with the ISO. At low ISO they are identical but by ISO3200 the SL2-S clearly takes the lead and by 12500 it is well ahead. Low noise is related to higher Dynamic Range and this is born out by the results.

The SL2-S clearly has more detail in the deepest shadows at high ISO compared to the SL2. This is exactly what you’d expect to see – the SL2 is the best camera for high resolution imagery, and the SL2-S is best for difficult lighting and shooting conditions.

Test Image

Two original DNG files can be downloaded here – both at ISO 25000, one from each camera.