8MP vs. 10MP, the Canon 350D vs. the Nikon D200 Informal Test

How much difference does 10MP vs. 8MP really make. This very informal test is the start of a deeper look at resolution issues.
There was a lot of disappointment that the 20D replacement, the 30D wasn’t a 10 or 12MP camera. But just how significant is 10MP compared to 8MP? Well, while I have a D200 here for review, I thought I would do a first, informal test.

So what I did was take my 350D fitted with the Canon 24-85 USM lens out on location with the D200 fitted with the Nikon AF-S 18-70 ED lens and adjusted the focal lengths to give me roughly the same effective shooting focal length, and shot a scene with a mix of high and low contrast edges and detail.

The original shots are below:



Below are 200% blowups of the centre section. I used Photoshop’s Image Size function to interpolate the 8MP 350D image up to the same size as the D200’s.

D200 10MP 200% detail, no adjustments

350D 8MP interpolated to same size as D200, 200% detail

D200 images with levels adjusted to look more like the 350D image for easier comparison

Uninterpolated 350D 8MP image at 200%

To me, there is not a lot to pick between the interpolated 350D and the straight D200, given the slight exposure differences. Remember here you are seeing JPEGs of these rather than the RAW/NEF images I am looking at.

So what does this test show? Maybe nothing. But looking at the raw images onscreen it shows me that there is a lot of room to up interpolate images from good digital cameras, and you can certainly take an 8MP to 10MP (roughly) with no issues. Whether the fact that you have already some degree of upsizing will limit the ability to take the Canon images as far as you could take the Nikon’s remains to be tested.

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