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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Noise and JPEG processing, low ISO sensitivities

Noise and JPEG processing, high ISO sensitivities

ISO 100 JPEG

ISO 100, raw vs. JPEG

Bokeh, 18-55mm lens

ISO 400 JPEG

ISO 800 JPEG

ISO 800, raw vs. JPEG

ISO 1600 JPEG

ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

ISO 3200 JPEG

Color

Picture Styles

Picture Styles, neutral vs. raw

The EOS M produces JPEGs that look quite clean up through ISO 800, and good as high as ISO 1600.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Above ISO 1600, detail degrades rapidly and there's a lot of color noise.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The EOS M fares pretty well on image sharpness -- not too soft and not too crunchy.

(1/125 sec, f8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 18mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Even at ISO 100, however, you can improve upon the JPEGs by shooting raw. Note especially the edge artifacts.

(1/125 sec, f8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 18mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The 18-55mm kit lens displays some nice out-of-focus highlights.

(1/800sec, f6, spot metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 35mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The camera resolves details very nicely at ISO 400.

(1/100 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 400, 22mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The camera maintains crisp edges as high as ISO 800. Well, if you don't count the fringing of the 22mm lens.

(1/40 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 800, 22mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Those fringy edges clean right up if you shoot raw, along with increased tonal range and less color noise.

(1/40 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 800, 22mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
While it doesn't stand up extremely well to 100 percent viewing, ISO 1600 shots print well at 13 x 19. This is just a scaled-down reference for the cropped view on the next slide.

(1/80 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 1600, 22mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Because the default Picture Style boosts contrast, once you get to higher ISO sensitivities you lose a lot of detail in low light. I didn't adjust the exposure of the raw file here.

(1/80 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 1600, 22mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
ISO 3200 JPEGs look OK scaled down by about 50 percent.

(1/40 sec, f4, spot metering, AWB, ISO 3200, 22mm lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Canon really pushes the saturation on some of the colors.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Canon's default Picture Style (Auto) never delivers the best results.

(1/80sec, f5, spot metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 27mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The Neutral profile seems to be flat rather than accurate. There's also Faithful (not shown), which is a little better.

(1/80sec, f5, spot metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 27mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Updated:
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