Despite having a different sensor, the A380 has similar noise characteristics to the lower-resolution A330: good on ISO 100 and 200, softer at ISO 400, color artifacts start appearing at ISO 800, and severe degradation at ISO 1600 and above.
Caption byLori Grunin
/ Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
I thought it might be illuminating to show why Canon consistently gets higher image-quality marks than Sony, especially at higher ISO sensitivities. You can clearly see how much cleaner--sharper and less noisy--the T1i image is compared to the A380's. (T1i: 1/250 sec, f11; 1/500 sec, f8. Both set to tungsten white balance, shot with 18-55mm lens.)
For a typical shot, noise suppression at ISO 800 isn't great, but the photos are certainly usable. If there's plenty of light and you simply want to be able to increase your shutter speed (rather than the typical low-light scenario), the photos look pretty clean. (1/80 sec, f1.8, ISO 800, pattern metering, AWB, 50mm f1.8 lens)
Like the A330, the A380 doesn't have a particularly fast burst mode; the only reason I was able to capture this squirrel was because he stood still posing for me. (1/160 sec, f5.6, ISO 400, AWB, 55-200mm lens at 200mm, 300mm equivalent)
Overall, the increased resolution of the sensor bumps up the A380's sharpness noticeably compared with the A330/A230, delivering very nice results without looking oversharpened. (1/100 sec, f6.3, ISO 100, spot metering, AWB, 18-55mm lens at 55mm, 82mm equivalent)
Like its siblings, the A380 renders vibrant and pleasing colors; the A380 nailed the red of the geraniums (upper right corner) which many cameras miss. However, it also uses the same Standard Creative Style which results in annoying color shifts (see next slide). None of these colors are accurate.
The Standard Creative Style--the default-- pushes the saturation of the colors, resulting in some severe color shifts, most egregiously in shifting purples to pinks. The top photo, which most accurately represents the colors, is a raw shot processed with Adobe Camera Raw on the default settings; the bottom is the camera's JPEG version. (1/80 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, spot metering, AWB, 55-200mm lens at 55mm, 82mm equivalent)