Best DSLRs for £700
Studying white balance revealed that the G5's results were the least consistent, being a touch warm in some shots and cooler in others. Though the Nikon D3200's white balance performance was more consistent, we found that some images were slightly warm and fractionally overexposed when compared to the same scene shot on the other cameras. Out of the five we were most impressed by the Sony A57's white balance, as it managed to faithfully represent natural colour that was true to each scene that we photographed.
The Nikon D3200 offers impressive levels of detail but, as we discovered, sharpness levels weren't as good as we'd expected and the same could be said for the 600D's results. We found the best combination of detail and sharpness offered by Pentax's K-30. The images it produced were exceptionally clean, although you should bear in mind it has a tendency to underexpose slightly.
Moving onto ISO performance, we were careful when converting each Raw file to ensure it wasn't subjected to any automated sharpening or noise reduction. Viewing images at 100% in Adobe Bridge, we compared the results beside each other to help identify any discrepancies. Our findings showed Canon's EOS 600D to resolve excellent detail at high ISOs. The Nikon D3200 struggled to define the same amount of detail in the roof of our low-light scene and although the Panasonic's G5 results appeared slightly waxy at high ISO sensitivities, they did appear to feature fractionally more detail than that found within the Sony A57 files.
Pentax's K-30 handles noise at higher sensitivities very well and all the finer details in our test image were very well recorded. Out of the five cameras on test we were most impressed by the K-30's performance in low light. Contrast and colour wasn't quite as impressive as the 600D but we couldn't fault the detail at higher sensitivities.
To view the Canon 600D test images click here.
To view the Nikon D3200 test images click here.
To view the Panasonic Lumix G5 test images click here.
To view the Pentax K-30 test images click here.
To view the Sony A57 test images click here.