Dreamarts (Japan) have posted yet another invaluable direct picture quality comparison of the top consumer digital cameras. This one also demonstrates the difference between each cameras field of view from wide to zoom.

Cameras covered: Sany DSC-X110, Canon Powershot A50, Olympus C900-Z (D400Z), Kodak DC240, Leica Digilux (Fuji MX700), Olympus C1400XL (D600L), Kodak DC260, Sony DSC-F55K, Epson CP-800 (beta machine), Toshiba PDR-M4 (beta machine), Nikon Coolpix 700, Olympus C2000Z, Nikon Coolpix 950, Ricoh RDC5000 (beta machine), Fuji MX2700.

A rough translation of the reviewers comments:

The idea behind this comparison is to cover important details such as chromatic abberations, barrel distortion, image detail, zoom (lens) quality and also general exposure performance.

When viewing the images you should notice the cameras ability to pick out very fine details such as cables from the cranes but also check that the horizontal and vertical elements of the picture are not distorted (barrel distortion).

Noticeably the Olympus whitebalance was slightly blue and Nikon Coolpix 950/700 and also Epson CP800 had a slight yellow cast (the reviewer also notes that these problems can be resolved by using manual whitebalance).

(He also apologises for placing his finger on the edge of the lens on the DSC-X110 image...)

My comments:

Of all the images I preferred the 950 and C2000Z (the C2000Z just pipped the 950 with a slightly sharper image with less obvious colour fringing). Although there's really VERY LITTLE between the 950 and C2000Z from a picture quality point of view, they're both excellent. Also interestingly the image quality from the Coolpix 700 was very sharp, slightly more so than its bigger brother the 950 probably because of its faster fixed lens (review of the 700 coming to this site soon).

The Kodak DC240 had some pretty UGLY noise all over the image, but worse in the middle, I'd love to put that down to JPEG noise but it just doesn't look like JPEG artifacts. The Sony DSC-F55K image was strangely brown/yellow and the Canon A50 image seemed very "oversaturated".

Shame they didn't take a comparison with the Canon Pro70...