Sony HX20V vs Canon SX260 HS

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
OpticsEngineer
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Re: Sony HX20V vs Canon SX260 HS
In reply to sbansban, Aug 22, 2012

The HX20V images clearly look better than the SX260 on things like cars, buildings, toys, bikes and stuff like that. The image processing is biased to getting sharp edges and increased contrast. On things where color reproduction is really important, I think the SX260 has an edge. On my daughter's smile, Canon makes the teeth look white and the gums a healthy pink. On the Sony, the teeth look a little grey, kind of transparent and ghostly. On an absolute scale, maybe the Sony rendition really is more accurate. But the Canon looks better. On organic things with small scale features like fields of grass and human hair the SX260 looks better, but not by much.

I suspect the zoom lens on the SX260 is not quite as good the one in the HX20V, causing more overall image softness. Particularly since the SX230 with a smaller zoom range seems to consistently get better image quality scores than the SX260. (The more zoom range the lens designer has to acheive for a given budget and weight, the more compromise there has to be on image quality.)

I think maybe only recently has Sony learned to adjust their image processing to get organic objects to look as good as Canon has been doing for years. So it is difficult for the reviewer to overcome some bias and see how much theHX20V is improved over previous Sony offerings. Or they may simply be seeing more than I do, testing a wider variety of challenging objects and looking at more subtle things. My experience with buying cameras and comparing my experience to reviewer's judgements is that almost always the reviewer is right. It just takes me a while to learn to appreciate their insights or encounter similar situations to what they see.

When I compare the studio images that dpreview has for cameras, I find that I am not able to predict how the camera will be do on things like fields of grass or a smile. Those are among the more interesting things to photograph but also not easy to reproduce for comparisons. So a reviewer's comments are really useful.

When you look at images that are posted and look really great, it is good to keep in mind that the images that play to a cameras strengths are the ones getting posted. People tend not to post the ones that looks average.

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