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Compared to... Panasonic DMC-LX3 & Nikon Coolpix P6000

It's as the light falls and the sensitivity has to be pushed up that we'd expect to see the advantages of the LX3's larger pixels, if there is to be any. Here is a comparison at a moderate, ISO 400, setting.

Studio scene comparison (G10, Panasonic DMC-LX3 , Nikon P6000 @ ISO 400)

  • Canon PowerShot G10 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
     
  • Panasonic DMC-LX3: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
     
  • Nikon Coolpix P6000 : Manual mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance.
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot G10
Panasonic DMC-LX3
Nikon Coolpix P6000
ISO 400, 1/320 sec, F4
ISO 400, 1/640 sec, F3.2
ISO 400, 1/400 sec, F4.1
5,794 KB JPEG
3,420 KB JPEG
6,066 KB JPEG

Even at this low-ish sensitivity setting the Canon and Nikon have surrendered most, if not all, their resolution advantage. The LX3's output still closely resembles its base ISO quality with a touch more noise and some of the softness that noise reduction tends to bring beginning to creep in. However, the other two cameras are clearly having to resort to extreme measures with much more prominent noise appearing in the Nikon's image and fairly heavy noise reduction smearing the G10's output (and with sharpening artifacts showing an attempt to crisp the image back up). At a consistent output size, the results are likely to look identical but that begs the question - what do those extra megapixels achieve?

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