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Compared to... Panasonic DMC-FZ7

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Canon S3 IS and the similarly specified Panasonic DMC-FZ7. In this section we have included comparisons at ISO 80, 400 and 800.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Canon PowerShot S3 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ7 : Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 80, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ7
ISO 80, 1/50 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
2,4187 KB JPEG
1,817 KB JPEG

Next to the FZ7's output the S3 IS results look a little on the soft side (and there's no doubt that in the center half or so of the frame the Panasonic lens outclasses the Canon), but the S3 image is considerably cleaner and has Canon's trademark smooth quality. To be honest the difference between these two shots is so small that which you prefer is going to come down to personal taste. The Panasonic appears to have a marginally better lens - certainly in terms of edge-to-edge sharpness - but Canon's image processing is more subtle (and noise is visibly and measurably lower).

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