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Compared to... Sony DSC-H9

For most people considering the S5 IS the most obvious competitor is perhaps the new flagship of Sony's Cyber-shot range, the H9 (or the H7, which is almost identical). For the latest generation of its 'big zoom' cameras Sony upped the optical ante by stretching the wide end of the zoom to give a total 15x range, though in most other respects the H9 and S5 IS have broadly similar specification. We've included studio comparisons at ISO 80, 400 and 800.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Canon PowerShot S5 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Sony DSC-H9: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot S5 IS
Sony DSC-H9
ISO 80, 1/40 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5
3,176 KB JPEG
2,009 KB JPEG

Whilst both cameras produce slightly soft output, the S5 IS - with its less ambitious zoom range - wins by a whisker, with marginally better corner to corner detail and less obvious noise reduction 'smoothing'. Of course you have to be looking very closely to see the differences - in a print there's very little in it (though there are obviously color differences, with Sony's blues a lot more vivid at the default settings).

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