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Compared to... Canon Powershot A720 IS

Here are the studio comparisons of the Nikon P50 and the Canon A720 IS at ISO 1600. This is the highest ISO setting for the Canon but Nikon believes the P50 has another third of a stop in it, so has included an ISO 2000 mode. Click here for the ISO 2000 shot - we couldn't find another camera to sensibly compare it with.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 1600)

  • Nikon P50: Program mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation

  • Canon A720 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI

* Effective aperture - we suspect it is really f4.1 with a 2-stop ND filter added.

Nikon P50
Canon A720 IS
ISO 1600, 1/371 sec, F8.2*
ISO 1600, 1/1500 sec, F4.5
2,555 KB JPEG
4,003 KB JPEG

I think most people would be disappointed with these results. It's really a case of Hobson's choice - it doesn't really matter which you choose because they're both pretty awful. There's little detail left in either image, although the grainy luminance noise in the P50 image does give the slightest impression that its noise reduction has been less destructive. We spend a lot of our time trying to think of new ways to say that the high ISO modes on compacts are rubbish but we are dealing with 1000-word pictures here, so I'll let them do the talking.

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