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Compared to... Nikon Coolpix P50

Pushing both cameras a bit harder, here are the studio shots from the Canon A720 IS and Nikon P50 at ISO 800.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 800)

  • Canon A720 IS: Aperture priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
     
  • Nikon P50: Program mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI

* Effective apeture - the Nikon has a fixed aperture and a 2-stop ND filter.

Canon A720 IS
Nikon P50
ISO 800, 1/800 sec, F4.5
ISO 800, 1/203 sec, F8.2
3,892 KB JPEG
2,276 KB JPEG

At ISO 800, as we've already seen, the Canon's image is starting to show both noise and the hallmarks of noise reduction. But, as we also said, although the performance isn't anywhere near as good as the camera manages at its lower settings, it is better than many compacts manage. The Nikon's rather soft image is being further ravaged by noise reduction - contrast and detail are substantially reduced.

There is also quite a bit of noise still in the Nikon image and only the most brand-loyal will really try to argue that this grain (which in some cases is preferable to blurring detail away), is a better result than the Canon is managing.

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