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

Finally, we compare our trio of photographers' compacts at ISO 1600. This is the highest sensitivity setting offered by the G10 and the highest at which the Nikon produces full-resolution output. The LX3 offers a predictably disappointing 3200 setting, while the P6000 offers 3200 and an ambitious 6400 at 3 megapixels.

Studio scene comparison (G10, Panasonic DMC-LX3 , Nikon P6000 @ ISO 1600)

  • Canon PowerShot G10 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
     
  • Panasonic DMC-LX3: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
     
  • Nikon Coolpix P6000 : Manual mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance.
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot G10
Panasonic DMC-LX3
Nikon Coolpix P6000
ISO 1600, 1/1250 sec, F4
ISO 1600, 1/2000 sec, F3.5
ISO 1600, 1/400 sec, F4.1
6,456 KB JPEG
3,735 KB JPEG
5,464 KB JPEG

It was never going to be pretty but there are some pretty unpleasant results here. The G10's noise reduction has obliterated most of the detail in its image and hammered the contrast too. For fans of watercolors, perhaps? The Nikon has made an even bigger mess of things, peppering its image with white speckling and producing unsightly yellow blotches across other parts of the image.

And, although the LX3's image isn't exactly a paragon of image quality, it's hard not to conclude that it's producing the best results at this point. There's all the noise and noise reduction degradation you'd expect of a compact camera working at this sensitivity setting, but it's balanced the two well and produced a good compromise result, retaining some detail and producing the most accurate color of the three.

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