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Compared to...

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Canon PowerShot SD500 and the similarly specified Nikon Coolpix 7900 at ISO 400.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Canon PowerShot SD500: Program mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
     
  • Nikon Coolpix 7900: Program mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.70 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot SD500
Nikon Coolpix 7900
ISO 400, 1/636 sec, F4
ISO 400, 1/187 sec, F6.3
3,332 KB JPEG
2,569 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 3.1
Noise, std dev: 5.0

At ISO 400 the difference in detail is much less pronounced, and it's obvious the SD500's noise reduction is harsher than the Nikon Coolpix 7900's, meaning the Canon result looks a lot softer (the 7900 appears to be retaining more detail too). Again we see the 7 megapixel sensor's superiority over its 5 megapixel predecessor when it comes to minimising noise whilst retaining an acceptable level of detail. At 'normal' print sizes (say up to 5x7 inches) you'll have to look very closely to see the noise in these images at all.

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