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Compared to the Canon PowerShot G2

The Canon PowerShot G2 has been around for quite a while now (in digital camera terms) but is still considered by many as the four megapixel benchmark. In this comparison we will be shooting the G2 at both ISO 50 and ISO 100 (because of the confusion between which is equal to the Coolpix 4500's ISO 100). Camera settings were:

  • Nikon Coolpix 4500: Tone: Normal, Sharpening: Normal, Saturation: 0, NR Off, Manual WB
  • Canon PowerShot G2: Contrast: 0, Sharpness: 0, Saturation: 0, Manual WB

Studio scene comparison: Canon G2 at ISO 50

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from the same tripod position. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%.

Nikon Coolpix 4500 Canon PowerShot G2
ISO 100, F5.4, 1/4 sec ISO 50, F5.6, 1/2.5 sec
1,125 KB JPEG 1,643 KB JPEG

Both cameras meter and expose the shots to an almost identical level, color is also quite similar apart maybe from the colour orange which has turned slightly red on the 4500. Resolution is also virtually identical, the G2's harsher sharpening at times making detail more apparent at others introducing those unwelcome 45 degree jaggies. I'd personally say there's very little to choose between these two cameras other than the way their in-camera sharpening resolves detail, there's a lot to be said for the 4500's cleaner and less obvious sharpening.

Note the visible 'colour stepping' of the yellow crayon beside the orange crayon (a side effect of the Bayer pattern Color Filter Array), this is handled far better by the G2.

Also take a look at the difference in the way the two cameras handled the highlights on the silver spoon crop. On the 4500 image you can clearly see the 'highlight clipping' I talked of, and the much more natural way the G2 handles the same highlight.

Studio scene comparison: Canon G2 at ISO 100

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from the same tripod position. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%.

Nikon Coolpix 4500 Canon PowerShot G2
ISO 100, F5.4, 1/4 sec ISO 100, F5.6, 1/5 sec
1,125 KB JPEG 1,812 KB JPEG

With the G2 set to ISO 100 we see a clear increase in visible noise, especially in areas of flat tone or color.

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