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Compared to the Canon IXUS 300 (S300) & A20

The only other two megapixel compact cameras I had to hand for comparison were Canon's IXUS 300 (known as the PowerShot S300 in the US) and PowerShot A20. All three cameras compared below have the following features:

  Nikon Coolpix 775 Canon IXUS 300 (S300) Canon PowerShot A20
 
Street price US$ 430 US$ 500 US$ 400
Case Ultra-Compact Plastic Ultra-Compact Steel Compact Plastic
CCD 1/2.7" 2 megapixel 1/2.7" 2 megapixel 1/2.7" 2 megapixel
Res 1600 x 1200, XGA, VGA 1600 x 1200, XGA, VGA 1600 x 1200, XGA, VGA
Lens 3x optical (38 - 115 mm) 3x optical (35 - 105 mm) 3x optical (35 - 105 mm)
Lens aperture. F2.8 - F4.9 F2.7 - F4.7 F2.8 - F4.8
AF Assist Lamp No Yes Yes
Shutter speed 1 - 1/1000 sec 1 - 1/1500 sec 1 - 1/1500 sec
White Bal Auto, pre-prog, manual Auto, pre-prog Auto, pre-prog
Storage Compact Flash Type I Compact Flash Type I Compact Flash Type I
Supplied 8 MB CF Type I 8 MB CF Type I 8 MB CF Type I
Movie Clip 15 sec, no audio 20/30 sec, with audio None
Viewfinder Optical Optical Optical
LCD 1.5 " 1.5 " (Anti-reflective) 1.5 "
Power Lithium-Ion Batt & Charger Lithium-Ion Batt & Charger 4 x AA batteries
Weight *1 233 g (8.2 oz) 275 g (9.7 oz) 365 g (12.9 oz)
Dimensions 87 x 67 x 44 mm
(3.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)

95 x 63 x 30 mm
(3.7 x 2.5 x 1.2 in)

110 x 71 x 38 mm
(4.3 x 2.8 x 1.5 in)
Volume 256 cm3 179 cm3 296 cm3

*1 Including batteries and CF card.

Note: Some people have asked me to compare the 775 to the IXUS v (S110), unfortunately I didn't have one at hand for direct comparison but we know that its image quality is virtually identical to that of the A20.

Some crops below are of an 120 x 80 area of the image magnified 200%, some are straight 240 x 160 crops. Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white overhead reflector (about as close as you can get to "indoor daylight").

Cameras setup:

  • Nikon Coolpix 775 - Self Timer, Flash Off, Sharpening: Normal, Auto WB
  • Canon Digital IXUS 300 - Self Timer, Flash Off, Auto WB
  • Canon PowerShot A20 - Self Timer, Flash Off, Auto WB
Nikon Coolpix 775
F4.2, 1/6 sec
Canon IXUS 300 (S300)
F4.5, 1/8 sec
Canon PowerShot A20
F4.5, 1/8 sec
Nikon Coolpix 775 Canon IXUS 300 (S300) Canon PowerShot A20

The S300 and A20 both seem to produce sharper, more detailed images. Colour balance is good from all cameras, the 775 shows the same tendancy to undersaturate blues and even hue shift them towards turquoise. There's also visible vertical stepping on the Coolpix 775 images (compare the arc on the edge of the watch).

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