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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22 °C (~72°F).

Nikon Coolpix 8400 vs. Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom (ISO 400)

Camera settings:

  • Nikon Coolpix 8400: Aperture Priority, ISO 400, JPEG Large/Fine
    Manual WB, Default image parameters, Self-Timer
     
  • Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom : Aperture Priority, ISO 400, JPEG SHQ
    Manual WB, Default image parameters, Self-Timer
Nikon Coolpix 8400
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom
ISO 400, 1/12 sec, F5.6
ISO 400, 1/15 sec, F5
2,817 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)
3,511 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)

Two different approaches to noise, Nikon goes down the purist path by simply delivering the image as captured with very little (if any) noise reduction. The Olympus C-8080 in contrast uses fairly heavy 'water color' type noise reduction which works well in flat areas of the image but less well in detail which can look blotchy and artificial. Which you prefer is a personal choice, myself I'd rather have the purer image and do the noise reduction myself if I felt it was required.

Nikon Coolpix 8400 vs. Canon PowerShot G6 (ISO 400)

  • Nikon Coolpix 8400: Aperture Priority, ISO 400, JPEG Large/Fine
    Manual WB, Default image parameters, Self-Timer
     
  • Canon PowerShot G6: Aperture Priority, ISO 400, JPEG Large/Fine
    Manual WB, Default image parameters, Self-Timer
Nikon Coolpix 8400
Canon PowerShot G6
ISO 400, 1/12 sec, F5.6
ISO 400, 1/25 sec, F5
2,817 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)
2,659 KB JPEG (3072 x 2304)

Both Nikon and Canon prefer as little noise reduction as possible and this is clear from these images, noise is visible but at the same time there's no noticeable affect on detail from heavy noise reduction. If you've read the ISO comparison section of this review already you won't be that surprised to see the smaller CCD in the G6 performing so well, it's probably over two years ahead of the 8400's 2/3" eight megapixel in development terms. (Although to be fair neither are a match for a digital SLR).

Note: It's worth bearing in mind that at ISO 400 the G6 appears to be about two thirds of a stop faster than the 8400 (ie. about ISO 640).

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