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Compared to... Canon Powershot A720 IS

Here are the results achieved at ISO 800. It may seem a little odd that we've 'chosen' an aperture of f/8.2 here on the Nikon. It's actually f/4.1 with an ND4 (2-stop) neutral density filter in front of the sensor. As a result, diffraction won't be any worse than it would be at f/4.1. We didn't use manual mode to force the camera to remove the filter because you cannot control the shutter speed accurately enough to be certain of getting the exposure right. It says a lot about the usefulness of the manual mode if you can access a wider range of settings by using program mode with exposure compensation.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 800)

  • Nikon P50: Program mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Canon A720 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI

* Effective aperture - f4.1 with a 2-stop ND filter added.

Nikon P50
Canon A720 IS
ISO 800, 1/203 sec, F8.2*
ISO 800, 1/800 sec, F4.5
2,276 KB JPEG
3,892 KB JPEG

At ISO 800, the Canon still appears to have the edge. The P50's colors are looking pretty muted and not just in comparison to the typical, highly-saturated Canon output. Comparing the greens in the ISO 800 shot to those in the ISO 64 image shows up just how drastically noise reduction is being applied. The overall image produced by the P50 is showing some luminance noise but very little in the way of chroma noise. The Canon, meanwhile, appears to be applying more noise reduction, resulting in a slightly splodgy appearance and some artefacts beginning to appear.

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