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Compared to the Canon PowerShot A20

Since our review of the PowerShot A20 we're pretty comfortable that it's one of the best, inexpensive 2 megapixel digital cameras around. Both colour and resolution proved to be a benchmark for other sub-$800 digital cameras. Both cameras set to factory defaults, exposure compensation +0.3 EV.

The crops below are of an 120 x 90 area of the image magnified 200%. 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").

Olympus C-700UZ Canon PowerShot A20

Most noticeable differences at first glance is the different way both cameras have reproduced the colour green. To my eye (looking at the scene here in the studio) the A20 has the edge, certainly it's green colour for the Tanqueray and parsley sprig are far more accurate than the slightly muddy green of the C-700UZ. Both cameras metered the scene identically and it would appear, by looking at the luminance histogram (top), used virtually identical contrast curves to post-process the images.

Resolution is about an even match, both doing well for digital cameras equipped with 2 megapixel sensors. Looking closer the C-700UZ shows some of its moiré and a very slight amount of chromatic aberration on the silver spoons. Also note the problems the C-700UZ had with the Bayer interpolation of the crayons in our last crop. I have to say on this evidence that the A20 takes the lead for image quality (though it obviously doesn't have a 10x optical zoom lens!).

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