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Compared to... five $700, 7mp's

On this page we will examine the feature / specification differences between the five other seven megapixel digital cameras in our group test as well as some results from our testing / our experiences with the cameras. On the next page you will find our standard studio comparison.

Primary specification / feature differences

  Canon
PowerShot G6
Casio
EX-P700
Olympus
C-7000 Z
Pentax
Optio 750Z
Sony
DSC-V3
Lens zoom 4x 4x 5x 5x 4x
Lens adapt. Yes No No No Yes
Zoom wide (eq.) 35 mm 33 mm 38 mm 37.5 mm 34 mm
Zoom tele (eq.) 140 mm 132 mm 190 mm 187.5 mm 136 mm
Zoom steps 13 steps 11 steps 11 steps 11 steps 17 steps
ND Filter Yes No No No No
Lens aperture F2.0 - F3.0 F2.8 - F4.0 F2.8 - F4.8 F2.8 - F4.6 F2.8 - F4.0
Normal focus 15 cm 40 cm 60 cm 60 cm 40 cm
Macro focus 5 cm 10 cm 8 / 2 cm 15 / 2 cm 10 cm
AF assist Yes, on/off No, 'Hybrid' Yes, on/off Yes, on/off Yes on/off
RAW Yes No Yes No Yes
Metering modes

Evaluative
CW avg.
Spot
Spot AF area

Multi-pattern
CW avg.
Spot

Digital ESP
Spot
Multi-spot

Multi-segment
CW avg.
Spot

Multi-pattern
CW avg.
Spot
Sensitivity
(indicated)
ISO 50 - 400
4 steps
ISO 80 - 640
4 steps
ISO 80 - 400
9 steps
ISO 80 - 400
4 steps
ISO 100 - 800
4 steps
Sensitivity
(actual)
ISO 100 - 640 ISO 100 - 800 ISO 80 - 400 ISO 80 - 400 ISO 100 - 640
Continuous
(specified)
2.0 fps, 14 frm
1.2 fps, 23 frm
3.0 fps, 5 frm
Variable
2.2 fps, 2 frm
1.1 fps, 10 frm
1.3 fps, ?? 2.5 fps, 8 frm
0.9 fps, 15 frm
Continuous
(actual)
1.6 fps, 16 frm
0.6 fps, 27 frm
2.1 fps, 5 frm
0.6 fps, unlimit.
2.7 fps, 2 frm
1.4 fps, 15 frm
1.0 fps, 11 frm 2.5 fps, 8 frm
1.0 fps, 28 frm
Movie clips

640, 15 fps *
320, 15 fps

320, 15 fps 640, 15/30 fps *
320, 15/30 fps
640, 15/30 fps
320, 15/30 fps
640, 16/30 fps
160, 8 fps
Image params Sharpness +/-1
Contrast +/-1
Saturation +/-1
Sharpness +/-2
Contrast +/-2
Saturation +/-2
Sharpness +/-5
Contrast +/-5
Saturation +/-5
Sharpness +/-1
Contrast +/-1
Saturation +/-1
Image Tone
Sharpness +/-1
Contrast +/-1
Saturation +/-1
LCD 2.0" Tilt/Twist
118,000 pixels
Anti-reflective
2.0" Fixed
115,000 pixels
2.0" Fixed
206,000 pixels
Fast refresh
1.8" Tilt/Twist
134,000 pixels
Anti-reflective
Fast refresh
2.5" Fixed
123,000 pixels
Anti-reflective
Status LCD Yes No No No No
Histogram Record review
Playback
Live view
Playback
Live view
Direct live view
Record review
Playback
Direct live view
Record review
Playback
Live view
Record review
Playback
Ext. Flash Hot-shoe PC Sync term. No No Hot-shoe
Storage Compact Flash Secure Digital
Internal
xD-Picture Card Secure Digital MS Pro
Compact Flash
Connectivity USB 1.1 USB 1.1 USB 1.1 USB 1.1 USB 2.0
Timelapse Yes No Yes Yes No
Remote control Supplied IR Supplied IR Optional IR Optional IR Optional wired
Dimensions (mm) 105 x 73 x 73 98 x 68 x 45 102 x 59 x 43 100 x 62 x 42 120 x 63 x 72
Weight (g) 465 261 254 260 401

* Limited movie length at these settings

From a features point of view none of these cameras are weak, the nice thing about digital cameras is that you can add (and remove) functionality via the software they run and each of these $700 digital cameras come fully loaded with both a wide range of manual control and unique digital features. It's also relatively nice that each has its own strengths and weaknesses and its own 'personality', none are really clones of the next and each will no doubt appeal to a different buyer. If I were to pick out two cameras here (from simply a specifications and features point of view) I would select the Canon PowerShot G6 for its bullet-proof build, excellent feature set and flexibility. The second camera (again specifications and features) would probably be the Casio EX-P700 which convincingly straddles the difficult to achieve compact and prosumer combination.

Performance differences

  Canon
PowerShot G6
Casio
EX-P700
Olympus
C-7000 Z
Pentax
Optio 750Z
Sony
DSC-V3
Startup Average Good Very Good Below Average Average
Off to taken Average Above Average Above Average Below Average Above Average
AF speed Average Above Average Average * Average * Very Good
Shot to shot Above Average Average Above Average Average Very Good
Continuous Below Average Average Above Average Average Above Average
File Write Average Above Average Average Above Average Very Good
Battery Life Very Good Average Below Average Above Average Above Average
Build qual. Very Good Good Good Above Average Very Good
Ergonomics Good Average Above Average Average Good

* We got very mixed results from the C-7000 and 750Z, fast in good light, slow in low light.

Once more a Sony shows the way to at least three 'camera manufacturers' who should really be able to do better. In almost every respect (apart from startup time) the DSC-V3 felt faster than the rest, most noticeable was its ultra-fast auto focus, shot to shot times and 4 MB/sec write speeds. Joint second best were the Casio EXILIM EX-P700 and Olympus C-7000 Z (which almost inexplicably throws away its 1.9 startup time with a poor off to shot taken time).

Photographic tests differences

  Canon
PowerShot G6
Casio
EX-P700
Olympus
C-7000 Z
Pentax
Optio 750Z
Sony
DSC-V3
Resolution Average Average Good Below Average Good
ISO noise Good Good Good Average Good
ISO sens. ~1 stop more ~1/3 stop more Equal Equal ~1/3 stop less
Noise red. Low (None?) Strong Low Strong Average
Auto WB Average Good Above Average Good Below Average
Flash perf. Average Average Average Below Average Average
Night exp. Average Average Average Average Average
Macro Good Average Average Good Good
Distortion Average Average Average Higher Average
Vignetting Average Higher Average Higher Lower
Fringing Lower Average Higher Lower Average
Add. issues Shallow jaggies Noise reduction None Lens softness Tendency for F8

The results above are representative of each of the various photographic tests as well as our observation of everyday shots. Cameras which performed well were the Cano PowerShot G6 (although its resolution chart result wasn't as good as the Sony or Olympus), the Olympus C-7000 Z and the Sony DSC-V3 (although with prior knowledge of the F8 issue).

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