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Compared to the Nikon Coolpix 950

In this test we're comparing the CD200 to Nikon's Coolpix 950 (still considered to be a benchmark 2 megapixel digital camera). Both shots taken in the cameras native JPEG mode, on the CD200 and 950 this was JPEG FINE. Sensitivity set to ISO 100, white balance was set to Auto on both cameras, all other settings were set to factory default or auto. Cameras were set to Aperture priority F5.6 (or as near as possible) with an exposure compensation of +0.3 EV.

Some crops below are of an 120 x 90 area of the image magnified 200%, some are straight 240 x 180 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").

Sony MVC-CD200
Nikon Coolpix 950

The Coolpix 950 images have more contrast, black really is black, the CD200 tends to deliberately push the darker end of the grayscale up a little to maintain shadow detail. Secondly the Coolpix 950 images look sharper, I'd attribute this to the less aggressive sharpening algorithms which seem to be a hallmark of Sony's newest digital cameras (CD300/S75). Thirdly the CD200 didn't auto white balance as well as the Coolpix 950, this has given the image a slight pink cast. (Note this paragraph is almost identical to that in the CD300 review simply because the comparison is almost identical!).

However the CD200 shows an obviously wider dynamic range (look at the higlights on the chrome spoons) and produce much richer, more accurate colours than the 950 which looks seriously pale by comparison. Despite the softer looking images the CD200 still maintains about as much detail as the 950 (funny, on a resolution chart the CD200 was better but here images aren't really, we shot these samples eight or nine times at different distances / apertures all with the same results).

DISCLAIMER: I'd like to point out that the camera reviewed WAS a pre-production unit and we may well see cleaner images from a final production unit (we will update the review later).

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