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Compared to...

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Sony DSC-L1 and the similarly specified Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve). We have included samples for the lowest and highest ISO settings for each camera (100 and 400 for the DSC-L1, 64 and 400 for the Mju Mini).

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Sony DSC-L1: Program mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Auto white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve): Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters, Auto white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Six 18W Full Spectrum (>98 CRI) fluorescent tubes
Sony DSC-L1
Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve)
ISO 400, 1/100 sec, F4
ISO 400, 1/640 sec, F4.6
1,750 KB JPEG
2,660 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 2.5
Noise, std dev: 3.6

At ISO 400 the slight sharpness advantage of the Stylus Verve/Mju Mini has been all but lost to noise (though the soft corners are still evident on the DSC-L1 image). Sony's efficient noise reduction is certainly doing its job - these are some of the cleanest ISO 400 images we've seen from this chip, and it doesn't seem to have had a huge impact on detail or sharpness, though I suspect this is more to do with the limitations of the L1's optics than any clever processing.

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