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Compared to...

We continue our comparison of the three newest five megapixel four times zoom digital cameras. The Canon PowerShot G5 vs. Nikon Coolpix 5400 vs. Sony DSC-V1. Note that we had to use some exposure compensation on the G5 and DSC-V1 to achieve the same exposure as the Coolpix 5400 (which to be honest metered the best exposure anyway).

Studio scene comparison

  • Canon PowerShot G5: Aperture Priority AE, ISO 50, +0.3 EV compensation,
    Default Image Parameters, Manual preset white balance
     
  • Nikon Coolpix 5400: Aperture Priority AE, ISO 50, 0.0 EV compensation,
    Default Image Parameters (Normal Sharpening), Manual preset white balance
     
  • Sony DSC-V1: Aperture Priority AE, ISO 100, +0.7 EV compensation,
    Default Image Parameters, Manual preset white balance

Each square crop is a 200% magnification of a 80 x 80 portion of the image.

Canon PowerShot G5 Nikon Coolpix 5400 Sony DSC-V1
ISO 50, 1/4 sec, F5.0 ISO 50, 1/3 sec, F5.2 ISO 100, 1/5 sec, F5.0
2,110 KB JPEG 2,243 KB JPEG 2,078 KB JPEG

Firstly all three cameras produced an almost identical tonal range (once the exposures had been equalized), color response was subtly different between the cameras but this is only noticeable in the response to the red of the flowers and crayons. The Coolpix 5400 exhibits softness in the corners of the frame, it's noticeably softer than the G5 and V1 with detail near the left or right edge or corners. The G5 and V1 both exhibit some slight chromatic aberration (most noticeable around the 'Kodak' logo crop. Overall the G5 has the sharpest image with the most detail, it also has the least amount of sharpening artifacts (such as halos around dark detail).

In summary

  • Tonal response - equal
  • Color response - quite similar, some subtle differences (reds mostly)
  • Best resolution / detail - Canon G5 followed by Sony DSC-V1
  • Best lens sharpness - Canon G5 followed by Sony DSC-V1
  • Least visible chromatic aberrations - Nikon Coolpix 5400
  • Lease visible noise - Nikon Coolpix 5400 followed by Sony DSC-V1

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