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Compared to... Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Just as the H1 went head-to-head with the Canon S2, so the H2's most obvious direct competitor is the PowerShot S3IS, which offers a broadly similar feature set at a similar price point. In this section we have included comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO setting (ISO 80), ISO 400 and each camera's maximum ISO setting (ISO 1000 for the H2, ISO 800 for the S3IS). You can see how the DSC-H2 compares to its immediate predecessor later in the review.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Sony DSC-H2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation

  • Canon PowerShot S3 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Sony DSC-H2
Canon PowerShot S3 IS
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
ISO 80, 1/50 sec, F5.0
2,650 KB JPEG
2,4187 KB JPEG

Although it might look at first glance that the PowerShot S3 IS is capturing more detail, the differences all but disappear if you apply a little unsharp masking to the H2 image (in fact you'll discover that the H2 is actually doing slightly better, resolution-wise). In fact the main thing that I can say after spending a couple of hours comparing the results from these two cameras and playing around with post-processing is that they produce remarkably similar results - certainly not different enough for anyone to be able to spot in a print. This is unsurprising, as I'd be very surprised if they didn't share the same Sony 6MP sensor. The H2 has typically punchy Sony colors, with very slightly warmer reds and more saturated blues (perfect for skies with impact) than the S3 IS - but don't forget that both cameras offer control over various image parameters, and we're looking at the default settings only. The H2 image is very slightly less noisy (so Sony chose to use slightly more noise reduction than Canon, which could explain the slightly softer image), but again you can't really see this even viewed as here at 100%.

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