Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

Started Mar 23, 2010 | Discussions
Tom Hoots
Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

Well, it's a comparison I've been meaning to do, and I finally got out and did some shooting. So, if we send the HX5 up against an arguable Superman in the segment, will the HX5 hold its own, or will it get punted off the planet, and into outer space? Let's have a look!

These are resized and hit with a little bit of unsharp mask, but that's the only processing. I might post some originals eventually, but let's just have a look at the bigger picture, for now. These will always be the HX5 followed by the S90, and here we go:

Obligatory fountain shot:

One of the most obvious differences is a pretty big one in terms of contrast. Unless mentioned otherwise, these are all base-ISO "P mode" shots, with various exposure compensation levels, as I tried to get roughly equivalent exposures for each pair.

State Capitol building:

Not a good comparison at all -- in between shots, the sun had gone behind a cloud for the S90 shot. Still, it's all kind of interesting....

Obligatory brick church shot:

One of the better comparisons I've got. I wish I had gotten the positioning a little closer. See the rather substantial vignetting in the S90's blue sky?

Now we head indoors, to compare S90 at high ISO vs. HX5 in HHT mode. I kept the S90 in "P mode," and changed it to auto ISO. Then, I tried to match the S90 exposures to the HX5 HHT shots.

First up: Handheld at the chamber doorway:

Very interesting -- a huge difference. So, what do you think?

Second: Rail-aided balcony shots:

Finally, for this group, a substantial zoom into the podium area:

I suppose I should at the least make this group available in original, unprocessed size....

More in subsequent replies....

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

Once again, HX5 followed by S90....

Another fountain shot:

Again, just a monstrous difference in contrast....

White marble building:

At this point, I'm looking more for differences in color accuracy and contrast levels....

Obligatory brick house:

This always looks better with bright sunlight, but that wasn't on the menu today. Download these and toggle back and forth between them, and your eyes will start watering....

A slightly closer shot:

Definitely not my best-controlled shooting. A little bit closer gives you a bit more details to check out....

Heading back to the Capitol building, I encounter some dramatic lighting:

Different contrast, different color, what else?

Closer shot:

Again, I wish I could have gotten these more closely positioned.

One more, smaller batch to go!

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

tallymom Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

I think the S90 did better on the first image and that the church pic is a toss up, but the rest go to the HX5, IMO. Thanks for sharing.

tallymom Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

These mostly go in favor of the S90 which doesn't surprise me. I do see more detail, but not sure that I would really notice unless a comparision like this was made.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 10,912
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

The only aspect I like better about the S90 is the bluer sky in the first comparison. Other than that the HX5V mops the floor with the S90. Surprisingly, I might add.

kage Senior Member • Posts: 1,480
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

The Sony seems towards warmer colors while the Canon seems to go cooler.

Hard to say which I prefer (some pics I prefer the Canon and some the Sony).

  • k

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 10,912
Re: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

tallymom wrote:

These mostly go in favor of the S90 ...

Yes, especially the way the S90 deleted the telephone wire in the close-in shot of the brick house. Cough.

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - third batch.

OK, speaking of dramatic lighting....

So, what do you want in hand when you get one of those "golden moments?"

I think the S90 shot, in which the sunlight illuminated some of the flying cherry blossom petals, is one of those "special" images. I captured a few of those, and here's one that I processed up a bit:

It was really just a gust of wind that kicked up the petals, which happened while I was shooting with the S90, instead of the HX5. Would the HX5 have produced an equally compelling image?

Whatever the case, I'll end this with yet another fountain shot, with dramatic skies in the background. Yet again, it's just a wild difference in color and contrast:

That's it for now -- I hope you enjoyed the show, and let us know what you think!

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

kage wrote:

The Sony seems towards warmer colors while the Canon seems to go cooler.

Indeed, that's it in a nutshell. There is also what I would call "more contrast" in the S90 shots. Of course, though, you have wide latitude to change the S90's color and contrast, whereas you just get what Sony gives you in the HX5....

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

You gotta tell me your secret how you able to see more detail on resized pictures. What I see is just slightly different color and/or contrast.

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Re: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

tallymom wrote:

These mostly go in favor of the S90 which doesn't surprise me. I do see more detail, but not sure that I would really notice unless a comparision like this was made.

Agreed -- comparisons like these help you understand "where you stand" with any given camera, but once you step away from the computer and go out and start shooting, it's far more about whether you're simply satisfied with the results you're getting.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

Thank you for posting your comparison. To be honest I find it difficult to see huge difference in resized photos, other then slight color and/or contrast variations. I am looking forward to original unprocessed comparison as well. I already have the camera and so far I like it better then WX1, but I am still shopping for the perfect one like everyone else.

kage Senior Member • Posts: 1,480
Re: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

Tom Hoots wrote:

Agreed -- comparisons like these help you understand "where you stand" with any given camera, but once you step away from the computer and go out and start shooting, it's far more about whether you're simply satisfied with the results you're getting.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

And so... are you?

(In regards to HX5V vs S90)

  • k

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Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Re: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90 - second batch.

DanK♂ FP6900 wrote:

You gotta tell me your secret how you able to see more detail on resized pictures. What I see is just slightly different color and/or contrast.

I think you can easily see more detail in the S90 "brick house" shots. It's definitely not so apparent in most of the others....

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 10,912
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

Tom Hoots wrote:

kage wrote:

The Sony seems towards warmer colors while the Canon seems to go cooler.

Indeed, that's it in a nutshell. There is also what I would call "more contrast" in the S90 shots. Of course, though, you have wide latitude to change the S90's color and contrast, whereas you just get what Sony gives you in the HX5....

In some of Tom's images, especially ones with dark gray clouds, the Sony seems too warm, and images are improved by adding cyan to midtones (+10 in GIMP). That and increasing contrast (+20) pretty much duplicates the S90.

The imaging-resource colorChecker shows a magenta/red shift in many colors, perhaps the source of this inaccuracy.

BertIverson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,660
Thanks Again Tom Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

Great sequence and, on average, not much difference. Many of us are buying the HX5V because of the 25-250 lens so I am betting that telephoto shots will be won by HX5V (obvious you say). How about this thought experiment. Take an HX5V 250mm shot of a 3 foot subject (could be a penguin at a zoo) that fills the frame. Now, with the S90, shoot the same 3 foot subject at 105mm from the same position -- ie no foot zooming (there is a fence and moat). Crop the S90 so the two subjects are the same size. The HX5V image will have 10MP and the cropped S90 will have about 1.8MP. Guess which will look best when printed 8x10 or even viewed at 2.4 MP on screen. But the S90 will win at 28mm f2 in a museum.
Bert

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Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Re: Pictures: Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

DanK♂ FP6900 wrote:

Thank you for posting your comparison. To be honest I find it difficult to see huge difference in resized photos, other then slight color and/or contrast variations. I am looking forward to original unprocessed comparison as well. I already have the camera and so far I like it better then WX1, but I am still shopping for the perfect one like everyone else.

Well, part of the equation here is indeed "resized photos" -- these are essentially the kinds of "end results" I'll tend to be creating with my images. So, there is some perspective to be gained, even with the resized photos.

And I'm certainly far, far happier with the HX5 than I ever was with the WX1.

But that "perfect camera" -- well, I sure haven't seen it yet. I generally prefer the image quality from the S90, though sometimes it really does go too far over into the blue end of things. At the very least, I can tweak image parameters quite a bit with the S90. But, the HX5 just beats the S90 in so many ways -- quality video, the new active stabilization, all of the multiple-image modes, plus the utter speed of the camera. And then there is the wider and longer HX5 lens -- I sure miss especially the wide angle in the S90.

All I can tell you is that I sure don't consider either of these to be "perfect." But, the HX5 is what you'll usually find in my pocket.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Thanks Again Tom Sony HX5 vs. Canon S90

I agree, while there is potentially more detail in brick house in s90 shots (which I still don't see in resized photos) 10x zoom on Sony can give much more detail when needed. I took lots of pictures of people up close over the weekend and loved the results. With s90 zoom I would have to know the person very well to get a good shot

DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Off topic question for Tom: HX5 & SX210IS

I am also interested in SX210IS, are you planning to get one and do a comparison?

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
No.

DanK♂ FP6900 wrote:

I am also interested in SX210IS, are you planning to get one and do a comparison?

I had an SX200 -- what a fat, wallowing pig compared to stuff like the ZS3 and now the HX5. SX210 certainly "looks svelter," but Canon just isn't going to win my money by jumping right back into the megapixel race, heading towards ballistic levels of pixel density. And I learned my lesson with the G11 and the S90 -- I want a wider-angle lens. Canon is just oblivious in regards to where the best of the market is heading, as far as I'm concerned.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

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