Compared to... Olympus SP-310

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Canon PowerShot A620 and the similarly specified Olympus SP-310. We have included samples each camera's highest and lowest ISO settings (PowerShot A620; ISO 50 and 400, SP-310; ISO 64 and 400).

Studio scene comparison (Canon A620 @ ISO 50, SP-310 @ ISO 64)

  • Canon PowerShot A620 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Olympus SP-310: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot A620
Olympus SP-310
ISO 50, 1/50 sec, F4.5
ISO 64, 1/50 sec, F5
2,757 KB JPEG
4,455 KB JPEG

Not a huge amount of difference here - the A620 image is softer, and a lot cleaner (I don't like the obvious sharpening artefacts in the Olympus image), but lens quality would appear to be very similar - it's the processing that's different. There is no more detail in the SP-310 image, it just has strong edge enhancement applied, and if you apply a bit of unsharp masking to the A620 image the result is very impressive indeed - and a little better - than the Olympus (if you don't believe me try it yourself).

The typically bright Canon reds are - in this case - a lot closer to the original scene than the slightly washed-out SP-310 image, but on the downside there is the usual 'smoothing out' of very fine low contrast detail that is typical of Canon's approach to image processing, which can produce photos that are almost too smooth. At the end of the day there's really not enough difference between the results to show in anything but the largest print, and to a certain extent it's merely a matter of taste.