Compared to... Panasonic Lumix LX2

There aren't that many direct competitors for the A710 IS, in fact there are no that compare directly in specification terms (compact body, 7MP, 6x zoom, IS, full photographic control). Here we're going to take a look at how it compares with the Panasonic LX2, which has an usual 16:9 widescreen 10MP sensor and an image stabilized 4x zoom lens. Note that although the LX2 has three million more pixels, these are mainly in the horizontal direction, and when shooting in 4:3 mode (as here) it is effectively a 7MP camera (images are 2376 pixels high as opposed to the Canon's 2304). We've included comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO setting (A710 IS; ISO 80, LX2; ISO 100), ISO 400 and ISO 800 (the A710's top setting).

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)  

  • Canon PowerShot A710 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation

  • Panasonic DMC-LX2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon A710 IS
Panasonic DMC-LX2
ISO 80, 1/50 sec, F5.0
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F4.9
2,842 KB JPEG
3,489 KB JPEG

Although the LX2 as a very slight resolution advantage what's striking about these images is how similar they are from an absolute quality point of view. The A710 IS result is a little more 'processed' looking (in typical Canon style, with rather over-cooked reds), but in terms of edge-to-edge detail it's holding up well against the more expensive Leica-lensed LX2 (especially if you do a little sharpening in post-processing). Not bad, not bad at all.