Compared to... Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Canon PowerShot G7 and the Panasonic DMC-LX2 at ISO 1600.

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Note: Due to shutter speed limitations the Panasonic LX2 ISO 1600 studio shot was taken with an ND4 (2 stop) filter in front of the lens.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 1600)

  • Canon PowerShot G7: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Panasonic DMC-LX2 : Aperture Priority mode (F5.0), ISO 1600, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot G7
Panasonic DMC-LX2
ISO 1600, 1/1250 sec, F5
ISO 1600, 1/320 sec, F4.9
5,262 KB JPEG
3,456 KB JPEG

You can almost imagine the product planning meeting when the marketing departments of Canon and Panasonic turned to their engineers and told them they wanted an ISO 1600, full resolution option on the new 10MP models. As the results above show, Panasonic isn't the only company to struggle to get an acceptable result from such a tall order; the G7's output is no better (though it doesn't have the horrible color bleeding of the LX2, but that's about it). The result is, frankly, unusable - as, to be fair, it is with 99% of the compact cameras on the market.

If high ISO performance is important to you (if, for example, you want to shoot in low light without flash) then you need to be aware that the end results will bear only a passing resemblance to the original scene. Fine, I guess, for emergency use, but hardly deserving of a notch on the ISO dial.