Compared to the Nikon Coolpix 990

In the absence of a Sony DSC-F505V (the only camera with identical image dimensions) we chose our benchmark 3 megapixel digital camera, the Nikon Coolpix 990, for direct comparison shots. The second problem is that the Pro90 has an ISO 50 mode (ideal for clean still-life shots such as this), however the Coolpix 990 has a minimum ISO of 100, so to be fair to the 990 we've provided both ISO 50 and 100 from the Pro90. Bear in mind also that the 990 has an additional 192 horizontal and 144 vertical pixels.

Both shots taken in the cameras native JPEG mode, on the 990 this was JPEG FINE, on the Pro90 this was JPEG Super-Fine. White balance was set to Auto on both cameras, all other settings were set to factory default or auto. Cameras were set to Aperture priority F5.6 (or as near as possible).

Some crops below are of an 80 x 80 area of the image magnified 200%, some are straight 160 x 160 crops. Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white overhead reflector (as close as you can get to "indoor daylight").

Canon Pro90 IS
ISO 50, 1856 x 1392
Canon Pro90 IS
ISO 100, 1856 x 1392
Nikon Coolpix 990
ISO 100, 2048 x 1536

Despite its lower resolution the Pro90 performs well against the 990, bearing in mind that a compact long zoom lens like that found in the Pro90 normally has an adverse effect on overall image quality these comparisons show that Canon have managed to strike a good balance between long zoom and image quality. Detailed and sharp, at least as much detail as seen on a "typical 3 megapixel image" with slightly cooler colours than the 990. Slightly more noise at ISO 100 than the 990.