Compared to...Sony Cybershot DSC-H3

The DSC-H3 is Sony's newest addition to the 'big zoom small camera' category. Like the SX100 IS it sports a 10x zoom lens and a 8MP sensor. The feature set however is a little more basic, no aperture priority mode, no manual white balance and a lower resolution screen. Consequently the DSC-H3 is released to the market at a slightly lower price point than the SX100. For the purpose of this review we've included studio comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO and ISO 400 for the H3's higher resolution output you'll have to wait for the next review).

Studio scene comparison (SX100 IS @ ISO 80, DSC-H3 @ ISO 100)

  • Canon SX100 IS: Aperture Priority AE mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Sony DSC-H3: Program AE mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon SX100 IS
Sony DSC-H3
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F4.5
ISO 100, 1/125 sec, F4
3,295 KB JPEG
2,040 KB JPEG

At base ISO the output of the SX100 IS and DSC-H3 is remarkably similar, with the Sony applying a tad more sharpening. In a print of virtually any size you would struggle to find any differences between images taken with the two cameras. Looking at the results we would be quite surprised if these two cameras don't use the same sensor. There is very little difference in sensor performance, it's the image processing that sets the cameras apart from each other, though there's no doubt the Canon's lens has better performance, particularly at the edges.