Compared to...Sony Cybershot DSC-H3

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Canon SX100 IS the Sony DSC-H3 at ISO 400.

Studio scene comparison @ ISO 400

  • Canon SX100 IS: Aperture Priority AE mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Sony DSC-H3: Program AE mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    cool white fluorescent white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon SX100 IS
Sony DSC-H3
ISO 400, 1/320 sec, F4.5
ISO 400, 1/100 sec, F8
3,357 KB JPEG
2,010 KB JPEG

Both noise and noise reduction artefacts are clearly visible at ISO400. The images are by no means unusable though, on your typical 6x4 print you would hardly notice. The Canon manages slightly better, it retains more detail and visual sharpness, although there is more visible noise, a result of Canon's light-handed approach on luminance noise.

By comparison, the Sony tackles luminance noise more thoroughly. Both cameras blur chroma noise quite a bit although, luckily, at ISO 400 this measure does not yet result in washed-out colors. Overall it's good to see that while higher ISO settings are definitely not recommendable, at least ISO400 is perfectly usable on the latest generation of this type of camera - certainly for smaller prints.