Compared to the Canon PowerShot G3

The Canon PowerShot G3 is considered by many as the benchmark four megapixel digital camera, certainly building strongly on the same status the previous G2 model held for a year. Because the G3 has a 'best' ISO sensitivity of ISO 50 we must compare at both ISO 50 and ISO 100.

Studio scene comparison, G3 @ ISO 50

  • HP Photosmart 850: Aperture Priority, ISO 100, Exposure Compensation: +0.5 EV
  • Canon PowerShot G3: Aperture Priority, ISO 50, Default Parameters (Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation), Manual preset white balance, Exposure Compensation: +0.3 EV
HP Photosmart 850 Canon PowerShot G3
ISO 100, 1/6 sec, F4.9 ISO 50, 1/3 sec, F5.0
1,777 KB JPEG 1,589 KB JPEG

It's fairly clear from the above comparison that the G3 delivers better image quality from its four megapixel sensor. The HP 850 is let down by inferior demosaic processing, sharpening and highlight management. It's also clear that the G3's four times optical zoom lens is sharper than the 850's eight times lens, but we'll give HP some credit for even providing that much zoom.