Compared to...

Unfortunately I didn't have any other 5 megapixel digital cameras hanging around (cough). Nor, at this stage did I have a new 4 megapixel unit in-house (this would have been the most interesting comparison; one I'll add to this review at a later date). On the next page we'll compare the resolution (using our archive of resolution charts) of the DiMAGE 7 to the Sony DSC-S85.

So this comparison page is simply an excersize in "how much better is the 5 mp DiMAGE 7 than the best of the 3 mp bunch?". So here we'll compare the DiMAGE 7 to the Canon PowerShot G1 and Nikon Coolpix 995 (production unit).

As per other samples in this review the DiMAGE 7 image has been converted to the sRGB colour space using the Minolta Image Viewer application [info].

Test notes

Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Both camera set to aperture priority and auto white balance. All other settings factory default. Cameras aperture was stopped down to get the optimum sharpness from the lens.

Image portions below are of a 80 x 80 crop which has been magnified 200% using nearest neighbour re-sizing, apart from the last which is a 160 x 160 crop. Obviously because of the resolution difference between the DiMAGE 7 and the other cameras the crops will cover slightly different areas.

Compared to Canon PowerShot G1 and Nikon Coolpix 995

Minolta DiMAGE 7
ISO 100, 1/3 sec, F6.7
2560 x 1920 (4.91 mp)
Canon PowerShot G1
ISO 100, 1/4 sec, F6.3
2048 x 1536 (3.14 mp)
Nikon Coolpix 995
ISO 100, 1/3 sec, F6.7
2048 x 1536 (3.14 mp)
Minolta DiMAGE 7 Canon PowerShot G1 Nikon Coolpix 995

Metering, tone and colour balance from all three cameras is very good. The DiMAGE 7 managed to produce slightly deeper blues but overall from a colour perspective at least it's a close run thing (though we have had to go through an extra step in our workflow to get the DiMAGE 7 image). Noise levels are also fairly similar, the G1 with the most visible noise (clearly this would have been far less at ISO 50) closely followed by the DiMAGE 7 and then the Coolpix 995.

Clearly the DiMAGE 7 has more pixels in its image and is able to resolve more detail than the other two, to be fair to both the PowerShot G1 and Coolpix 995 they still put up a good fight.