Compared to the Canon PowerShot S45

Here we will compare the image quality of the Minolta DiMAGE F100 to the Canon PowerShot S45. Both cameras are targeted at the same market, both have a four megapixel CCD sensor and both have a three times optical zoom lens. At the time of writing this review US pricing isn't available for the PowerShot S45 but using the current price of the S40 we can say that the F100 should be around $100 cheaper than the S45.

Taking into consideration the observation we have already made about the S45's ISO rating this comparison is made with the F100 set to ISO 100 and the S45 set to ISO 50. Note that despite the difference in indicated sensitivity the two cameras actual meter and expose the scene identically, both F5.6, 1/3 sec. For those who are interest you can download the same scene taken with the S45 at an indicated ISO 100 (F5.6, 1/5 sec) by clicking here (1,736 KB).

Studio scene comparison

Minolta DiMAGE F100 Canon PowerShot S45
ISO 100, F5.6, 1/3 sec ISO 50, F5.6, 1/3 sec
1,251 KB JPEG 1,593 KB JPEG

As you can see both cameras expose the scene with the same exposure and produce the same tonal balance across the image. Colour balance is also similar although I personally found the S45 image to be closer to the true scene colours (especially light blues). The S45 shows a sharpness advantage over the F100 with better detail definition and sharper edges (but no additional artifacts). There is also visible noise in the F100 image, especially on the mid to dark greys where we can see a red mottled noise effect. You can also see the difference in the way the F100 'clips' the highlight compared to the S45's smooth roll-off.