Compared to Canon's PowerShot S300 (ELPH / IXUS)

For comparison purposes I chose the Canon PowerShot S300 (AKA. IXUS 300), this camera also features a 2 megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom lens. Both cameras were set to automatic exposure (flash cancel), Auto white balance.

Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. All cameras set to aperture priority and preset white balance (taken from a grey card). Aperture chosen produced optimum sharpness from all cameras. Crops below are 'blown up' 200%, apart from the last which is at 100%.

Nikon Coolpix 2500 Canon PowerShot S300
F4.1, 1/4 sec F4.5, 1/6 sec

From a colour balance and resolution point of view things are fairly evenly matched. Both cameras manage to capture approximately the same detail (overall) and both cameras colour reproduction is quite similar. The Coolpix 2500 however does have a couple of notable traits:

  • Highlight clipping - something I noted on the Coolpix 5000 as a 'Nikon thing' which had still gone unfixed raises its ugly head again. The 2500 clips all highlight detail far earlier and far more severely than the S300. This can give bright 2500 images with a 'video like' appearance.
  • Vertical Bayer artifacts - in the last two crops shown below you can see vertical Bayer artifacts (the minute finger of the watch and the yellow tip of the crayon), these can not be seen on the S300.