Compared to... Canon Ixus 750 (SD550)

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Olympus Stylus 800 and the seven megapixel Canon PowerShot SD550 (Ixus 750). We have included samples for the Stylus 800's highest and lowest ISO settings usable at full resolution (64 and 400), see later for higher ISO settings.

Studio scene comparison (Stylus 800 @ ISO 64, Canon SD 550 @ ISO 50)

  • Olympus Stylus 800: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Canon PowerShot SD550: Program mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Olympus Stylus 800
Canon PowerShot SD550
ISO 64, 1/50 sec, F4.5
ISO 50, 1/79 sec, F3.5
3,319 KB JPEG
2,733 KB JPEG

A very interesting comparison this one. The SD550 has the same sensor as most of the other 7MP compacts on the market today, and one of the better lenses (certainly one of the highest resolutions). Next to the Stylus 800, however, it looks distinctly soft (even if you ignore the watch face crop - the SD550 has very soft corners at short subject distances). Again the Stylus 800's results are definitely over-sharpened, as evidenced by the edge artefacts, and there's not a huge difference in the amount of detail being captured. There is a difference, though, and it's the Olympus 8MP camera that's winning.

The SD550's results are cleaner, more natural and more muted (and therefore probably lend themselves better to post-processing), but there's no doubt the Stylus 800's images are bright, punchy and perfect for the target market. Interestingly noise is actually measurably higher on the SD550, but the Stylus 800 image looks 'noisier' - over sharpening again.