Compared to...

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Sony DSC-L1 and the similarly specified Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve). We have included samples for the lowest and highest ISO settings for each camera (100 and 400 for the DSC-L1, 64 and 400 for the Mju Mini).

Studio scene comparison (Sony L1 @ ISO 100, Olympus Mju Mini @ ISO 64)

  • Sony DSC-L1: Program mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Auto white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve): Aperture Priority mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters, Auto white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Six 18W Full Spectrum (>98 CRI) fluorescent tubes
Sony DSC-L1
Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve)
ISO 100, 1/160 sec, F4
ISO 64, 1/100 sec, F4.6
1,573 KB JPEG
2,698 KB JPEG
Noise, std dev: 1.6
Noise, std dev: 2.0

Although there are more similarities than differences between the these two cameras, there are subtle differences. The L1 is showing more distortion and slightly more corner softness, but more natural color (slightly less saturated) and a little less noise despite the Stylus Verve's lower base ISO. The differences in detail capture are minor; though neither camera is going to win any awards for sharpness they will both produce perfectly acceptable standard-sized prints. For once Sony's default sharpening isn't too high, and the aggressive noise reduction - at ISO 100 - doesn't seem to be removing too much fine detail. At the end of the day this is a perfectly acceptable result from a tiny camera with a tiny lens - it's just a pity about the soft corners.