Compared to... Canon SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS)

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Sony DSC-W80 and the Canon SD800 IS (Ixus 850 IS) at ISO 400.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 400)

  • Sony DSC-W80 : Program mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.70 EV compensation
  • Canon SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS): Program mode, ISO 400 , Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Sony DSC-W80
Canon SD 800 IS (IXUS 850 IS)
ISO 400, 1/60 sec, F10
ISO 400, 1/320 sec, F4.5
2,055 KB JPEG
3,028 KB JPEG

At ISO 400 it's clear that Sony is using stronger (and arguably in a camera like this, more effective) noise reduction in the W80 than Canon does in the SD800 IS, which - along with the slightly stronger sharpening and bolder colors means that the W80's output has a more immediate appeal that will suit the social 'point and shoot' market perfectly well.

Of course we can complain that the noise reduction in both cameras is too high (with the attendant loss of low contrast detail) and that the files are ill-suited to post-processing, but for the W80's typical user the output at ISO 400 will, I'm sure, be perfectly acceptable, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it is.