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Old Aug 11, 2008, 3:35 AM   #1
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As a proud owner of Canon Powershot sx100 IS (for some 2 months) I wanted to compare it's image quality with some cameras that are much more expensive, have large sensors, beter optics etc. I expected that DSLR cameras will have slightly better sharpness and overall IQ. I opened Comparometer, chose randomly one picture, „new indoor 100" and compared sx 100 IS, NIkon D60, Canon 450 D and Sony A 700.

The result was totally unexpected: the image made by SX 100 IS, which is not even in prosumer class, was actually sharper than those made by several times more expensive DSLRs. While the numbers on a wristwatch and letters on a book cover are unreadable and virtually blurred (as well as skin of the hand) on DSLR images, those made by sx 100 were much sharper and even better exposed (just look the skin color on Nikon D60). I know than someone might say that DSLRs focused on a face of a model but I can not find any visible difference there.

Any comment?

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Old Aug 11, 2008, 11:01 AM   #2
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What you're noticing has a lot to do with depth-of-field. the digicam will have a greater depth-of-field than any of the DSLRs. So, more of an image will apper to be in-focus. That is the blessing/curse of having not only a larger sensor but also the larger physical focal length lens - if you like subject isolation it's a blessing but if you like everything in every image in decent focus then it's a curse.

Even beyond that though - the powershot will apply more in-camera sharpening than the default settings of a DSLR. That is by design. DSLR users can increase the in-camera sharpening to behave more like a point and shoot if they wish. But the default settings to date in most dslrs are lighter on sharpening to allow sharpening to be done in post processing where the photographer can decide on a case-by-case basis how much sharpening should be applied.

This is not to say the powershot takes bad images - absolutely not the case. It takes very nice images. However, from those shots posted it would be very misleading to interpret that it takes better quality shots than anyof the DSLRs.

However - for normal, simple shots at low ISOswith good depth-of-fieldyou would be very hard pressed to notice a difference between the results out of the powershot and those out of a DSLR. Where the differences will become apparent is when the difficulty of the shot grows (lower light levels, longer distances, shallower depth-of-field, moving subjects, flash photography, true macro photography).

But that's why there's still a market for both types of cameras. Very often people who do basic snapshot photography are disappointed when they buy a DSLR and it doesn't magically improve their snapshots but suddenly they've spent 4 times the money and have a camera 4-5 times as big to lug around.
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