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Canon PowerShot A2000IS Gordon Laing, November 2008

Canon PowerShot A2000 IS results : Outdoor resolution / High ISO Noise

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Canon A2000 IS
Canon A2000 IS vs IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS vs Fujifilm F60fd High ISO Noise

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot A2000 IS, IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS, and Fujifilm FinePix F60fd within a few moments of each other using each of their ISO settings.

The lenses on each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view. Where coarse increments prevented an exact match using the zoom alone, the camera's position was moved slightly back or forth to compensate.

The image above was taken with the Canon PowerShot A2000 IS at a sensitivity of 80 ISO, with the lens zoomed-out to its widest equivalent of 36mm; the exposure was 0.3 seconds at f3.2 and the original Large Super-Fine JPEG file measured 4.04MB. The crops are taken from an area just to the right of the centre and presented at 100%.

As explained on the first results page, we understand the A2000 IS and IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS share the same 1 /2.3in 10 Megapixel CCD sensor, so any differences below are down to their respective lenses, and in particular their image processors. The A2000 IS employs the older DIGIC III processor, while the IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS features the latest DIGIC 4 which claims superior noise reduction as one of its improvements.

One glance at the crops below immediately reveals a significant difference between the cameras, considering they share the same sensor. As seen on our first results page, the crops from the A2000 IS are simply much sharper than those from the pricier Canon, although again this is almost entirely down to the entry-level model applying greater in-camera sharpening and contrast.

In terms of noise and detail, the best results are of course at the lowest sensitivities of 80 and 100 ISO. There's a softening at 200 ISO and a bigger drop at 400 ISO. Increase the sensitivity to 800 ISO and you'll see a significant fall in quality, followed by another at 1600 ISO. Like most compacts, the A2000 IS is best used below 400 ISO, and ideally at its lowest two sensitivities.

As for noise reduction, the DIGIC 4 in the IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS is delivering slightly cleaner results with less visible textures, but for our money the consumer-friendly image processing of the cheaper A2000 IS with its older DIGIC III processor is ultimately preferable. Once again you can achieve similar effects by boosting the sharpening and contrast on the IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS images in software later, but there's no means to do it in-camera.

As for the Fujifilm FinePix F60fd, it's slightly underexposed these shots, but even with this taken into consideration, its noise levels are noticeably higher at every sensitivity. At 100 and 200 ISO it's acceptable, but from 400 ISO upwards, the Fuji's crops are about one stop behind the Canons. So once again another good result for the budget PowerShot A2000 IS.

Now head over to our Canon PowerShot A2000 IS Gallery to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

Canon PowerShot A2000 IS
Canon IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS
Fujifilm FinePix F60fd
    This sensitivity not available
80 ISO
80 ISO
80 ISO not available
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO (at 2 Megapixels)
3200 ISO (at 2 Megapixels)
3200 ISO
This sensitivity not available   This sensitivity not available  
6400 ISO not available
6400 ISO not available
6400 ISO

Canon PowerShot A2000 IS results : Outdoor resolution / High ISO Noise

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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