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Canon PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS Ken McMahon, April 2011

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS vs PowerShot A3200 IS vs Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 Real-life resolution

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS, the Canon PowerShot A3200 IS and the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view and both PowerShots and Lumix FS18 / FH5 were set to Program mode with the ISO sensitivity manually set to the lowest available setting.

In Program mode, the PowerShot A3200 IS selected a shutter speed and aperture combination of 1/1250 at f2.8 - a much larger aperture than was selected by either the PowerShot A3300 IS (f8) or the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 (f9). In Auto mode the A3200 IS selected an aperture of f8 - much closer to the other two cameras - so that's what we used for this comparison.

The above image was taken with the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS in Program mode. The lens was set to its maximum wide angle setting of 5mm (28mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/200 at f8 with the sensitivity at 80 ISO. The original 4608x3456 pixel image had a file size of 3.4MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and are presented here at 100%.

The PowerShot A3300 IS has made a good job of exposing this scene in quite challenging sunny conditions with bright highlights and dense shadows. The colours are well saturated and vibrant. Overall, the crops look noisier and more processed than you'd expect and this is undoubtedly a consequence of the density of photosites on the 16 Megapixel sensor.

In the first crop the flat colour in the blue sky shows evidence of noise and the crosses at either end of the chapel roof aren't as well defined as they might be. The same goes for the second crop which also has a grainy looking sky, though the lighthouse in the far distance is a well-resolved white column. Noise and/or processing designed to reduce it is also affecting the detail in the foreground of this crop with the horizontal and vertical lines of the window frames less crisp and defined than we've seen from other comnpact sensor and lens combinations.

In the third crop there's some evidence of colour fringing caused by chromatic aberration and the clumpy processed appearance is even more in evidence here than elsewhere. Detail in the crop from the central area looks better though, the wording on the pink banner is clearly legible, but there's no escaping the graininess.

Having said that, the 16 megapixel sensor of the A3300 IS compares very favourably with the crops from the 14.1 Megapixel A3200 IS. The PowerShot A3200 IS crops look more processed than those from the A3300 IS - they're softer and slightly less contrasty and the fine image detail is less well resolved.

The 16 Megapixel Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 provides some mixed results in direct comparison with the crops from the PowerShot A3300 IS. The FS18 / FH5 makes a poor start, there's not nearly as much detail in the first crop from the FS18 / FH5 as in the one from the A3300 IS. Likewise, the lighthouse in the second crop is quite poorly defined and the foreground detail looks comparatively soft. With the crop from the edge of the frame, though, the Lumix FS18 / FH5 fares much better, this crop looks much less processed than the one from the PowerShot A3300 IS and though there's a hint of colour fringing the overall quality looks a little better. In the crop from the centre of the frame the PowerShot A3300 IS looks, once again to have the edge with crisper, punchier, more clearly defined detail.

Now let's see how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS
Canon PowerShot A3200 IS
Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5
f8, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

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