Canon ELPH 330 / IXUS 255 Ken McMahon, August 2013
 
 

Canon IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS vs IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS vs PowerShot A3500 Quality

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To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Canon IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS, the Canon IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS, and the Canon PowerShot A3500 IS, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS and the PowerShot A3500 IS were both set to their maximum 28mm equivalent wide angle. The IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS was zoomed in a little from its maximum 24mm equivalent to provide the same field of view.

For this test all three cameras were set to Program Auto mode. Image stabilisation was turned off and the camera settings were otherwise left on the defaults.

  IXUS 255 HS/ ELPH 330 HS results
1 IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS Quality
2 IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS Noise
3 IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS Sample images

The image above was taken with the Canon IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS. The camera was set to Program Auto mode and with the sensitivity set to 80 ISO the IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS selected an exposure of 1/1250 at f3.2. The IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS metered an exposure of 1/250 and f9 and the PowerShot A3500 IS metered 1/320 at f7.9 both at 100 ISO. As usual, the crops are taken from the areas marked in red on the image above.

The IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS gets off to a good start with a first crop that shows very little evidence of noise and has a high level of detail. The sky is a flat blue with little visible texture and you can make out the individual figures outside the chapel as well as the doors and windows. You can just about make out some detail in the stonework and the edges of the walls are nice and clean.

In the second crop the lighthouse is a cleanly defined white column and the window frames in the foreground are sharp, but this crop looks a little more speckly than the first one and the finer detail in the rooftop tiles isn't quite there. The third crop from close to the edge of the frame retains the same sharpness and level of detail as those from closer to the middle and there's not a hint of colour fringing, so a good performance from the 10x zoom lens at its 24mm wide angle setting. The final crop from close to the middle of the frame demonstrates pretty well the characteristics of the IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS image quality, a good level of detail, clean edges and low noise.

First let's compare the IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS crops with those from the IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS. The 12.1 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor produces crops with a larger area and smaller detail than those from the IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS, but it's clear that the image quality from the former's lower resolution CMOS sensor is visibly better. In the first crop the figures are more clearly defined, there's more detail in the stonework and grass and the boundary definition is much cleaner. The advantage is equally clear on the other crops, the lighhouse is more distinct, with better detail in the foreground roofs, and the third crop is free of the colour fringing that afflicts the other two models. So while you'll get bigger images from the IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS, they're noisier with less detail.

The PowerShot A3500 IS shares the same 16.1 Megapixel sensor as the IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS, so it's no surprise that crops from the two models look very similar. In fact, in terms of noise, detail and overall quality they're almost identical. A clear win then for the 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor in the IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS over the 16.1 Megapixel CCD sensor in the IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS and the PowerShot A3500.

To see how these models compare at higher sensitivities check out my Canon IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS Noise results.


Canon IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS
 
Canon IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS
 
Canon PowerShot A3500
f3.2, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f7.9, 100 ISO
f3.2, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f7.9, 100 ISO
f3.2, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f7.9, 100 ISO
f3.2, 80 ISO
f9, 100 ISO
f7.9, 100 ISO



Canon IXUS 255 HS / ELPH 330 HS
results : Quality / Noise


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