Support me by shopping at Amazon!
Canon PowerShot G15 Ken McMahon, November 2012
 
 

Canon PowerShot G15 vs Nikon Coolpix P7700 Noise

Support me by
shopping below



 
  Canon PowerShot G15 results
1 Canon G15 Quality
2 Canon G15 Quality RAW
3 Canon G15 Noise
4 Canon G15 Noise RAW
5 Canon G15 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon Coolpix P7700 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings. I also shot this in RAW and you can see those results on the next page

The zoom on both cameras were set to their maximum wide angle, 6.1mm on the G15 and 6mm on the P7700, providing an approximately equivalent field of view.

Image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and all other settings were left on the defaults.


The image above was taken with the Canon PowerShot G15. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode with the aperture set to f2 and the sensitivity at 80 ISO. The PowerShot G15 metered an exposure of 1 second at f2, with exposure compensation set to +1EV to produce a sufficiently bright image with a histogram in the middle of the chart. With exposure compensation silmilarly set on the Coolpix P7700 it metered 1.3S at f2.

The PowerShot G15's 80 ISO crop is relatively noise free, there's some texture in the plain white wall which could be noise, but it's fairly minimal. The most noticeable thing about this crop is the same softness and slightly indistict edges that were evident in the outdoor crops. Moving up to 100 ISO, this crop is a tiny bit more granular, but you need to peer very closely to spot the difference. At 200 ISO the granularity increases by a slightly larger margin and is now beginning to affect the text in the memorial panel, which was never very crisply defined to begin with.

At 400 ISO the edges of the memorial panel are beginning to look a bit peppery and the subtle detail in the cornicing on the right of the crop is beginning to suffer a little. All in all though, the G15's lower ISO sensitivity range up to 400 ISO produces good results that are fine for everyday shooting.

At 800 ISO things take a bit of a turn for the worse though, The text in the memorial panel is looking quite smeared and the edges of the memorial are really beginning to crumble. By 1600 ISO the game really is up with the text completely illegible and fine and medium sized detail lost to the noisiness and the processing in more or less equal measure. Here at least, though, the processing is still keeping the worst of the noise under control, by 3200 ISO all but the crudest detail is lot to a blurry fuzz.

While you might question Canon's decision to include two further steps up the ISO scale at 6400 and 12800 ISO don't forget that we're pixel peeping 100 percent detail here, but at reduced sizes, even at the upper limits, these high ISO shots are passable. But even at quite small magnifications the top two settings look pretty scuzzy and are best reserved for emergency use only.

Compared with the crops from the Nikon Coolpix P7700 it has to be said the PowerShot G15's performance looks a little lacklustre. The P7700 gets off to a great start, with 80 and 100 ISO crops that are crisp and sparkling with nice clean edges. At 200 and 400 ISO the Nikon crops show much more detail with cleaner edges, there's more graininess in the wall, but I'll take that over the softness of the G15 crops. The P7700 doesn't suffer the same magnitude of quality drop at 800 ISO as the G15 and I think it's fair to say that up to there the Nikon has a clear lead all the way. At 1600 ISO I'd still give it to the P7700 but arguably its clumpy fuzz is equally offensive, if qualitatively different to the mushy G15. At 3200 and 6400 ISO I think the fine granularity of the Canon crops is preferable to the hard clumpy buzz of the Nikon's, but at this level neither is retaining a great deal of worthwhile image detail.

To find out how much of a role processing plays in keeping noise at bay in these crops take a look at my Canon G15 RAW noise results page to see just how much noise is present behind the scenes. Or head over to my Canon G15 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Canon Powershot G15
 
Nikon Coolpix P7700
80 ISO
80 ISO
     
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
     
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
     
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
     
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
     
12800 ISO
12800 ISO Not available


Canon PowerShot G15
results : Quality / RAW vs JPEG / Noise


If you found this review useful, please support me by shopping below!
 
     
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs