Canon PowerShot G15 Ken McMahon, November 2012

Canon G15 vs Nikon P7700 quality

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To compare real-life performance 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. I also shot this in RAW and will compare these 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.

  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

The image above was taken with the Canon PowerShot G15. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode with the aperture set to f4 and the sensitivity was at 80 ISO. The PowerShot G15 metered an exposure of 1/125 at f4, which resulted in blown highlights in the sky and a histogram clipped on the right. In order to produce a correctly exposed result I adjusted exposure compensation by -2/3EV. Similarly the the Nikon Coolpix P7700 overexposed the scene and I adjusted its exposure by the same amount. This resulted in an exposure of 1/250 at f4 which most closely matched the result from the G15. The JPEG image file size was 5.69MB.

So, what do the crops tell us about the G15's image quality? Overall they're pretty good, though it's a little disappointing that the G15's Evaluative metering, which sets the exposure according the brightness of the overall scene, initially overexposed requiring nearly a stop of exposure compensation. Having said that the Coolpix P7700 made exactly the same error. Generally there's a good level of detail in these crops, more than you'd see from a point and shoot compact with a 1/2.3in sensor, but don't expect the sort of detail you'd get from a camera with a DSLR or CSC sized sensor, for that you'll have to move up to something like the PowerShot G1 X.

The first crop looks a little soft on the fine detail, but there's no evidence of noise or processing artifacts. In the second you can make out the lighthouse on its island, though it is a little blurry. Similarly the edge detail in the window frames in the foreground looks a little soft. The third crop from close to the frame edge is pretty good though. Once again it's a tiny bit soft, but no more so that the other crops and there's no evidence of chromatic aberration whatsoever.

The fourth and final crop is usually where you see a bit of an improvement in detail resolution and sharpness, and there is a slight improvement in the centre of the frame but not a massive difference. The remarkable consistency in these crops is down to the G15's lens, which produces great results from the centre to the edge of the frame. The fine and edge detail is a little soft, although that's something it may be possible to address if you shoow RAW and process the files yourself.

Compared with the Nikon Coolpix P7700 it looks to me very much like the Nikon crops are cleaner, sharper and show more detail than those from the G15. And I think this is more than just a question of processing. In all of the crops you can see more detail from the P7700 - the doors and windows in the chapel, the lighthouse and the bacony dividers in the final crop.

Check out my Canon G15 RAW results on the next page or see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Canon G15 Noise results.


Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon Coolpix P7700
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO

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

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