Canon PowerShot G16 Ken McMahon, October 2013

Canon G16 vs Sony RX100 II Noise RAW

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  Canon PowerShot G16 results
1 Canon G16 Quality JPEG
2 Canon G16 Quality RAW
3 Canon G16 Noise JPEG
4 Canon G16 Noise RAW
5 Canon G16 Sample images

To compare RAW noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot G16 and the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II, within a few moments of each other using their RAW settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

Both of these cameras have the same 28mm wide angle setting on their zoom lenses, but the Sony RX100 II's 3:2 proportions provide it with not only a wider field of view but also a slightly taller one. To provide an equivalent vertical field of view I zoomed the Canon G16 in fractionally.

Both cameras were set to Aperture priority mode and all camera settings were left on the defaults.

The image above was taken with the Canon PowerShot G16. From my outdoor test I'd discovered that the both the G16 and the RX100 II produced their best results with the aperture set to f4, so both were set to f4 in Aperture priority mode. At its base sensitivity of 80 ISO, the G16 metered an exposure of 1/6 at f4, and at its base sensitivity of 160 ISO the Sony RX100 II metered 1/8 at f4. The G16 RAW file measured 12.9MB and, as usual, the crops are taken from the areas marked by the red rectangle.

I processed the files in Adobe Camera RAW using identical settings: Sharpening at 70 / 0.5 / 36 / 10, Luminance and Colour Noise Reduction both set to zero, and the Process to 2012 with the Adobe Standard profile. These settings were chosen to reveal the differences in sensor quality and isolate them from in-camera processing. The high degree of sharpening with a small radius enhances the finest details without causing undesirable artefacts, while the zero noise reduction unveils what's really going on behind the scenes - as such the visible noise levels at higher ISOs will be much greater than you're used to seeing in many of my comparisons, but again it's an approach that's designed to show the actual detail that's being recorded before you start work on processing and cleaning it up if desired.

These crops from the processed RAW files provide confirmation that what we saw with the JPEG noise results is largely related to sensor performance and the comparative levels of noise on these crops are pretty much in line with what we saw on the previous page. The G16 starts out with higher noise levels at its base 80 ISO setting and the incremental change is larger than on the Sony RX100 II resulting in a widening gap as you progress up the ISO scale.

If you compare the G16 800 ISO crop on this page with the JPEG equivalent, you'll see that the G16's noise processing is actually working pretty hard to pull a noise free result from what the sensor is producing and given the levels of noise the detail loss is no surprise, in fact the result when looked at in this context is quite impressive.

Now head over to my Canon PowerShot G16 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions or if you've seen enough, check out my verdict.

Canon PowerShot G16 RAW
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II RAW
f4 80 ISO
Not available
f4 100 ISO
f4 100 ISO
f4 125 ISO Not included
f4 125 ISO
f4 160 ISO Not included
f4 160 ISO
f4 200 ISO
f4 200 ISO
f4 400 ISO
f4 400 ISO
f4 800 ISO
f4 800 ISO
f4 1600 ISO
f4 1600 ISO
f4 3200 ISO
f4 3200 ISO
f4 6400 ISO
f4 6400 ISO
f4 12800 ISO
12800 ISO

Canon PowerShot G16 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise

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