Canon PowerShot G16 Ken McMahon, October 2013

Canon G16 vs Sony RX100 II Quality JPEG

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To compare real-life performance 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 best quality JPEG settings; RAW results will follow on the next page.

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.

  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

The image above was taken with the Canon PowerShot G16. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode and f4 was selected as this produced the best result from the lens. With the sensitivity set to 80 ISO the G16 metered an exposure of 1/640. The G16 was mounted on a tripod and image stabilisation was turned off. As usual for this test, the cameras were otherwise left on the default settings. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II also produced its best results at f4, where it metered 1/800 with the sensitivity set to 160 ISO. The G16 JPEG file measured 6.09MB and, as usual, the crops are taken from the areas marked by the red rectangles.

Overall the PowerShot G16 has produced an excellent set of crops with little visible noise and a good level of detail. Looking at the first crop, the people standing outside the chapel are a little indistinct, but you can see a fair bit of detail in the stonework and the edges are clean and free of halos. There's a little bit of atmospheric haze in the second crop but, despite that, the lighthouse is a distinct white column and the lamp house is just about visible on top. In the foreground of this crop, where the haze is less of a factor the window frames are nice and crisp and there's a good level of detail in the tiled roofs.

Crop number three, from close to the edge of the frame is also quite impressive. Again, there's a good level of detail in the brick and tilework and it's only a little softer than in the crops from closer to the middle. There's very little distortion, though, and no visible color fringing to be seen. The final crop from close to the middle of the frame shows a similar level of detail and sharpness to the the first and second crops. While it's difficult to make a comparison between these and my earlier G15 tests the consistency of the results across the frame is once again testament to the quality of the 28-140mm zoom lens.

So how do the PowerShot G16 crops compare with those from the Sony RX100 II? Just to remind you, the RX100 II's one inch sensor is physically larger than the G16's as well as having a higher resolution of 20.2 Megapixels. Consequently the crops show a smaller area with larger detail. I also think there's a little more detail in the RX100 II crops. The detail is bigger, so it's easier to see, but if you look at the stonework in the first crop, the roof tiles in the foreground of the second crop, and pretty much anywhere in the final crop the RX100 II is making a better job of resolving fine detail. It's only the third crop from the frame edge where the Sony falls down, with softer detail and a little bit of colour fringing. So where the G16's lens out performs the RX100 II's, the latter's bigger, higher resolution sensor produces images with a higher level of detail than the PowerShot G16.

Check out my Canon PowerShot G16 RAW quality results on the next page or see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Canon PowerShot G16 Noise results.

Canon PowerShot G16
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 160 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 160 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 160 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 160 ISO

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

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