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Canon PowerShot S110 Ken McMahon, February 2013
 
 

Canon PowerShot S110 vs Panasonic Lumix LX7 Noise JPEG

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  Canon PowerShot S110 results
1 Canon S110 Quality JPEG
2 Canon S110 Quality RAW
3 Canon S110 Noise JPEG
4 Canon S110 Noise RAW
5 Canon S110 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot S110 and the Panasonic Lumix LX7, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings. at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

Both cameras were mounted on a tripod and image stabilisation was disabled. The lenses were set to their maximum wide angle focal lengths, equivalent to 24mm for both cameras.

Both cameras were set to Aperture Priority mode and tone enhancement features were left on the default settings.



The image above was taken with the PowerShot S110. The sensitivity was manually set to 80 ISO and the aperture set to f4. To achieve a better exposure more closely matched to the Lumix LX7, I applied 0.67EV exposure compensation on the PowerShot S110, resulting in a shutter speed of 0.8s at f4. The Lumix LX7, also manually set to 80 ISO and f4 in Aperture Priority mode metered 0.6s at f4.

The PowerShot S110 produces a clean noise free crop at its base 80 ISO setting with a good level of image detail. While it's often difficult to distinguish between 80 and 100 ISO settings on larger sensor models and even some compacts, there is a very slight texture creeping into the flat colour areas on the 100 ISO crop. The step up from 100 to 200 ISO brings with it a more visible increase in noise, but the overall level of detail is still good, albeit accompanied by a slight softening.

At 400 ISO the image doesn't become noisier, there's no increase in graininess, but the detailed is significantly softer to the extent that it's becoming difficult to make out the text in the memorial panel. Canon's noise processing usually strikes a balance between removing noise, but accepting a degree of graininess in order to avoid compromising image detail. With the S110 though, it appears they've opted for a slightly more aggressive noise reduction algorithm. Bear in mind that the S110 provides a choice of three High ISO Noise Reduction settings and these results were produced using the default Standard setting.

At 1600 ISO the text on the memorial panel is now illegible, but while the finer detail is compromised large detail isn't and overall image quality at this sensitivity setting is reasonably good. Beyond 1600 ISO though, it's really just a numbers game and the new 12800 ISO setting is probably two steps beyond the highest sensitivty at which any reasonable level of detail is retained. Even at reduced sizes the 6400 SIO and 12,800 ISO images look very patchy.

Compared with the results from the Panasonic Lumix LX7 there really isn't very much to choose between these two models. With its 10 Megapixel sensor the LX7 crops show a slightly larger area with smaller image detail. At the lower sensitivities as in the outdoor test, the Lumix LX7 crops look a tiny bit sharper and more detailed. From 200 ISO up, however, there really is very little in it. The LX7 crops are slightly grainier, but less soft - the 1600 ISO shows the difference most clearly but, while they are qualitatively different you can't say one is better than the other.

Both the Powerhot S110 and Lumix LX7 provide composite low light modes that combine a fast sequence of images at using auto exposure and ISO sensitivity settings. The Canon HandHeld NightScene and Panasonic HandHeld Night Shot composite modes crops at the bottom of the table aren't comparable as they're shot at differenct ISO sensitivities. Interestingly, HandHeld NightScene normally provides a superior result to the single frame result at equivalent ISO, but these crops are so soft to begin with I'm not sure the 1000 ISO HandHeld NightScene crop is any better than the 800 ISO one.

One thing these composite crops do highlight is the difference the brighter lens on the LX7 makes. It's able to select an ISO of 400 for its composite shots where the S110 has to turn the sensitivity up to 1000 ISO. It's also worth remembering the LX7's brighter lens will also allow it to exploit lower ISOs than the S110 when both are zoomed-in.

To find out how much of a role processing plays in keeping noise at bay in these crops take a look at my Canon PowerShot S110 RAW noise results page to see just how much noise is present behind the scenes. Or head over to my Canon PowerShot S110 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Canon PowerShot S110
 
Panasonic Lumix LX7
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
     
Handheld NightScene 1000 ISO
Handheld Night Shot 400 ISO

Canon PowerShot S110 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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