Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Canon PowerShot S5 IS Gordon Laing, February 2008

Canon PowerShot S5 IS results :
Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

Canon PowerShot S5 IS versus Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 real-life noise

 
 

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 within a few moments of each other using each of their ISO settings in Auto modes. The lenses on each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view.

The image left was taken with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS at 7mm f4 and with a sensitivity of 80 ISO; the original JPEG measured 3.68 MB. The crops are taken from an area just below and to the left of the centre and presented here at 100%.
The results below reveal two very different strategies to handling noise. The Canon PowerShot S5 IS makes little attempt to cover-up the visible noise speckles in its images, while the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 smears them out with noise reduction and image processing.

As such, the images taken at the lowest sensitivities appear slightly sharper from the Canon, but this is helped by the optical effect of fine speckles in the same way an inkjet print often looks sharper than one made with a continuous-tone process. At 200 ISO, these speckles are becoming clearer to pixel peepers, while at 400 ISO, most people will notice them when viewing at 100%. At 800 and 1600 ISO, the PowerShot S5 IS images are plagued with noise speckles.

In contrast, Panasonic seems almost allergic to visible noise, instead applying increasingly heavy noise reduction to its images. At 100 ISO, there's a slight softness compared to the Canon S5 IS, then the smearing steadily increases as the sensitivity gets higher.

The fact is both cameras have small sensors which suffer from noise, and it's entirely personal which approach you prefer when it comes to handling it. In Canon's favour, by leaving noise visible, it's giving you the chance to reduce it yourself later with potentially more sophisticated and less intrusive software. That said, the Panasonic FZ18 offers a RAW mode which gives you more of a chance to play with the data before it's been processed by the camera.

Again, it's down to you which approach you prefer, but it's interesting to see two such contrasting strategies. Both do however perfectly illustrate the problems of a camera with a physically small sensor. If you want clean results at high sensitivities, you'll need a big sensor, and for most cameras, that means a DSLR.

Now for more real-life examples across its sensitivity range, check out our Canon PowerShot S5 IS sample images page.



Canon PowerShot S5 IS
 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
   
80 ISO
 
80 ISO not available
     
 
100 ISO
 
100 ISO
     
 
200 ISO
 
200 ISO
     
 
400 ISO
 
400 ISO
     
 
800 ISO
 
800 ISO
     
   
1250 ISO not available
 
1250 ISO
     
 
1600 ISO
 
1600 ISO



Canon PowerShot S5 IS results

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

 

If you found this review useful, please support us 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