| Canon IXUS 105 / PowerShot SD1300 IS vs Nikon COOLPIX S3000 vs Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310|
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To compare real-life performance we shot this scene with the Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS, the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.
The lenses on each camera were set to approximate the same field of view, the Canon and Sony cameras were set to Program mode and the Nikon to Auto mode. All three cameras were set to manual ISO and the lowest available sensitivity - 80 ISO on the Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS and Nikon COOLPIX S3000, and 100 ISO on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310.
The above image was taken with the Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS in Program Auto mode. The lens was set to 5mm (28mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/200th of a second at f8 with an ISO setting of 80. The original 4000 x 3000 pixel image had a file size of 3.25MB.
Before we look at the detail crops, let's first say that the Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS produces a very good overall result. The exposure is spot on, there's excellent detail in the highlights and shadows and the result is an image with good contrast and vibrant natural colours.
Looking at the 100% crops, there's are no standout flaws and generally resolution of fine detail is pretty good, if a little soft as you progress towards the frame edges. The detail in the lghthouse crop isn't as sharp as it might be, the lighthouse itself is a little indistinct and there's no discernible detail in the cliffs behind it - this is asking a lot, but not the impossible. And the detail in the houses in the foreground of the lighthouse is also quite soft. This isn't a problem at the centre of the frame though, where the detail in both the chimney and balcony crops is well resolved.
You might expect that the more expensive IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS would outperform the cheaper Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310, but you'd be wrong, at least as far as the COOLPIX S3000 is concerned. It too produced an excellent overall result and holds its own in a crop-by-crop comparison. Like the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS, it becomes a little soft at the frame edges, and both cameras also suffered from slight chromatic abberation at the extreme edges of the frame, though it's not visible in these crops. You can make your own judgement, but it looks to us like the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 has a clear edge in terms of definition.
The Cyber-shot DSC-W310 also produced a pleasing overall result, but in our view it doesn't match either the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS or the COOLPIX S3000 for sharpness and resolution. Detail in the crops is softer, the foreground in the lighthouse shot in particular looks smeared, and there's a bittiness to the image that looks like evidence of in-camera processing. Now let's check out how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.