Nikon COOLPIX P7700 Ken McMahon, December 2012

Nikon P7700 vs Canon G15 quality

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To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Nikon Coolpix P7700 and Canon PowerShot G15, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The zoom on both cameras was set to its maximum wide angle, 6mm on the P7700 and 6.1mm on the G15, providing an approximately equivalent fields of view.

Image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and all other settings were left on the defaults.

  Nikon Coolpix P7700 results
1 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Quality JPEG
2 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Quality RAW
3 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Noise JPEG
4 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Noise RAW
5 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Nikon Coolpix P7700. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode with the aperture set to f4 and the sensitivity to 80 ISO. As both the Coolpix P7700 and PowerShot G15 overexposed the scene, exposure compensation on both cameras was adjusted by -2/3EV which resulted in an exposure of 1/250 at f4 on the Coolpix P7700 and 1/200 on the G15.

Overall these crops are really very good, so it's a shame to start on a negative note, but, like the PowerShot G15 the Coolpix P7700 would have overexposed this shot if left to its own devices. In the P7700's case I think the reason for the incorrect metering was probably down to something called focus-coupled metering which gives higher priority to the AF area even when in Matrix (average) metering mode. Focus-coupled metering is enabled by default, so if you want true Matrix metering that's not weighted to the AF area, which in this case would almost certainly have produced a better result, I'd suggest you disable it.

So what about the crops? Well, overall the sharpness and level of detail is excellent. In the first crop the edges of the chapel and walls are crisp and the door and windows are clearly defined. There's good detail in the grassy hill and rocks and, though there's a very slight texture in the sky the horizon line between the sea and sky is cleanly defined.

In the second crop you can just make out the outline of the lighthouse but any indistinctness is probably down to atmospheric conditions as much as anything else. The window frames in the foreground are nice and crisp and there's good detail in the roofs.

The third crop from closer to the frame edge is a tiny bit softer and less contrasty than those from closer to the middle but the difference is slight and there's no evidence of any colour fringing. Finally, the last crop from nearer the middle of the frame has a good level of detail with nice crisp edges. This isn't quite up to the standards you'd expect from bigger Four Thirds or APS-C sensors, but it's a cut above the kind of quality you'd get from a compact with a 1/2.3 inch sensor

Compared with the Canon PowerShot G15 it looks to me very much like the Coolpix P7700 crops are cleaner, sharper and show more detail than those from the G15. And I think this is more than just a question of processing. In all of the crops you can see more detail from the P7700 - the doors and windows in the chapel, the lighthouse and the bacony dividers in the final crop.

Check out my Nikon P7700 RAW quality results on the next page or see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Nikon P7700 Noise results.


Nikon Coolpix P7700
Canon PowerShot G15
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 80 ISO

Nikon Coolpix P7700
results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise

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