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Nikon COOLPIX S3000 Ken McMahon, May 2010

Nikon COOLPIX S3000 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise


Nikon COOLPIX S3000 vs Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS vs Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 High ISO Noise

 
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To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Nikon COOLPIX S3000, Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS, and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310.

The lenses on all three cameras were set to approximate the same field of view and ISO was manually set.


The above shot was taken with the the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 in Auto mode with the lens at a wide angle setting of 4.9mm (27mm). The exposure was 0.8 of a second at f3.2. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

The COOLPIX S3000's high ISO noise performance is overall, quite average. At the lower sensitivity settings of 80 and 100 ISO the crops look quite good. The shadow detail is looking clean with little evidence of colour noise. There's a slight watershed at the 200 ISO mark where the image detail starts to look a little clumpier obscuring some of the image detail. Notice how the vertical lines in the wood panelling are starting to disappear.

This trend gets progressively worse from 400 ISO upwards and the 800 ISO and upward settings display a level of noise and processing artefacts that make them useful only for must-have shots that you can't get any other way. To sum up then, 80-100 ISO good, 200 ISO struggling, 400-3200 ISO poor. The Nikon COOLPIX S3000's high ISO performance is commendable in one respect though, the white balance remains rock steady throughout the ISO range.

Compared with the Nikon COOLPIX S3000, the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS produces better results at every ISO setting, though the difference gets more obvious the higher you go.The COOLPIX crops start softer and end clumpier with less detail as you move through the ISO range.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 fares little better, but the overriding problem here is white balance. While it's common for white balance to waver at higher ISO settings, the Cyber-shot DSC-W310 got it badly wrong right from the off with images at every ISO setting displaying a strong blue cast.

Now head over to our Nikon COOLPIX S3000 sample images gallery to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Nikon COOLPIX S3000
 
Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W3100
80 ISO
80 ISO
80 ISO not available
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
1600 ISO (Low Light scene mode)
3200 ISO


Nikon COOLPIX S3000 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise



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