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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Ken McMahon, November 2009

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Vs Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

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Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
 

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 and the Canon PowerShot SX120 IS within a few moments of each other using each of their ISO settings.

The lenses were set to approximate the same field of view.


The above shot was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 in Program mode with the lens at its maximum wide angle setting of 6.3mm. The exposure was 0.8s at f2.8. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

At the 80 and 100 ISO settings, the Cyber-shot DSC-H20 produces clean noise-free images. At 200 ISO, though things start to get marginally noisier, nothing too intrusive, but it's noticeable. The 200 ISO shot, incidentally, is the first in the series which doesn't use Sony's slow shutter noise reduction - and the difference shows.

There's even more of a marked change from 200 to 400 ISO. A lot of the fine detail in the stone column on the left has been lost and the remainder of the frame looks very noisy indeed. From there on it goes rapidly downhill with the 800 ISO crop showing another big increase in noise. both the 1600 and 3200 ISO crops are extremely noisy and not an option you'd pursue if there were any alternative - Using flash, or putting the camera on a tripod and using a lower ISO for example.

Overall the Cyber-shot DSC-H20's high ISO performance is disappointing. While it does extremely well at the lower ISO settings, noise is a real factor at 400 ISO and above which means you need to think twice before passing the 200 ISO setting. Compared with the Canon Powershot SX120 IS the Cyber-shot DSC-H20 has a very visible advantage up to 200 ISO, beyond that, it's the Canon all the way.

Now head over to our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 gallery to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20
 
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
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


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise



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