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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 Ken McMahon, May 2011
 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise


Sony Cyber-shot W510 vs Nikon COOLPIX L24 vs Canon PowerShot A1200 Real-life resolution

 
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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot W510, Nikon COOLPIX L24 and Canon PowerShot A1200 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view, the Cyber-shot W510 and PowerShot A1200 were set to Program mode and the COOLPIX L24 was set to Auto.

The sensitivity setting on the Cyber-shot W510 and PowerShot A1200 was set manually to 80 ISO - the lowest available setting. The Nikon COOLPIX L24 doesn't allow manual setting of the sensitivity, but in the bright, sunny conditions automatically selected 80 ISO.

The above image was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot W510. The lens was set to a focal length of 6.7mm (37mm equivalent). The metering selected an exposure of 1/1000th of a second at f3.2 with the sensitivity at 80 ISO. The original 4000 x 3000 pixel image had a file size of 4.97MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and are presented here at 100%.

Let's start with the overall picture. The Cyber-shot W510 has made a great job of the exposure with good shadow and highlight detail from a scene with a wide tonal range. The image lacks contrast though, given it was a bright sunny day we'd have expected a punchier result with richer blacks, as it is it looks a bit flat and washed out and the colours are a little subdued.

What about the crops? The lack of contrast may be a contributing factor, but the Cyber-shot W510 crops all look decidedly on the soft side. The detail in the foreground of the top crop with the chapel looks particularly indistinct, but the chapel itself is reasonably well resolved. Similarly the foreground detail in the lighthouse crop looks soft, but again the edge detail would look a lot crisper if only there was a little more contrast.

On the third crop, the definition has deteriorated a little and there's the merest hint of red fringing around the window frame and again on the final crop low contrasts exaggerates the slight softness of the edge detail. Sony's DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) was set to Standard, the default camera setting for this test and it's possible, even likely that you'd achieve a more contrasty result by turning it off.

Compared with the Nikon COOLPIX L24 we'd say there's no question of a doubt that the Cyber-shot W510 crops show more detail and considerably less noise. Only on the last crop from close the the centre of the frame does the COOLPIX L24 match the Cyber-shot W510 in terms of clarity and detail, the additional contrast in the COOLPIX L24 crop also gives it an edge. But generally, the COOLPIX L24's 14.1 Megapixel sensor can't deliver the low noise results of the Cyber-shot W510 outdoors in bright sunlight at low ISO sensitivities

The Cyber-shot W510 also outshines the Canon PowerShot A1200 in terms of noise. A slight graininess is in evidence in flat colour areas (e.g. the sky) in the A1200 crops. But despite that the PowerShot A1200 lens and sensor combination delivers sharper clearer detail than the Cyber-shot W510 right across the frame. That combined with the punchier contrast of the PowerShot A1200 crops gives it a clear lead over the Cyber-shot W510.

Now let's see how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

 


Sony Cyber-shot W510
 
Nikon COOLPIX L24
 
Canon PowerShot A1200
f3.2 80 ISO
f5.5, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO
f3.2 80 ISO
f5.5, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO
f3.2 80 ISO
f5.5, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO
f3.2 80 ISO
f5.5, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise



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