Nikon COOLPIX L20 - Nikon COOLPIX L20 vs Canon PowerShot A1100 IS Real-life resolution

Nikon COOLPIX L20 vs Canon PowerShot A1100 IS Real-life resolution

Canon PowerShot A1100 IS
f5.5, 64 ISO
f2.7, 80 ISO
f5.5, 64 ISO
f2.7, 80 ISO
f5.5, 64 ISO
f2.7, 80 ISO
f5.5, 64 ISO
f2.7, 80 ISO

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To compare real-life performance we shot this scene with the Nikon COOLPIX L20, and the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings. The Nikon COOLPIX L20 sets the ISO automatically with no manual override, and selected the lowest available 64 ISO setting here. The Canon PowerShot A1100 IS was manually set to its lowest ISO setting.

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


The above image was taken with the Nikon COOLPIX L20 in Auto mode. The lens was set to 6.7mm and the metering selected an exposure of 1/176th of a second at f5.5 and 64 ISO. The original 3648×2736 pixel image measured 4.7MB.

The four crops are taken from the areas marked with the red squares and presented below at 100%.

Before looking at the crops in detail let’s first of of all say the Nikon COOLPIX L20 has rendered this landscape scene beautifully. The exposure is spot on and the colour’s are vivid and well-saturated, but natural-looking and not at all garish. This is a contrasty subject and the COOLPIX photo is bright and punchy. Crucially though, there’s excellent detail in the highlights – the white walls of the houses and the cloudy areas in the sky show excellent tonal rendition.

Now let’s take a closer look at how the COOLPIX L20’s lens and sensor have managed to capture fine detail at the pixel level. The first crop of the small chapel on the hill is a little disappointing. The image detail looks a slightly muddy, the detail in the chapel and the rocks is not as clearly resolved as in the crop to the right from the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS.

Moving down to the next crop taken from the edge of the frame, things look much better though. You can clearly see the lighthouse and everything in this crop, from the sea to the houses in the foreground is looking pretty sharp and well-defined. There’s no evidence here, or anywhere else in the shot of softening or colour fringing that’s typical of cameras in this price range.

The other crops tell the same story. Though generally the COOLPIX L20’s ability to resolve fine image detail can’t quite match the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS, it’s more consistent and maintains that quality across the frame, right into the edges. What’s more the COOLPIX L20 got the exposure spot on and has a more pleasant colour balance than the PowerShot. The A1100 IS has over-exposed the shot, resulting in blown highlights, washed out mid tones and shadows that lack depth.

As an exclusively automatic camera, the L20 won’t let you manually set the sensitivity, so we’re unable to present our normal High ISO Noise results page. So instead head straight over to our Nikon COOLPIX L20 gallery to see some more real-life shots under a variety of conditions.

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