To test real-life performance, I shot this scene with the Nikon COOLPIX W150, Fujifilm FinePix XP140 and Olympus TOUGH TG-6 using their best quality JPEG mode. All three cameras were mounted on a tripod and image stabilisation was disabled. Program auto mode was selected for the exposure.
The COOLPIX W150 has no manual ISO sensitivity control and automatically set its base 125 ISO sensitivity.The TG-6 was set to its base 100 ISO sensitivity as was the Fujifilm XP140. I zoomed the TG-6 and the XP140 in a little to match the narrower field of view of the COOLPIX W150 at it’s widest 30mm equivalent setting. As usual, the crops below are taken from the areas marked in red above.
The first thing to point out is that the 13 Megapixel sensor in the COOLPIX W150 produces crops with a similar area to the 12 Megapixel TOUGH TG-6, but with larger area and smaller detail than those from the 16 Megapixel FinePix XP140. Also bear in mind that physical size of the 1/3.1in sensor in the COOLPIX W150 is significantly smaller than the sensor 1/2.3 inch sensor in both the TOUGH TG-6 and FinePix XP140. So you’d expect the image quality on the COOLPIX 150 to be inferior, but let’s take a look at the crops.
If you cast your eye along the top row of crops below you’ll see that the crop from the COOLPIX W150 on the left is a little bit soft. The window frame edges aren’t sharp and the detail in the tiled roof in the bottom half of the frame looks a little bit clumpy. I can also make out a hint of purple fringing down the edge of the drainpipe. Alongside it, the crop from the FinePix XP140 looks a little bit sharper and more detailed, though it too suffers from chromatic aberration and has a purple edges. The crop from from the Olympus TOUGH TG-6 on the right is easily the best of the three with crisp clean edges and plenty of detail.
The next two crops are from closer to the middle of the frame and the COOLPIX W150 ups its game a little with a slightly sharper. more detailed crop. But so do the XP140 and TG-6 and, from here on in it’s a similar picture (sorry) with quality increasing as you go from left to right.
As I predicted, the smaller sensor in the COOLPIX W150 means you can’t expect quite the same quailty as you get from the other two models with larger sensors. If you look closely at these crops and the sample images on the next page, you’ll see that that, even at its base 125 ISO sensitivity setting, the COOLPIX W150 images are visible noisy, and that’s one of the reaons it can’t match the FinePix XP140 and TOUGH TG-6 for image quality. That said, this is only going to be an issue if you have a very big screen or you want to make big prints from your photos. At smaller sizes and at lower sensitivites you don’t need to worry so much.