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

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


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310
 
Nikon COOLPIX S3000
 
Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS
f3.2, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f4.3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f4.3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f4.3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 80 ISO
f8, 80 ISO
f4.3, 100 ISO


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 results: Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

 
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To compare real-life performance we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310, the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximate the same field of view, the Sony and Canon cameras were set to Program mode and the COOLPIX S3000 was set to Auto mode. All three cameras were set to manual ISO and the lowest available sensitivity – 100 ISO on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 and 80 ISO on the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS.

 

The above image was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 in Program mode. The lens was set to 5 mm (28mm equivalent) and the metering selected an exposure of 1/1250th of a second at f4.3 with an ISO setting of 100. The original 4000 x 3000 pixel image had a file size of 4.38MB.

Overall the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 has done a very good job of capturing this scene. The image is perfectly exposed with detail in the shadows and highlights and the colours are quite pleasant. On the whole, the W310’s white balance had a slight tendency towards blue, but it was well within acceptable limits.

Closer examination of the 100 percent crops taken from selected areas of the test image though show the W310’s image quality is not all that you’d expect from a camera in this price range. Wherever you look image detail just isn’t very crisply rendered. In the first crop the chapel on the hill and the rocks and grass in front of it look soft as do the foreground houses in the lighthouse crop. In all the crops there a granularity, or clumpiness that is visible in flat areas of colour like the sky and obscures fine detail elsewhere – on the balconies in the fourth crop for example. Because of its uniformity we’d say the most likely cause is heavy-handed processing. Certainly the image detail at the edges of the frame is no worse than at the centre.

While the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS are quite closely matched in terms of image quality (we reckon the COOLPIX S3000 just has the edge), in our view the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 falls short of both of them. All of the Cyber-shot DSC-W310 crops are less clear and show less of the fine image detail than those from either of the other two compacts. This is most obvious if you compare the foreground in the first two crops. Now let’s check out how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

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