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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Canon Powershot G7 ISO Speed Comparison

While taking out my Rebel XTi out yesterday, I also brought my Canon Powershot G7 with me. The purpose of bringing along the G7 was to take some comparison photos at varying modes and ISO ranges -- so that I could directly compare them against my new Digital SLR since they are both roughly 10 megapixel camera.

The comparison will be intersting as I have not made the decision yet whether I will throw the Powershot G7 in mint condition up on eBay -- currently in the $300 range or if I will be keeping it. That $300 could contribute to a pretty nice lens with image stabilization, and I will most likely decide after we get back from our Europe trip later this month. It is hard to argue against combination of portability and quality with the Powershot G7.

One note before I get to the details of the photo shoot. In my haste to directly compare against the Rebel XTi, I did not cover the full range of ISO offered on the Powershot G7. The setting for ISO 80, and ISO HI were not taken. However, given the exposure times on the fully automatic and landscape automatic shots -- it appears to have take them at ISO 80. So, for arguement sake, I will present them as ISO 80 on this post in the images below.

The pictures here represent the range of ISO (ISO 5800:1987) available on the Canon Powershot G7. Here are the details of the shoot:

  • Location: Bell Tower at Cal State Channel Islands (CSUCI), formerly known as Camarillo State Hospital.
  • Equipment: Canon EOS Powershot G7 10.0 megapixels, with standard 7.4-44.4mm f/2.8-4.8 IS lens.
  • Focal Length: 7.4mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Setup: Tripod
  • Shots: Full Automatic, Landscape Automatic, Program AE mode for ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600 taken over a 1 minute period. All photos use automatic focus.
  • Quality: L (10.0 Megapixels / 3.8MB)
  • Processing / Touch-up: None. Only internal Digic III processing.


For full images, click on the picture to pop open in a new window. The original image is scaled to 1600x1200 (by Blogger, without asking), all the other images are cropped at 1280x1024 at the center of the picture and shown at 100% when opened. Shown on this page is 400x300

1. Canon Powershot G7 @ Full Automatic / 3648 x 2736 / 3.89 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Full Automatic / 3648 x 2736 / 3.89 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second

2. Canon Powershot G7 @ Full Automatic Cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3.89 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Full Automatic Cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3.89 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second

3. Canon Powershot G7 @ Landscape Automatic Cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3.98 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Landscape Automatic Cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3.98 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second

4. Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 80 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3.89 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 80 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3.89 MB / ISO-80 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/640 second

5. Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 100 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 4.43 MB / ISO-100 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/1000 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 100 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 4.43 MB / ISO-100 / F-stop f/4 / Exposure time 1/1000 second

6. Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 200 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 4.86 MB / ISO-200 / F-stop f/4.5 / Exposure time 1/1600 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 200 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 4.86 MB / ISO-200 / F-stop f/4.5 / Exposure time 1/1600 second

7. Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 400 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 5.14 MB / ISO-400 / F-stop f/6.3 / Exposure time 1/1600 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 400 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 5.14 MB / ISO-400 / F-stop f/6.3 / Exposure time 1/1600 second

8. Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 800 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 6.05 MB / ISO-800 / F-stop f/8 / Exposure time 1/2000 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 800 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 6.05 MB / ISO-800 / F-stop f/8 / Exposure time 1/2000 second

9. Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 1600 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 6.73 MB / ISO-1600 / F-stop f/8 / Exposure time 1/2500 second
Canon Powershot G7 @ Manual ISO 1600 cropped to 1280 x 1024 / 3648 x 2736 / 6.73 MB / ISO-1600 / F-stop f/8 / Exposure time 1/2500 second

Here are a couple of quick observations I have. I was really surprised at the length of the exposure time -- 1/2500 of a second is pretty darn quick. (Is the Camera Window utility goofing?) The other is the amount of noise showing up as early as ISO 400 in the pictures. It is apparent that those settings for the conditions I was in did not enable the camera to capture enough information.

What observations do you have about my Powershot G7?

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