There are a number of websites that provide excellent camera reviews such as Popular Photography Magazine, Digital Camera Review, and Imaging Resources . But my favorite has been and continues to be DPReview. The English website is very thorough in their testing, has a great Blog where photographers worldwide chat politely [something the reddit.com website could use a lesson in]about the latest and greatest while DPReview itself stays fairly well current with the latest cameras, software and photo accessories.
But the key feature of DPReview is its Camera Image Comparison tool.
First user can see the same shot taken by four different cameras of identically the same diorama. This is great because it allows apple and apples like comparisons. Even better users can move the exposure square any where on the diorama to see color rendition, sharpness of lines and edges, and noise and other aberrations. Users can also switch between jpeg and raw [if available] and among the various major ISO setting supported by the camera. This is priceless.
For example , I was recently looking up a review of the latest Pansonic Lumix ZS20 compact camera. The Lumix line has been my compact camera of choice over the past 5-6 years for quick and handy snaps at events and shows. Having recently dropped the camera from a table …. Well the screenshot above shows the comparison of the Lumix with 2 competing compact cameras that I was considering – the Canon Powershot SX230HS and Sony Cybershot DSC HX9v[I cannot wait for the Samsung WB850F - still no sign of it in Canada]. Well low and behold – look what I discovered. Not only did the Canon outperform the Lumix and Sony Cybershot but gave the Nikon D4X DSLR a run for the money in sharpness, exposure and color control. And as for noise I would give a slight margin to the Canon!
This shows how important the new Backside Illuminated chip sensors are to new cameras. The Canon’s performance with a chip less than 40% the size of the Nikon is outstanding. Now I have a Nikon and its total feature set easily outclasses the Canon. But for $240US this is certainly a powerhouse compact camera replacement. And the crucial insights are courtesy of DPReview .