Comparing digital snaps on a new camera and one five years old

I purchased a Canon IXUS 400 in November 2003. Good camera (for my purposes); but the battery life has dwindled to the point of nuisance and I figured it was time to replace it. I bought a near-equivalent, the IXUS 80IS, for around half the price the 400 cost 5 years ago. I especially like the idea of image stabilization, since I don’t carry a tripod.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the image quality, so I took a snap across the study (without a tripod). It’s difficult to compare like with like, as the newer camera supports higher resolutions. In the end I decided to use each one at its best resolution. The books in the image are around 3 metres (10 feet) away. Here’s the IXUS 400, image enlarged to match the size of the other:

and here is the IXUS 80IS:

Note that this is a very small detail; the old camera is not that bad. Still, a big difference.

Incidentally, I posted my first picture to Flickr earlier today – a snap of the Foo Fighters at Dreamforce last year. Taken with the old Canon, of course.

2 thoughts on “Comparing digital snaps on a new camera and one five years old”

  1. Besides the fact that the new camera has image stabilization, this test is not conclusive unless you can be sure the camera shake was identical. Try two shots on a tripod and while you’ll still probably see a difference, it will be a fair test.

  2. Phillip

    Thanks for the comment – that would be interesting, but the real-world scenario is that I don’t have a tripod with me, so that is more important to me. If I get a moment though, I’ll try it.


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