Canon G12 vs. Nikon P7000 – ISO Comparisons

The Nikon Coolpix P7000 and Canon PowerShot G12 are a pair of powerful little cameras.  These cameras capture RAW format images, which sets them apart from many other compact cameras – these are the prosumer compacts.

RAW format files allow a greater latitude of adjustments in post processing software like Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture.

In the following ISO range comparison, I captured a scene under tungsten lamps with custom white balance set in-camera.  The exposure parameters were the same for each camera – using manual mode for adjustments to ISO, aperture (f/5.6 for all images) and shutter speed.

These images were shot in RAW + JPEG with default noise reduction settings applied to the JPEG images.  RAW files were zeroed and exported from Lightroom 3 as JPEGs at the 100 quality setting.  A second batch of the same RAW images received noise reduction settings of +50 for both luma and chroma noise, and then exported as 100 quality JPEGs from Lightroom 3.

For the sake of reference, here’s what the entire image looks like.

And, below, you will find 100% crops from near the center of the frame.

Below are links to the original files (or JPEG exports of RAW files) from the above 100% crops, which you can download for further personal inspection if you wish.  Just right-click the link and choose “Save file as…”

Nikon P7000 Original Size Sample Files

Canon G12 Original Size Sample Files


Both of these cameras are impressive with how well they handle noise up to rather high ISOs for compact cameras.  This is particularly true when examining the results possible with RAW files.  I am quite pleased with what I can get out of an ISO 3200 image with either camera – good enough prints for the family album all day long.

You can read more about the G12 in the earlier Canon G12 Review.  A full review of the Nikon P7000 is coming soon.

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  1. says

    Interesting comparison but looks like the Nikon takes a softer image than the Canon. Either the G12 is much sharper, or like mentioned by Stezi, focus was slightly off?

    • says

      Adam – Thanks for the comment. After re-examining the files at 100%, it seems that you and Stezi are right as to the focus. It looks like the P7000 focused about a half inch in front of the chart on each frame. I’ll try to get some replacement comparisons together and, at the least, include new sensitivity range comparisons in the upcoming P7000 review.

  2. forkboy1965 says

    I was thinking the same thing when reviewing the first batch of images. The Nikon’s were too far off to simply be anything other than a focusing issue.

    It’s okay Eric…. we all have those days.

  3. says

    Aside from the focussing issues, I thing that the Canon showed better color density than
    the Nikon. The only area where the Nikon was equal was in the dark tones in very high ISOs.

  4. says

    I downloaded some video files from YouTube on both cameras and burned them to a dvd-r through Dvd Flick. Personally I liked the video quality and audio quality from the Nikon P7000 than the Canon G12. In fact the stereo audio recorded from the Nikon had great fidelity and pinpoint stereo imaging that appears to be from its built in microphone.

  5. Jeff Tigey says

    Yes, the G12 uses SD and MMC cards. I have owned several G series cameras starting with the G2, which by the way, still gets more oohs & awes than and more wedding shoot time than my DSLRs. I am glad that they have held a high standard, allowed full Speedlight function and advanced features, and encouraged the current competition of outstanding cameras. Now, if they could just get the G2’s A/D rate along with the G12’s speed and features………….

  6. says

    I agree with the comments. The Canon looked sharper with more vivid colors, but I am glad the problem was clarified regarding focus. Great effort for us, thanks for taking the time. I would also like to see the same shot taken at the longest telephoto range from each camera under the same lighting conditions.

  7. says

    Based on this sample I have to say Canon may have the edge. My personal experience is with the G9 vs. the P6000. Owning both. I’m a Nikon shooter for 40 years and until the P6000 came out, the G9 was really amazing. I love the “handle” grip on the P6000 for one hand shooting, GPS et al. However, sadly to admit. Picture quality, color ISO range…..the G9, hands down. It’s also much faster in successive shooting………………..not even close to the lag time on the P6000.