We spent some time with three of the hottest high-end compacts currently available, the Canon G12, the Nikon P7000 and the Panasonic LX5. The goal? To test out the capabilities of each by shooting all three, side by side, in similar situations.
So why the G12, LX5 and P7000? All three cameras cost between $420 and $499, all three cameras feature a 10 megapixel sensor (LX5 and P7000 are 10.1), and all three have a similar sensor size (the G12 and P7000 feature a 1/1.7” sensor, the LX5 features a 1x1.63” sensor). Not to mention the fact that they all feature professional features like RAW capture, a hotshoe,optical image stabilization and full manual settings not found on most other compacts.
Sure there are a few differences, like the LX5 is somewhat smaller because it doesn’t feature an optical viewfinder (although the optional DMW-LVF-1 hotshoe EVF is available for about $130) and the G12 shoots higher-res video than the other two, but essentially the three are equivalent in terms of what they offer.
The Comparison: It should be noted that before we started shooting these sample images, all three cameras were reset to their factory specifications. The images were all shot as jpgs in the SRGB color space. The cameras were also all tripod-mounted, and samples images were taken one right after another for each camera. All images were shot on Auto white balance and on either aperture priority mode or manual exposure mode.
Due to differences in focal length, not all comparison images are exactly the same. These images are not meant for scientific testing purposes but to give a general idea of how each camera performs in various conditions. Stay tuned for full-blown tests on each of these compacts.