Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Canon G10 vs Medium Format Film

Michael Reichmann of compared picture quality of the Canon Powershot G10 with that of Digital Hasselblad and found them very similar on print. Since I don't have a Digital Hasselblad yet, let me show you a little non-scientific comparison between pictures of my G10 and Mamiya 645 film camera with 80mm f/1.9 lens. The film was Fuji Reala scanned with the Epson V700, resized and cropped to match the G10's images.

Canon 1:

Canon 1

Mamiya 1:

Mamiya 1

Canon 2:

Canon 2

Mamiya 2:

Mamiya 2

Click to see full resolution images on

As you can see both cameras can resolve similar amount of detail. Mamiya's images look overall better, but don't forget: we are comparing an average consumer grade zoom with one of the best manual prime lenses made by Mamiya.

However, the most obvious difference is in dynamic range. The film got more shadow details on the first photo and beautifully captured all subtle gradations of the overcast sky on the second one, while the G10 blew out the sky completely (I added the blue fill later in Photoshop).

Even though top models of compact cameras are getting close to medium format in resolution, they still have a long way to go before they can match the dynamic range of film.

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