Toss up: digital cameras

Sony Cybershot
Sony Cybershot

There's more to photo quality than just megapixels, and a smartphone is never going to match a decent compact digital when it comes to the quality of the sensor and the lenses.

These Sony and Canon cameras pack plenty of megapixels, meaning you can crop your photos and retain a sharp image.

But it's their optical zoom, optical image stabilisation and low-light performance that really make them worth the investment if you want to improve the quality of your happy snaps but don't feel like carrying around a hefty digital single-lens reflex camera.

On paper, the Sony would seem to be the winner here. It features a 16.1 megapixel sensor and five times optical zoom, compared with the Canon's 12.1 megapixels and four times optical zoom.

The Sony is also smaller than the Canon, making it easier to slip in your pocket, although the tradeoff is a smaller 2.7-inch LCD screen which isn't as crisp as the Canon's 3-inch display.

Put to the test, it's the Canon that offers slightly better photos, particularly in indoor, low-light conditions where you'll get more detail and less grain or "noise" in the shadows.

That said, the Sony is no dud and still offers impressive results compared with many digital cameras in this price range.

When it comes to capturing videos, the Canon offers "full HD" 1080p, compared with 720p from the Sony.

The Canon also has the advantage of a mini-HDMI port for playing high-definition video straight to your television, as well as standard AV out via USB.

Canon IXUS 115 HS

Sony Cybershot DSCW630B


Both are impressive for the price, but the Canon comes out in front thanks to its low-light performance.

This story Toss up: digital cameras first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.