We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions, and the resulting images are analysed using the DXO Analyzer software to generate the graphs below.
Signal to noise ratio
Our lab results from the Nikon Coolpix P7100 show that there is an improvement over the Nikon Coolpix P7000 for signal to noise ratio, and these results are also better than those produced by the Canon PowerShot G12 and Olympus XZ-1. These results show that the Nikon P7100 handles noise well, with less noise in images across the sensitivity range than the comparison cameras.
A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.
For a full explanation of what our resolution charts mean, and how to read them, please click here to read the full article.
When it comes to dynamic range there is only a marginal improvement over the Nikon Coolpix P7000, and while it cannot match the Canon PowerShot G12 and Olympus XZ-1 its performance is still better than average, showing that it's capable of capturing a good amount of both shadow and highlight detail across the sensitivity range.
This chart indicates that the Nikon Coolpix P7100's raw files (after conversion to TIFF) dynamic range is an improvement over the Nikon Coolpix P7000, and beats both the Canon PowerShot G12 and Olympus XZ-1 at sensitivities over around ISO 200.
For a full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests, please read our full guide to noise and dynamic range results.