Comparing the Sony with another large sensor compact, the Canon G1X, the Zeiss lens performs similarly overall which is encouraging given Canon lens covers a similar, though slightly wider zoom range of 28-111mm (35mm equivalent). The Zeiss lens has the edge in sharpness at 28mm over the f/1.8 to f/4 aperture range but averaged out the 6P-Mpix score for both models is somewhat disappointing.
It’s worth remembering though the Canon sensor is a 15Mpix unit, meaning the sensor and lens combination is more efficient, and that noise levels will be lower, again aiding the Canon in our test results. As for Distortion Vignetting and Chromatic Aberration, the Sony can’t quite match the Canon lens (particularly with regard to Chromatic Aberration).
While we’re not suggesting the Sony would replace a DSLR on a day-to-day basis, it may be of interest to compare the two.
In this comparison, we’ve pitched the Sony against the similarly priced Canon EOS 100D / SL1 and a kit zoom with a similar (though not identical) range, the EF-S 18-55mm (29-88mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6. Despite the obvious differences between the two on a technical level, the Sony comes quite close to matching it in image quality. While the Canon has better edge-to-edge sharpness, lower chromatic aberration and very low levels of distortion, it is hardly surprising.
In low light levels though the Canon with its larger sensor (and lower noise) would easily outperform the Sony.