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Digital Cameras - Fuji FinePix A205 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for the test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISOsetting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all*that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested inthe information need wade through it!

 

Outdoor Portrait:

Good color throughout the frame, with decent resolution, but high contrast leads to lost highlight detail and dark midtones.

The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why I set it up this way, and why I shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the A205 performed pretty well.

To get bright midtones, I chose a +0.3 EV exposure compensation boost, though it also resulted in a loss of highlight detail. I settled on the Auto white balance option for the main series, though the Daylight setting also produced good results.

Skin tones here are pretty good, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are just about right. (This is a difficult blue for many digicams to get right, and the A205 produces only very faint purplish tints, a very faithful rendering.) Color looks good throughout the rest of the frame as well, though the red flowers are a little oversaturated. Resolution is good for an entry-level two-megapixel camera, with a lot of fine detail visible throughout the frame. Shadow detail is good as well, but noise is a little on the high side.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files A205OUTAP0.HTM through A205OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.




 

Closer Portrait:

Higher resolution and detail. Similar exposure to the shot above.

Overall results are similar to the wider shot above, and the A205's 3x lens helps prevent any distortion of Marti's features. The shot at right was taken no exposure compensation, to avoid loss of highlight detail, but the result is rather dark midtones and shadows. Detail is much stronger in this shot, with crisp definition in Marti's face and hair.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +0.7 EV, see files A205FACAM1.HTM through A205FACAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
Default Exposure
Slow-Sync Mode
+0.3 EV

Low but acceptable intensity and coverage with the built-in flash.

The A205's flash illuminated the subject reasonably well, but underexposed the shot somewhat at the default exposure setting. (The A205's exposure compensation adjustment has no effect on normal flash exposures, as evidenced by this shot at +1.7 EV.) The background incandescent lighting creates a noticeable orange cast on the back wall, which spills onto Marti's features. The A205's Slow-Sync flash mode combines the flash with a longer exposure, resulting in a brighter overall image. At the default exposure setting, the image was reasonably bright, but I chose an exposure compensation adjustment of +0.3 EV for the main shot. While it brightened the image somewhat, the longer exposure also increased the orange cast slightly. Further boosting of the exposure compensation greatly increased the orange cast.



 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance

Slight color casts with both white balances, but good exposure.

This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting. The A205's Auto white balance option produced a pink color cast, while the Incandescent setting resulted in more of a warm cast. I chose the warmth of the Incandescent setting as the more appealing of the two. The shots at right were taken with a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment for the auto white balance example (a bit higher than average), and +1.0 EV for the incandescent white balance version (about average). Detail is pretty good throughout the frame, and image noise is moderate.



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Great resolution, and detail, but an overly-warm color balance.

Both the A205's Daylight and Auto white balance settings produced similar, warm color balances here, so I chose the Auto setting for the main shot. Resolution is again pretty good for an entry-level digicam, with a nice level of detail in the tree limbs and front shrubbery. Details are reasonably sharp throughout the frame, from corner to corner.




Far-Field Test

Good resolution and detail, but a limited dynamic range.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.

This is my ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this, and the A205 does a good job for its 2.0-megapixel class. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house show a lot of detail, and details are fairly sharp throughout the frame. The camera loses practically all of the detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams. Detail is stronger in the shadow area above the front door, however. Overall color looks good, but the exposure is bright. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
1,600 x 1,200
A205FAR1600
1,280 x 960
A205FAR1200
640 x 480
A205FAR640




 

Lens Zoom Range

A good 3x zoom range.

I routinely shoot this series of images to show the field of view for each camera, with the lens at full wide angle, at maximum telephoto (3x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The A205's lens is equivalent to a 36-108mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a pretty good telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

A slight warm cast, but good resolution and detail.

This shot is often a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into producing a warm color balance. Both the A205's Auto and Daylight settings produced slightly warm color balances, although the Daylight setting had the least warm cast of the two and overall isn't too bad. The warm cast resulted in a greenish tint in the blue background as well as in the blue robe, but overall color is still pretty good. Resolution is good, as the embroidery of the blue robe shows strong detail.



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

About average macro area, but good detail and resolution.

The A205 turned in an average performance in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 3.83 x 2.87 inches (97 x 73 millimeters). Color balance was a little warm, but resolution was high for an inexpensive two-megapixel model, with good detail in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch. Details are also sharp, with good definition. There was just a hint of the corner softness I'm accustomed to seeing in digicam macro shots, in the lower corners of the frame. The A205's flash throttled down a little too well for the macro area, resulting in a moderate underexposure. (For the best results, plan on using external illumination for your macro pictures.)



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good overall exposure, but a warm color cast.

The A205's Auto and Daylight white balance options again produced similar color balances here, so I chose the Auto setting for the main shot. Exposure is about right, and the A205 has no trouble with the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target. Although somewhat warm-toned, the large color blocks look pretty good, with nearly accurate saturation (though the large red color block is slightly oversaturated). Detail is moderate in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, with a moderate level of noise as well.



 

Low-Light Tests

Very limited low-light capabilities, plan on using the flash for night exposures.

The A205 operates under automatic exposure control at all times, and has a very limited shutter speed range. Thus, the camera has fairly poor low-light shooting capabilities. In my testing, the A205 produced a barely usable image at the one foot-candle (11 lux) light level. The color balance was also rather warm. Noise is somewhat higher than average for a two-megapixel camera. The table below shows the best exposure I was able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

(Note: If you'd like to use a light meter to check light levels for subjects you might be interested in shooting, a light level of 1 foot-candle corresponds to a normal exposure of 2 seconds at F/2.8 and ISO 100.)

  1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
ISO
100
Click to see A205LL03.JPG
1/ 2 secs
F3
Click to see A205LL04.JPG
1/ 350 secs
F3
Click to see A205LL05.JPG
1/ 340 secs
F3
Click to see A205LL06.JPG
1/ 350 secs
F3
Click to see A205LL07.JPG
1/ 350 secs
F3



 

Flash Range Test

Never very bright, flash illumination falls off gradually after roughly 10 feet.

In my testing, the A205's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, but with a progressive loss of brightness from about 10 feet on. Flash power was already somewhat dim at the eight foot distance. Below is the flash range series, showing the results I obtained at distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see A205FL08.JPG
1/ 170 secs
F4.8
Click to see A205FL09.JPG
1/ 140 secs
F4.8
Click to see A205FL10.JPG
1/ 125 secs
F4.8
Click to see A205FL11.JPG
1/ 120 secs
F4.8
Click to see A205FL12.JPG
1/ 120 secs
F4.8
Click to see A205FL13.JPG
1/ 100 secs
F4.8
Click to see A205FL14.JPG
1/ 90 secs
F4.8



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Decent resolution, 800 lines of "strong detail," but significant artifacts at coarser line pitches. Less than average barrel distortion.

The A205 turned in about an average performance for an entry-level two megapixel camera on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height vertically, and around 500 lines horizontally, and artifacts were quite strong in the vertical direction. I found "strong detail" out to at least 800 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 950 lines.

Optical distortion on the A205 is a little less than average at the wide-angle end, where I measured between 0.5 and 0.6 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I found only half a pixel of barrel distortion there (about 0.03 percent). Chromatic aberration was also low, showing only about two or three pixels of very faint coloration on either side of the target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
1,600 x 1,200
A205RESW2M
1,280 x 960
A205RESW1M
640 x 480
A205RESW03M

 

Resolution Test, Telephoto
1,600 x 1,200
(Fine, Tele)
A205REST2M



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A tight optical viewfinder, though the LCD monitor is more accurate.

The A205's optical viewfinder is rather tight, showing about 85 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, but only 74 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor proved more accurate, showing approximately 98 percent accuracy at telephoto. (I couldn't measure the wide angle shot, as the lines of measurement were cut off in the final frame, showing the LCD monitor a bit "loose" here, but it was obviously very close to 100% coverage.) Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the A205's LCD monitor did pretty well, but its optical viewfinder really needs some improvement, particularly at telephoto focal lengths. Flash distribution is fairly even, though dim, at wide angle, with only slight falloff at the corners of the frame. (Sorry, I accidentally left the lights on for the wide/optical shot, I'll try to find time to redo it.) At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform and dim.




A205 Review
A205 Test Images
A205 Specifications
A205 "Picky Details"
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