Sample Images for
Canon PowerShot A30
|For those interested in exposure and file size information, I now include links in my reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for my test shots. The Thumber data includes a range of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, I'm posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is exactly why I set it up this way. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the PowerShot A30 did pretty well with it. The shot at right has a +0.3 EV exposure adjustment, which brightened the midtones without losing too much detail in the highlights. Both Auto and Daylight white balances produced very similar results, though the Daylight setting had the best overall color balance. Skin tones look good, albeit just slightly pinkish. The always-difficult blue flowers are a pretty pure blue though, with little of the purple tinge that plagues some cameras on this shot. Other colors are bright, accurate, and properly saturated. Resolution is high (for a 1.2 megapixel camera), with a lot of fine detail visible and good sharpness level. Detail is also very good in the shadow areas, with low noise. All in all an excellent job.
To see the full exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files A30OUTDP0.HTM through A30OUTDP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Similar results to the shot above. The A30's 3x lens helps prevent any distortion of the model's features in a closeup shot like this. (If you want to take tight portrait shots like this, make sure you get a camera with a true optical zoom lens.) The image at right has no exposure adjustment, as even a modest adjustment to +0.3 EV loses too much highlight detail. Resolution increases in this shot, with stronger fine detail in the model's face and hair (as well as in the house siding and flower petals). Shadow detail is again fairly strong, with very low noise.
To see the full exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files A30FACDP0.HTM through A30FACDP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
|Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Great intensity, with good color.
The A30's flash does a very nice job on indoor shots like this, though a slight orange color cast from the room's incandescent lighting affects the overall color balance. I shot an entire series with the flash in its normal setting, increasing the exposure compensation with each shot. I found the best results with a +1.0 EV exposure adjustment. Switching to the "Slow Synchro" flash mode more even lighting, as the longer exposure time allowed more ambient light into the image. The longer exposure increases the orange cast slightly, but it's not bad overall. In this mode, an adjustment of +1.0 EV provided the best overall exposure.
To see the entire exposure series, from zero to +1.0 EV in the normal flash mode, see files A30INFP0.HTM through A30INFP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Portrait, No Flash:
Accurate color, using the Incandescent white balance setting.
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, and the A30 performed very well with the Incandescent white balance setting. The Auto setting produced a very warm image with a yellow color cast. Though slightly undersaturated, color looks good in the Incandescent setting. The red flowers appear pinkish, and the blue flowers are dark and purplish, but overall, the image looks good. The main image has a +1.0 EV exposure adjustment. Here's an example with no exposure compensation.
Following is an ISO series - You can boost the A30's light sensitivity, to get shorter shutter speeds (and less blur from camera shake) for lower-light shots like this. I found that the photos looked pretty good at ISO 200, but were really too noisy to be usable at ISO 400.
Resolution and color are both good, with a lot of fine detail.
Both the Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced very similar results, though the Daylight setting was a touch warm. Resolution is very good for a 1.2 megapixel camera, with a lot of fine detail in the tree limbs and fine foliage (though the camera appears to adjust contrast to "sharpen" details). Details are sharp from corner to corner, with good definition.
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. The A30 captures great detail throughout the frame, with good sharpness from corner to corner. The harsh lighting led the A30 to overexpose the shot slightly though, losing all but the strongest detail in the bright, white bay window area. The shadow area above the front door fares better, showing most of the brick pattern. The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, Sharpness, and Color series.
|Lens Zoom Range
A typical 3x zoom range.
I've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, I'm happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, at 3x telephoto, and at full telephoto with the 2x digital zoom enabled. The A30's lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Great resolution and detail, though a little trouble with color balance.
Both the Daylight and Auto white balance settings produced warm color balances on this shot. (The large amount of blue in the composition often tricks digicams.) That said, the Auto is just a touch less warm, so I chose it for the main shot. The Oriental model's blue robe looks about right, though slightly greenish from the warm cast. Resolution is moderately high, judging by the embroidery details of the blue robe and the well-defined details of the beaded necklaces.
Less than average macro performance.
The A30 captured a very large macro area, much larger than what I'm accustomed to seeing, at 6.56 x 4.92 inches (166.52 x 124.89 millimeters). (This wouldn't be the camera to get if you needed to shoot lots of small objects for eBay, etc.) Resolution is very good, however, with great detail in the coins, brooch, and dollar bill. Color looks good, as does overall exposure. The camera's flash throttled down well for the macro area, with some falloff in the corners of the frame.
|"Davebox" Test Target
Excellent color and saturation, with accurate exposure too.
The Auto white balance setting produced the most accurate overall color here, though the Daylight setting actually wasn't too far off the mark (just a slight warm color cast). The large color blocks look good, with nearly accurate saturation. Exposure also looks good, as the A30 easily distinguishes the subtle tonal distributions of the Q60 chart. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows strong detail, with moderately low noise. Following are ISO and Color series.
Really excellent low-light capabilities, with very good color.
The A30's Manual exposure mode offers a maximum exposure time of 15 seconds, which gives the camera excellent low-light shooting capabilities. This is very unusual in a more or less entry-level camera like the A30. The camera captured bright, clear, usable images at light levels as low as 1/16 foot-candle at all four ISO settings (50, 100, 200, and 400 ISO equivalents). Color is very good, with pretty good saturation as well. The camera automatically activates a noise reduction system at the longer shutter speeds, which does a good job of controlling noise levels. Still, noise levels were fairly high at the ISO 400 setting. I also noticed that the camera had trouble focusing at times, even with the help of its AF assist light, causing of the lower light-level images to be a bit soft. The table below shows the best exposure obtained for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
|Flash Range Test
Good intensity about 11 feet, but usable to 14 feet.
The A30's flash produced good intensity, to about 11 feet from the test target, but it was usable all the way to 14 feet. Though the flash power was brightest at eight feet, it decreased only minimally with each additional foot of distance. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
|ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test
The A30 performed reasonably well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart, with sharp details. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 500 lines per picture height vertically and about 400 lines horizontally. I found "strong detail" out to at least 600 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 800 lines.
Optical distortion on the A30 is average or slightly below average at the wide-angle end,whereas I measured an approximate 0.65 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto setting fared much better, without one pixel of barrel or pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration is very low, showing only about two or three lightly-colored pixels 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.) Overall, a surprisingly high quality lens for an entry level camera.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A very tight optical viewfinder, but almost 100 percent accuracy on the LCD monitor.
The A30's optical viewfinder was pretty tight, showing a frame accuracy of 75 percent at wide angle, and about 77 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor fared much better, showing a frame accuracy of approximately 98 percent at wide angle, and about 99 percent at telephoto. Since I normally prefer to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the A30 did a great job in this respect. Flash distribution at wide angle is a little uneven, with some falloff at the corners of the frame. Flash distribution at telephoto is much more even.
Back to the Main PowerShot A30 Review
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