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Digital Cameras - Fuji FinePix A310 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!

 

 NOTE: This is a "SuperCCD" camera from Fuji, so the full-res images below are interpolated up to a final file size of nearly 6 megapixels, from the 3.4 megapixel sensor resolution. As a result, they'll naturally look rather soft on-screen, when compared with uninterpolated images from a 3 megapixel camera. - About the only way to perform a really fair comparison between the A310 and competing models would be to download the images here and print them at the same size as those from a conventional camera, on a high-quality photo printer. (In other words, withhold judgement on the A310's image sharpness until you have a chance to view prints of some of its images.)

 

Outdoor Portrait:

Decent resolution, though details are soft. Good overall color, but contrast and image noise are high.

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 FinePix A310 produced very nice color, but had difficulty with the harsh lighting.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which results in blown-out highlight details and slightly dark midtones. While most pros would be horrified by the lost highlight detail that resulted, I chose this exposure setting because it matches my experience of what consumers prefer, favoring the midtones over highlight or shadow detail. I chose the Auto white balance as the most accurate overall, although the Daylight setting produced similar results.

Skin tones are pretty good, albeit a little splotchy from the strong highlights. The blue flowers in the bouquet are just slightly dark, but the level of purple in them is just about dead-on. (This is a difficult blue for many digicams to get right, and is in reality a pretty pure, light navy.) Color looks good throughout the rest of the frame, although the strong red flowers are just a little hot. Resolution is pretty good, but details are just a little soft throughout the frame. Shadow detail is moderate, but there's quite a bit of image noise there as well.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files A31OUTAP0.HTM through A31OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.




 

Closer Portrait:

Stronger resolution and detail, and a pretty good exposure.

The A310 produced good results here, with less contrast than in the wider shot above. (Largely due to slight cloudiness the day it was shot - One of the problems with this shot is that the sun doesn't always cooperate fully. - I'm working on a solar simulator light source, to let me move this shot into the studio, hopefully by the end of this year.) Midtones are bright, and the highlights on the white shirt collar lose only a small amount of detail. The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The A310's 3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features, an important factor in close-up shots like this. Detail and resolution are much higher in this shot, although image noise again obscures the finest detail somewhat, and is fairly pronounced in the shadows.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV, see files A31FACAP0.HTM through A31FACAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
Default Exposure
Slow-Sync Mode
+1.0 EV

Slight underexposure with the flash in normal mode.

The A310's built-in flash illuminated the subject reasonably well at its default setting, but underexposed the shot noticeably. (The A310's flash power can't be adjusted via the exposure compensation adjustment, so high-key shots like this will tend to come out dark.) Coverage is fairly even, however. The background incandescent lighting results in an orange cast on the back wall, that also affects Marti's features. I also shot with the camera's Slow-Sync flash mode, achieving slightly brighter results at the default exposure. Although the white highlights become a little too bright, I found the overall best exposure with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The orange cast is still present, but not quite as strong.



 

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

Stronger than average color casts with both white balance settings. Good overall exposure, but noise is somewhat high.

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 A310's white balance system had a little trouble here, producing fairly pronounced color casts at both the Auto and Incandescent settings. I chose the Auto setting for the main shot, despite the pink cast. The shot at right has a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which produced a balanced exposure. (Here's a shot taken with the default exposure setting.)


ISO Series:
Noise is higher than average on the A310, as the lowest sensitivity setting available is ISO 200. (It may not be all that much higher than other digicams at an ISO of 200, but Fuji doesn't provide a lower ISO setting so users can opt for lower noise at the expense of longer exposure times.) At ISO 400 and 800, noise increases to much higher levels, but the pink cast also warms up some. (I also noticed a striped effect in the red flowers at the 400 and 800 ISO settings, presumably from the noise pattern.)

ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800


 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Moderately-high resolution, with a slightly warm color balance.

Both the A310's Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced similar, warm images, though the Daylight setting was just a shade warmer. Resolution is moderately high, with a fair amount of fine detail visible in the tree limbs and front shrubbery. Details are again a little soft overall, with a small amount of additional softening in the left corners.



 

Far-Field Test

Moderate resolution and detail, and good overall color, though dynamic range is limited.

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 to my eye, the A310 captured only a moderate level of detail, slightly underperforming for its 3-megapixel class. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house show a fair amount of detail, but looking closely, my sense is that image noise again seems to reduce image definition slightly. Details are generally a little soft throughout the frame, with only slightly increased softness in the left corners. The camera picks up only the strongest details in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams. The shadow area above the front door fares about the same, with most detail obscured by the high image noise there, evidence of a limited dynamic range. Overall color looks good, although the image is very slightly overexposed. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO and color series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
2,816 x 2,120
A31FARL
2,048 x 1,536
A31FARM
1,280 x 960
A31FARS
640 x 480
A31FART

ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800

"Function" Series: The A310 offers a limited set of color adjustments, for some extra creativity while shooting.

Function Series
Normal Color
Black and White
Chrome



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 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 A310's lens is equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a pretty good telephoto, biased just slightly toward the telephoto end relative to the standard 35-105mm lenses on most 3x zoom cameras. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

A warm color balance in response to the large amount of blue in the composition, but good results overall.

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. The A310's Auto and Daylight white balance settings both responded with slightly warm color casts, although the Daylight setting produced the least cast of the two. The blue robe looks pretty good, but the warm cast results in greenish tints in the highlights. Resolution is moderately high, as the embroidery of the blue robe shows good detail. Image noise is again higher than on most cameras at their default ISO settings (which should be noted, are generally ISO 100, vs the ISO 200 of the A310), and details just a bit soft.



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

An average to slightly large macro area, but good detail.

The A310 turned in about an average performance in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 4.07 x 3.07 inches (103 x 78 millimeters). Resolution was high, with good detail present in the dollar bill, brooch, and coins. There's only a little softening in the corners, mainly in the left corners of the frame. Overall color was warm from the Auto white balance setting, but exposure was pretty good. The A310's flash throttled down a little too well for the macro area, producing a dark photo. (Plan on using external lighting for macro shots with the A310.)



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

A warm color cast and slight overexposure. High image noise again.

The A310's Auto and Daylight white balance settings again produced similar, warm images. I chose the Auto setting for the main shot, as the warm cast was just slightly less. Exposure is just a little bright, but the A310 still distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well. The warm cast and minor overexposure affect the accuracy of the large color blocks, and the red and blue additive primary color blocks are slightly oversaturated. Detail is limited in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, and image noise is higher than average throughout the frame.



 

Low-Light Tests

Slightly limited low-light performance, but quite usable under average city street lighting at night, although you'll have to find brighter objects within the scene to focus on.

The A310 operates under full automatic exposure control, but does offer a Night shooting mode and adjustable ISO setting. Although the camera's low-light shooting capabilities are limited by its maximum two-second exposure time, the camera is sensitive enough for average city street lighting (which equates to a one-foot-candle, 11 lux, light level). I found the best exposures in the Night shooting mode, which accesses the longer exposure times. In my testing, the A310 produced usable images down to the one-half foot-candle (5.5 lux) light level at ISO 200, and down to the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level at ISO 800. Unfortunately, while these images came out reasonably well focused, the A310's autofocus system doesn't operate reliably at light levels lower than about 1 foot-candle. The target was still visible at the lower light levels, but the images are rather dark. (You could conceivable lighten these in post-capture software.) Color is pretty good from the Auto white balance, though a hint warm. Noise is highest at the 800 ISO setting, but only moderately high at ISOs 200 and 400. 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 an 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
200
Click to see A31LL203.JPG
1.3 secs
F2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31LL204.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31LL205.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31LL206.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31LL207.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 200
ISO
400
Click to see A31LL403.JPG
1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see A31LL404.JPG
1.3 secs
F2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see A31LL405.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see A31LL406.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 400
Click to see A31LL407.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 400
ISO
800
Click to see A31LL803.JPG
1/ 3 secs
F2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see A31LL804.JPG
1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see A31LL805.JPG
1.7 secs
F2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see A31LL806.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 800
Click to see A31LL807.JPG
2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 800



 

Flash Range Test

Good intensity all the way out to 14 feet from the test target, with just a slight decrease in brightness.

Fuji rates the A310's flash as effective to about 18 feet, which agrees pretty well with my own findings, although my flash range test is limited to 14 feet. In my testing, the flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, with only a slight decrease in intensity. Below is the flash range series, with 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 A31FL08.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F3.7
ISO: 200
Click to see A31FL09.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F4
ISO: 200
Click to see A31FL10.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F4
ISO: 200
Click to see A31FL11.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F4.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31FL12.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F4.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31FL13.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F4.8
ISO: 200
Click to see A31FL14.JPG
1/ 60 secs
F4.8
ISO: 200



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Moderately high resolution, 1,000 lines of "strong detail." Lower than average barrel distortion.

The A310 performed fairly well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,000 lines, although you could perhaps argue for as high as 1,100 lines in the horizontal direction. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,250 lines.

Optical distortion on the A310 is better than average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.5 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared better still, as I found 0.1 percent barrel distortion there. Chromatic aberration is also low, showing only about three or four pixels of fairly 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
2,816 x 2,120
A31RESWL
2,048 x 1,536
A31RESWM
1,280 x 960
A31RESWS
640 x 480
A31RESWT

 

Resolution Test, Telephoto
2,816 x 2,120
(Fine, Tele)
A31RESTL



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A tight optical viewfinder, and slightly tight LCD monitor.

The A310's optical viewfinder is very tight, showing only 79 percent of the final frame at both wide angle and telephoto zoom settings. The LCD monitor fared a little better, showing approximately 92 percent accuracy at wide angle, and about 90 percent at telephoto. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the A310's LCD monitor has some room for improvement here, and the optical viewfinder could definitely stand improvement. Flash distribution is uneven and dim at wide angle, with falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform, though with some slight falloff at the edges of the frame.




A310 Review
A310 Test Images
A310 Specifications
A310 "Picky Details"
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