Digital Cameras - Canon PowerShot A60 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, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
|Outdoor Portrait: |
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 A60 did a good job here.
The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightened the midtones slightly, without losing all of the detail in the strong highlights. I chose the Auto white balance as the most accurate overall, though the Daylight setting wasn't too far off the mark, just a little cool. The Manual setting had a stronger, warmer color cast.
Skin tones look pretty good, although with slight orange tints here and there. The blue flowers appear just slightly dark, with only very faint purplish tints in the petals. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams to get right, and in real life is actually a light navy blue. - The A60 does a very good job with them.) The green foliage in the bouquet is also just a little dark, but the red flowers look pretty good. Resolution is good for a 2.0-megapixel CCD, with good detail throughout the frame. Shadow detail is also quite good, and details are reasonably sharp as well.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files A60OUTAP0.HTM through A60OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Increased resolution and detail, and a good exposure.
Results in this shot appear similar to the wider shot above, in terms of color and exposure, and the A60's 3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features. Detail is stronger in this close-up shot, and Marti's face and hair show more defined details. The shot at right was taken at the default exposure setting, which produced good midtones without sacrificing too much highlight detail. Shadow detail is moderate, with pretty low noise.
To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files A60FACM1.HTM through A60FACP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Good intensity with the built-in flash, with a typical exposure adjustment, and good overall color.
The A60's built-in flash illuminated the subject well, though it required a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment to get a bright exposure. (Intensity was quite dim at the default setting.) The background incandescent lighting produces a slight orange cast on the back wall, which spills onto Marti's features and onto the white shirt as well. Still, overall color looks pretty good, even in the blue flowers of the bouquet, which are just slightly dark and purplish. (Many digicams reproduce these with a much darker purplish tint, so the A60 performs pretty well here.)
To view an abbreviated exposure series from +1.0 to +1.7 EV, see files A60INFP3.HTM through A60INFP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Great color with both the Incandescent and Manual settings. Good exposure as well, though slightly more exposure compensation needed than average.
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. Both the A60's Manual and Incandescent options produced good results here. (The Auto setting really had trouble though.) I chose the Incandescent setting as the most accurate, as the Manual white balance resulted in a very slight greenish tint. Marti's skin tone looks about right, though the blue flowers appear slightly dark and purplish. (This is a common problem with this shot, likely due to the light source.) The main shot has a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is just slightly higher than average. A good job overall.
Very slight color casts with each white balance setting, but still good color overall. Good resolution and detail.
The A60's Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced very similar results here. Though the white house trim is just slightly warm, I preferred the overall color of the Auto setting to the slightly cool cast of the Manual white balance. Resolution is moderately high, with good detail in the tree limbs over the roof, as well as in the fine foliage in front of the house. Details are just a hint soft throughout the frame, but still fairly well defined.
A nice level of detail throughout the frame, with good color as well.
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 A60 performs well for its 2.0-megapixel class. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house show pretty good detail, with a reasonable amount of definition. Details are just slightly soft, but maintain the same level of sharpness from corner to corner. The camera picks up the stronger details in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, which is a difficult task for many digicams. Detail is also moderate in the shadow area above the front door. Overall color looks good, though the greens are highly saturated. Exposure is about right as well. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO and Effects series.
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 A60's lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to an average wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Pretty good color, although slight color casts with each white balance setting, and good 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. The A60's Auto white balance delivered the most pleasing color here. Though slightly warm, I felt the skin tones looked more natural than in the cooler casts of the Daylight and Manual settings. The slightly warm Auto white balance gives the blue background purplish tints that aren't in the original image, but overall color is pretty good. The blue robe is just slightly dark, with purplish tints in the deep shadow areas. Resolution is high, with good detail in the embroidery of the blue robe.
A tiny macro area with very good detail.
The A60 performed very well in the macro category, capturing a tiny minimum area of only 2.10 x 1.57 inches (53 x 40 millimeters). Resolution is moderately high, with strong detail in the dollar bill. The coins and brooch are soft due to the very short shooting distance. There's more softness in the corners of this shot, mainly in the top left corner. The A60's flash had trouble throttling down for the short shooting distance, and overexposed the shot with a strong shadow in the lower right corner.
Good color and exposure, across the board.
The A60's Auto and Daylight white balances again produced similar results, with very good color (just slightly red in the white color block and resolution target). The Manual setting also produced good results, though with a slight greenish tint. Exposure is about right, and the A60 distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well. Colors are nearly accurate in the large color blocks, though just a hint dark. However, the red and blue additive primary color blocks are a tad oversaturated. Detail is moderate in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, with low noise.
Excellent low-light performance, with good color and low noise.
With a maximum exposure time of 15 seconds and a full Manual exposure mode, and a bright autofocus-assist light, the A60 can handle very dark shooting conditions quite well. In my testing, the camera produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit, with good color at the 100, 200, and 400 ISO settings. At ISO 50, the target was bright at the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level, though you could arguably use the image at the 1/16 foot-candle light level as well. Color is pretty good from the Auto white balance, though just slightly reddish. Noise is pretty low all the way to ISO 200, where it increases to a moderate level, becoming much more noticeable at ISO 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.
Flash Range Test
Slightly dim overall, but consistent results to 14 feet.
In my testing, the A60's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, without any significant decrease in intensity. Its underexposed all the shots slightly, but the brightness was consistent throughout the test. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
Good resolution, with 850 lines of "strong detail." Average barrel distortion at wide angle, and low distortion at telephoto.
The A60 performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for its 2.0-megapixel class. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height vertically, and around 500 lines horizontally. I found "strong detail" out to 850 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 950 lines.
Optical distortion on the A60 is about average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.8 percent barrel distortion. (This is about average among cameras I've tested, but I'd really like to see much less geometric distortion in digicam images than that.) The telephoto end fared much better, as I only measured about two pixels of barrel distortion, about 0.1 percent. Chromatic aberration is very low, showing little or no 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.) However, in the furthest edge of the frame, I did notice four or five green pixels of coloration, which could be the effect of some slight corner softness.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Resolution Test, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A very tight optical viewfinder, but the LCD monitor is practically perfect.
The A60's optical viewfinder is quite tight, showing approximately 76 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and approximately 81 percent at telephoto. Images framed with the optical viewfinder are also shifted toward the lower right corner. The LCD monitor fared much better, showing just a little over 100 percent of the frame at both zoom settings. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the A60's LCD monitor performs very well here, but the optical viewfinder could really stand some improvement. Flash distribution is fairly even at wide angle, with just a little falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform.
A60 Test Images
A60 "Picky Details"
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