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Digital Cameras - Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page 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 thumbnail index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!

 

"Sunlit" Portrait:
(This is my new "Outdoor" Portrait test - read more about it here.)

High resolution and strong detail, very good color. Contrast is quite high though, losing highlight detail to keep the midtones where they need to be.
  • Exposure compensation: +1.3 EV, higher than average. (I was really torn here. +1.3 EV really blew out way too much highlight detail, but I felt that most users would find the results at +1.0 EV just too dark. - The best exposure would have been about halfway between the two.)
  • Contrast/Tone: High contrast, even with the contrast adustment set to its lowest value. (Contrast control works quite well, it just needs to extend further in the low contrast direction.)
  • White Balance: Auto was excellent. Daylight was rather yellow, Manual was reddish.
  • Color accuracy: Very good. Blues are right where they should be, reds are a tad over-saturated, yellows are just slightly dull, but the overall impact is really excellent.
  • Skin tones: Pretty good, a a little pink in a few places. (The darker +1.0 EV exposure produced rather ruddy-looking skin tones.)
  • Resolution/sharpness: Very good, very little detail lost to noise reduction.
  • Shadow detail: Very good, low noise

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files C55OUTAP0.HTM through C55OUTAP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

Contrast Series:
A good contrast control, with very fine steps across a broad range. The fine steps let you really match the camera's performance to your own personal tastes. The contrast control really needs to go further in the low contrast direction though.

Contrast Series
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1
+3
+5


Saturation Series:
The C5500's color saturation control is even better than its contrast adjustment, in that it covers a broad range in very fine steps, and the default value is centered on a good default value.

Saturation Series
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1
+3
+5



 

Closer Portrait:

Excellent resolution and detail. Again, high contrast though.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, less than average.
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast makes for harsher skin tones, dark shadows. (I went with the darker option here, vs the lighter choice I made in the shot above.)
  • Detail: Really excellent. Finest details are slightly coarse, but that's really reaching for something to complain about.
  • Distortion: Good, zoom lens avoids distortion close-in like this.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.3 EV, see files C55FACAM1.HTM through C55FACAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+1.3 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+1.0 EV

Underexposure with the flash in the normal setting, though good exposure with the Slow-Sync mode. Strong warm color cast, though.

  • Exposure: Good at +1.3EV, a bit more than average. Slow Sync was also best at +1.3 EV, but exposure compensation in slow sync mode seemed to have less of an effect than in normal flash mode.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Very good, no harsh blue highights from the flash, normal-mode flash shot is very nicely color balanced.
  • Color: Slightly orange skin tones, but very good overall.

 

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV in the normal flash mode, see files C55INFP0.HTM through C55INFP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV in the slow-sync flash mode, see files C55INFSP0.HTM through C55INSFP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Good color with all three white balance settings, about average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.3EV, adjustment needed, a bit more than average
  • White Balance: All settings were within acceptable limits. Incandescent looked the best to my eye, Auto was a bit warm, Manual just slightly green. Much better than average overall though
  • Color: Skin tones very slightly orange, blue flowers a little purple, others flowers good. (Better than average, given the tough light source.)

 To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files C55INTP0.HTM through C55INTP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

ISO Series:
The Olympus C-5500 did surprisingly well in terms of image noise, producing much less noise at high ISO settings than I'm accustomed to seeing from 5-megapixel cameras. Noise is low at ISO 80 and 100, becomes visible (if only barely so) at ISO 200, and is evident but surprisingly well-behaved at ISO 400. As usual, the real test comes when you print the images out, and based on what I saw in prints from our Canon i9900 printer, I suspect that most consumers would be very pleased with ISO 400 shots from the C-5500 printed as large as 8x10 inches. At 5x7, noise just really isn't an issue at all.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Pretty good color, though slightly warm and yellow. High resolution and strong detail.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good, a lot of fine detail.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Slight falloff, but better than average.
  • Color: Manual is a little cool, but I felt it was the most accurate. Daylight was pleasing but slightly yellow, Auto was reddish.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Very little, a slight amount in the bricks.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, fairly good dynamic range. Only slight softening in the corners.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance, and to present a near-infinite range of detail to the camera. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good, strong detail.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Only slight falloff, still better than average.
  • Color: Nearly accurate.
  • Dynamic Range: Not bad, just barely holds onto highlights, good detail in the shadows.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: None noticeable.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
C55FAR2592F
C55FAR2592N
2,288 x 1,712
C55FAR2288
-
2,048 x 1,536
C55FAR2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
C55FAR1600
-
1,280 x 960
C55FAR1280
-
1,024 x 768
C55FAR1024
-
640 x 480
C55FAR0640
-


ISO Series:
As before, surprisingly good noise performance for a 5-megapixel camera. Noise is quite apparent at ISO 400, but prints as large as 8x10 inches look pretty good.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400

 

Sharpness Series:
A good range of in-camera sharpening adjustment. Highest settings are pretty harsh, but probably OK for small inkjet prints. Normal setting is a good tradeoff between sharpness and artifacts, but does tend to coarsen fine detail slightly. The lowest setting takes strong/tight unsharp masking in Photoshop(tm) very well. (Try 200-250%, 0.3 pixel radius.)

Sharpness Series
Very Soft
Soft
Normal
Hard Very Hard



Contrast Series:
As before, the contrast adjustment works well, I just wish it extended further in the low contrast direction.

Contrast Series
Lowest
Low
Normal
High
Highest

Saturation Series:
Also as we saw earlier, nd excellent saturation adjustment, covering a broad range in small, photographically useful steps.

Saturation Series
Lowest
Low
Normal
High
Highest


Color Series:

Color Series
Normal
Black & White
Sepia



 

Lens Zoom Range

A very good 5x zoom range.

The C-5500's focal length range of 38-190mm equivalents is larger than that of most point & shoot digital cameras. It corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a pretty good telephoto.

Wide Angle
5x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good color, with high resolution and strong detail.

  • White Balance: Daylight white balance pretty good, Auto and Manual settings both quite warm.
  • Color: Good skin tones and overall color.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Excellent detail, with good sharpness (almost beyond the limits of this poster though).





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash
Super Macro

A small macro area with great detail, extremely small in Super Macro mode. Flash has trouble up close though.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 2.41 x 1.84 inches (62 x 47 millimeters) in normal macro mode, 1.01 x 0.76 inches (26 x 19 millimeters) in Super Macro.
  • Softness in corners?: Virtually none in normal mode, but some softening in Super mode. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Shooting range too close, flash doesn't throttle down.





 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good overall exposure and color.

  • White balance: Manual and Auto settings both good, though Manual best overall. Daylight setting warm.
  • Color Accuracy: Somewhat better than average color accuracy., though overall color is slightly dark. The brightest red is quite oversaturated, but other colors are quite nice, just slightly richer than in real life. (Just what consumers tend to like.) Yellows are slightly undersaturated, but overall color is quite good.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Moderate detail in the briquettes, with moderate noise.



The results in the tests below mirror those seen above in other test shots. The test series are repeated here without further comment, for the benefit of our more quantitatively-oriented readers.


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Contrast Series:

Contrast Series
Lowest
Low
Normal
High
Highest


Saturation Series:

Saturation Series
Lowest
Low
Normal
High
Highest



 

Low-Light Tests

Very good low-light performance, with low noise and good color. Autofocus system works to a bit darker than 1/8 foot-candle unassisted, and even darker with AF assist, fine for average city night scenes.

  • Exposure limit: 1/16 foot-candle at ISOs 200 and 400. (About 1/16 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.) 1/8 foot-candle at ISO 100, and 1/4 foot-candle at ISO 80.
  • Autofocus Limit: A bit below 1/8 foot-candle, but in total darkness (on nearby subjects) with AF assist light enabled.
  • White Balance: Pretty good with Auto white balance.
  • Noise Levels: Good, only slightly high at the higher sensitivities and lowest light levels.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Minimal at one foot-candle, but more at 1/16 foot-candle.
  • General Notes: The Olympus C-5500 does quite well after dark, as it's able to focus down to about 1/8 foot-candle even without its bright AF-assist light, and it can easily exposed down to that level even at its lowest ISO setting. (Down to 1/16 foot-candle at ISO 200 and above.) Given that typical city street lighting at night corresponds to about 1 foot-candle of illumination, the C-5500 should do very well for after-dark photography in urban and suburban areas.

(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 one foot-candle corresponds to a normal exposure of two seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 100.)

  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
1/16fc
No NR
ISO
80
Click to see C55LL0803.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL0804.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL0805.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL0806.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL0807.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL0807XNR.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see C55LL1003.JPG
1.6 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL1004.JPG
3.2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL1005.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL1006.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL1007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL1007XNR.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see C55LL2003.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL2004.JPG
1.6 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL2005.JPG
3.2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL2006.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL2007.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL2007XNR.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see C55LL4003.JPG
1/2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL4004.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL4005.JPG
1.6 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL4006.JPG
3.2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL4007.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see C55LL4007XNR.JPG
4 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

Slightly underexposed at eight feet, but about the same brightness level to 14 feet, although camera"cheats" by boosting its ISO from 13 feet on.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: 14 feet.
  • Caveats and limitations: Camera "cheats" a bit by boosting its ISO for flash shots over 12 feet. At 14 feet, ISO is 172, though noise isn't strong and detail remains good.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see C55FL08.JPG
1/100 sec
f3.8
ISO 125
Click to see C55FL09.JPG
1/125 sec
f4.0
ISO 125
Click to see C55FL10.JPG
1/125 sec
f4.0
ISO 125
Click to see C55FL11.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.4
ISO 125
Click to see C55FL12.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.4
ISO 125
Click to see C55FL13.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.6
ISO 142
Click to see C55FL14.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.6
ISO 172



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution, 1,300 lines of "strong detail." High barrel distortion at wide angle, and moderate pincushion distortion at telephoto. Low chromatic aberration, and only slight softening in the corners at telephoto.

 

  • Resolution: 1,300 lines both vertically and horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: 800~900 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,600 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 1.03 percent barrel at wide angle, 0.2 percent pincushion at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: Fairly low at wide angle and telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Some softening at telephoto, less at wide angle.



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
C55RES2592F
C55RES2592N
2,288 x 1,712
C55RES2288
-
2,048 x 1,536
C55RES2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
C55RES1600
-
1,280 x 960
C55RES1280
-
1,024 x 768
C55RES1024
-
640 x 480
C55RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
C55RESW
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Telephoto)
C55REST


Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1 +3 +5



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD viewfinder, but a very tight optical viewfinder. Slight flash falloff at wide angle, none at telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: Only 75 percent at wide angle, and 82 percent at telephoto.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: About 99 percent accuracy at wide angle and telephoto.
  • Flash Uniformity: Very slight falloff at wide angle (better than average though), virtually none at telephoto.



C5500 Review
C5500 Test Images
C5500 Specifications
C5500 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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