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Olympus C-7000 Wide Zoom

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<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): C-7000 Imatest Results>>

C-7000 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 11/26/04

Digital Cameras - Olympus Camedia C-7000 Zoom 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!

 

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

Very high resolution and strong detail, with great definition. Accurate color, and a good exposure with very well-controlled contrast to boot.

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 C-7000 Zoom met the challenge very nicely.

The shot at right was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment and the C7000's contrast adjustment set to its lowest level. The result was a photo with good midtone brightness, but excellent detail in both the highlights and shadows. Though the highlights on the white shirt are bright, a lot of detail remains there, much better than I'm accustomed to seeing with digicams on this shot. I chose the Auto white balance setting for the main shot, though the Manual setting also produced very nice results. (The Daylight setting resulted in a warm cast.)

Overall color looks very good, with accurate skin tones. The blue flowers in the bouquet are also nearly perfect, with just a hint more purple in them than in real life. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, but the C-7000 Zoom got it almost perfect.) The bright reds, greens, and yellows look very good as well. Resolution is outstanding, and there's lots of fine detail throughout the frame. Even the fine detail in the embroidery of Marti's white shirt is clear. Shadow detail is strong as well, with low noise. - An excellent job all around.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files C7KOUTAP0.HTM through C7KOUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

Contrast Series:
The C-7000 Zoom offers extensive contrast and saturation adjustments, extending from -5 to +5 in arbitrary units. Following are abbreviated adjustment series for each. The contrast adjustment works unusually well, handling even the deliberately awful lighting of this difficult shot.
Contrast Series
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1
+3
+5


Saturation Series:
Like the contrast adjustment, the C-7000's saturation control offers a wide range with small, photographically useful steps. This really lets you adjust the camera to exactly match your personal preferences. Nicely done...
Saturation Series
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1
+3
+5



 

Closer Portrait:

Excellent resolution and detail, and a very nice exposure as well.

Exposure and color balance are similar to the wider shot above, and the C-7000 Zoom's 5x optical zoom lens prevents geometric distortion of Marti's features. The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which results in bright midtones, and well-exposed highlights and shadows. Detail and resolution are little short of amazing in this close-up shot, with excellent definition in the features of Marti's face, as well as in her hair. The fabric details of the silk leaf and the embroidery of the white shirt are crisp and well-defined also. Another really excellent job.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files C7KOUTFACAP0.HTM through C7KOUTFACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.


 

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

A powerful, yet even, flash, with good color.

The C-7000 Zoom's built-in flash illuminated the subject fairly well at the default exposure setting, albeit with a slight underexposure. I found the best results with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment. Flash coverage is fairly even, and doesn't overpower the subject or result in a strong blue cast. Instead, overall color looks very good, with only a slight orange cast from the background incandescent lighting on the back wall, Marti's hair, and a little on her shirt. The camera's Slow-Sync flash mode also produced good results, this time with a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The longer exposure time allows more ambient light into the image, which, in turn, increases the orange cast. Still, results are pretty good. A very good job.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV in the normal flash mode, see files C7KINFP0.HTM through C7KINFP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

To view the exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files C7KINFSP0.HTM through C7KINFSP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Very good color with all three white balance settings (best with Incandescent(, and a good exposure as well.

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 C-7000 Zoom's Incandescent white balance setting did the best job here, though the Manual setting also produced good results (just a little cool to my eye). The Auto setting had a little trouble, leaving a bit of a reddish cast, but some users may prefer this as being more representative of the original lighting. (Really, all three white balance options gave much better than average results here.) Skin tones are very, and color looks good in the flower bouquet as well. The blue flowers are slightly dark and purplish, but that's to expected with this difficult light source, and the color error in the flowers is much less than I'm accustomed to seeing in this test. The main exposure was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment. This borders on being a little too bright, but the highlights on Marti's shirt retain good detail.

ISO Series:
Noise is very low in the C-7000 Zoom's images, and it has an unusually fine-grained pattern, which makes it less objectionable than it would be otherwise. The camera also does a very good job at trading off minimal detail in areas of subtle contrast to control the noise: There's very little of the blotchy "watercolor effect" that many cameras display as a result of their anti-noise processing. Even at ISOs 200 and 400, the noise level is really only moderately high, and doesn't interfere with detail definition. (Unlike a majority of consumer digicams these days, I'd consider the C-7000 to be entirely usable at ISO 400.)

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

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

Excellent resolution and detail, good color as well.

Though overall color is just a hint cool, I preferred the C-7000 Zoom's Manual white balance setting here, because of the more neutral white value in the house trim. The Auto and Daylight settings also produced good results, though each with a slight warm cast. Resolution is excellent, and detail is very strong in the front shrubbery, as well as in the tree limbs above the roof and in the house front. (I should point out though, that the C-7000 Zoom's seven-megapixel CCD stretches the limits of this poster as a test target, even though it was made from a 500MB scan of a 4x5 negative shot with a tack-sharp lens. The camera extracts nearly all the detail that's to be found here.) Details are reasonably sharp throughout the frame, with only a small amount of softness in the corners.



 

Far-Field Test

Excellent resolution and detail, moderate 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 C-7000 Zoom does an excellent job. The camera picks up an outstanding level of detail in the tree limbs over the roof, as well as in the fine foliage in front of the house. The leaf patterns and tree bark show a lot of fine detail, with good definition even in areas of subtle tonal differences. Details are sharp throughout the majority of the frame, though all four corners of the frame are soft. The good news though, is that the softness extends only a little way into the frame, better than many cameras manage. Shooting at its default contrast setting the camera loses essentially all detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams because of the harsh sunlight. Detail is pretty good in the shadows near the door though. (The lost highlight detail doesn't bother me as much here as with some cameras, because, as we can see below, the contrast adjustment setting would have let me capture all the detail in the harsh highlights, if I so chose.) Overall color looks good, and the exposure is about right. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, sharpness, contrast, and saturation series.

Resolution Series:
(Yeesh - You don't suppose they could have given us a few more image-size options, do you? ;-)

Wide Angle RAW Data Uncompressed
TIFF
"Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
3,072 x 2,304
C7KFAR.ORF
C7KFAR.TIF
C7KFAR3072F
C7KFAR3072N
2,592 x 1,944
-
-
C7KFAR2592
-
2,288 x 1,712
-
-
C7KFAR2288
-
2,048 x 1,536
-
-
C7KFAR2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
-
-
C7KFAR1600
-
1,280 x 960
-
-
C7KFAR1280
-
1,024 x 768
-
-
C7KFAR1024
-
640 x 480
-
-
C7KFAR0640
-


ISO Series:
As with the Indoor Portrait shots, surprisingly low noise, even at ISO 400, although some subtle subject detail is traded away at the highest ISOs.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Sharpness Series:
A very nice range of in-camera sharpening control as well. The default strikes a good balance between apparent sharpness and image artifacts, and even the maximum setting coarsens the fine detail less than I've come to expect. The lowest setting results in very soft images that take unsharp masking in Photoshop exceptionally well. (Try 250-300% at a radius of 0.3 pixels, to see the detail really pop.)

Sharpness Series
-5
-3
Normal
+1
+5


Contrast Series:
As before, an unusually well-implemented contrast adjustment, affecting both highlights and shadows, with a very broad range of control.

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


Saturation Series:
The same story with the saturation adjustment: A broad range of control, with very fine steps.
Saturation Series
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1
+3
+5



 

Lens Zoom Range

An excellent 5x 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 (5x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The C-7000 Zoom's lens is equivalent to a 38-190mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a pretty substantial telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
5x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Slightly cool color with the Manual white balance, but pretty good overall. Excellent detail and resolution.

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 C-7000 Zoom's Manual white balance setting produced slightly cool color here, but I felt it was the best overall. The Auto setting resulted in a strong warm cast, and the Daylight setting had a stronger red cast. The models' skin tones are pale, but the blue robe looks about right. Resolution is excellent, as the embroidery on the blue robe and red vest show a lot of fine detail. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the C-7000 Zoom are definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Standard Macro with Flash
Super Macro Shot

Great performance in Super macro mode, about average results in standard mode. Flash throttles down, but the lens casts a shadow.

The C-7000 Zoom turned in about an average performance in the macro category with its normal macro mode, capturing a minimum area of 3.27 x 2.45 inches (83 x 62millimeters). However, in Super Macro mode, the camera captured a very tiny minimum area measuring 1.17 x 0.88 inches (30 x 22 millimeters). Resolution is very high in both shots, with excellent fine detail. (Although, the dollar bill is blurred in the larger frame because the camera likely judged focus from the coins and brooch.) Details are soft in the corners of both images, but sharp in the center. (Most digicams I test show a lot of softness in the corners of the frame in their macro modes.) The C-7000 Zoom's flash had a little trouble here, as it was partially blocked by the camera's lens. However, the flash did manage to throttle down for the macro area. The flash is (understandably) disabled in the super macro mode, so plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots.



 

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

Good color and exposure, with low image noise.

I chose the Manual white balance setting for this shot, though the Auto setting also produced very good results. (The Daylight setting resulted in a warm cast.) I shot this with -0.3EV of exposure compensation, as the default exposure was a little bright-looking. The resulting image is just slightly dark, but the C-7000 Zoom distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well, and holds a surprising amount of detail in the deep shadows of the charcoal briquettes. The large color blocks are pretty accurate, although the bright cyan block is shifted toward blue a fair bit. Saturation is excellent, neither too much nor too little across most of the spectrum. The exceptions are the red block, which (as is almost always the case) is a little oversaturated, albeit less than usual, and the yellow block, which is a bit undersaturated. As noted, there's good detail in the deep shadows, despite the slight underexposure, and noise is fairly low as well, with good saturation. Even the strong red and blue primary color blocks are fairly in check. Detail is good in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, and image noise is low.


Now, for the REAL technoids, Imatest!

I've recently begun using Norman Koren's excellent "Imatest" analysis program for quantitative, thoroughly objective analysis of digicam test images. For those interested, I've prepared a page summarizing what Imatest showed me about the C-7000's images.


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
-5
-3
-1
Normal
+1
+3
+5


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


Color Series:

Color Series
Black & White
Sepia



 

Low-Light Tests

Good low-light performance, with good color and comparatively low image noise. Good low-light autofocus performance too. (Easily able to handle lighting 1/4 the brightness of typical city night scenes.)

The C-7000 Zoom produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, with good color at both the 200 and 400 ISO settings. At ISO 100, images were bright as low as 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux), and images captured at ISO 80 were bright as low as 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux), though you could arguably use the image taken at 1/8 foot-candle. Color is good with the Auto white balance setting, though a slight warm cast increases in dimmer shots. Noise is comparatively low here. Even at ISO 400, image noise is only moderate, better than most digicams on the market. The camera's Noise Reduction option doesn't really have a very strong effect on noise, as shots taken with and without it enabled are very similar. (This is actually to the camera/sensor's credit: The level of "hot pixels" is amazingly low with no noise reduction, so there's not an awful lot for the noise reduction to do when it's turned on.) The C-7000 also focuses well under dim lighting, able to focus at light levels a bit below 1/4 foot-candle without its AF illuminator, and in complete darkness with the illuminator enabled. 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 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 C7KLL0803.JPG
3.2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL0804.JPG
6 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL0805.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL0806.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL0807.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL0807XNR.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see C7KLL1003.JPG
2.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL1004.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL1005.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL1006.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL1007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL1007XNR.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see C7KLL2003.JPG
1.3 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL2004.JPG
2.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL2005.JPG
6 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL2006.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL2007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL2007XNR.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see C7KLL4003.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL4004.JPG
1.3 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL4005.JPG
3.2 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL4006.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL4007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see C7KLL4007XNR.JPG
15 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

A moderately powerful flash, range of about 8 feet.

In my testing, the C-7000 Zoom's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, though with significantly decreased intensity. Flash power was brightest at eight feet, and fell off steadily from there, so the maximum range with the lens at its telephoto setting is about eight feet. 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 C7KFL08.JPG
1/125 sec
f4.0
ISO 80
Click to see C7KFL09.JPG
1/125 sec
f4.0
ISO 80
Click to see C7KFL10.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.5
ISO 80
Click to see C7KFL11.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.5
ISO 80
Click to see C7KFL12.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.8
ISO 80
Click to see C7KFL13.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.8
ISO 80
Click to see C7KFL14.JPG
1/160 sec
f4.8
ISO 80



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Very high resolution, 1,500 lines of "strong detail." Higher than average barrel distortion, low pincushion. Moderate chromatic aberration, good corner to corner sharpness.

The C-7000 Zoom performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 1,100 lines per picture height horizontally (almost 1,200 really), and about 1,000 lines vertically. I found "strong detail" out to about 1,500 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,800 - 1,900 lines.

Looking at the results from Imatest, the "MTF 50" numbers tend to correlate best with visual perceptions of sharpness, so those are what I focus on here. The uncorrected resolution figures are 1301 line widths per picture height in the horizontal direction (corresponding to the vertically-oriented edge), and 1285 along the vertical axis (corresponding to the horizontally-oriented edge), for a combined average of 1293 LW/PH. Correcting to a "standardized" sharpening with a one-pixel radius increases these numbers a fair bit, to an average of 1583 LW/PH, an excellent number.

Optical distortion on the C-7000 Zoom is pretty high at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 1.3 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I measured approximately 0.2 percent pincushion distortion there. Chromatic aberration is excellent to moderate, showing about three to five pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines at wide angle, but virtually none at telephoto focal lengths. (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.) Sharpness is very good from corner to corner at normal and wide angle focal lengths. At the telephoto end of the lens' range, some softness appears in the corners, but fortunately doesn't extend very far into the frame.

Resolution Series, 50mm
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
3,072 x 2,304
C7KRES3072F
C7KRES3072N
2,592 x 1,944
C7KRES2592F
C7KRES2592N
2,288 x 1,712
C7KRES2288
-
2,048 x 1,536
C7KRES2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
C7KRES1600
-
1,280 x 960
C7KRES1280
-
1,024 x 768
C7KRES1024
-
640 x 480
C7KRES0640
-


 

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



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A very tight optical viewfinder, but an accurate LCD monitor.

The C-7000 Zoom's optical viewfinder proved very tight, showing only about 77 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and only 81 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor performed much better, showing about 99 percent frame accuracy at both zoom settings. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the C-7000 Zoom's LCD monitor is essentially perfect in this regard, but the optical viewfinder could really use some help. (One of the few weak points in an otherwise excellent camera.) 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 fairly uniform.




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<<Reference: Datasheet | C-7000 Imatest Results>>

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