Olympus Camedia C-765 Zoom4.0 megapixels, a sharp 10x zoom lens, tons of features, and an affordable price!
<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>
C-765 Sample ImagesReview First Posted: 06/16/2004
Digital Cameras - Olympus Camedia Ultra Zoom C-765 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!|
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 Olympus Camedia Ultra Zoom C-765 did a good job with it, at least with its contrast adjustment dialed down.
The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment and the camera's contrast adjustment set to its lowest value. The result is bright midtones and only a small amount of lost highlight detail, a better performance in this regard than I'm accustomed to seeing on this shot. Contrast is a little high, but the overall exposure still looks good. The C-765's Auto white balance setting produced the most natural-looking results here. The Daylight setting was nearly accurate, though a hint reddish, while the Manual setting resulted in a yellow cast.
Marti's skin tones are about right, but the blue flowers in the bouquet are just slightly more purplish than in real life. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, which is in reality a light navy blue with just hints of purple in it. Still, I'd call the C-765's results here better than average.) Color looks good throughout the rest of the frame as well, with good saturation. Resolution is very high, with a lot of fine detail visible throughout the frame (even in the shadows). Image noise is moderate to low in the shadows and midtones. To my eye, the C-765's default sharpening setting is a little heavy-handed here, coarsening the finest detail somewhat, but the good news is that it's easily adjusted through a menu option. Anti-noise processing loses a little detail in Marti's hair, but it's not bad. A great performance overall.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files C765OUTAP0.HTM through C765OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Excellent resolution and detail, good exposure as well.
Though just a bit dark overall, I preferred the shot taken with a -0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment here. Even at the default exposure, highlights were very hot on Marti's face. Midtones are in the right brightness range, with good detail. The C-765 offers a generous 10x zoom lens, which helps prevent the "chipmunk" distortion of Marti's features that you'd find with a wide-angle lens. Detail and resolution are excellent, with great definition in Marti's features. Image noise is again moderate in the shadows, but with a small, tight grain pattern that makes it pretty palatable..
To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files C765FACAM1.HTM
through C765FACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Good intensity and coverage with the built-in flash, with a fairly exposure boost is required. Good color with the normal flash, but a strong yellow cast with the Slow-Sync setting.
The C-765's built-in flash performed well here, and illuminated the subject well with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, pretty typical for this shot. (The default exposure was a bit dim, but coverage was even.) Color is pretty good, with a good white value on the shirt and good skin tones. (The blue flowers in the bouquet also look good considering the lighting.) The camera's Slow-Sync flash mode resulted in a strong yellow color cast, since the longer exposure allowed more of the ambient incandescent lighting into the shot, and the C-765's flash is obviously balanced more to match daylight than incandescent lighting. The best exposure here was obtained with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, though the highlights on Marti's shirt are hot even here.
To see the full exposure series from -0.3 to +1.3 EV, see files C765INFM1.HTM through C765INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
To see the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files
C765INFSM1.HTM through C765INFSP4.HTM on the thumbnail
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Really excellent color with the Incandescent white balance setting, 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-765's Incandescent
white balance setting produced the best results here, leaving just the
amount of warmth in the image that I like to see, to preserve the mood
of the original lighting. The Auto setting
had the usual amount of trouble with the very warm-toned light source,
while the Manual setting produced a cooler
tint that some users might actually prefer. The shot at right was taken
with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is just slightly
less than what's typically required for this shot. Highlights are a bit
hot on the white shirt, but detail is still good. (These shots were captured
at the C-765's default contrast setting.) Overall color looks good, but
the blue flowers of the bouquet are dark and purplish. (Very much to be
expected, given the light source.)
High resolution with strong detail, but a tendency toward a reddish color balance.
While it was a bit on the cool side, I liked the results produced by
the Manual white balance setting here.
To my eye, the Daylight setting produce
an image that was too yellow, and the Auto
setting resulted in a slight reddish cast that I found unattractive. Resolution
is very high, with a lot of fine detail visible in the tree limbs and
front shrubbery, as well as in the details of the house front. (The C-765's
four-megapixel CCD just stretches the limits of this poster as a test
target, even though the poster was made from a 500MB scan of a 4x5 negative
shot with a tack-sharp lens.) Details are reasonably sharp throughout
most of the frame, though the corners are slightly soft. Once again, a
very good performance.
Excellent resolution and detail, reasonable 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-765 captures a lot of fine detail. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house show strong, well-defined detail, as does the brick pattern across the front of the house. The in-camera sharpening here looks slightly coarse, but not quite as strong as it could be. - You can do quite a bit better in Photoshop(tm), working from images shot with the camera's sharpening set to low.) The corners of the image are a bit softer than the center, but not too bad relative to other cameras I've tested. The camera just barely avoids completely blowing out the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams. Detail is stronger in the shadow area above the front door, the overall verdict being that the C-765 has pretty good dynamic range. Overall color looks good as well, although the image is just slightly overexposed. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, contrast, saturation, and sharpness series.
Lens Zoom Range
Excellent 10x 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 (10x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The C-765's lens is equivalent to a 38-380mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a very substantial telephoto. In addition to the 10x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom, the C-765 also offers a 14x Super Zoom setting. (The "Super Zoom" mode is a bit of a trick, basically a variation on the Digital Zoom theme. It forces the resolution to 1600x1200, and then just crops that many pixels out of the center of the image area. So you get a two megapixel image, but one that's effectively "zoomed" another 1.4x.) Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Slightly reddish color balance, but good color overall. Great 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. In this case, I went with a slightly warmer and
reddish white balance, because the overall color appeared the most natural.
The C-765's Auto white balance setting produced
a very strong warm cast, while the Manual
setting seemed too cool, with unnatural, pale skin tones. Though slightly
warm, with a reddish tint to the blue background, the Daylight
setting looked best to my eye. (This is of course, a matter of personal
taste, as someone else may prefer the cooler color balance of the Manual
setting.) In addition to the blue background, the reddish cast also gives
the deep shadows of the blue robe a purplish tint. Resolution is very
high, with strong detail throughout the frame, and great definition in
the embroidery of the blue robe. (The original data file for this poster
was only 20MB though, so cameras like the C-765 are definitely capable
of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)
Great macro performance, especially in Super Macro mode, with good color and exposure. Flash is blocked by the lens, however.
The C-765 performed pretty well in the macro category, capturing a minimum
area of 2.20 x 1.65 inches (56 x 42 millimeters). The camera's Super Macro
setting produced even better results, capturing a minimum area of just
1.37 x 1.02 inches (35 x 26 millimeters). Resolution and detail are excellent,
with strong detail in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch. Details are
softer in the brooch and coins (especially in the Super Macro shot, from
the very close shooting distance), but definition is good. As is often
the case with digicam macro shots, all four corners of the frame are somewhat
soft, particularly in the Super Macro shot. The position of the C-765's
flash directly above the lens results in a
dark shadow in the lower portion of the frame, so plan on using external
lighting for your closest macro shots.
"Davebox" Test Target
Good overall color and saturation.
Both the C-765's Auto and Manual
white balance settings produced nearly accurate color here, though I chose
the slightly reddish tint of the Auto setting over the cooler cast of
the Manual setting. (The Daylight setting
resulted in a stronger yellow cast.) The colors in the MacBeth chart are
bright and appropriately saturated, although I'd say that the bright red
and blue primary color blocks just slightly oversaturated. The shadow
area of the charcoal briquettes shows pretty good detail, with low noise,
and the camera almost distinguishes the last step on the gray scales,
while at the same time holding onto the subtle pastels of the Q60 target.
A very good job.
Good low-light performance, with good color balance. More noise than I'd have expected, based on the daylight shots from this camera though. Autofocus was effective down to 1/4 foot-candle, 1/4 the brightness level of typical street lighting. EVF is usable to very low light levels.
The C-765 performed pretty well here, and produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, at the 100, 200, and 400 ISO settings. (The image shot at 100 ISO is little dim, but still usable.) At ISO 64, images were bright down to the 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) light level, though you could arguably use the image captured at the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level. Color balance was slightly warm, and the warm cast increased as the light level dimmed. While by no means terrible, there's definitely more image noise here than I would have expected, based on the fairly low levels in the daylight shots from this camera. The noise reduction processing's effect is a little odd: While it does a good job of eliminating "hot" pixels, it clearly seems to increase the random noise in the flat tint blocks of the MacBeth(tm) chart. The camera's autofocus works down to about 1/4 foot-candle, a light level about a quarter as bright as typical city street lighting at night, and the EVF is usable at levels quite a bit darker than that, so the camera should work fine for typical outdoor night photography. NOTE though, that AF times increase dramatically under very dark conditions, to the point that it can take 4-5 seconds for the camera to focus at the darkest levels it's capable of, with the lens set to the telephoto end of its zoom range. What's more, the camera has to be held absolutely still while it's focusing, or it won't be able to tell when it's achieved proper focus. - So plan on using a tripod if you have to shoot under very dark conditions. All things considered though, a pretty good job. 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.)
Flash Range Test
A powerful flash, only a little falloff at the 14 foot limit of our test.
In my testing, the C-765's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, with only a slight decrease in intensity, a great performance that exceeds that of most digicams I test. Below is the flash range series, showing the results at distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
High resolution, 1,100 lines of "strong detail." Lower than average barrel distortion at wide angle, virtually no distortion at telephoto.
The C-765 did pretty well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart, its 1,100 line resolution being pretty typical of four-megapixel cameras I've tested It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 700 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,100 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred between 1,250 and 1,300 lines.
Geometric distortion on the C-765 is quite a bit lower than average at
the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.4 percent barrel
distortion. The telephoto end fared better yet, as I measured approximately
0.02 percent barrel distortion (about half a pixel) there. Chromatic aberration
is higher than average though, showing several pixels of pretty strong
coloration on either side of the target lines. (This distortion is visible
as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field
of view on the resolution target.)
Resolution Series, Normal Focal Length (~50mm equiv)
Resolution Test, Wide Angle
Resolution Test, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
Excellent accuracy from the electronic viewfinder.
The C-765's electronic "optical" viewfinder (EVF) is very accurate, showing 99+ percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 100 percent at telephoto. As you'd expect, the LCD monitor is also very accurate, since it shows the same view, just on a larger screen. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the C-765's LCD monitor is essentially perfect in that regard. 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, though dim.
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420