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Digital Cameras - Nikon Coolpix 4600 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 good detail, with pretty good color. Contrast is high, with reduced detail in the highlights and shadows. 

  • Exposure compensation: +0.7 EV, about average.
  • Contrast/Tone: High contrast, very bright highlights and dark shadows, both with somewhat limited detail.
  • White Balance: Auto and Daylight settings both slightly cool, Manual slightly warm, I chose the Daylight as most pleasing.
  • Color accuracy: Really excellent, all colors look very good.
  • Skin tones: Slightly pink, but very close to just right.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Good for its class, slightly soft details but still good definition.
  • Shadow detail: Slightly limited, moderate noise.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files CP46OUTMP0.HTM through CP46OUTMP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Increased resolution and stronger detail, but contrast is again high.

  • Exposure compensation: None required, a bit less than average. (The shot looks a little dark due to the deep shadows, but boosting the exposure compensation to +0.3 EV lost too much in the highlights, in my opinion.)
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast creates dark shadows and harsh skin tones.
  • Detail: Stronger than the wider shot, but still slightly soft.
  • Distortion: Good, 3x zoom lens avoids distortion close-in like this.

 To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files CP46OUTFACAP0.HTM through CP46OUTFACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+0.7 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+0.7 EV
Party Mode

Slight underexposure with the flash in the normal setting, but a brighter exposure with the Slow-Sync mode (though a strong orange cast).

  • Exposure: Results pretty good at +0.7 EV. (Default exposure quite dim.) Slow-Sync mode is brighter at +0.7 EV, but with stronger color cast. Party mode is a little dim, but coverage is more even.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good in normal mode, but slow-Sync mode results in orange and blue tints. (Blue from the flash, orange from the room lighting.)
  • Color: Somewhat reddish skin tones, but good color in the bouquet.

 

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV in the normal flash mode, see files CP46INFP0.HTM through CP46INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

To view the exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files CP46INFSP0.HTM through CP46INFSP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Very good color with the Manual white balance setting, though cool. Slightly higher than average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: Good at +1.0 EV, about average, although the strongest highlights are lost at this exposure.
  • White Balance: Manual slightly cool, but excellent overall. Auto is reddish, and Incandescent a bit warm.
  • Color: Skin tones a little magenta, blue flowers a bit too purple, red flowers on the pink side. (Very good though, given the tough light source.)

 

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files CP46INMP0.HTM through CP46INMP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.




 

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

Good color, with high resolution and a lot of fine detail.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Good for its class.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very slight falloff, better than average.
  • Color: Manual and Daylight white balance settings both similar and quite good (chose Manual). Auto was slightly red.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Moderate in the shaded brick patterns.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, but high contrast limits the dynamic range.

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: High resolution and good detail, about average for a 4.0-megapixel camera.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Good, very slight falloff.
  • Color: Good, slightly dark-looking though.
  • Dynamic Range: Surprisingly good, some detail held in highlights, shadow detail is a little weak though.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: None noticeable.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,288 x 1,712
CP46FAR2288F
CP46FAR2288N
1,600 x 1,200
CP46FAR1600
-
1,024 x 768
CP46FAR1024
-
640 x 480
CP46FAR0640
-


Color Effects Series:

Color Effects Series
Standard Color
Vivid Color
Black & White
Sepia
Cyanotype



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range.

The Coolpix 4600's focal length range of 34-102mm equivalents is typical of most point & shoot digital cameras. It corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a modest telephoto.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Cool, slightly magenta color with Manual or Daylight settings, but still good overall. Strong detail.

  • White Balance: Manual and Daylight settings very similar, though Daylight a hint warmer. (Manual setting produced cooler skin tones.) Auto setting too warm.
  • Color: Pink skin tones. Blue robe and background both purplish.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Strong detail with good sharpness and definition. (Close to the limits of the poster though.)





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A very small macro area with excellent detail. Flash throttles down well, but lens creates a shadow.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 1.69 x 1.27 inches (43 x 32 millimeters), very good.
  • Softness in corners?: Some, but much less than average. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Moderate. Flash throttles down well enough, but the lens creates a shadow at the shortest distances.




 

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

Good color, though slightly warm, and pretty good exposure as well.

  • White balance: Manual setting best overall, though slightly warm, Daylight very similar. Auto setting reddish.
  • Color Accuracy: Good hue accuracy, but bright additive primary colors (reds, greens, blues) are greatly oversaturated. "Real world" pictures should be pleasing to most consumers though, partly because the camera oversaturates pastels and skin tones only slightly.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Limited detail in the briquettes, moderate noise.




Color Effects Series:

Color Effects Series
Standard Color
Vivid Color
Black & White
Sepia
Cyanotype



 

Low-Light Tests

Limited low-light shooting capability, images only bright to 1/2 foot-candle. (Should be sensitive enough for average city night scenes, but nothing darker). Very limited low-light autofocus performance, barely able to focus under typical city street lighting.

  • Exposure limit: 1/2 foot-candle. (About 1/2 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.)
  • Autofocus Limit: Slightly brighter than 1 foot-candle, marginal for city night scenes.
  • White Balance: A little warm-toned.
  • Noise Levels: Moderately high, even at the brighter light levels.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Minimal at one foot-candle, but more at the lower light levels (though images are really too dark to judge).
  • General Notes: No manual ISO adjustment or exposure settings. Maximum shutter speed of two seconds limits low-light shooting. Autofocus system is only barely good enough for bright city street lighting at night. - Don't look to this camera if you're interested in after-dark available-light photography.

(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
ISO
200
Click to see CP46LL03.JPG
1 sec
f2.9
Click to see CP46LL04.JPG
2 sec
f2.9
Click to see CP46LL05.JPG
2 sec
f2.9
Click to see CP46LL06.JPG
2 sec
f2.9
Click to see CP46LL07.JPG
2 sec
f2.9



 

Flash Range Test

Bright flash to about nine feet (reasonably bright at 10), though decreasing intensity from there. Also, camera "cheats" somewhat, by boosting its ISO, making for noisy flash photos much beyond 8 feet.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Nine ~ 10 feet.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see CP46FL08.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.8
ISO 150
Click to see CP46FL09.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 187
Click to see CP46FL10.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 200
Click to see CP46FL11.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 200
Click to see CP46FL12.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 200
Click to see CP46FL13.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 200
Click to see CP46FL14.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 200



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution, 1,100 - 1,150 lines of "strong detail." Very high barrel distortion at wide angle, though almost no distortion at telephoto. Moderate to high chromatic aberration, slightly soft corners (but better than average). 

  • Resolution: 1,100 lines/picture height vertically, 1,150 lines horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~700-800 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,350 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 1.4 percent barrel at wide angle, 0.08 percent at telephoto (two pixels' worth).
  • Chromatic Aberration: High at wide angle, moderate at telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Slightly soft at both wide angle and telephoto, but better than average.



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,288 x 1,712
CP46RES2288F
CP46RES2288N
1,600 x 1,200
CP46RES1600
-
1,024 x 768
CP46RES1024
-
640 x 480
CP46RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,288 x 1,712
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
CP46RESW
2,288 x 1,712
(Fine,
Telephoto)
CP46REST



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD viewfinder, but a tight optical viewfinder. Moderate flash falloff at wide angle, only a slight amount at telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: Somewhat tight, 82 percent at wide angle, 88 percent at telephoto.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Much better, 97 percent at wide angle, 99 percent at telephoto.
  • Flash Uniformity: Moderate flash falloff at wide angle, but very little at telephoto.



4600 Review
4600 Test Images
4600 Specifications
4600 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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