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Digital Cameras - Nikon Coolpix 5900 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, with nearly accurate color. Contrast is high, with limited detail in the highlights when midtones are set to a proper exposure range.
Contrast and saturation were slightly high with the camera's default contrast setting, under the deliberately harsh lighting of this test. (+1.3 EV exposure) The 5900's low contrast and saturation adjustments were minimal in effect, but helped slightly with the high-key lighting. (+1.0 EV exposure)

  • Exposure compensation: +1.3 EV, more than average.
  • Contrast/Tone: High contrast in the default setting, some highlight detail lost, even with dark midtones. Contrast adjustment seems to have relatively little effect.
  • White Balance: Daylight is best overall, though slightly cool. Auto is warm, Manual reddish.
  • Color accuracy: Good, blues are close to accurate, reds slightly magenta, but pretty good overall.
  • Skin tones: Pretty good, but a bit too reddish.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Good.
  • Shadow detail: Very good, fairly low noise.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files CP59OUTDP0.HTM through CP59OUTDP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

Contrast Series:
The contrast adjustment seems to affeect brightness more than anything, actually has relatively little effect on contrast.
Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:
A similar story with the Saturation adjustment, it has a strong effect on brightness. - It does have some effect on color intensity though.

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High



 

Closer Portrait:

High resolution and good detail, but again, high contrast, very yellowish color cast with the auto white balance setting.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.7 EV, about average.
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast creates harsh skin tones. Strong highlights and very dark shadows. (Strong yellow cast with auto white balance.)
  • Detail: Increased resolution and stronger detail, with better definition.
  • 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 CP59FACAM1.HTM through CP59FACAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+1.0 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+0.7 EV

Good exposure in the normal flash mode, though slightly better results in Slow-Sync (with a slight warm cast).

  • Exposure: Good at +1.0 EV, though the default exposure is quite dim. Slow-Sync mode results in a brighter exposure, at +0.7 EV.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good, very little bluish cast from the flash.
  • Color: Somewhat reddish skin tones, but on the whole not bad.

 To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV in the normal flash mode, see files CP59INFP0.HTM through CP59INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

To view the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files CP59INFSP0.HTM through CP59INFSP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Good color with the Manual and Auto white balance settings, though higher than average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.3 EV adjustment needed, a little more than average.
  • White Balance: Manual very good, just slightly greenish; Auto (very) slightly red; Incandescent warm. (Some users might actually prefer the Auto result.)
  • Color: Skin tones are red, blue flowers are purple, though other flowers good. (About average though, given the tough light source.)

 To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files CP59INMP0.HTM through CP59INMP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

ISO Series:
Slight noise is present even at the lowest ISO setting of 64, but it isn't visible unless you specifically look at just the blue channel in Photoshop(tm). Noise is held in check quite well at higher ISO levels, but at considerable cost to image detail. At ISO 400, 8x10 inch prints are very soft, 5x7 probably acceptable for most users, 4x6s should be fine for anybody.

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

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

Good color, with high resolution and good detail.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Good detail, high resolution.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Good, only slight falloff in the top left corner.
  • Color: Manual white balance is best (just slightly cool), Auto and Daylight settings both slightly warm.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: A little detail lost in the brick patterns that are in shadow.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, but a slightly limited 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 a lot of detail.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Pretty good, slight softening in the top corners, but not too much.
  • Color: Fairly accurate.
  • Dynamic Range: Slightly limited. Good shadow detail, but limited highlights. (And we were forced to capture this shot on a hazy/slightly cloudy day, so the subject lighting isn't nearly as bad as it is sometimes.)
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Very slight, in the brick pattern.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
"Economy"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
CP59FAR2592F
CP59FAR2592N
CP59FAR2592E
2,048 x 1,536
CP59FAR2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
CP59FAR1600
-
1,024 x 768
CP59FAR1024
-
640 x 480
CP59FAR0640
-


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Sharpness Series:
A good range of sharpening adjustment. "Hard" loses some of the finest detail, but looks good for inkjet prints at 5x7 inches or below. The no-sharpening images take strong/tight unsharp masking in Photoshop exceptionally well. (Try 400%, 0.3 pixel radius)

Sharpness Series
No Sharpening
Soft
Normal
Hard



Contrast Series:
As before, the "contrast" control seems to affect brightness much more than contrast.

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:
In this shot at least, the saturation adjustment does boost or cut saturation, affecting brightness only slightly.

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High


Color Series:

Color Series
Standard Color
Vivid Color
Black & White
Sepia
Cyanotype



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range.

The Coolpix 5900's focal length range of 38-114mm 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

Slightly reddish color, but still good results. High resolution and strong detail.

  • White Balance: Daylight setting best overall, though red. Auto is very warm (tricked by all the blue in the composition), and Manual is cool.
  • Color: Reddish skin tones, purple tints in the blue robe and background.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good. (Close to the limits of the poster though.)





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A very small macro area with great detail. Flash has trouble up close though.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 1.26 x 0.95 inches (32 x 24 millimeters), very small.
  • Softness in corners?: Some, but less than average. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Very close shooting range results in flash overexposure, shadowing by the lens.




 

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

Nearly accurate color with the Manual white balance, good exposure.

  • White balance: Manual setting produced good results. Auto setting quite warm, and Daylight slightly yellow.
  • Color Accuracy: The Coolpix 5900's color is generally quite hue-accurate, but it oversaturates bright reds and blues a fair bit. Cyan is shifted slightly toward pure blue, a common tactic in digital cameras, to get better sky colors. The default color will be appealing to consumers though, and the low-saturation control delivers better than average overall color accuracy overall. (If you don't like highly saturated color common to most consumer digital cameras, you may find the 5900's color handling at its low saturation setting very appealing.)
  • Shadow detail and noise: Moderate detail in the briquettes, fairly low noise.


The images series below duplicate examples of various camera controls we've already covered above. I include them here though, for our more analytically-minded readers, who'd like to see the effect of various camera controls with a well-known target like the MacBeth Color Checker (tm).

ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Color Effects Series:

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


Contrast Series:

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High



 

Low-Light Tests

Slightly limited low-light performance, with higher than average noise and warm color balance. Autofocus OK for city night scenes, or darker with AF-assist enabled. Should handle average city night scenes fairly well.

  • Exposure limit: 1/4 foot-candle at ISO 400. (About 1/4 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.) 1/2 foot-candle at ISO 200 (and arguably ISO 100). One foot-candle at ISO 64.
  • Autofocus Limit: About 1/4 foot-candle without AF assist light, total darkness (for nearby objects) with the AF assist enabled.
  • White Balance: Slightly warm.
  • Noise Levels: Moderate at the lower ISOs and brighter light levels, though increases at higher ISOs and darker light levels.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Minimal at one foot-candle, noticeable at 1/4 foot-candle.
  • General Notes: The Coolpix 5900 isn't a fantastic low-light performer, but it's certainly entirely usable for typical city night scenes. Its autofocus works down to about 1/4 the brightness of typical city night lighting without the AF-assist light enabled, and the camera can focus in total darkness on nearby objects with the AF light turned on.

(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
64
Click to see CP59LL0803.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL0804.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL0805.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL0806.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL0807.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL0807XNR.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see CP59LL1003.JPG
1.62 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL1004.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL1005.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL1006.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL1007.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL1007XNR.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see CP59LL2003.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL2004.JPG
1.69 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL2005.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL2006.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL2007.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL2007XNR.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see CP59LL4003.JPG
1/2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL4004.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL4005.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL4006.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL4007.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see CP59LL4007XNR.JPG
2 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

Slightly underexposed at eight feet, with slightly decreasing intensity to 14 feet.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Barely eight feet at ISO 64.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see CP59FL08.JPG
1/30 sec
f4.9
ISO 64
Click to see CP59FL09.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 64
Click to see CP59FL10.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 64
Click to see CP59FL11.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 64
Click to see CP59FL12.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 64
Click to see CP59FL13.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 64
Click to see CP59FL14.JPG
1/60 sec
f4.9
ISO 64



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution for its 5-megapixel class, 1,200 lines of "strong detail." Higher than average barrel distortion at wide angle, no distortion at telephoto. Moderate chromatic aberration at wide angle, low at telephoto, good sharpness in the corners.

  • Resolution: 1,200 lines both vertically and horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~800 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,600 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 1.3 percent barrel at wide angle, none at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: Moderate at wide angle, low at telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Good at wide angle and telephoto.



Resolution Series, medium focal length

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
"Economy"
JPEG
2,272 x 1,704
CP59RES2592F
CP59RES2592N
CP59RES2592E
2,048 x 1,536
CP59RES2048
-
-
1,600 x 1,200
CP59RES1600
-
-
1,024 x 768
CP59RES1024
-
-
640 x 480
CP59RES0640
-
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
CP59RESW
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Telephoto)
CP59REST


Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series
No Sharpening
Soft
Normal
Hard



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

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

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: Tight, only 72 percent accuracy at wide angle, and 76 percent at telephoto.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Very good, 98 percent at wide angle, 99 percent at telephoto.
  • Flash Uniformity: Slight falloff at wide angle (better than average though), none at telephoto.



5900 Review
5900 Test Images
5900 Specifications
5900 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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