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Digital Cameras - Nikon Coolpix S1 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 very good color. Contrast is slightly high, but pretty good shadow detail.

  • Exposure compensation: +1.0 EV, a little higher than average. (The image is really too bright at this level, but the shot at +0.7 EV looked way too dark.)
  • Contrast/Tone: Slightly high, some highlight detail lost, but pretty good midtones.
  • White Balance: Auto is best, Daylight slightly yellow, and Manual slightly red.
  • Color accuracy: Good, blues look about right, yellows and greens good as well. Reds slightly magenta, but still good.
  • Skin tones: A bit too pink, highlights on Marti's cheeks look almost sunburned.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Good, some details slightly soft. (I think the camera was focusing on the flowers, so some of Marti's hair is a little soft as a result.)
  • Shadow detail: Good to very good, moderate noise.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files CPS1OUTAP0.HTM through CPS1OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Increased resolution and detail, though again slightly high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, much less than the wider shot above.
  • Exposure/Tone: Slightly high contrast again, harsh skin tones and dark shadows.
  • Detail: Much stronger, quite sharp in the plane of focus.
  • Distortion: Good, zoom lens avoids strong distortion close-in like this.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files CPS1OUTFACAP0.HTM through CPS1OUTFACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Good results with the flash in the normal setting, but better coverage and exposure with the Slow-Sync mode. Pretty good color.

  • Exposure: Good at +1.0 EV, much brighter than the default exposure. In Slow-Sync mode, brighter exposure at +1.0 EV with better coverage.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good in normal mode, though warm and yellow in Slow-Sync mode.
  • Color: Pretty good overall. Slightly pink skin tones, but good color in the bouquet.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV in the normal flash mode, see files CPS1INFP0.HTM through CPS1INFP5.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 CPS1INFSP0.HTM through CPS1INFSP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

A toss-up between Auto and Manual white balance settings, good color, but a bit higher than average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.3 EV adjustment needed, a notch more than average.
  • White Balance: Manual best. Incandescent is warm and Auto is pink. (Some people may prefer the Auto result though, as looking more like the original scene lighting.)
  • Color: Skin tones a little pink, blue flowers a little purple, but other flowers good. Overall, very good for this light source.

  • Note: The camera was focusing on the flowers here again, so Marti's face and hair are a little soft in some of the shots.

ISO Series:
The Nikon Coolpix S1 does a good job of holding image noise in check, but it makes a heavy tradeoff of subject detail at high ISOs to accomplish this. While the effect begins as low as ISO 100, it becomes noticeable at ISO 200 and quite prominent at ISO 400. In areas of subtle contrast, the subject detail is blurred as part of the camera's effort to control noise. Shots at ISO 200 look OK when printed at 8x10 inches, but rather soft: Most users will likely be more pleased by them when printed at 5x7. ISO 400 shots are OK at 5x7, probably best viewed and shared as 4x6 inch prints.

ISO Series
ISO 50
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

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

Good color, with high resolution and strong detail. Bad blurring in the corners though.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Good detail and overall sharpness.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Strong falloff, extends down the side of the frame.
  • Color: Manual white balance best overall, though Auto is also good (just a bit reddish) and Daylight setting slightly yellow.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Relatively slight, noticeable in the shaded brick patterns though.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, with a pretty good dynamic range. Once again, very soft corners though.

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, a lot of fine detail.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very soft, blurring extends down both sides of the frame.
  • Color: Very good. (Bricks slightly more brown than in real life, but very good overall.)
  • Dynamic Range: Surprisingly good, good detail in both highlights and shadows.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Little or none in this shot.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
CPS1FAR2592F
CPS1FAR2592N
2,048 x 1,536
CPS1FAR2048
-
1,024 x 768
CPS1FAR1024
-
640 x 480
CPS1FAR0640
-


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 50
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Color Effects Series:

Color Effects Series
Normal Color
Vivid Color
Black & White
Sepia

Cyanotype




 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range.

The S1's focal length range of 35-105mm 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 warm color, but still good results. High resolution and strong detail.

  • White Balance: Though slightly warm, Daylight is best. Auto too yellow, and Manual too magenta.
  • Color: Good skin tones, if a little warm. Blue robe a little greenish, but overall color still pretty good.
  • 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. Surprisingly good flash performance as well.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 1.08 x 0.81 inches (28 x 21 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?: Surprisingly good, considering the extremely close range.




 

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

Good overall exposure, very bright color.

  • White balance: Though a hint magenta, Manual most pleasing. Auto setting also good, though a hint warm, Daylight much warmer.
  • Color Accuracy: Good hue accuracy, very bright color. Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's much brighter and more saturated than the original subject, simply because that's what consumers have preferred in large numbers. The S1 does this as well, but more so than most: While it leaves low-saturation colors (pastels and skin tones) alone, it really cranks up the saturation on bright colors. Most consumers will like this, but some will certainly find the S1's color too bright for their tastes.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Slightly limited 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 50
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Color Effects Series:

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



 

Low-Light Tests

Limited low-light performance, but capable enough for average city night scenes. Warm color and slightly high noise. Good low-light autofocus performance.

  • 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 one foot-candle at ISOs 50 and 100.
  • Autofocus Limit: About 1/2 foot-candle (about 1/2 the brightness of typical city street lighting), total darkness on nearby objects with AF assist light enabled.
  • White Balance: Slightly warm.
  • Noise Levels: High at ISO 400, moderately high at ISO 200. A bit better at the lower ISOs.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Minimal at one foot-candle, more noticeable at 1/4 foot-candle.
  • General Notes: The Nikon Coolpix S1's 2-second maximum exposure time limits its low-light capability somewhat, but at ISO 100 and above, it should do a fine job with typical city night scenes. Its autofocus system works down to about half the brightness of typical street lighting with the AF-assist light turned off, in complete darkness on nearby objects with it on. Flash range is very limited though, as is often the case with subcompact cameras.

(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
50
Click to see CPS1LL0503.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL0504.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL0505.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL0506.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL0507.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
ISO
100
Click to see CPS1LL1003.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL1004.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL1005.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL1006.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL1007.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
ISO
200
Click to see CPS1LL2003.JPG
1.35 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL2004.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL2005.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL2006.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL2007.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
ISO
400
Click to see CPS1LL4003.JPG
1/1 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL4004.JPG
1.46 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL4005.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL4006.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see CPS1LL4007.JPG
2 sec
f3.0



 

Flash Range Test

Quite dark at eight feet, with decreasing intensity further on.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Less than eight feet.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see CPS1FL08.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100
Click to see CPS1FL09.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100
Click to see CPS1FL10.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100
Click to see CPS1FL11.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100
Click to see CPS1FL12.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100
Click to see CPS1FL13.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100
Click to see CPS1FL14.JPG
1/120 sec
f5.4
ISO 100



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution, 1,250 lines of "strong detail." Rather high barrel distortion at wide angle, and fairly high pincushion at telephoto. Moderate chromatic aberration at wide angle, very soft corners.

  • Resolution: 1,250 lines both vertically and horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~800 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,500 lines

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 1.12 percent barrel at wide angle, 0.5 percent pincushion at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: Moderate at wide angle, very low at telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Very soft at wide angle, better at telephoto.



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
CPS1RES2592F
CPS1RES2592N
2,048 x 1,536
CPS1RES2048
-
1,024 x 768
CPS1RES1024
-
640 x 480
CPS1RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
CPS1RESW
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Telephoto)
CPS1REST



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD viewfinder. Some flash falloff at wide angle, none at telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: n/a, LCD viewfinder only
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Very good, 99+ percent at wide angle and telephoto.
  • Flash Uniformity: Some falloff at wide angle, none at telephoto.



S1 Review
S1 Test Images
S1 Specifications
S1 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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