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Olympus Brio D-150

Olympus squeezes a 3x zoom lens into its slim, pocketable 1.3 megapixel "Brio" design.

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Page 12:Test Results & Conclusion

Review First Posted: 7/11/2001

Test Results
In keeping with our standard policy, our comments here are rather condensed, summarizing our key findings. For a full commentary on each of the test images, see the D150's "pictures" page.

As with all Imaging Resource camera tests, we encourage you to let your own eyes be the judge of how well the devices performed. Explore the images on the pictures page, to see how well the D150 performed, and how its images compare to other cameras you may be considering buying.

Overall, the D150 produced good quality shots, with an accurate color balance the majority of the time. The camera's White Balance system handled a variety of light sources well, with the Auto setting providing the most accurate results in most instances. Color balance looked pretty good on our Davebox target, though saturation is just a tad low. The D150 also did well with the blue flowers in our Outdoor Portrait, though skin tones were slightly orange. Throughout our testing however, the D150 does a good job.

Resolution on the D150 on our "laboratory" resolution test chart is about average for a 1.3 megapixel camera, with (very subtle) artifacts showing in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 250 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. Alternatively, we found "strong detail" out to at least 600 - 650 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 750 lines. Overall, a good performance, although the details seemed a little soft. (The detail was there, but the image wasn't quite as crisp as some we've seen.)

Optical distortion on the D150 is pretty high at the wide angle end, where we measured an approximate 1.21 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared better, as we measured a 0.32 percent barrel distortion. That said, chromatic aberration was quite low, with only two or three faint pixels of coloration visible along the target lines. Other than the high barrel distortion, it looks like the D-150 has a good lens.

The D150's lack of exposure control gave it some trouble in the low-light arena, as the camera provided usable images only down to about two foot-candles (about twice as bright as a well-lit city street at night). It could capture images quite a bit darker than that (as far as 1/4 foot-candle), but the noise levels increase and the image is very dim. We also felt that the flash tended to underexpose shots even when the subject was in range.

The D150's optical viewfinder is a little tight (but a bit better than average), showing approximately 89 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 89 percent at telephoto (though at the telephoto setting, our left measurement line is cut off). The LCD monitor fares much better, showing approximately 98 percent of the image area at wide angle and telephoto. Since we generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the D150's LCD viewfinder performs well here. Flash distribution is fairly even in the center of the frame at wide angle, though there's a fair amount of falloff at the corners of the frame. At the telephoto setting, flash distribution is very even.

With good resolution, and detail, the D150 performs well in the macro category and captures a minimum area of just 2.51 x 1.88 inches (63.81 x 47.86 millimeters). Corner softness is evident at all four corners, and color is a little warm. The D150's flash throttles down nicely for the macro area though, producing good exposures, even at the minimum focusing distance.

Despite slightly understated in-camera image sharpening, the D150 did a good job throughout our testing. Color is pretty accurate in most cases, and the camera captures a good level of detail for a 1.3 megapixel camera. The automatic exposure control limits the camera's low-light performance, however, the D150 should handle most average (daylight) shooting conditions just fine.


Conclusion
The D-150's small size makes it easy to carry along on just about any outing, fitting easily into shirt pockets, purses, or even hip pouches (great for hikers), and Olympus did a great job at miniaturizing the optical design, managing to squeeze a 3x zoom lens into a very slim profile. The point-and-shoot design is very easy to use, with no adjustments necessary to make good overall exposures. The camera makes all of the exposure decisions, leaving you the option to change image size and quality, white balance, and exposure compensation. A little weak on nighttime shooting, the D-150 nonetheless handles daylight shooting conditions very well, making it a nice option for consumers on a budget who want to take good-quality pictures without puzzling over details. Overall, a very nice "pocketable" digicam.


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