Olympus Brio D-150Olympus squeezes a 3x zoom lens into its slim, pocketable 1.3 megapixel "Brio" design.
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D150 Sample ImagesReview First Posted: 7/11/2001
|We've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for our test shots. The Thumber data 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 Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
|Outdoor Portrait: (820 k)
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why we set it up this way, and why we don't use fill-flash on it. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the D150 had a little trouble. The shot at right has a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightened the midtones a little (not quite enough), but still left the highlights more or less OK. Increasing the exposure compensation more overexposed the subject entirely. We shot this with the Auto (804 k) white balance setting, feeling that it was a bit more natural-looking than the Daylight (806 k) white balance, which was slightly warm. Color looks good, though the blue flowers are a little greenish (a tough color for digicams to get right, often producing purplish tints), and the skin tones are orangish. Shadow detail looks good, with moderate noise. The table below shows an exposure series from zero to +1.5 EV.
Exposure Compensation Settings:
|Closer Portrait: (806 k)
Very similar results to the longer portrait shot above. The 3x zoom helps prevent distortion of the model's features, and detail is a little clearer than in the longer Outdoor Portrait above. Skin tones are again just a tad orange. As with the shot above, the high contrast shot muddies the overall color. Our main shot has no exposure adjustment at all, but still manages to overexpose the image slightly and wash out color. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.0 EV.
Exposure Compensation Settings:
|Indoor Portrait, Flash: (819 k)
The D-150Zoom's flash was strong enough in our studio tests, but appears to have been fooled by the model's white shirt here, into giving a fairly significant underexposure. The image is also quite fuzzy and soft, perhaps from a wide lens opening, or possibly from focus problems in the dimmer light. Overall, not a great performance, not up to the otherwise excellent capabilities of this camera.
|Indoor Portrait, No Flash: (759 k)
The D150 did quite well in this test. We tried both automatic (780 k) and incandescent (759 k) white balance settings, with the incandescent providing much better results. The image still had a slightly yellow-green cast overall, but color was nonetheless quite good, better than we often see even from much more expensive cameras. The image was a little soft, but not bad for a 1.3 megapixel camera. Our main shot was taken with an exposure compensation of +1.5 EV, the table below shows the results of exposure adjustments ranging from 0 to +1.5 EV.
|House Shot: (856 k)
We chose the Auto white balance setting for our main selection, as the overall color balance looked the most natural (though the Daylight setting appeared nearly identical, and both images are slightly warm). Color is good, with accurate saturation. A moderate amount of fine detail is visible, though details are somewhat soft throughout the frame. We also noticed a significant amount of corner softness from the lens, which extends a good way into the image area.
|Far-Field Test (850 k)
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 our ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this. The D150 again shows moderate resolution but slightly soft details, with significant corner softness from the lens. As we've noticed on many digicams, the fine foliage details have less definition than the linear details of the artificial surfaces (bricks, shingles). The D150 has some difficulty with the extreme tonal range of the image, losing the brighter details in the bay window (though the shadow detail under the porch is quite good). Color is about right, though the greens are a little bright and the whites have a blue cast. The table below shows our resolution and quality series.
|Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, the lens at full 3x telephoto, and the lens at full telephoto with 2x digital zoom enabled. The D150's lens covers a range equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm film camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
|Musicians Poster (808 k)
For this test, we shot with the Auto (816 k) and Daylight (808 k) white balance settings, choosing Daylight as the most accurate. The Auto setting had some trouble with the overwhelming blue in the image and produced a very warm color balance. The D150 overexposed the shot a little, resulting in somewhat pale skin tones on all three models. Otherwise, color is good throughout the frame. The blue of the Oriental model's robe is well-saturated and shows no tendency to go purple, a common problem with digicams (though the robe is a little greenish).
|Macro Shot (824 k)
The D150 performs well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of just 2.51 x 1.88 inches (63.81 x 47.86 millimeters). Resolution is good for a 1.3 megapixel camera, with great detail visible throughout the image, though details are slightly soft. Corner softness is again evident, and color is a little warm. The D150's flash (820 k) throttles down nicely for the macro area, producing a good exposure.
|"Davebox" Test Target (756 k)
We shot samples of this target using the Auto (756 k) and Daylight (756 k) white balance settings, both of which produced similar, warm results. (We chose the Auto setting for our main image.) Exposure looks about right, producing good color and highlight detail. Shadow detail is pretty good, though with a moderately high level of noise.
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 (slightly brighter than 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 refer interested readers to Mike Chaney's Qimage Pro software for a program that does an excellent job of removing noise of this sort without overly disturbing the underlying picture information.) The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
|Flash Range Test
In our testing, we found the D150's flash to be very effective, illuminating our test target all the way out to 14 feet, though intensity was a little weak at all distances. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
|ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (784 k)
The D150 performed less than average on our "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing (almost imperceptible) artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 250 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. More relevant to actual picture-taking though, we found "strong detail" out to at least 600 - 650 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 750 lines.
Optical distortion on the D150 is much higher than average 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. Chromatic aberration is low, showing about two or three lightly-colored pixels in the far corners. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Resolution Series, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
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.
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420