Olympus D-370 Test Images
|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: (385 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. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the D-370 did a pretty good job. The shot at right has a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which produced slightly dark midtones, but increasing exposure compensation overexposed the image. We shot this with the Daylight (369 k) white balance setting, because the Auto (370 k) white balance resulted in a greenish image. The underexposure leaves the skin tones a bit muddy, but resolution is pretty good for an entry-level camera. Image noise is somewhat high.
|Closer Portrait: (390 k)
Similar results to the shot above as far as color and exposure, but the D-370's fixed focal length lens distorts the model's features. (This is why you'd want a zoom-equipped camera if you need to do close-in people shots.) Color, detail, and resolution are again good, though the shadow areas have a high level of noise. Our main shot was taken with no exposure adjustment at all, as increasing the exposure compensation even to just +0.5 EV (389 k) overexposed the image.
|Indoor Portrait, Flash: (416 k)
The D-370's flash illuminates the subject well, with good intensity even without any exposure compensation (406 k). We chose an exposure adjustment of +0.5 EV (416 k) for our main shot, which brightened the image slightly and produced a stronger white value on the model's shirt. A pink cast in the background is the result of the household incandescent lighting. We also shot with the Night View (411 k) flash mode, which combines the flash with a slower shutter. The slower shutter speed allows more ambient light into the exposure, which in this case increases the orangish cast from the household incandescent lighting.
Portrait, No Flash: (441 k)
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's
white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the
household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting. The D-370's Auto
(440 k) white balance had some trouble here, producing a very orange shot.
Alternatively, the Incandescent (425 k) setting
produced more accurate results. For our main shot, we chose an exposure
compensation adjustment of +0.5 EV, as anything brighter overexposed the
image. Color is good, though overall image noise is high.
House Shot: (452 k)
We chose the Auto (452 k) white balance setting for our main selection, because the Daylight (459 k) setting produced a warm color balance. Resolution looks good for a 1.3 megapixel camera, as many of the fine details in the tree limbs and house front are clear and distinct. Color looks good as well, though overall contrast is a little high. We also noticed some corner softness from the wide-angle lens.
Far-Field Test (431 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 D-370 picks up a good level of detail throughout the frame, though details are a little soft. The extreme tonal range of the image tricks the D-370, as the camera loses practically all of the fine detail in the sunny bay window trim. The D-370 fares only slightly better in the shadow area of the porch, where the brick pattern is only faintly visible. (The odd angle on this shot relative to other cameras is that we had to go down onto the street to get close enough for the house to fill the field of view, which put us below it, looking up.)
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 and the lens at wide angle with digital zoom enabled. The D-370's fixed focal length lens is equivalent to a 35mm lens on a standard, 35mm film camera.
Poster (444 k)
The D-370 has some trouble with the color on the Musicians Poster, perhaps due to the overwhelming amount of blue in the image. Both the Auto (444 k) and Daylight (442 k) white balance settings produced warm, greenish shots. (The Daylight setting produced the stronger color cast.) Despite the color cast, skin tones are reasonably accurate, and the blue of the Oriental model's robe is quite pure, although somewhat greenish (many digicams reproduce this with a purplish tint). Resolution and detail are good, but again with a moderately high level of image noise present.
Macro Shot (435 k)
Because of its wide angle lens and limited focusing range, the D-370's macro capabilities are very limited. The camera captures a rather large minimum area of 9.88 x 7.41 inches (251.01 x 188.26 millimeters). Color is good, but details are very soft. The D-370's flash (453 k) does a reasonably good job of throttling down for the macro area, though the shiny coin causes a bright glare and flash coverage is a little uneven.
"Davebox" Test Target (390 k)
We shot samples of this target using the Auto (390 k) and Daylight (398 k) white balance settings, choosing the Auto setting as the most accurate. (The Daylight setting produces a warm cast.) Exposure looks good, with the camera capturing good tonal distribution, particularly in the Q60 target. Color is accurate and vibrant, though contrast is a little high. Good detail in the shadow and highlight areas as well.
The D-370's full automatic exposure control limits its low-light capability. The camera captured bright, clear images at light levels only as low as two foot-candles (22 lux), which is just slightly brighter than a well-lit city street at night. At the one foot-candle (11 lux) light level, the camera produced a slightly darker image, which could be brightened with image adjustment software on a computer. Noise is high, particularly at the lower light levels, where the camera automatically increased its ISO to 400. (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
Olympus rates the D-370's flash as effective to a distance of eight feet (2.5 meters) from the camera, which agrees with our test results. We found the D-370's flash brightest at eight feet from the target, decreasing in intensity with each additional foot of distance. NOTE though, that the D-370 automatically boosts its ISO speed in low light situations. This gives it good flash range, but significantly increases image noise. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
(WG-18) Resolution Test (364 k)
The D-370 did pretty well on our "laboratory" resolution test chart, considering its 1.3-megapixel CCD. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 550 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. We found "strong detail" out to at least 650 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 800 lines.
Optical distortion from the D-370's wide angle lens is about average, as we measured an approximate 0.47 percent barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is very low, showing only about one or two faint pixels of coloration 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
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
The D-370's optical viewfinder is very tight, showing approximately 82 percent frame accuracy. The LCD monitor fares much better, showing approximately 98 percent of the image area. Given that we generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the D-370's LCD monitor performs well here. When using the optical viewfinder, you'll need to be aware that the camera is actually photographing a larger area than what you see. Flash distribution is brightest at the center of the target, with strong falloff in the corners and light falloff at the edges.
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