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Digital Cameras - Olympus D-390 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for the 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:

Good color and resolution, though slightly high contrast and oversaturated reds .

The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why I set it up this way, and why I shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the D-390 had a little trouble.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightened the midtones, bringing them into about the right range, although losing some highlight detail in the process. I chose the Daylight white balance, though the Auto setting produced similar results (just slightly warm).

Although it's hard to see adequately in the thumbnail at right, Marti's skin tone here is quite splotchy with strong pink and yellowish patches, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are dark and rather purplish. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams to get right. For reference, the flowers are a light, fairly pure navy blue with only tinges of purple.) The camera has a very hard time with the strong red flowers too, losing practically all detail and oversaturating them quite a bit. The yellow flowers are a bit oversaturated as well, but greens appear in check.

Resolution is moderate, though shadow detail is pretty good. Details are soft throughout the frame, but image noise the shadows is moderately low.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files D39OUTDP0.HTM through D39OUTDP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Good resolution and detail, though quite a bit of perspective distortion.

Color in this close-up shot is similar to the wider shot above. The D-390's fixed focal length wide-angle lens produces significant distortion, however. Detail is much stronger here, with more fine detail visible in Marti's face and hair. Shadow detail is also good, with low noise. The shot at right was taken at the default exposure setting, which is just a little dark, though the +0.5 EV exposure proved much too bright.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:

Normal Flash
+2.0 EV

A lot of exposure compensation required, but very natural color balance with the room lighting.

The D-390's built-in flash underexposed this shot badly at its default exposure setting (not shown), requiring a +2.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment to produce the reasonably bright shot seen at right. The color balance of the flash appears to be very well matched to the incandescent room lighting, something that I like to see, as it avoids unnatural blue highlights in indoor shots like this. - Actually though, it looks to me like the vast majority of the light in this shot is coming from the room lighting rather than the flash, so it's hard to say too much about the 390's flash performance from this image.



 

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

Moderate color casts with both Auto and Incandescent settings.

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-390's Auto white balance setting resulted in a very warm cast, while the Incandescent setting resulted in a less objectionable but still prominent pink cast. I chose the warm tone of the Auto setting for the main series. While the overall color isn't too bad, Marti's skin tone is rather ruddy, and the blue flowers are very dark and purplish, while the red flowers are heavily oversaturated. The shot at right has a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is just a little bright, with blown highlights on Marti's shirt, though one notch less exposure compensation produced a rather dark image. Image noise is moderately high as well.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.5 EV, see files D39INAP0.HTM through D39INAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good color with the Daylight white balance, moderate resolution, but soft overall.

The D-390's Daylight white balance setting produced the best color here, as the Auto setting resulted in an oversaturated red cast. Resolution is moderate, with a reasonable level of fine detail visible in the tree limbs above the roof, as well as in the shrubbery in front of the house. Details are quite soft though, and more so in the corners of the frame. Corner softness is strongest on the right side, and extends a fair amount into the image area.



 

Far-Field Test

Limited resolution and dynamic range, good overall color, but a rather soft image, even for a two megapixel camera.

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 my ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this, and the D-390 performs slightly less than average. Detail is moderate in the tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house, though details overall are quite soft. The camera loses most of the detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window. This is a trouble spot for many digicams, but the distance between the camera and the subject from the lack of zoom doesn't help. Detail is also limited in the brick pattern of the shadow area above the front door, though again, it may be partially due to the shooting distance. Overall color is about right, though exposure is a little bright. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
1,600 x 1,200
D39FARLF
D39FARLN
1,024 x 768  
D39FARMN
640 x 480  
D39FARSN



 

Lens Zoom Range

Typical results for a fixed focal length lens.

I routinely shoot this series of images to show the field of view for each camera, with the lens at full wide angle, at maximum telephoto (none, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The D-390's lens is equivalent to a 38mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to an average wide angle. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
2.5x Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Some color cast and odd color tints in the highlights with the Daylight setting, moderate resolution.

This shot is often a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into producing a warm color balance. The D-390's Auto white balance system actually responded the opposite, producing a very cool color balance. The Daylight white balance produced a slightly more accurate image, though with strong red tints and a slight yellow cast. Skin tones show pronounced red highlights, and the blue robe has a greenish tint in the highlights. As is often the case with the shot, the deep shadows in the blue robe have some purplish tints. Resolution is moderate, with pretty good detail in the embroidery of the blue robe.



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A large macro area, though good detail and color.

The D-390 captured a fairly large macro area, measuring 7.18 x 5.38 inches (182 x 137 millimeters). Resolution is moderate, with a fair amount of fine detail visible in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch. Details are soft overall, but definition is still pretty good. Color and exposure also look good. The D-390's flash has a little trouble throttling down for the macro area, creating a hot spot in the center of the frame and some falloff at the corners.



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Pretty good color with the Auto white balance, although red and blue tones are significantly oversaturated.

The D-390's Auto white balance produced the most accurate color here, with a good white value on the large white color block and mini-resolution target (though slightly underexposed). The Daylight setting resulted in a warmer image, with a slight yellow cast. Although the image is a bit underexposed, the D-390 picks up the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well. Colors are bright and vibrant in the large color blocks, but the red and blue tones are badly oversaturated (particularly the large red block, which virtually glows). The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows limited detail, with moderate noise.



 

Low-Light Tests

Just sensitive enough for average city street lighting at night.

Olympus reports the D-390's maximum exposure time as 1/2 second, though a Night Scene mode is supposed to access longer shutter times (not reported by the camera, and longest exposure time recorded in the files' EXIF headers was 1/2 second). I shot this test in the Night Scene exposure mode, which produced better results than in straight Auto mode. Even in Night Scene mode, the camera captured usable images only as low as one foot-candle (11 lux), about the equivalent of city street lighting at night. Color balance was warm with the Auto white balance, and red tones were again highly oversaturated. Image noise is moderate. The table below shows the best exposure I was able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all my sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

  2fc
22lux
1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
ISO
100
Click to see D39LLN02.JPG

1/ 4 secs
F2.8
ISO: 100

Click to see D39LLN03.JPG

1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 100

Click to see D39LLN04.JPG

1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 162

Click to see D39LLN05.JPG

1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 162

Click to see D39LLN06.JPG

1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 162

Click to see D39LLN07.JPG

1/ 2 secs
F2.8
ISO: 162




 

Flash Range Test

A powerful flash, with only a little falloff at the 14 foot limit of the test.

In my testing, the D-390's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet quite well, falling off only slightly from 12 feet on. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

 

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see D39FL08.JPG

1/ 60 secs
F2.8
ISO: 64

Click to see D39FL09.JPG

1/ 60 secs
F2.8
ISO: 83

Click to see D39FL10.JPG

1/ 60 secs
F2.8
ISO: 96

Click to see D39FL11.JPG

1/ 56 secs
F2.8
ISO: 100

Click to see D39FL12.JPG

1/ 44 secs
F2.8
ISO: 100

Click to see D39FL13.JPG

1/ 46 secs
F2.8
ISO: 100

Click to see D39FL14.JPG

1/ 48 secs
F2.8
ISO: 100




 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution for a two-megapixel camera, 800 lines of "strong detail." Less than average barrel distortion.

The D-390 performed about as expected on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 400 lines per picture height horizontally, though you could argue for 600 lines vertically. I found "strong detail" out to at least 800 lines in both directions. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred around 950 lines. Consistent with my other tests, the D390's lens seems to be sharper at closer shooting distances (as with this resolution target) than it is with subjects at infinity (as with the Far-Field test above.)

Optical distortion on the D-390 is lower than average, as I measured approximately 0.5 percent barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is nonexistent, though I did notice odd pink streaks at the top of the frame. (Chromatic aberration is visible as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
1,600 x 1,200
D39RESLF
D39RESLN
1,024 x 768
D39RESMF
 
640 x 480
D39RESSF
 



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

Good results for the optical viewfinder, and a nearly accurate LCD monitor.

The D-390's optical viewfinder is only a little tight, showing approximately 93 percent frame accuracy, much more accurate than most optical viewfinders I test. The LCD monitor fared just a little better, showing approximately 96 percent frame accuracy. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the D-390's LCD monitor has just a little room for improvement, but I really like seeing the more accurate optical finder. Flash distribution is somewhat uneven, with a fair amount of falloff in the corners and at the edges of the frame.


Wide Angle, Optical

Wide Angle, LCD


D390 Review
D390 Test Images
D390 Specifications
D390 "Picky Details"
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