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Olympus D-460 Zoom

Olympus updates a popular 1.3 megapixel model with improved features and a simpler interface.

<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>

D-460 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 6/14/2000

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 (362k)
This is a tough shot for many digicams, due to the extreme tonal range of the image (which is why we set it up this way!). The trick is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors and the Olympus D-460 did a pretty good job. We shot this image using the daylight (362k) and automatic (360k) white balance settings, choosing daylight for our main series because it produced the most accurate color and white balance overall. The automatic setting produced similar results, though just a shade cooler with a slightly greenish tint. Color balance looks good for the most part, although the blue flowers appear slightly darker than they really are. Still, the D460 didn't fall prey to the problem many digicams have with the blue tones in this shot, turning them purple: They're all rendered as rich, pure blues! Resolution and detail look good, very much in line with other 1.3 megapixel cameras. Detail is fairly good in the shadow areas, although noise is somewhat elevated in the deepest shadows. For our main image, we chose a +0.5 EV exposure adjustment. This was a little tricky as the shadow areas seem a little too dark in this image, but the highlight areas (particularly the ones on the model's shirt collar) are just slightly blown out. (The D460 produces very bright, "snappy" images due to its high contrast, but as a result has a harder time holding detail at the extreme ends of the tonal range.) With a +1.0 EV adjustment, the shadow areas are a little lighter, but the highlight areas are too bright. So, we chose the +0.5 EV adjustment. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +2.0 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/498
Aperture: F11
(366k)
+0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/361
Aperture: F11
(362k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/255
Aperture: F11
(372k)
+1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/152
Aperture: F11
(351k)
+2.0 EV
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F11
(366k)



 
Closer Portrait (369k)
The D-460 performs relatively well on this "portrait" shot, thanks to its 3x optical zoom lens. (The availability of longer focal lengths is a key feature if you're going to be shooting close-up people shots). As with the Outdoor Portrait, we shot in the daylight white balance mode. Our main shot (369k) didn't require any exposure adjustment to achieve a good exposure on the face without blowing the highlights (although the strong highlight on the shirt collar has lost some detail). Sharpness and detail are improved here, in both the shadow and highlight areas. Shadow detail is much crisper, although still with a fair amount of noise, again doubtless due to the high contrast. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +2.0 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/305
Aperture: F11
(369k)
+0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/155
Aperture: F11.7
(361k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/667
Aperture: F4.1
(371k)
+1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/442
Aperture: F4.1
(311k)
+2.0 EV
Shutter: 1/317
Aperture: F4.1
(251k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash (428k)
The D-460 does a nice job with this shot. We shot our first series with the ISO set to automatic and changing the camera's exposure compensation settings. We shot a range of exposures, from +0 to +1.5 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/36
Aperture: F3.2
(343k)
+0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/36
Aperture: F3.2
(351k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/36
Aperture: F3.2
(358k)
+1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/36
Aperture: F3.2
(367k)


Out of the series, the +1.0 adjustment produced the best exposure, with good looking highlights and shadows. Color balance is a little warm, but still looks nice. Next, we changed the ISO setting to 250 (428k) and boosted the EV adjustment to +0.5 EV, which also produced a very nice looking shot. Color balance was still a little warm, but the shadows on the wall are less harsh and the overall light is nice, leading us to choose this shot for our main image. The noise level is slightly higher than the other images, but remains at an acceptable level. We then set the ISO to the 500 setting and shot at +0.0 EV (461k) and +0.5 EV (428k) adjustment levels. Both images produced a more magenta color cast and much higher noise levels (as you might expect). Although there's only a single "notch" of EV adjustment between the two images, the increase in contrast and brightness seems a little more extreme than it should be. Still the wall shadows are practically nonexistent and even these high-ISO images look pretty good overall. The highlight and shadow areas both show a nice amount of detail.


 
Indoor Portrait, No Flash (416k)
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-460's white balance system had a little trouble with this shot, and wasn't able to get it exactly right (it would have been nice to see what a manual white balance option could have done here). We shot with the automatic (423k) and incandescent (416k) white balance settings, choosing the incandescent for our main series. The automatic setting resulted in a very warm image while the incandescent setting appeared somewhat magenta. (In our examples, the automatic white balance shot required a +0.5 EV adjustment and the incandescent required a +1.0 EV adjustment). Still, we liked the overall color balance of the incandescent more than the automatic, despite the magenta cast. We also shot with the 125 (396k), 250 (419k) and 500 (436k) ISO settings. We found the 125 setting to be the most accurate in both color balance and exposure, with the least amount of noise. The 250 and 500 settings brightened up the exposure somewhat, but the noise level increased proportionately and a very distinct magenta cast increased with ISO increment (the 500 setting showing the most). The table below shows a range of exposure compensation settings from zero to +2.0 in the incandescent white balance and automatic ISO settings.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/32
Aperture: F3.2
(378k)
+0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/32
Aperture: F3.2
(420k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/28
Aperture: F3.2
(416k)
+1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/19
Aperture: F3.2
(426k)
+2.0 EV
Shutter: 1/13
Aperture: F3.2
(392k)



 
House shot (399k)
NOTE that this is the "new" house shot, a much higher-resolution poster than we first used in our tests. To compare the image of the D-460 with previously tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster in both the automatic (412k) and daylight (412k) white balance settings, both pretty equivalent, although the automatic option is perhaps a bit more accurate in its color..

In this shot, we chose the automatic (243k) white balance setting for our main series, as the color balance appeared the most accurate overall. We also shot with the daylight (243k) setting, which produced much warmer results. Resolution and detail look great throughout the image, especially in the brick and shingle areas, and in the shrubbery and tree limbs. Only a minor amount of noise is noticeable in the shingles and shadow areas, some of which could be coming from the poster. We saw only a minute halo effect around light and dark edges, meaning that the in-camera sharpening does a nice job. We also shot with the 125 (399k), 250 (414k) and 500 (420k) ISO settings. Each setting produced similar brightness results, but the noise level increased with each higher sensitivity setting. The table below shows the full range of resolution and quality settings for the D-460.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Uncompressed
(TIFF)
(3606k)
Note: TIFF format - download and view in imaging program
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/108
Aperture: F3.7
(399k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/108
Aperture: F3.7
(213k)
 
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/105
Aperture: F3.7
(243k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/108
Aperture: F3.7
(62k)

We also shot with the D-460's adjustable sharpness setting, which gives a choice of Normal or Soft sharpness modes. The soft setting does a nice job of slightly softening the image, but appears to lower the contrast just a little as well. (You might want to use the "soft" setting if you planned to do extensive manipulation in an imaging program post-capture. Optimal results can be obtained by performing the sharpening on the computer, after you're finished with your image manipulations.)

Sharpness Series:
Normal Sharpness
Shutter: 1/105
Aperture: F3.7
(394k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/107
Aperture: F3.7
(384k)



 
 
Far-Field Test (396k)
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.

The D-460 does a nice job with this shot, which is the strongest test of detail of any we do (the bright white of the central bay window often tricks digicams into losing detail in that area). The D-460 didn't fall completely victim to this trap, you can see the majority of the detail around the bay window. Although the shot was taken a little later in the day and the top of the window is in shadow, you can still see a good bit of detail in the other highlight areas. We shot with both the daylight (63k) and automatic (396k) white balance settings, choosing automatic for our main series (the daylight setting produced nearly identical results). Color balance and saturation look nice overall with just a small hint of noise in the shingles. Resolution also looks good, but just a little soft. We also shot with the 125 (403k), 250 (410k) and 500 (427k) ISO settings, which produced similar brightness results but higher noise levels as the sensitivity level increased. The table below shows the full resolution/quality series with the automatic white balance and ISO settings.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Uncompressed
(TIFF)
(3606k)
Note: TIFF format - download and view in imaging program
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/214
Aperture: F10.7
(396k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/214
Aperture: F10.7
(212k)
 
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/214
Aperture: F10.7
(229k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/214
Aperture: F10.7
(62k)

Again, we shot with the D-460's adjustable sharpness setting, which produced similar results as with the House poster.

Sharpness Series:
Normal Sharpness
Shutter: 1/214
Aperture: F10.7
(396k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/208
Aperture: F10.5
(369k)



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 respectively, the lens at full wide-angle, the lens at full telephoto and the lens at full telephoto with full 2x digital telephoto enabled. These were all shot at the small (640x480) image size, so the "digital telephoto" here produces the same effect as a true optical telephoto. On the D-460, the digital telephoto function always switches to the smaller file size, since to use the large image size would require interpolation and produce a much blurrier image. (The digital telephoto function on all digicams simply crops out the image from the central portion of the CCD. Some cameras allow you to enlarge this image, back up to the maximum file size, but this is really pointless, as no additional picture information is being added.)

Wide
(62k)
Shutter: 1/273
Aperture: 8
Tele
(61k)
Shutter: 1/138
Aperture: F12.6
Digital Tele 2x
(59k)
Shutter: 1/149
Aperture: F12.6


Musicians Poster (388k)
As with the House shot, we shot samples of this image using both the automatic (201k) and daylight (202k) white balance options. We chose the daylight setting because it produced the most accurate skin tones and overall color balance, while automatic produced much warmer results. Still, overall color balance on this shot was rather toward the magenta. Color saturation looks about right in the model's blue robe, although it appears just slightly greenish. The skin tones also look good overall, but a bit warm, due to the overall color cast. Overall color casts of this sort are fairly easy to correct in image-editing software. These shots clean up beautifully in Photoshop(tm), using a single-click "auto levels" adjustment, as seen here (161k). Resolution and detail look good, with a nice amount of both noticeable in the bird wings and silver threads of the blue robe as well as in the flower garland and beaded necklaces. Just a moderate level of noise pervades the image. Again, we shot with the 125 (411k), 250 (417k) and 500 (428k) ISO settings. Here, we noticed that as the sensitivity level was increased, so did a magenta cast throughout the image. Noise levels also increased, as you would expect. Below is our standard resolution/quality series in the daylight white balance and automatic ISO settings.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Uncompressed
(TIFF)
(3606k)
Note: TIFF format - download and view in imaging program
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/90
Aperture: F3.5
(388k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/90
Aperture: F3.5
(208k)
 
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/90
Aperture: F3.5
(202k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/90
Aperture: F3.5
(62k)

Again, we shot with the D-460's adjustable sharpness setting, which produced similar results as with the House poster.

Sharpness Series:
Normal Sharpness
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F3.5
(412k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/90
Aperture: F3.5
(368k)



 
Macro Shot (395k)
The D-460 also does well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 2.89 x 2.17 inches (73.41 x 55.06 mm) at the furthest telephoto setting. Detail, sharpness and color look excellent and only a small amount of noise is visible in the gray background area. We also snapped an image at the wide angle (375k) setting, which still does a good job of capturing a relatively small area, though with slightly softer detail and resolution.


 
"Davebox" Test Target (301k)
The D-460 again performs well in this category. We shot with the daylight (51k) and automatic (52k) white balance settings, choosing the automatic setting for our main series as it produced the most accurate white value (we judge mainly by white of the small resolution target). Daylight produced very warm tones. While the overall picture came out somewhat dark, the colors are very good. The usually difficult cyan, magenta and yellow color blocks look good and reasonably accurate, as do the other color blocks in the larger chart. The D-460 also picks up the difference between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart (we've seen many digicams get confused in this area and try to blend the colors into one). The subtle tonal variations in the Q60 chart are also reproduced well, with the "B" pastel range just noticeable. There's not too much detail in the shadow area of the briquettes, we could just barely distinguish the top row and only the very tops of the bottom two briquettes. This is perhaps at least somewhat due to the low overall exposure level. Noise overall is about average for a 1.3 megapixel camera (good, but not outstanding). As with the other tests, we shot with the 125 (278k), 250 (321k) and 500 (361k) ISO levels, which produced nearly identical exposures and higher noise levels as the sensitivity increased. Below is our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Uncompressed
(TIFF)
(3606k)
Note: TIFF format - download and view in imaging program
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/247
Aperture: F2.8
(301k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/240
Aperture: F2.8
(161k)
 
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/240
Aperture: F2.8
(122k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/247
Aperture: F2.8
(52k)



 
 
Low-Light Tests
We found the D-460's low light capabilities a little less than many of the digicams we've tested. Even with the ability to boost the ISO up to 500, we only found really usable images as low as 1 foot-candle (11 lux). Below that, images were too dark, despite the ISO boost. This isn't too surprising, as the camera's slowest shutter speed is only a half a second. We were puzzled though, in that the camera produced a fairly decent image at 1 foot-candle and ISO 250, but a rather dark picture at 1/2 foot-candle and ISO 500. Given the offsetting change in illumination and ISO rating, these two images should have had about equal brightness. The D-460 may be like some cameras in that the highest ISO setting really only helps you get higher shutter speeds under brighter shooting conditions. Still, detail and color balance look good, with a minimum amount of noise at the 125 ISO setting.

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 our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

ISO 125
8 fc
Shutter: 1/9
Aperture: F2.8
(292k)
4 fc
Shutter: 1/5
Aperture: F2.8
(290k)
2 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(289k)
1 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(282k)
1/2 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(155k)
1/4 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(106k)
ISO 250
8 fc
Shutter:1/18
Aperture: F2.8
(328k)
4 fc
Shutter: 1/9
Aperture: F2.8
(327k)
2 fc
Shutter: 1/5
Aperture: F2.8
(329k)
1 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(326k)
1/2 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(212k)
1/4 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(186k)
ISO 500
8 fc
Shutter:1/36
Aperture: F2.8
(350k)
4 fc
Shutter:1/19
Aperture: F2.8
(349k)
2 fc
Shutter:1/10
Aperture: F2.8
(349k)
1 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(352k)
1/2 fc
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F2.8
(306k)
1/4 fc
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(277k)



 
Flash Range Test (New)
(This test was added in August 1999, so cameras tested before that time won't have comparison pictures available. As we go forward though, all the new models will have similar tests available). Olympus rates the D-460's flash as having a maximum range of 8.5 feet (2.6 m) in telephoto mode and from eight to 13 feet (0.2 to 4 m) in wide angle mode. We found the D-460's flash to be highly effective all the way out to 14 feet, without much brightness loss or color shift at all (just a very small hint of magenta appearing around 11 feet). We found similar results at all three ISO settings, with just moderately noticeable increasing noise levels with each higher sensitivity setting. (This again is a little odd, as the range should have increased noticeably with higher ISO settings.) The table below shows results obtained at a range of distances from eight to 14 feet at each of the ISO settings.

ISO 125
8 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(321k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(304k)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(323k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(320k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(297k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(274k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(254k)
ISO 250
8 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(332k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(356k)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(340k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(351k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(350k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(346k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(389k)
ISO 500
8 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(413k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(395k)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(367k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(373k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(412k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(418k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F4.4
(395k)



ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (340k)
The D-460 Zoom's resolution is fairly typical of 1.3 megapixel digicams we've tested: We "called" it's resolution as 600 lines per picture height in the horizontal direction, and 550 in the vertical, both numbers measured with the lens at its wide angle setting. Telephoto resolution measures about the same, but the images is slightly softer, a typical behavior among digicam zoom lenses we've tested. Digital telephoto resolution is of course much lower, about 250 lines per picture height, both vertically and horizontally. The tables below contain a full series of resolution test images, shot with wide angle and telephoto zoom settings.

Resolution series, Wide Angle:
Large/Uncompressed
(TIFF)
(3606k)
Note: TIFF format - download and view in imaging program
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/129
Aperture: F2.8
(347k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/132
Aperture: F2.8
(188k)
 
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/129
Aperture: F2.8
(169k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F2.8
(59k)


Resolution series, Telephoto:
Large/Uncompressed
(TIFF)
(3606k)
Note: TIFF format - download and view in imaging program
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/61
Aperture: F4.4
(344k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4.4
(187k)
 
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/59
Aperture: F4.4
(168k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4.4
(59k)


Resolution series, Digital Telephoto:
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/66
Aperture: F4.4
(139k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/65
Aperture: F4.4
(56k)



Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found the D-460's optical viewfinder to be a little "tight", showing about 88 percent of the final image area in wide angle (162k) and about 87 percent of the final view at telephoto (155k) (the smaller image size, 640 x 480, produced the same level of accuracy). (Note this is a change in our nomenclature: Previously we would have called this viewfinder behavior "loose", but have switched to better reflect what the user sees when actually looking through the viewfinder.) We also noticed that the optical viewfinder produced a slightly rotated final image, possibly due to a shifted CCD sensor. The LCD monitor was only slightly more accurate, showing about 89 percent of the final image area in wide angle (158k) and about 90 percent accuracy at telephoto (151k). (As with the optical viewfinder, the percentage stayed the same with the smaller image size.) We generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible: Many digicams show about 90-95% of the final image on their LCD displays, so the D-460's LCD monitor is toward the lower end of the typical range.

Geometric distortion on the D-460 is moderate to high, with the lens showing a 0.8 percent barrel distortion at the wide angle end although only a 0.3 percent pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. Chromatic aberration ranges from moderate at wide angle (we caught about two pixels of coloration on each side of the corner elements in our resolution test target), to quite good at the telephoto lens setting. (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). Flash distribution looks good, with just a little fall-off at the corners at the wide angle setting.

 

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<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

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