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Digital Cameras - Olympus D-590 Zoom Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page 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 thumbnail index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!

 

"Sunlit" Portrait:
(This is my new "Outdoor" Portrait test - read more about it here.)

High resolution and strong detail, with nearly accurate color. Contrast is high, with limited detail in the highlights and shadows.

The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digital cameras, 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-590 Zoom performed fairly well, but lost a lot of detail in the highlights due to its high default contrast.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which results in high contrast and a bright overall exposure. Midtones show moderate detail, but the highlights are still somewhat blown out . I chose the Auto white balance setting as the most accurate overall, though the Daylight setting resulted in a similar image.

Marti's skin tones look pretty good here, though with some strong red tints, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are dark and purplish from the warm cast. (Many digital cameras have trouble with this blue, which is really a light navy with just hints of purple in it.) The strong greens and yellows look pretty good, but the bright red flowers have strong magenta tints in the highlights. Resolution is generally high, but subtle detail is lost due to anti-noise processing. Shadow detail is pretty good, as is image noise.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files D59OUTAM1.HTM through D59OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Increased resolution and detail, though contrast is again high.

Though contrast is high from the high-key lighting, midtone detail here looks fairly good. The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which keeps midtones reasonably bright, but results in bright highlights and dark shadows. The D-590 Zoom's 3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion in Marti's features, and captures fairly sharp details. Resolution and detail are much stronger in this close-up shot, and definition is much better in Marti's face and hair.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files D59OUTFACM1.HTM through D59OUTFACP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+1.3 EV

Somewhat underexposed, EV boost has little effect on flash shots. Warm color balance.

The D-590 Zoom's built-in flash proved slightly weak, barely illuminating the subject even with a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. (In fact, the exposure here was only slightly brighter than the default exposure, which also proved very dark. +1.3 EV is a higher amount of positive compensation than most cameras require here, but it actually seems that the D590's exposure compensation adjustment doesn't affect flash exposures at all.) Color balance is quite is warm and orange from the background incandescent lighting, reddening Marti's skin tone and the flower bouquet.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV in the normal flash mode, see files D59INFP0.HTM through D59INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
Auto White Balance, Night Scene Mode

Very good color with the Incandescent white balance (just slightly pink), about average exposure.

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, but the D-590 Zoom's Incandescent white balance setting handled it fairly well. The Auto setting resulted in a warm cast. Though overall color is just slightly pinkish with the Incandescent setting, results are still pretty good. Marti's skin tone is a little too pink, but the flower bouquet looks good. The blue flowers are dark and purplish, but this result is almost expected, given the difficult light source here. The main shot was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is about average. I also shot with the camera's Night Scene mode, which required the same amount of exposure compensation, and produced color very similar to the Auto setting.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files D59INTP0.HTM through D59INTP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good color with both white balance settings tested. High resolution and a lot of fine detail.

Both the D-590 Zoom's Daylight and Auto white balance settings performed well here, so I chose the Daylight setting for the main shot. Resolution is very high, and detail is strong in the tree limbs, front shrubbery, and house front. Details are reasonably sharp throughout the frame, without any strong softening in the corners.



 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, with a slightly limited dynamic range.

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-590 Zoom performs well in that respect. The leaf patterns in the front shrubbery and in the tree limbs above the roof show a lot of fine detail, as does the brick pattern on the house front. Details are sharp throughout the frame, from corner to corner. The camera captures a moderate level of detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, which is a trouble spot for many digital cameras. Detail is also moderate in the shadow area above the front door. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,272 x 1,704
D59FAR2272F
D59FAR2272N
2,048 x 1,536
D59FAR2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
D59FAR1600
-
1,280 x 960
D59FAR1280
-
1,024 x 768
D59FAR1024
-
640 x 480
D59FAR0640
-



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range.

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 (3x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The D-590 Zoom's lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a modest telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
4x Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good overall color, though slightly warm. High resolution and strong detail.

This shot is often a tough test for digital cameras, as the abundance of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into producing a warm color balance. The D-590 Zoom's Auto white balance setting produced the best results here, despite a slight warm cast. The Daylight setting also produced good results, but with a slightly stronger magenta cast. The warm, reddish cast creates slight purplish tints in the blue background and gives the blue robe a greenish tint, but overall color still looks good. Resolution is high, and detail is strong in the embroidered bird wings on the blue robe, as well as in the flower garland and instrument details. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the D-590 Zoom are capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Super Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A very small macro area with good detail, with very good results in Super Macro mode. Flash works reasonably well up close.

The D-590 Zoom performed well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 2.26 x 1.69 inches (57 x 43 millimeters) in the normal macro mode. In Super Macro mode, the minimum area measured about 1.09 x 0.82 inches (28 x 21 millimeters). Resolution is high in both shots, showing a lot of fine detail in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch. Details are softer on the coins and brooch in the Super Macro shot, due to the close shooting range, but definition is still good. Details soften very slightly toward the corners of the frame, but are fairly sharp throughout the center of the frame. (Most digital cameras produce images with soft corners when shooting in their Macro modes.) The D-590 Zoom's flash throttled down a little too much for the macro area, and underexposed the shot, almost certainly due to the bright reflection from the brooch though. Much better than average Macro flash exposure.



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good color, and exposure is about right as well.

The D-590 Zoom's Auto white balance setting produced good color here, with nearly accurate white values in the large color block and mini-resolution target. (The Daylight setting resulted in a slight warm cast.) Exposure is pretty good, and the D-590 Zoom distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target quite well. Though slightly dark, the large color blocks are all pretty good. The large yellow block is a little flat, and the large red block is shifted a bit toward magenta, but overall color is still quite good, a fair bit better than average. (Here's a shot with the camera's Food scene mode, which enhances saturation and color.) The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows limited detail, with moderate noise.



 

Low-Light Tests

Good low-light performance, though noise is high and color balance is warm. Autofocus system good to a bit darker than 1/4 foot-candle, fine for average city night scenes.

The D-590 Zoom produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/8 foot-candle (2.7 lux) light level, with warm color from the Auto white balance setting. You can still see the target at the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) light level, but the exposure is quite dark. Noise is high, and the camera's autofocus system has a little trouble at the lower light levels. Since city street-lighting at night generally corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle, the D-590 Zoom can capture bright images at slightly darker light levels, but you'll likely need the flash for much darker settings. 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 sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

(Note: If you'd like to use a light meter to check light levels for subjects you might be interested in shooting, a light level of one foot-candle corresponds to a normal exposure of two seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 100.)

  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
Night
Shot
Mode
Click to see D59LL03.JPG
3.2 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see D59LL04.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO 100
Click to see D59LL05.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO 250
Click to see D59LL06.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO 250
Click to see D59LL07.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO 250



 

Flash Range Test

Slightly underexposed at eight feet, but about the same brightness level to 14 feet, although camera "cheats" by boosting its ISO.

In my testing, the D-590 Zoom's flash illuminated the test target with a weak intensity at eight feet, and decreased only slightly from that distance on. The camera "cheats" a little to get its high flash range though, boosting its ISO for flash shots over 8 feet. At 14 feet, ISO is 250, the resulting images are very noisy, and much fine detail is lost. 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 D59FL08.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 125
Click to see D59FL09.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 125
Click to see D59FL10.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 160
Click to see D59FL11.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 160
Click to see D59FL12.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 200
Click to see D59FL13.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 200
Click to see D59FL14.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 250



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Average resolution for a 4-megapixel camera, 1,200 lines of "strong detail." Average barrel distortion at wide angle. Average barrel distortion at wide angle, no distortion at telephoto. Low chromatic aberration, particularly at telephoto, good sharpness in the corners.

The D-590 Zoom performed about average on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for its four-megapixel class. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 800 lines per picture height in both directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,200 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred around 1,500 lines.

Geometric distortion on the D-590 Zoom was about average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.8 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared quite a bit better, as I couldn't find a single pixel of pincushion or barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration was relatively low, as I measured about five pixels of faint coloration. (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, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,272 x 1,704
D59RES2272F
D59RES2272N
2,048 x 1,536
D59RES2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
D59RES1600
-
1,280 x 960
D59RES1280
-
1,024 x 768
D59RES1024
-
640 x 480
D59RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,272 x 1,704
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
D59RESW
2,272 x 1,704
(Fine,
Telephoto)
D59REST



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD monitor.

The D-590 Zoom's LCD monitor proved to be fairly accurate, showing about 97 percent accuracy at wide angle, and about 98 percent at telephoto. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the D-590 Zoom's LCD monitor performed fairly well here. Flash distribution is a little uneven at wide angle, with some falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform.




D-590 Review
D-590 Test Images
D-590 Specifications
D-590 "Picky Details"
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