Digital Cameras - Kodak DC200 Plus Test Images
|Outdoor portrait: (212k) The outdoor portrait shot captured by the DC200 Plus shows excellent color, with natural skin tones, and bright, pure primary colors, as seen in the blue, red, and yellow flowers. As is normally the case with this "high key" shot, we used the DC200 Plus' exposure compensation to boost the default exposure here by a full f-stop (EV-value) for the main shot (212k). This resulted in barely-preserved highlight detail, while preserving the shadows as well. Sharpness and detail are a little weak, relative to the camera's resolution level, but we have to emphasize the color: It's nearly perfect, particularly in the strong blues of the flowers and the model's pants, which have caused problems for many much more expensive cameras. Without exposure compensation, the camera produced this shot (204k), which is rather dark, a very typical result for this photo, and an example of why you need an exposure-compensation adjustment on a digital camera. A boost of 1/2 f-stop (0.5 EV) resulted in this shot (212k), which is better, but still a bit too dark for our tastes.)|
|Closer portrait: (196k) With the model's face filling more of the frame, the autoexposure system of the DC200 Plus did a better job here, but still required a half-stop (0.5 EV) exposure boost to produce the desired result. (For comparison, here are samples shot at the default exposure (200k), and with a full stop boost (192k).) The slightly wide-angle lens resulted in some distortion of the model's face (overemphasizing her nose, producing a rather rounded visage overall), meaning that the DC200 Plus probably wouldn't be your first choice for serious digital portraiture. As with standard outdoor portrait shot above though, the color and tonal balance is excellent, upholding the Kodak trademark of great color. Detail is somewhat lacking though, as seen in the somewhat soft appearance of the model's hair. Overall a very pleasing exposure, if a bit soft in the details.|
|Indoor portrait, flash: (244k) This shot is very tricky for most digital cameras, due to the vastly different color balance of the flash and household tungsten lighting. The fairly bright incandescent lighting means relatively little flash is needed, which generally results in some odd colors in the final picture. The DC200 Plus responded fairly typically here, producing rather blue highlights wherever the flash illumination dominated, and warmer tones elsewhere. This shot is a little dark: We discovered belatedly that the exposure-compensation adjustment works when the flash is active too, boosting overall brightness (of both the ambient and flash lighting) somewhat, albeit not as strongly as when used with ambient lighting only.|
|Indoor portrait, no flash: (252k) This subject is a very tough test of a camera's white-balance capabilities, given the strong yellow cast of the household incandescent lighting it's shot under. We generally find that the cameras' default exposure settings produce rather dark images, as shown in this shot (236k), taken with no exposure compensation adjustment. Here's a series of shots, each taken with a half-stop (0.5 EV) more exposure, or compensation adjustments of +0.5EV (244k), +1.0 EV (240k), +1.5 EV (252k), and +2.0 EV (256k). This shows the value of playing with the exposure compensation adjustment: Of the series, the +1.5 EV sample (252k) is far superior to the rest, and shows really excellent color balance and tonal range. Curiously, the +2.0 EV shot (256k) seemed to "fall off the edge" somehow, with a very strong color cast and poor tonal range. Again, this is one of the great things about digital cameras: You can easily experiment with different settings, without worrying about film or processing costs!|
|House shot: (504k)
Our standard House poster is one of our strongest tests of detail
and resolution. Here, the DC200 Plus responded well, very much on a par
with other cameras of similar resolution. Color again was very good, the
only fault we could find being a slight over-saturation of the colors. Overall
an excellent performance for its resolution and price range.
For this test, we shot a series of images, showing the camera's performance at each of its resolution/image quality settings. The results are arranged in the table below for your perusal.
Far-Field shot: (356k)
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.
poster: (344k) While this is just a picture
of a poster, the color values for the various skin tones are pretty representative
of the three ethnic groups represented. Skin tones are tough for digital
cameras, both because the Caucasian skin color is so sensitive to over-saturation,
and because all of the tones are "memory colors:" People are so
familiar with the range of "correct" colors that any deviation
is immediately obvious. We felt the DC200 Plus did a really excellent
job here, among the best we've seen(!): Skin tones are nicely balanced,
yet color saturation in the model's costumes is high, and color overall
is very accurate. Excellent job!
Again, we have a full series of resolution/image quality samples available, in the table below.
|Macro shot: (204k) - Well, with a fixed-focus, somewhat wideangle lens, it's no surprise that the DC200 Plus isn't a strong performer in the macro arena. The minimum focusing distance of 27 inches (0.7 m) means our macro subject comes out pretty small indeed. On the other hand, the DC200 Plus DOES include 37mm accessory threads on the front of the lens, allowing the use of close-up lenses with it. In this shot (316k), we've attached a stack of Tiffen close-up filters, totaling +6 diopters, which let us get down to only 6.5 inches from the subject, and capture a very passable close-up of the subject. In this usage though, you'll have to focus by actually measuring the distance to the subject, as the LCD screen doesn't have enough resolution to show you when the focal distance is exactly right.|
"Davebox" test target: (248k)
Wow! As strange as it may seem, given the DC200 Plus' low price, this
shot clearly shows some of the best color-handling we've found in any
camera, at any price point! All colors are accurate, strong primaries
are clean and well-saturated, yet the subtle pastels of the Q60 target
at bottom center are perfectly preserved as well. Highlight detail is
excellent, but shadow detail is almost totally lacking. (Although in fairness,
the black charcoal bricks are a very tough test for any camera.)
Low-Light Tests (NEW!)
ISO 12233 ("WG-18") resolution target:
(248k) (Technoids only) Visual resolution of the
DC200 Plus in this test is a very solid 600 lines per picture height,
both horizontally and vertically, better than most cameras we've tested
at this resolution level. Our one quibble is actually a feature: Kodak
has applied a fairly strong in-camera "sharpening" function
to the images, visible as slight white halos around the black letters
and other chart elements. This undoubtedly helps when printing pictures
at the maximum recommended size of 5x7 inches, but our personal preference
is for less in-camera sharpening. On the other hand, few users of this
camera are likely to want to spend the time fiddling in Photoshop that
we do, so this sharpening is undoubtedly a wise choice, given the camera's
place in the market...
Viewfinder accuracy/flash uniformity target: We were pleased to find the viewfinder on the DC200 Plus as accurate as it was. The optical viewfinder shows a well-centered view of about 90% of the final image area, making it more accurate than most. As with essentially all other Kodak cameras we've tested, the LCD viewfinder is 100% accurate, a real help in some of the critical studio shots we take.
Note: We are having some technical difficulties with one of these files that is affecting all of them. Once this is fixed, we will bring these files back on line. Thank you for your patience. (01/10/03)
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Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420