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Kodak DC5000

Familiar 2 megapixel electronics in a super-rugged case make a *true* take-anywhere camera!

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DC5000 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 09/10/2000

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: (498k)
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 Kodak's DC5000 does a fairly nice job. We shot this image with the daylight (498k) and automatic (527k) white balance settings, choosing daylight for our main series. The automatic setting wasn't too far off the mark, but it had a slightly magenta cast. Color balance looks reasonably accurate throughout the image, although the blue flowers seem a little dark and the skin tones seem just a little pink. (Color saturation is overall a bit higher than reality, but this has proven very popular with many consumers, who like bright, snappy photos.) On the plus side, the blue of the flowers and the model's pants is very pure: Many digicams render this hue as a very purplish color. Resolution and detail are just a little soft, but overall fairly typical of a 2 megapixel digicam. There's a nice amount of detail in the shadow areas, and noise is at a minimum. Our main image was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure adjustment to get the best exposure on the face without losing too much detail in the highlight areas. (Although contrast was rather high, and we generally prefer digicams that provide 1/3 EV resolution on their exposure compensation control.) The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.5 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/500
Aperture: F9.5
(535k)
0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(498k)
1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(514k)
1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/180
Aperture: F6.7
(584k)



 
Closer portrait: (453k)
The DC5000 performs relatively well with this "portrait" shot. The camera is somewhat limited with its 2x optical zoom, which produced a little distortion in the model's face at this close range. - Her nose is really a little smaller than that. (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 again shot in the daylight white balance mode. Our main shot (453k) required no exposure compensation whatsoever to achieve a good exposure on the face as well as in the highlight areas. Resolution and detail look much sharper in this close-up shot, particularly in the strands of the model's hair and in the green leaves next to her shirt. A minor amount of noise is visible in the shadow areas, but isn't too bad overall. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.5 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(453k)
0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/180
Aperture: F6.7
(463k)
1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(467k)
1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/180
Aperture: F6.7
(402k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (416k)
The DC5000's built-in flash does a nice job with this test, illuminating the subject and allowing a little ambient light into the image. First, we shot without any exposure compensation adjustment, resulting in this (418k) well-lit, though slightly dim, image. Next, we adjusted the exposure compensation to +0.5 EV,(416k) which brightened the image a little more (we chose this shot for our main image). Finally, we increased the adjustment to +1.0 EV,(415k) which managed to get a little brighter without overexposing the highlight areas too much. Although the background has an orange tinge in all the images (due to the very strong color cast of the bright incandescent room lighting), the flash still does a great job of illuminating the subject without too much of a color shift. Areas shadowed from the room light appear slightly bluish due to the mismatch in color temperature between the flash and the room lighting, but the overall image is better-balanced than many cameras produce in this setting. Overall, a bright, pleasing picture.


 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (394k)
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, and the DC5000's white balance system did a great job with this difficult light source. We tested both the automatic (399k) and incandescent (394k) white balance settings, choosing the incandescent setting for our main shot. The automatic setting produced similar results, but with a slightly magenta cast. (Although the skin tones appear a little pink with both settings.) For our main shot, we chose the +0.5 EV exposure adjustment, which managed to keep the detail in the highlight areas without underexposing the shadows. Overall, a very good performance: If you plan to do a lot of shooting indoors under household lighting, the DC5000 would be a good choice! The table below shows a range of exposure compensation settings from zero to +1.5 in the both the automatic and incandescent white balance settings.

Automatic Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/10
Aperture: F3.4
(419k)
0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F3.4
(399k)
1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/6
Aperture: F3.4
(377k)
1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F3.4
(360k)

Incandescent Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/10
Aperture: F3.4
(415k)
0.5 EV
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F3.4
(394k)
1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/6
Aperture: F3.4
(381k)
1.5 EV
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F3.4
(351k)



 
House shot: (851k)
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 DC5000 with previously tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster in the daylight (917k) white balance settings.

For our main series, we chose the automatic (851k) white balance setting, since it produced the most accurate color balance and white value. We also shot a sample image with the daylight (860k) setting, which resulted in a much warmer color cast. There's a nice amount of detail in the tree limbs and shrubbery, as well as in the brick and shingle areas of the house. The image overall appears just a little soft, and the roof shows a small amount of noise. Additionally, the in-camera sharpening is just barely detectable, as we noticed only a tiny halo effect around the light and dark edges of the white trim along the roof line. Overall, a very good performance from a 2 megapixel camera, with good detail and very pleasing color. The table below shows the full range of resolution and quality settings for the DC5000.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(851k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(560k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(311k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(305k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(218k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(118k)


We also shot with the DC5000's adjustable sharpness setting. Both the sharp and the soft settings do a great job of altering the image without changing the contrast or making too large an adjustment.

Sharpness series
Sharp
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(868k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(851k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(739k)



 
 
Far-Field Test (819k)
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.

Wow, very pretty picture! This is the strongest test of detail of any that we do, since the bright white of the central bay window often tricks digicams into losing detail in the highlight areas, and the branches against the sky include very fine detail. The DC5000 nearly succumbs to the highlight problem, since there's just a minimal amount of detail visible on the window trim, but it does manage to preserve some detail there. We shot with the automatic (819k) white balance setting, because it produced the most accurate white value. Color balance and saturation look pretty accurate throughout, although the red bricks may be a touch over saturated, and the greens are very bight as well. Resolution and detail also look good, most notably in the tree limbs. As usual, we picked up a small amount of noise in the roof shingles. The table below shows the full resolution and quality series in the automatic white balance setting.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(819k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(549k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(297k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/180
Aperture: F4.8
(288k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F4.8
(214k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(109k)



 
 
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, the lens at full 2x telephoto and the lens at full telephoto with 3x digital telephoto enabled. The DC5000 provides a very wide angle, with no apparent barrel distortion. The 2x optical zoom remains slightly wide, but also without any visible distortion from the lens. Once the 3x digital telephoto is enabled, the image appears much softer and the noise level increases slightly in the window panes. Overall, the DC5000's 2x optical zoom lens is less zoom than we like to see on digicams. It works well though, and the resulting pictures are clear and undistorted.

Wide
Shutter: 1/360
Aperture: F5.6
(751k)
Tele
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(822k)
3x Digital Telephoto
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F6.7
(372k)



 
 
Musicians Poster (645k)
For this test, we snapped sample images at the automatic (652k) and daylight (645k) white balance settings. We chose the daylight setting because it produced the most accurate skin tones and overall color balance. The automatic setting resulted in a very warm color cast, possibly due to the overwhelming amount of blue in the image that the camera tried to compensate for (many digicams are tricked by the preponderance of blue in this subject). Color balance seems pretty accurate in both the skin tones and the model's blue robe, and saturation is very good as well. (We really like the DC5000's color rendition!) The DC5000 also does a nice job with resolution and detail, especially noticeable in the bird wings and silver threads on the blue robe, as well as in the flower garland and beaded necklaces. A moderate level of noise exists throughout in the image (mostly visible in the blue background), some of which may be coming from the poster. Below is our standard resolution and quality series in the daylight white balance setting.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(645k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(419k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(229k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(245k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(167k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(87k)


Sharpness series
Sharp
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(668k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(645k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(419k)



 
Macro Shot (1090k)
The DC5000 performs somewhat below average in the macro category, capturing a very large minimum area of 6.70 x 4.44 inches (170.07 x 112.86 mm). Although the DC5000's macro capabilities aren't the best that we've seen, it still produces very nice detail and resolution. Color balance looks good as well.


"Davebox" Test Target (389k)
Wow, great color! The DC5000 performs well in this test, with nice tonal rendition and excellent color. We shot with the daylight (390k) and automatic (389k) white balance settings, choosing the automatic setting for our main series. Daylight produced a very warm image, and although the automatic setting may appear a hint warm, the white of the mini resolution target actually looks quite neutral. The large cyan, magenta and yellow color blocks on the left side of the target look quite accurate as well. (We've found that many digicams tend to under-saturate these "subtractive primary" colors, but not so the DC5000.) The blues are particularly vibrant, giving the large red color block a bluish tinge. The DC5000 doesn't confuse the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart, separating them well (we've seen many digicams get confused in this area and try to blend the two colors into one). On the downside, the subtle tonal variations in "B" pastel range of the Q60 chart are only barely distinguishable. The shadow area of the briquettes shows a moderate amount of detail and only slightly higher than average noise. Likewise, the highlight area of the cheesecloth is slightly blown out and missing some detail. Not a bad job overall, though, as the colors are particularly bright. Below is our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.2
(389k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(139k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(237k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(155k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(99k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.4
(57k)



 
Low-Light Tests
The DC5000 doesn't break any records with its low-light capabilities, as we were only able to obtain barely useable images as low as 1 foot candle (11 lux). At this low level, we tried shooting with the camera's Auto ISO option, which is supposed to increase the camera's sensitivity. However, we didn't notice much improvement. Even when we boosted the exposure compensation to +2.0 EV,(459k) we achieved nearly identical results to the standard automatic exposure (262k) mode (also boosted to +2.0 EV). At 2 foot-candles (22 lux), we got good results with the standard automatic exposure (371k) mode boosted to +2.0 EV, although a slight orange color shift appeared. The image did brighten a little more at 2 foot-candles with the Auto ISO (569k) mode turned on and a +2.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The same effect occurred at the 4 foot-candle (44 lux) and 8 foot-candle (88 lux) settings, although the noise level definitely increases with the Auto ISO activated. The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Overall, we wouldn't rate the DC5000 as usable at illumination levels lower than about 4 foot-candles (44 lux). (For comparison, a typical city night scene under average street lighting is a light level of about 1 foot-candle.) This clearly isn't a camera for night shooting.... Images in this table (like all our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

8fc, 10EV, 88lux
4fc, 9EV, 44lux
2fc, 8EV, 22lux
4fc, 7EV, 11lux

Shutter: 1/6
Aperture: F3.4
(445k)

Shutter: 1/3
Aperture: F3.4
(441k)

Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F3.4
(569k)

Shutter: 1/3
Aperture: F3.4
(262k)



 
Flash Range Test
(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). Kodak rates the DC5000's flash power as effective from 1.6 to 9.8 feet in wide-angle mode, and from 1.6 feet to 7.9 feet in telephoto mode. In our testing, we found the DC5000's flash to be effective all the way out to 14 feet, with just a slight bluish tint in the highlights starting around eight feet. We'd thus say that Kodak's rating of the DC5000's flash is admirably understated. The table below shows results obtained at a range of distances from eight to 14 feet.

8 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(124k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(122k)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(116k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(113k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(113k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(125k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(137k)



 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (393k)
Visual resolution of the DC5000 in this test approaches 800 lines per picture height vertically, and 650-700 horizontally, well on a par with other 2 megapixel cameras we've tested. It appears that the DC5000 renders high-contrast objects very well, but slips somewhat when the scene is characterized by lower contrast, as was the case with the model's hair in the outdoor shots. This scene shows the excellent resolution the camera is capable of though...

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(393k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(298k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(177k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(184k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(125k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(75k)

Resolution Series, Telephoto
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(399k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(292k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(180k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(166k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(120k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/90
Aperture: F3.8
(75k)

Resolution Series, Digital Telephoto
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(138k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/45
Aperture: F3.8
(150k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F3.8
(60k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/10
Aperture: F3.8
(43k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F3.8
(33k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/15
Aperture: F3.8
(31k)

Sharpness Series
Wide-Angle
Sharp
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(420k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(393k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: F3
(374k)
Telephoto
Sharp
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(413k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(399k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F3.8
(372k)
Digital Telephoto
Sharp
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(136k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/30
Aperture: F3.8
(138k)
Soft
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F3.8
(84k)



 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found the DC5000's optical viewfinder to be rather tight, showing about 83 percent of the final image area at wide-angle (121k) and about 77 percent at telephoto.(140k) (We previously referred to this very typical viewfinder behavior as "loose," but have changed our terminology to better reflect what the user experiences looking into the viewfinder itself.) The LCD monitor was only slightly more accurate, showing 91 percent of the final image area at wide-angle,(118k) and about 90 percent at telephoto.(133k) We usually prefer to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, so the DC5000 comes up a little short. We also shot with the 3x digital telephoto,(71k) which achieved about 89 percent accuracy. We should note that the image is slightly shifted towards the bottom in the digital telephoto shot because the softer resolution of the digital enlargement makes it a little hard to frame the shot.

On a very good note, optical distortion on the DC5000 is practically nonexistent - we couldn't even see a pixel's worth of barrel or pincushion distortion at wide-angle or telephoto. Chromatic aberration is also very low, showing about one and a half pixels of coloration on each side of the black target lines. (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.) Against this white target, the flash throttles down quite a bit, producing a very dark image. Coverage is fairly even at telephoto, but there is significant brightness falloff at the edges in wide angle mode. Flash power is good, as seen in the earlier flash range test, but coverage at wide angle is poorer than average.

 

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

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