Sample Images for the
Kodak EasyShare DX3700
|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!|
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 the DX3700 performed well considering its limited exposure control. Most cameras with manual exposure compensation require some adjustment on this shot to get it to come out bright enough. The 3700's automatic exposure did a pretty good job of producing appropriate midtones, although at the expense of highlight detail. Its automatic white balance also produced good color, though the skin tones are a little pale (especially Marti's lips). The blue flowers came out pretty much spot on. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams.) Resolution is high, with good detail throughout the frame. The shadow areas show somewhat limited detail though, with a fairly high level of noise. (Noise is a little high across the whole picture.)
Results are similar to the shot above, though the exposure is a little darker. The DX3700's fixed focal length lens distorts Marti's features quite a bit. (If you want to take close-up people shots like this, you really need a zoom lens: Perhaps consider the Kodak DX3900 instead, or even drop down to 2 megapixels and get the DX3600. - I always advise spending the money on a zoom lens rather than more megapixels...) Resolution is higher in this shot, with stronger detail in the model's face and hair. The flower petals and leaves also show great detail, as does Marti's necklace. Shadow detail is good, though again with more noise than I like to see.
|Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Great flash intensity and good overall color.
The DX3700's onboard flash did a great job here, achieving just the right exposure level. The background incandescent lighting produces a slight yellow cast on the back wall, but overall color is good. Noise is moderately high again, and visible throughout the frame, but the DX3700's performance is really commendable.
Portrait, No Flash:
Nearly accurate color, but a little underexposed.
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 DX3700's automatic white balance system came surprisingly close to hitting the mark though. The camera responded to the incandescent lighting with a slight magenta cast, and fairly dark exposure overall. Still, results are good considering the very limited exposure controls, and the photo could easily be brightened up in the software that ships with the camera.
Good resolution and color, but slightly soft details.
The DX3700's auto white balance produced good color here, with nearly accurate saturation. Resolution is high, with good detail in the tree limbs above the roof and in the fine foliage in front of the house. Details are a little soft though, particularly in the fine foliage. Overall, though, a good job.
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. The DX3700 captured great detail throughout the frame, though details are slightly soft. Color also looks good, though the too-bright exposure results in weaker color. The bright sunlight tricks the DX3700 into losing a fair amount of detail in the white bay window trim (though the camera's lack of optical zoom also contributes). The shadow area above the front door shows stronger detail, with the brick pattern just visible (though with high image noise). The table below shows a resolution and quality series.
|Lens Zoom Range
A digital-only zoom that just crops away portions of the image to "magnify".
A number of readers asked for shots that would show the zoom range of the cameras I test, so I now routinely take the following series of shots. This particular sequence shows the field of view with the DX3700 set to full wide angle, and with the 2x and 3x digital zoom enabled. The DX3700's lens is equivalent to a 37mm lens on a 35mm camera. No "digital zoom" really magnifies anything, they just take the center of the image produced by the CCD, and throw away the surrounding area. Some "stretch" the resulting data to make a physically larger file, but the detail gets softer in direct proportion. The DX3700 takes the approach I most prefer, which is to simply deliver a smaller file in its "zoomed" photos. Digital zoom functions are OK if all you'll be doing is emailing or using the images on a web page, but if you need prints from your telephoto pictures, bite the bullet and spend the extra money to get a true optical zoom lens. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Good color with Auto white balance, with high resolution.
The DX3700 produced pretty accurate color with this shot. Skin tones are a little pale, but overall color looks good. The Asian model's blue robe is about right, though the deep shadows have slight purplish tints. (This is a tough blue for some digicams to get right.) Resolution is high, judging by the embroidery details of the blue robe and the well-defined details of the beaded necklaces and flower garland. Image noise is also high, though some could be film grain on the actual poster.
About average macro coverage, with good resolution but uneven flash coverage and soft corners.
The DX3700 captured a slightly larger than average macro area, at 5.67 x 3.78 inches (144 x 96 millimeters). Resolution is good, as the coins, brooch, and dollar bill all show a lot of fine detail. Details are reasonably sharp in the center of the frame, but softer in the corners. The camera's auto white balance produced a strong yellow/green cast, which disappears in the flash shot. The camera's flash throttled down for the macro area a little too much, producing dark shadows in the left side of the frame.
|"Davebox" Test Target
Nearly accurate color, but overexposed.
The DX3700 overexposed this shot a fair amount, resulting in weak color saturation. That said though, the color is nearly accurate in most of the large color blocks. The overexposure also causes the DX3700 to lose the more subtle tonal distributions of the Q60 chart, as the "C" range is just barely visible. Shadow detail in the charcoal briquettes is good, however, with moderately high noise.
Very limited low-light capabilities.
Well, I guess the DX3700 had to have at least one achilles heel, and low light performance is it. The camera takes bright pictures only down to about 8 foot-candles, which is about eight times brighter than a typical city night scene under normal street lighting. If you have to shoot after dark, plan on using the flash.
|Flash Range Test
Surprisingly good flash intensity all the way to 14 feet.
The DX3700's flash maintained good intensity all the way to 14 feet from the test target. (The camera's lack of optical zoom provides a glimpse of our studio!) Though the flash power was brightest at eight feet, it decreased only minimally with each additional foot of distance. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
|ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test
The DX3700 performed reasonably well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height vertically and about 500 lines horizontally. I found "strong detail" out to at least 900 lines, while "extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,050-1,100 lines.
Optical distortion on the DX3700's wide-angle lens is about average, as I approximately 0.7 percent barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is moderate, showing about three to four colored pixels on either side of the target lines, strongest on the green pixels. (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, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A worse than average optical viewfinder, but almost 100 percent accuracy on the LCD monitor.
The DX3700's optical viewfinder was very loose, showing more of the subject area than what was actually captured by the camera. My standard lines of measurement were severely out of frame in the actual shot, so I was unable to measure frame accuracy very accurately with it. The final image captured the lower left corner of the image, but chopped off large chunks of top and right side. The LCD monitor was much more accurate, showing approximately 97 percent frame accuracy. Since I normally prefer to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the DX3700 did a great job in this respect. I'd recommend using it to frame all shots. Flash distribution is dim and uneven, with strong falloff in the corners and at the edges of the frame.
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