Sample Images for the
Kodak EasyShare DX3900
|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 DX3900 did pretty well. The shot at right was taken with no exposure adjustment, as the default setting produced good midtones without losing too much highlight detail. (The highlights are a little bright, but not bad.) The Auto white balance resulted in the most accurate overall color, as the Daylight setting produced a reddish cast. Though slightly warm, skin tones are about right. The color on the blue flowers is almost perfect, although there are a few purple tints at the edges of the petals. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams to get right.) Resolution is high, with a lot of fine detail visible throughout the frame. Details are a hint soft, but definition is good. The shadow areas also show good detail, with moderate noise. Overall, an excellent performance.
Similar results to the shot above, though with increased resolution and slightly sharper details. The image at right has a +0.5 EV exposure adjustment, as the +1.0 EV setting was much too bright. The DX3900's 2x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features, and produces sharp details. (You really need a zoom lens to take close up people shots like this, or their faces will come out looking like a chipmunks...) Resolution is even higher in this shot, with stronger detail in Marti's face and hair. Her hair, necklace, and flower bouquet all have very good detail. Shadow detail is also good, though again with only moderate noise.
|Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Good flash intensity, with excellent(!) color too.
The DX3900 did a very nice job on this shot, as the onboard flash illuminated the subject fairly evenly. Overall exposure is bright and accurate, with vibrant color and good lighting on the model's features. The automatically-selected shutter speed was long enough to let in some ambient light, which evens out the exposure. The background incandescent lighting produces a very slight yellow cast on the back wall, but isn't too strong. An excellent performance.
Portrait, No Flash:
Good color and 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, and the DX3900 handled the challenge well. Both the Auto and Incandescent white balance settings produced nearly accurate (but slightly warm) results. The Auto setting resulted in a slight red cast, while the Incandescent setting had a stronger yellow tint. Despite the slight red cast, overall color looks good, though the blue flowers in the bouquet are dark and purplish. The main image has a +0.5 EV exposure adjustment. Very natural color under this difficult light source, much better than average.
To see the full exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files DX39INAP0.HTM through DX39INAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Great resolution and color.
Both the Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced good results here, though the Daylight setting was just a hint warm. Color is accurate with good saturation under the Auto white balance, though the greens are close to being oversaturated. 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 just a hint soft throughout the frame, and slightly more so in the corners, but the degree of corner softness is less than I'm accustomed to seeing from consumer digicam lenses.
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 DX3900 captures a lot of fine detail throughout the frame, though details are just a little soft. There's almost no evidence of increased softness in the corners on this shot though. Overall color is accurate and well-saturated, despite the slight overexposure. The DX3900 captures only the strongest details in the bright, white bay window trim, and it looks like there might be a little lens flare there from the harsh lighting. The shadow area above the front door fares a little better, with the brick pattern almost fully visible. The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO and Sharpness series.
|Lens Zoom Range
A good but slightly limited zoom range. Smooth digital zoom, but the usual loss of detail when using it.
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 (2x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The DX3900's lens is equivalent to a 35-70mm zoom on a 35mm camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Good color with Auto white balance.
The Auto white balance setting produced nearly dead-on accurate results with this shot, while the Daylight setting resulted in a reddish color balance. The Oriental model's blue robe looks about right, though the deep shadows have very slight purplish tints. (This is a tough blue for many digicams to get right.) Resolution is high, judging by the embroidery details of the blue robe. The beaded necklaces and flower garland also have strong detail. Noise is moderately high, though some of it could be the film grain on the poster.
Good macro coverage, though some corner softness.
The DX3900 performed well here, capturing a macro area of just 3.2 x 2.2 inches (82 x 55 millimeters). Resolution is very good, with strong detail in the coins, brooch, and dollar bill. Corner softness from the wide-angle lens setting extends into the image a fair amount, however. The DX3900 does permit optical zooming while in Macro mode, but the minimum focus distance increases, and thus increases the macro area. Color and exposure are both good, though the Auto white balance produces a slight warm cast. The camera's flash had some trouble throttling down at the closest macro focusing distances, creating a hot spot in the top right of the frame, and a very dark lower left corner.
|"Davebox" Test Target
Great color and exposure.
The Auto white balance setting produced the most accurate overall color here, as the Daylight setting resulted in a warm image. The large color blocks are nearly accurate, with good saturation. Almost too much saturation on some of the colors, but this is some of the best color I've seen from a digicam in a while, particularly surprising to find such good color on a relatively inexpensive model. Exposure also looks good, as the DX3900 distinguishes the subtle tonal distributions of the Q60 chart all the way up to the "B" range. Shadow detail in the charcoal briquettes is moderate, with higher noise though.
Excellent low-light capabilities, with good color and surprisingly low noise for an inexpensive consumer camera.
The DX3900's selection of manually-adjustable, slower shutter speeds gives the camera an edge when shooting in low light. With a maximum exposure time of 16 seconds, the DX3900 captures usable images at light levels well below average city street lighting at night, as low as 1/16 foot-candle (0.067 lux) at all three ISO settings. Color is good, but slightly warm and yellowish/greenish at the lower light levels. Noise is only moderately high at the 400 ISO setting, and minimal at ISO 100. The table below shows the best exposure obtained for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
|Flash Range Test
Good intensity to 14 feet.
The DX3900's flash maintained good intensity all the way to 14 feet from the test target. 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 DX3900 performed well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 700 lines per picture height vertically and 600 lines horizontally. I found "strong detail" out to at least 950 lines, while "extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,100 lines. The one glaring problem on this target though, was that the 3900 showed very strong color aliasing on the finely-spaced horizontal elements. This didn't show up in any of my "natural" test shots, but rather stuck out on this artificial test target.
Optical distortion on the DX3900 is very low at the wide-angle end, as I measured only about 0.24 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto setting did even better, without so much as a pixel of barrel or pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration is moderate, showing about four or five colored pixels on either side of the 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.) The strongest distortion was some corner softness, most evident in the Macro test shot, but very well-controlled elsewhere. Really a surprisingly good lens.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
Slightly better than average optical viewfinder, almost 100 percent accuracy on the LCD monitor.
The DX3900's optical viewfinder was a little tight, showing a frame accuracy of approximately 87 percent at wide angle and telephoto. The LCD monitor was much more accurate, almost a little "loose," showing a frame accuracy of close to 100 percent at wide angle and telephoto. I say "loose" because the images framed with the LCD monitor are actually shifted upward slightly, cutting off the top of the frame slightly, just cropping out the top measurement line. Since I normally prefer to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the DX3900 did a great job in this respect. Flash distribution at wide angle is somewhat uneven, with a lot of falloff at the sides and in the corners of the frame. Distribution at telephoto is more even, though with some slight falloff in the corners.
Back to the Main DX3900 Review
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