Digital Cameras - Kodak EasyShare DX4330 Test Images
(Original test posting: 10/08/02)
|I'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, I'm 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 I set it up this way, and why I never use fill-flash or a reflector with it. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the Kodak EasyShare DX4330 got the color nice and bright, but at the cost of high contrast and some lost detail in the highlights. The shot at right was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightened the midtones but lost highlight detail. The camera's Auto white balance did a good job here, producing only a slight warm cast. Skin tones look pretty good, and the blue flowers are nearly right as well (only very slight purplish tints, less of a problem than most cameras have with that color). Marti's face, hair, and flower bouquet show a lot of fine detail, even in the dark shadows. There's some noise in the shadows though, with a fairly large grain size.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.5 EV, see files DX43OUTP0.HTM
through DX43OUTP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Increased resolution and detail, although again high contrast.
Overall results are similar to the wider shot above, and the DX4330's
3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features. Her face and
hair show stronger fine detail, with good sharpness. The shot at right
was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is just
a little too bright, but the default exposure
setting was much too dark. Detail is strong in the shadow areas, with
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Good intensity, excellent color.
The DX4330's built-in flash illuminated the subject well here, leaving it bright without being washed out. The household incandescent lighting results in a very slight orange cast on the back wall, but overall color looks good and very natural. The main shot was taken at the default exposure setting. Increasing the exposure compensation decreases the orange cast, but results in a very strong flash.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files DX43INFP0.HTM
through DX43INFP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Good overall 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. The DX4330 turned in an exceptional here, with just enough of a warm cast to evoke the feeling of the incandescent room lighting. The main image was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, as anything higher resulted in blown-out highlights. Skin tones are slightly warm, and the blue flowers are a bit dark and purplish, somewhat to be expected given the very yellowish light source. Overall color is really excellent though. Noise is moderate throughout the frame, and detail is good.
To view the exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files DX43INP0.HTM through DX43INP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Accurate color with high resolution.
The DX4330 again does a good job with color balance here, producing a
nearly accurate white value on the house trim. Exposure is a little bright,
and contrast is high, once more resulting in a slight loss of detail in
the highlight areas. Resolution is high, as the tree limbs and shrubbery
in front of the house show strong detail. Details are fairly sharp as
well, though some corner softness is present.
Great resolution and detail.
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 DX4330 performed very well. The fine foliage in front of the house and tree limbs above the roof have a lot of fine detail, with excellent definition. Details are sharp throughout the frame, with only a hint of softness in the corners. Here again though, the camera's high contrast loses detail in strong highlights, this time in the bright trim around the bay window. The shadow area above the front door fares slightly better, showing most of the brick pattern. The camera's automatic white balance produced accurate color, though the red bricks are slightly pale and yellowish (likely from the overall slight overexposure). The table below shows the standard resolution and quality series.
Lens Zoom Range
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 DX4330's lens is equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm camera, just slightly more telephoto than the 35-105mm range that seems "standard" on 3x zoom digicams. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Good color and resolution, a little dark and contrasty though.
This shot is typically a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of
blue in the composition often tricks white balance systems into producing
a warm color balance. The DX4330 performed very well here, producing only
a slight warm cast and somewhat dark exposure. Skin tones look natural,
though the blue background has a few purplish tints from the warm cast.
The blue robe is dark, with only very faint purple tints in the deep shadows
(good performance here). Resolution is high, judging by the fine detail
in the embroidery of the blue robe. A very nice job.
Good performance, although the flash has trouble this close.
The DX4330 captured an average-sized macro area, at 3.07 x 2.05 inches
(78.0 x 52.0 millimeters). Resolution is high, with strong detail in the
dollar bill, coins and brooch. Corner softness is much stronger on this
shot, extending far into the frame from each corner. (A typical digicam
problem in ultra-closeups like this, but the DX4330 shows it more strongly
than most.) The DX4330's flash almost throttles
down for the macro area, though its position on the camera is too high
and to the right to illuminate the area well. The brooch has a bright
hot spot, and the lower left corner is in deep shadow. Overall, a pretty
good camera for macro work, as long as you use external lighting rather
than the built in flash.
"Davebox" Test Target
Slightly warm color balance, but excellent overall color.
The DX4330 produced a slightly warm color cast on this shot, but overall
color is still very good. The shot is slightly overexposed, but the camera
picks up the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well, up to the
"B" range. The large color blocks are bright and vibrant, perhaps
even slightly oversaturated. (The usual problem is too little saturation,
I suspect most consumers will prefer the 4330's bright colors.) Contrast
is high, but detail remains good in the white gauze as well as in the
shadow area of the charcoal briquettes. Image noise is moderate.
Sensitive enough for city street lighting, but autofocus has trouble.
The DX4330 features a "Long Shutter" exposure mode, which offers a maximum shutter speed of four seconds. In our tests, the camera captured bright, clear images at light levels as low as 1/2 foot-candle (5.5 lux), though the target is still reasonably bright at the 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) setting. Noise is moderately low, and color is about right. The biggest problem here is that the camera's autofocus system has trouble focusing in low light, even at the one foot-candle (11 lux) light level. Thus the camera can snap good photos under pretty dim conditions, but you'll need to restrict yourself to distant subjects, and use the cameras' "landscape" mode to fix the focus at infinity. 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 of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
Flash Range Test
Bright to 10 feet, probably usable to 14 feet.
The DX4330's flash remained bright out to 10 feet from the target, and seemed at least usable to 14 feet, although the intensity did fall off progressively after about 9 feet. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
The DX4330 did pretty 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 as low as 500 lines horizontally. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,000 lines. (The very best 3 megapixel cameras resolve to about 1050-1100 lines, so the 4300 did pretty well in this respect.) "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,200 lines.
Optical distortion on the DX4330 is better than average at the wide-angle end, as I measured a 0.47 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end better still, as I only measured an almost-imperceptible two pixels of barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is moderate, showing about four or five pixels of coloration 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 DX4330 had some corner softness, the strongest in the Macro shot.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
Slightly tight/variable optical viewfinder, LCD monitor almost 100 percent.
The DX4330's optical viewfinder ranges from a little tight at wide angle zoom settings (85.6 percent of the final frame shown) to almost exact at telephoto settings (99% of the final frame shown). While I like to see viewfinders as accurate as possible, I'd like even more for them to behave consistently across the zoom range. - As it is, with the 4330, you'll need to learn to frame a bit tighter for wide angle shots than you will for telephoto. Also, the view varies from being shifted down a little at wide angle, to being shifted up slightly at telephoto. The LCD monitor fared much better, at wide angle anyway, where I measured approximately 99 percent accuracy, almost perfect. Since I generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the DX4330 performs well. Flash illumination at wide angle is even, with only slight falloff in the corners of the frame. At telephoto, flash coverage is almost perfectly uniform.
DX4330 Test Images
DX4330 "Picky Details"
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