Digital Cameras - Kodak EasyShare DX4530 Test Images
|I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for the 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: |
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 shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the DX4530 performed well, considering its fully automatic exposure and white balance control.
The shot at right was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which resulted in slightly dark midtones and very bright highlights. (The 4530 is a rather "contrasty" camera, producing a lot of punch in its images, but at the expense of highlight and shadow detail.) The camera's automatic white balance did a very good job here, although the overall image still has a very slight magenta cast. Still, skin tones are excellent, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are rendered very nicely, just slightly dark. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams to get right, and the DX4530 did very well with them.) Color looks good throughout the rest of the frame as well, though the red flowers have a slightly pinkish cast.
Resolution is very high, and details are crisp throughout the frame, although detail is flattened a bit in areas of more subtle shading in Marti's hair. Shadow detail is a little limited though, with a moderately high noise level. A very nice job all around, however.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files D453OUTP0.HTM through D453OUTP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Excellent resolution and detail, but high contrast once again.
Color and overall exposure are similar to the wider shot above, with the DX4530 again showing more contrast than I personally like to see. (Many consumers prefer more contrasty images though, so the 4530's images are likely to be satisfying to a large segment of the market.) The shot at right was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which resulted in very bright highlights, even though the shadows are also very dense. The camera's 3x zoom lens helps prevent strong distortion of Marti's features. Detail is much stronger in this shot, as you can even see the varicolored glints in Marti's hair from the bright sunlight. Once again, detail in the deep shadow areas is somewhat limited, with moderately high noise, and the highlights are pretty blown out.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files D453FACP0.HTM through D453FACP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Good intensity and coverage with the built-in flash (but quite a bit of exposure compensation needed in the normal flash mode), with very nice color.
The DX4530's built-in flash underexposes this shot pretty badly at its default exposure setting, but produces a good exposure with a +1.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment. Color is good, with only a very slight warm cast on the background wall from the household incandescent lighting. The shadow areas of the white shirt are bluish from the flash, but the overall image looks very good, with the flash and room lighting blending surprisingly well. I also shot with the camera's Slow-Sync flash mode, which produced better results at the default exposure, due to the longer shutter time. Still, I preferred the image taken at the +0.5 EV exposure compensation setting, which resulted in a similar image to the main flash shot. Once again, the flash and room lighting blended very well.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.5 EV in the normal flash mode, see files D453INFP0.HTM through D453INFP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page. To view a series from zero to +1.0 EV in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files D453INFSP0.HTM through D453INFSP3.HTM.
Very good color, an excellent job handling a difficult light source and good 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 DX4530's automatic white balance did a pretty good job here, leaving just enough color cast to suggest the warmth of the original scene. (Just about perfect, in my book.) The main shot was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which left the image just slightly dark. Increasing the compensation to +1.0 EV resulted in hot highlights though, so I stuck with the +0.5 EV shot for the main selection here. Marti's skin tones are just a bit pinkish, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are quite dark and purplish due to the warm tone of the room lighting, but overall color is very good. Noise is visible in the shadows, but not too obtrusive overall.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files D453INP0.HTM through D453INP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Pretty good color with high resolution, but a slight overexposure at the default setting.
The DX4530's automatic white balance did a pretty good job here, but overall color is a little pink. Resolution is very high, as the tree limbs and shrubbery show a lot of fine detail. (Actually, the DX453's five-megapixel CCD can probably pick up more detail than this poster has in it, even though it was made from a 500MB scan of a 4x5 negative shot with a tack-sharp lens.) Details are slightly soft, but still reasonably well-defined. Exposure is quite bright, however.
High resolution, but overexposure with the default exposure setting compromises highlight 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 DX4530 performs well, as far as overall detail is concerned. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house show strong detail, with good definition in the leaf patterns above the roof. The biggest problem here (apart from the overexposure) is lens flare, of which there's quite a bit. The flare problem is particularly evident around the very bright white trim on the front of the house, and to a lesser extent in the pine needles against the sky, with the result looking almost like someone took an airbrush to the image. As noted, the DX4530 overexposed the shot quite a bit with its default exposure setting, which results in practically no visible detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window. Detail is stronger in the shadow area above the front door, but still isn't very well-defined, despite the exposure boost. Overall color is pretty good, though the bright exposure results in pinkish highlights. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series.
Lens Zoom Range
A 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 DX4530's lens is equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Pretty good color, just slightly reddish, and good detail.
This shot is often a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into producing a warm color balance. The DX4530's automatic white balance handled the challenge pretty well, although color is slightly reddish overall. As a result, the blue background has purplish tints that aren't in the original image. The blue robe looks nearly right, although again a little purplish in the shadow areas. Overall though, color is very good, well above average for this shot. Resolution is very high, with a lot of visible detail in the embroidery of the blue robe. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB, so the DX4530's five-megapixel CCD is definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)
A nice small macro area, but a lot of softness in the corners.
The DX4530 captured a small macro area, measuring 2.52 x 1.89 inches (64 x 48 millimeters). Resolution is very high, with strong detail in the dollar bill. However, the corners are very soft in this shot, blurring the details of the coins and brooch significantly, more than seems to be accounted for by the shallow depth of field when shooting this close. The camera's flash had a little trouble throttling down for the macro area, although it can't really be blamed for the bright specular reflection on the brooch. At the closest shooting distances, the camera's lens shadows the subject area slightly in the lower left corner of the frame. (Plan on using external lighting for your closest shots with this camera.)
Slight overexposure here, and just a hint of warmth in the white balance, but excellent color overall.
Overall color is very good here, as the DX4530's automatic white balance produced only a very slight warm cast in the white color block and miniature resolution target. The camera overexposed the shot very slightly, but it nonetheless managed to just distinguish the subtle tonal variations of the pastel blocks in the Q60 target. Colors are bright and vibrant in the large color blocks, with good saturation and hue accuracy. Shadow detail is good in the charcoal briquettes, but there's quite a bit of image noise present as well.
Good low light shooting, when using manual long-exposure mode.
The DX4530 normally operates under automatic exposure control at all times, with a maximum shutter time of 1/2 second. This would limit its low light capabilities quite a bit, but fortunately there's a long-exposure mode, in which exposure times can be set manually, out to a maximum of 4 seconds. If you don't mind fiddling a bit to find the right exposure, the DX4530 can therefore deliver nice bright images down to a limit of about 1/4 foot-candle (about 2.7 lux). This is roughly a quarter of the brightness of a typical city night scene under average street lighting, making the 4530 quite usable for photography after dark. (You'll probably need to use it in its "landscape" mode though, to set the focus at infinity, as the autofocus system won't be able to work under such dark conditions. - That's why the photos below are out of focus.) In my testing, I found the color and noise levels surprisingly good, even under very dim lighting conditions. 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 sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
Flash Range Test
A surprisingly powerful flash, with a 12-foot range.
In my testing, the DX4530's built-in flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, but began showing slight decreases in intensity beyond 12 feet. I'd thus rate its flash range at somewhere close to 12 feet, a good bit more generous than Kodak's own rating of 11.2 feet at wide angle and 6.6 feet at telephoto. Below is the flash range series, showing the results with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
Very high resolution, 1,300 lines of "strong detail." Low barrel distortion, but some flare and softness in the corners.
The DX4530 performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 800 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at 1,300 lines, a very good performance. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,550 lines.
Optical distortion on the DX4530 is less than average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.5 percent barrel distortion. (The average among cameras I've tested is on the order of 0.8%.) The telephoto end fared even better, as I measured only one pixel of barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is fairly high: There's a good eight or nine pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines in the upper right-hand corner, although the color isn't too intense. (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.) There's some softness visible in the corners as well, although it doesn't extend too far into the picture area.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Resolution Test, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A tight optical viewfinder, and a slightly "loose" LCD monitor.
The DX4530's optical viewfinder is somewhat tight, showing about 85 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and approximately 84 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor actually proved a little loose, showing very slightly less of the framed area in the final image. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the DX4530's LCD monitor is close to perfect. Flash distribution is uneven at wide angle, with quite a bit of falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is very even.
DX4530 Test Images
DX4530 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area