Digital Cameras - Kodak EasyShare DX7630 Zoom 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, ISOsetting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all*that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested inthe 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 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 EasyShare DX7630 Zoom had a little trouble with the high-contrast lighting.
The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. Even with such a small exposure boost, the highlights are blown out on Marti's shirt, even though midtones are dark from high contrast. I chose the Auto white balance setting for the main shot (despite a slight red cast), as the Daylight setting was too warm.
Marti's skin tones are slightly pink, and the blue flowers in the bouquet turned out dark and purplish. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, which is in reality a pretty pure light navy.) I'd generally rate the color as pretty good though. Resolution is high, and detail is strong in the flower bouquet, but the camera apparently focused on the flowers rather than Marti's face, which is a little soft. Shadow detail is limited, with a moderately high level of noise.
To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files 7630OUTAM1.HTM
through 7630OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Increased resolution and detail, but high contrast again.
Color and exposure appear very similar to the wider shot above, and contrast is again high. Midtones are dark, with limited detail, and the shadows and highlights are extreme. The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The DX7630 Zoom's 3x zoom lens helps prevent geometric distortion of Marti's features, important for closeup portraits like this. Resolution and detail are stronger in this close-up shot, with good definition in Marti's face and hair, but the finest details are a little coarse-looking.
To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files 7630FACM1.HTM
through 7630FACP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Underexposed in normal flash mode, but good results with Slow-Sync and Night Portrait settings.
The DX7630 Zoom's built-in flash proved quite dim at the default exposure setting, with low intensity and uneven coverage. The picture looked much brighter with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment (fairly typical for this shot), but the highlights are almost too bright and the flash a little overpowering on Marti's features, so I went with an exposure of +0.3 EV instead. Color balance is slightly reddish from the Auto white balance setting. I also shot with the Slow-Sync flash mode, which produced good results at the default exposure, as the longer shutter time allowed more ambient light in to balance the shot. Color balance was a little orange from the background incandescent lighting, but results were more pleasing than with the standard flash mode. The camera's Night Portrait mode also produced good results, despite the stronger orange cast.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV in the normal flash mode, see files 7630INFP0.HTM through 7630INFP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
To view the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files
7630INFSP0.HTM through 7630INFSP2.HTM on the thumbnail
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Slight color casts with both white balance settings, but well within the acceptable range. Pretty 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 DX7630's Auto white balance setting resulted in a reddish color balance, while the Incandescent setting produced a warmer, yellow cast. I preferred the overall color of the Incandescent setting, and chose it for the main shot. The main exposure was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, much less than is usually required for this shot. Skin tones look pretty good, though the blue flowers are dark and purplish (a common problem given the light source). I also snapped an image with the camera's Night Portrait setting, which underexposed a fair bit.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files 7630INTP0.HTM
through 7630INTP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
High resolution and detail, though some subtle detail lost to anti-noise processing.
Though just slightly reddish, the DX7630's Auto
white balance setting did the best job here, as the Daylight
setting was a bit warm. Resolution is high, and detail is strong in the
front shrubbery and house details, as well as in the tree limbs above
the roof. (The DX7630's six-megapixel CCD stretches the limits of this
poster as a test target. Even though the poster was made from a 500MB
scan of a 4x5 negative shot with a tack-sharp lens, the DX7630 extracts
a lot of the detail that's to be found here.) Details are fairly sharp,
but the strong anti-noise processing smudges the brick details in the
shadowed area behind the bush on the front of the house. Additionally,
details are softer in the two left corners of the frame.
High resolution and strong detail, though a limited dynamic range.
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
DX7630 performs well. Color balance is slightly red with the Auto white
balance setting, but overall color still looks pretty good. Detail is
strong in the tree limbs over the roof, as well as in the fine foliage
in front of the house, with clear leaf patterns. The brick pattern of
the house also shows strong detail. Details are sharp throughout most
of the frame, although there's a little softness in the two left corners.
A slight overexposure and the camera's high basic contrast result in the
loss of most of the detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay
window, a trouble spot for many digicams. Detail is slightly stronger
in the shadow area above the front door, though noise-reduction processing
obscures the finer details here. The table below shows a standard resolution
and quality series, followed by ISO, sharpness, and color series.
Lens Zoom Range
A good 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 DX7630 Zoom's lens is equivalent to a 39-117mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Excellent color, great detail and resolution.
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 DX7630's Auto white
balance setting did very well with it though, while thee Daylight
setting produced a rather warm image. Though overall color is slightly
reddish with the Auto setting, skin tones look the most natural. The blue
background has purplish tints from the red cast, as do the deep shadows
on the blue robe. Resolution is very high, and detail is strong in the
embroidery of the blue robe. Fine detail is also strong in the beaded
necklaces, instruments, and flower garland. (The original data file for
this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the DX7630 Zoom are
definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)
A small macro area with good detail, though the flash has trouble up close.
The DX7630 performed pretty well in the macro category, capturing a minimum
area of only 2.68 x 2.01 inches (68 x 51 millimeters). Resolution is high,
and detail is strong in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch. However, details
are soft in all four corners of the frame. The DX7630's flash
had trouble throttling down for the macro area, however, and drastically
overexposed the shot. - Plan on using external lighting for any closeups
you may shoot with the DX7630.
"Davebox" Test Target
Good exposure but high contrast, but slightly warm color.
Though slightly warm, the DX7630 Zoom's Auto
white balance setting did the best job here, as the Daylight
setting resulted in a strong red cast. Exposure looks pretty good, though
contrast is high, and the DX7630 just distinguishes the subtle tonal variations
of the Q60 target. Calculated to appeal to most consumers, the DX7630's
color is very bright, and somewhat oversaturated, albeit very hue-accurate.
(While oversaturated for my own tastes, it's been proven over and over
again that highly saturated color is very appealing to consumers.) Detail
is limited in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, with high image
Surprisingly good low-light performance, with good color and exposure even at the lowest light levels.
The DX7630 Zoom produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, with good color at all three ISO settings. The images were very clean-looking at all three ISO levels, but as was the case under normal lighting, the images at ISO 400 were very soft due to noise-reduction processing. At ISO 100 though, the DX7630's low light capabilities were very impressive, all the more so given that the camera focused well all the way down to the limit of my test. 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.
(Note: If you'd like to use a light meter to check light levels for subjects you might be interested in shooting, a light level of one foot-candle corresponds to a normal exposure of two seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 100.)
Flash Range Test
Good flash power, a useful range of ~11 feet or so.
In my testing, the DX7630 Zoom's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, though with small decreases in intensity beyond about 10-11 feet.
Very high resolution, 1,350 lines of "strong detail." Lower than average barrel distortion.
The DX7630 Zoom performed well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 1,000 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to about 1,350 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,650 lines.
Optical distortion on the DX7630 Zoom is quite a bit better than average
at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.4 percent barrel
distortion. The telephoto end did better yet, as I measured only 0.07
percent barrel distortion there. Chromatic aberration is very low, showing
only about three pixels of very faint coloration on either side of the
target lines in the corners, and then only at the wide angle end of the
lens' range. (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 corners of the image are also quite sharp, further evidence
of a high-quality lens.
Resolution Series, ~50mm equivalent focal length
Resolution Test, Zoom Series
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A tight optical viewfinder, but an LCD that's near 100%.
The DX7630 Zoom's optical viewfinder is a little tight, showing about 89 percent frame accuracy at both wide angle and telephoto zoom settings. (This is better than the 85% that's average for consumer digicams though.) The LCD monitor showed almost exactly 100% of the final frame area, which is what I expect from an LCD viewfinder. Flash distribution is uneven at wide angle, with a lot of falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform.
DX7630 Test Images
DX7630 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area
Questions, comments or controversy on this article? Click this link to see what other Imaging Resource readers have had to say about Kodak EasyShare DX7630, or add comments of your own!