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Canon EOS-10D

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EOS-10D Sample Images

Review First Posted: 02/27/2003

Digital Cameras - Canon EOS 10D 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!


NOTE: These photos were shot with a "near production" camera. It was running version 1.0.0 of the firmware, and appeared to be fully functional in every respect. Canon did caution me though that there could still be minor "tweaks" between this unit and final production models. (I'd expect precious few though, given how well this one performed, and how good its color and tone were.)


Outdoor Portrait:

Outstanding detail and resolution, with a great dynamic range and good color.

This shot is deliberately set up to have horrible lighting, to really challenge the cameras I test, under conditions of extreme contrast. (This is why I don't shoot it with fill flash or a reflector, as some readers have asked about.) The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the EOS 10D did an excellent job.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which resulted in bright midtones with good detail, and only slight loss of highlight detail. (Pros will likely prefer a more conservative approach to holding highlight detail, in which case the shot with no exposure compensation does quite well.) I chose the Daylight white balance as the most accurate overall, as the Auto setting was slightly cool and the Manual setting was greenish. I also snapped an image with the camera's Adobe RGB setting, at the same exposure.

Skin tones look very good, although just a bit yellow in the highlights. The telltale blue flowers in the bouquet are a little dark with purple tints. (A common problem with this shot - The blue flowers have a fair bit of magenta in them, and some cameras tend to overemphasize it. The 10D actually does a pretty good job, isn't far off on what's generally a very difficult color to reproduce well.) The red flowers of the bouquet are verging on being oversaturated, but not to the extent that they lose too much detail. (Some of this is the fault of the sRGB color space Adobe RGB does a better job with them.) All in all, color is quite good.

Detail and resolution are excellent, with a high level of fine detail visible throughout the frame. Shadow detail is outstanding, with very low noise. Details are sharp and clear. A great job. Following are color tone, contrast, and saturation series.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV, see files E10DOUTDP0.HTM through E10DOUTDP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page. (For the complete series in Adobe RGB from zero to +1.0 EV, see files E10DOUTADOBEDP0.HTM through E10DOUTADOBEDP3.HTM.)

Color Tone Series:
The EOS-10D's "Color Tone" adjustment under the Parameters menu option varies the color balance from slightly reddish to slightly greenish. The shots below show its effect on my Outdoor Portrait test shot.

 
Color Tone Series

1

2

3

4

5

Contrast Series:
The EOS-10 also has a contrast adjustment available under the Parameters menu option. Compared to the contrast adjustment on the D60, that on the 10D offers 5 steps rather than 3. I like the range of adjustment and the step size Canon chose for the contrast adjustment - Neither too much nor too little, IMHO.

Contrast Series
Lowest
Low
Normal
High
Highest

Saturation Series:
Finally, the EOS-10 also has a saturation adjustment available under the Parameters menu option. Again, compared to the same adjustment on the D60, that on the 10D offers 5 steps rather than 3. Here again, I was very pleased with the range of adjustment Canon provides with this control.

Saturation Series
Lowest
Low
Normal
High
Highest


 

Closer Portrait:

Outstanding resolution and detail.

Results are similar to the wider shot above in terms of color and overall performance. I shot with Canon's excellent 28-70mm f/2.8 "L" series lens, set to the 70mm end of its range, which helped prevent any distortion of Marti's features. Detail is exceptional (and probably more distinct than Marti would like to know about ;-). Details are clear and sharp in her hair and face, with incredible definition. The shot at right was taken at the default exposure setting, which resulted in slightly hot highlights, but good midtones. (Once again, most pros would choose less exposure, as here, with -0.3EV exposure compensation.) Shadow detail is again excellent, with very low noise.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +0.3 EV, see files E10DFACDM1.HTM through E10DFACDP1.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+0.7 EV
Slow Sync Flash
+1.0 EV
External Flash
(Normal Exposure)

 

Good intensity and coverage with the built-in flash, good color as well. Also great results and fantastic control with the external flash.

The EOS 10D's built-in flash illuminates the subject well, though intensity is slightly dim at the default exposure setting. Boosting the exposure to +0.7 EV produced a much brighter image, with very nice color. The background incandescent lighting produces only a faint orange color cast on the tree leaves. I also shot with the flash in Slow Sync mode, which times the flash with a longer exposure. Here, I found the best results with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The longer exposure creates a stronger orange cast, which spills onto Marti's features and warms up the color balance. Finally, I attached a Canon 550EX Speedlight external flash unit, and bounced the flash off of the ceiling, with a piece of paper held in front as a diffuser for more even lighting. (I just can't say enough good about how well the 550EX works with the 10D - The TTL metering seemed flawless, handling any combination of wacky bounce/diffusion I threw at it.) An exposure compensation adjustment of +0.7 EV produced the best results with the internal flash in normal mode, +1.0 EV with it in slow sync mode.


 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
Manual White Balance
2,800K White Balance

Good color with the Manual white balance option, though slightly greenish. A moderate amount of exposure compensation required as well.

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 EOS 10D had just a little trouble here, producing varying degrees of warmth with the Auto, Incandescent, and 2,800 Kelvin white balance settings. - Although I liked the results with the 2800K setting quite a bit, as it preserved the warmth of the room lighting a bit more.

I'd really like to see Canon and other manufacturers extend the lower end of their Kelvin-based white balance adjustments down to 2400-2500 or so. - Incandescent lighting is widely used in homes in the US (apparently much less so in Japan), and it's a very warm-hued light source. Lighting books commonly cite 2800K as the "official" color temperature of household incandescent, but I've found over and over again by actual measurement that it's much more often between 2400 and 2500K..

The Manual setting produced the best overall results here, although it still had a slight greenish cast. Skin tones look pretty good, as does overall color. The blue flowers of the bouquet are dark and purplish, however, due to the difficult light source. I found the best exposure with a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, an unusually large amount of adjustment. Following is an ISO series.


ISO Series:
The EOS 10D shows very low noise in its images at the lower ISO settings. As you might expect, noise increases significantly with the higher ISO settings, particularly with the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 settings. In general though, it seemed that the 10D performed very similarly to the earlier D60 at the lower ISO settings, but really pulled away from it as you got up to 400 and above. - At high ISOs, the 10D is much less noisy than its predecessor.

ISO Series
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200


 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance
Kelvin White Balance

 

Great resolution, detail, and color, though details are a little soft.

The EOS 10D's Manual white balance setting produced the best results here, with the most accurate white value on the house trim. The Auto setting was nearly accurate, as was the 4500 Kelvin setting. The Daylight white balance resulted in a warm cast, however. Resolution is very high, with great detail in the tree limbs and shrubbery. (The EOS 10D's 6.3-megapixel CMOS sensor really 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.) Details are slightly soft throughout the frame, however. - I'm attributing this to Canon's very cautious approach with in-camera image sharpening, although this shot seems to go a bit further in that direction than most. It takes sharpening in Photoshop very well, but needs more than I'm accustomed to seeing. (Try around 200% at a radius of 4 or 5 pixels.) Still, a good job overall, with lots of detail captured, if not immediately apparent.


 

Far-Field Test

Excellent resolution and detail, with good 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. The EOS 10D performs exceptionally well, with extraordinary detail in the tree limbs over the roof, as well as in the fine foliage in front of the house. The tiny leaf patterns in the front shrubbery are very clear, and show strong detail. - You can just about make out the self-satisfied expression on the face of the cat laying in front of the steps. Consistent with Canon's careful use of in-camera sharpening, details are just a hint soft, but moderate unsharp masking in Photoshop shows just how much detail is actually there. (Try 150% with an 0.3 pixel radius on this shot.) At the default exposure used here, the 10D didn't quite hold onto the detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams. Detail is excellent in the shadow area above the front door though, evidence of the EOS 10D's excellent dynamic range. Overall color and exposure are both good as well. Those of you with Adobe's new RAW-format plugin for Photoshop can click here for a copy of this image in the camera's RAW format. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, contrast, color tone, saturation, and sharpness series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
3,072 x 2,048
E10DFARLF
E10DFARLN
2,048 x 1,360
E10DFARMF
E10DFARMN
1,536 x 1,024
E10DFARSF
E10DFARSN


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200


The shots below show the effect of variations in the four parameters available under the 10D's Parameters menu.

Contrast Series:

Contrast Series

Lowest


Low

Normal


High

Highest


Color Tone Series:

Color Tone Series

1


2


3


4


5



Saturation Series:

Saturation Series

Lowest


Low


Normal


High


Highest



Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series

Softest

Soft

Normal

Hard

Hardest


 

Lens 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, and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. Because the EOS 10D accommodates a wide range of lenses, there's no particular point in showing a zoom range here, since that will vary depending on the lens in use.



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance
Kelvin White Balance

 

Good color overall, with excellent 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 EOS 10D performed well here, with each white balance setting producing usable images, without any harsh color casts. The Daylight setting produced the strongest cast, with a reddish tint, while the Auto setting appeared slightly greenish. Both the 4500 Kelvin and Manual settings produced similar results, and I chose the Kelvin setting as the best overall. (No surprise, since 4500K was what my lights here measured with a color meter.) Even though color balance is slightly cool with the Kelvin setting, skin tones look very good. The blue background has some purplish tints that aren't in the original image, however. The blue robe also has purplish tints in the deep shadows. Resolution is very high, with great detail in the embroidery of the blue robe, although details are again a little soft. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB, so cameras like the EOS 10D can definitely show more detail than the poster has in it.)


 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

 

Very tiny macro area with great detail.

Well, the EOS 10D's macro performance will obviously depend on the lens in use, but I'm a sucker for a good macro shot, so couldn't resist including this one here anyway. Using a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, the 10D captured a very tiny minimum area of only 0.96 x 0.64 inches (24 x 16 millimeters). Resolution is exceptional, with very strong detail in the fibers of the dollar bill. Exposure is a little dark, the meter perhaps being fooled a bit here by all the infrared energy bouncing around from the floodlamps I use to illuminate this shot. The EOS 10D's flash throttled down well for the macro area, and produced a surprisingly good exposure. Details appear sharper in the flash exposure as well.


 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance
Kelvin White Balance

 

Excellent color with the Manual white balance, good saturation as well, excellent dynamic range.

The Manual white balance produced the best color here, with the most accurate white value in the mini-resolution target and large, white color block. The Kelvin and Auto white balances also produced good results, though with the slightest color casts. The Daylight setting resulted in a rather warm image. Exposure looks about right, although just slightly bright, and the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target are well-defined. The large color blocks are accurate and well-saturated. Here's a sample image with the camera's Adobe RGB setting, for those of you interested in that color space, for its broader color gamut. Shadow detail in the charcoal briquettes is excellent, with very low noise, and the last steps of both gray scales are just visible. An outstanding job!


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200

 

Contrast Series:

Contrast Series

Lowest


Low


Normal


High


Highest

 

Color Tone Series:

Color Tone Series

1


2


3


4


5

 

Saturation Series:

Saturation Series

Lowest


Low


Normal


High


Highest




 

Low-Light Tests

Really excellent low-light performance, with great color balance and low noise. - Could really use an AF-assist illuminator though.

The EOS 10D offers a wealth of exposure control, with shutter times as long as 30 seconds (999 seconds in Bulb mode), ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 3,200 equivalent values, and the EOS 10D's automatic Noise Reduction system does a great job of controlling image noise at longer exposures. The main limitation of the camera here is that the autofocus system has a hard time focusing at light levels below somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 foot-candle (in the general vicinity of 3-5 lux). With the 550EX flash attached to the camera, the bright AF-assist light of the 550 lets the camera work in complete darkness, but when using the camera by itself, you're really going to have to use manual focusing below about 1/2 foot-candle. (This is about one f-stop darker than typical city streetlighting.)

The EOS-10D produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test here, with very good color at all six ISO settings. With the EOS 10D's very long shutter times, there's no question that the camera could handle even darker situations quite well. Noise was minimal at the lower ISO settings, increasing to a higher level at 1,600 and 3,200 equivalents. Even at the higher ISO settings though, noise was surprisingly low, and the grain pattern was fairly tight. An excellent job all around! (Apart from focusing limitations.) 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.

 

  1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
ISO
100
Click to see E10DLL0103.JPG

2 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0104.JPG

5 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0105.JPG

8 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0106.JPG

15 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0107.JPG

30 secs.
F2.8

ISO
200
Click to see E10DLL0203.JPG

1/1 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0204.JPG

2.5 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0205.JPG

4 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0206.JPG

8 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0207.JPG

15 secs.
F2.8

ISO
400
Click to see E10DLL0403.JPG

1/ 2 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0404.JPG

1.3 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0405.JPG

2.5 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0406.JPG

4 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0407.JPG

8 secs.
F2.8

ISO
800
Click to see E10DLL0803.JPG

1/4 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0804.JPG

1/ 2 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0805.JPG

1/1 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0806.JPG

2 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL0807.JPG

4 secs.
F2.8

ISO
1,600
Click to see E10DLL1603.JPG

1/8 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL1604.JPG

1/ 3 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL1605.JPG

1/ 2 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL1606.JPG

1/1 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL1607.JPG

2 secs.
F2.8

ISO
3,200
Click to see E10DLL3203.JPG

1/15 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL3204.JPG

1/6 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL3205.JPG

1/4 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL3206.JPG

1/ 2 secs.
F2.8

Click to see E10DLL3207.JPG

1/1 secs.
F2.8

 

Love high ISO photography? Hate noise? Check out Fred Miranda's ISO-R noise-reducing actions for Photoshop. Incredible noise reduction, with *no* loss of subject detail. (Pretty amazing, IMHO.) Check it out!



 

Flash Range Test

A powerful flash, with only a little falloff at the 14 foot limit of this test.

In my testing, the EOS 10D's onboard flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, without any significant decrease in intensity. Flash power was bright and effective, resulting in good color. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target. (Given that I was shooting at f/4 here, this is right in line with Canon's claimed guide number for the 10D's internal speedlight.)

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see E10DBFL08.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100

Click to see E10DBFL09.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100

Click to see E10DBFL10.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100

Click to see E10DBFL11.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100

Click to see E10DBFL12.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100

Click to see E10DBFL13.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100

Click to see E10DBFL14.JPG

1/60 secs.
F4
ISO: 100



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Very high resolution, 1,400 lines of "strong detail."

Just as I expected, the EOS 10D performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It didn't start showing artifacts in the test patterns until around 900 lines per picture height, and they were very faint even at that point. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,400 lines horizontally and 1200 vertically, although there was still meaningful detail beyond that point. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,550 lines. As I observed in other shots with the10D, the image is just slightly soft, but takes unsharp masking very well in Photoshop.

Optical distortion on the EOS 10D will obviously vary depending on the lens in use. For these test shots, I used a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens (allegedly one of their sharpest), which resulted in very little distortion other than some very slight corner softness, most noticeable in the upper right. Chromatic aberration is virtually nonexistent as well. (Proof positive of the difference between well-made lenses and cheap ones.)

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
(To save at least a little bit of disk space, the chart below only includes "normal" JPEG compression for the largest image size.)

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
3,072 x 2,048
E10DRESLF
E10DRESLN
2,048 x 1,360
E10DRESMF
 
1,536 x 1,024
E10DRESSF
 

 

Thanks to sharp-eyed readers Ott Usera and Philip Elkin, for pointing out that I'd inadvertently substituted res-target images shot with Canon's 28-70mm f/2.8 L-series zoom lens for the ones I'd intended, shot with the 100mm f/2.8 macro. I've switched the images back as they belong, and there really is a pretty noticeable difference between the two lenses, even though the 28-70mm is a very sharp optic. The image links above are now all switched to the proper 100mm images, and for reference, here is one of the previous ones, shot with the 28-70mm zoom. (Thanks to Ott and Philip for their sharp eyes, and for taking time to write!)

 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

Typical accuracy for a "prosumer" digital SLR viewfinder.

The EOS 10D's through the lens viewfinder showed about 96 percent frame accuracy, just slightly above Canon's assessment of 95 percent accuracy. I personally prefer viewfinders to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, so feel that the EOS 10D falls just a little short here. - But this is the level of frame coverage that most competing cameras offer. Flash distribution is very even, without any noticeable falloff.


Digital SLR Viewfinder


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