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Sony MVC-FD92

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MVC-FD92 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 4/16/2001

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! ;)


Outdoor portrait: (695 k)
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 Sony Mavica FD92 performs surprisingly well. We shot samples of this image with the automatic (708 k) and daylight (716 k) white balance settings, with both settings producing nearly identical results. We chose the automatic setting for our main series, as we felt it to be the most accurate overall. Color balance is slightly cool for the most part, as the model's white shirt has a slight bluish tint. The high contrast lighting produced by the bright sunlight tricks the FD92 a little, as the overall color appears just a little flat. Still, the blues of the flowers and pants look pretty good, though the slightest purple tints show in the edges of the flower petals and in the darker portion of the pants. (These blues are very hard for many digicams to reproduce correctly.) The bright, red flower in the bouquet has a halo effect which blurs some of the fine details of the petals. Resolution is pretty good, really about typical of a 1.3 megapixel CCD (the uninterpolated size of the FD92's images), with a fair amount of fine detail visible throughout the image. Details are reasonably sharp as well, particularly those of the flower bouquet. The shadow areas show a good amount of detail, albeit with a fair amount of noise present. (Small traces of noise are also visible in the sunny portions of the house siding and the blue pants.) Our main image was taken with no exposure adjustment whatsoever, as the slightest adjustment to +0.3 EV made the overall exposure much too bright. The camera did very well at the default exposure setting, as good detail is present both in the strong highlight of the model's white shirt, as well as in the deep shadows under the flowers. Overall, a very good performance on this tough subject. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.0 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 462
F/ 4.8
(695 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 462
F/ 4
(706 k)
0.7 EV
1/ 315
F/ 4
(711 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 121
F/ 4
(676 k)



 
Closer portrait: (677 k)
The MVC-FD92 performs well with this closer, portrait shot, thanks to its 8x zoom lens. (Shorter focal length lenses tend to distort facial features in close-up shots like this and the availability of longer focal lengths is a key feature if you're going to be shooting close-up people shots.) We again shot with the automatic white balance setting, which still produced a slightly cool cast on the white shirt. As is typical with this shot, we noticed higher resolution and slightly sharper details. The green leaf against the model's shirt is well defined, and the sunlit strands of her (wind blown!) hair are reasonably crisp. Color remains a little flat with a faint, milky haze over the shadow areas, probably from the high contrast of the sunlight. Noise remains moderate in the shadows, and slightly visible in the house siding. This portrait usually requires less exposure compensation than the wider Outdoor Portrait. However, in this instance, we found that the +0.3 EV adjustment produced the nicest results. A good performance overall. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.3 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 373
F/ 4
(724 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 462
F/ 4
(677 k)
0.7 EV
1/ 373
F/ 4
(696 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 271
F/ 4
(674 k)
1.3 EV
1/ 390
F/ 4
(650 k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (597 k)
The MVC-FD92's built-in flash illuminates the subject evenly with a nice level of brightness. In all our flash test shots, we picked up a slight color cast from the household incandescent lighting, which showed up as a magenta cast in the normal shots and a slightly orangish cast in the Twilight Plus shots. We shot our first series of images in normal Program AE mode, with the flash intensity set to low (580 k), normal (587 k), and high (586 k). The low intensity setting results in a slightly dim shot, though the model is reasonably well lit. Color looks pretty good, though slightly pink in the skin tones, and the white shirt is close to being accurate. Raising the flash intensity to the normal level brightens the image a fair bit more, producing a much better looking white value on the shirt. Color in the flower bouquet begins to look a little flat, but overall color accuracy is quite good. At the high intensity setting, the flash becomes a little too bright, losing detail in the shirt, and washing out color even further. Next, we switched to the Twilight Plus exposure mode, and again shot with the low (575 k), normal (579 k), and high (575 k) intensity settings. Because the Twilight Plus mode works with a slower shutter speed, and therefore allows more ambient light into the image, this series produced much brighter images, with lighter backgrounds. The magenta cast of the incandescent lighting transformed into a lighter, more orange one. Both the low and normal intensity settings produced very similar images, with just the slightest increase in brightness at the normal intensity level. Overall, the images look much brighter and still reasonably accurate, though we notice more pronounced blue tints on the model from the flash, and a stronger yellowish cast from the room lighting. The high intensity setting gives the model's skin tones a very blue cast, and the bright flash light is on the verge of washing out detail in the white shirt. Still, the images look very nice overall. We chose the normal flash intensity setting in the normal exposure mode for our main shot, as we felt it did the nicest job.


 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (563 k)
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 MVC-FD92's white balance system had some trouble with this difficult light source. We shot samples of this image with the automatic (575 k) and incandescent (578 k) white balance settings, noticing that neither setting produced really accurate results. The automatic setting resulted in a very pink color cast, while the incandescent setting produced a brownish, slightly sepia image. In the end, we settled on the automatic white balance setting for our main series, despite the pink cast. Color in the flower bouquet is reasonably bright and close to accurate. Details are fairly sharp, with a hint of softness, and overall resolution looks about typical for a 1.3 megapixel digicam. We did observe though, that a simple "auto levels" adjustment in Photoshop(tm) cleaned up the image very well, as seen here (309 k). We chose an exposure adjustment of +1.0 EV for our main image, which brightened the pink cast without losing detail in the white highlight areas. Noise is a little high throughout the image, particularly noticeable in the model's face and hair. Still, not a bad job overall. The table below shows a range of exposures from zero to +1.3 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(560 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(601 k)
0.7 EV
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(582 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(563 k)
1.3 EV
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(551 k)



 
House shot: (593 k)
We shot samples of this image with the daylight (587 k) and automatic (590 k) white balance settings, neither of which produced dead-on, accurate results. The automatic setting resulted in a cool, slightly magenta image, while daylight white balance produced a warmer cast. We chose the daylight setting for our main series, because the overall color balance looked more natural. Despite the slightly warm cast, color looks pretty good throughout the image, with nice reds and greens throughout. Resolution looks moderately high for a 1.3 megapixel sensor (interpolated to 1.6 megapixels), with a nice amount of fine detail visible in the bricks and shrubbery, and in the tree limbs above the roof. Details are nice and sharp, with only a hint of softness, and we noticed only a very small amount of corner softness due to lens aberrations. The roof shingles and shadows show a moderate noise level, and the in-camera sharpening is given away by about two pixels of a halo around the light and dark edges of the white trim along the roof line. Overall, a nice job. The table below shows a range of resolution and quality settings.

Resolution/Quality series

Giant/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(709 k)
Ginat/Normal
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(251 k)
Large/Uncompressed
Note: Download and view in imaging software
(3602 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(593 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(214 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(346 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(134 k)

Small/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(153 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 60
F/ 2.8
(41 k)



 
 
Far-Field Test (1466k)
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.

We shot this image with the automatic white balance setting, which produced a good color balance with only slightly cool white values. This shot is a strong test of detail, given the practically infinite range of fine detail in a natural scene like this, viewed from a distance. Resolution looks good, with a moderately high level of fine detail visible in the tree branches above the house, as well as in the bricks and house front details. Throughout the image, details appear reasonably sharp, with some softness along hard edges. We also judge a camera's dynamic range in this shot, comparing how well the camera holds detail in both the shadow and highlight areas. The MVC-FD92 does a great job with the bright, white paint of the bay window area, capturing a lot of detail. The shadow area under the porch tricks the camera slightly, though it still performs reasonably well, as the brick pattern and porch light details are just barely visible. Noise is moderate in the roof shingles and shadow areas, but isn't too distracting from the image. We also snapped an image with the camera's Black and White mode (697 k), which captures slightly more detail in the shadow area under the porch. The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality Series

Giant/Fine
1/ 271
F/ 4
(702 k)
Large/Uncompressed
Note: Download and view in imaging software
(3602 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 271
F/ 4
(581 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 271
F/ 4
(348 k)

Small/Fine
1/ 271
F/ 4
(153 k)


Sharpness Series
We also shot with the MVC-FD92's adjustable sharpness setting, which measures the image sharpness in arbitrary units from -2 to +2 (zero being the normal setting). Overall image brightness stayed about the same with each shot, though contrast was altered slightly. The sharpness adjustments did a very nice job of producing subtle effects at each level, never going to an extreme at either end.

Very Sharp
1/ 238
F/ 4
(706 k)
Sharp
1/ 271
F/ 4
(698 k)
Normal
1/ 238
F/ 4
(712 k)
Soft
1/ 271
F/ 4
(694 k)
Very Soft
1/ 271
F/ 4
(697 k)



 
 
Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, the lens at full 8x telephoto, and at full telephoto with the 2x Precision Digital Zoom enabled. The MVC-FD92's wide angle setting captures a very wide field of view, with a lot of visible detail, and not a lot of visible distortion. Details are also reasonably sharp, at least at the 1024x768 resolution image size we selected for this test. Resolution and detail increase dramatically with the 8x telephoto lens setting, with increased image sharpness as well. The exposure darkens slightly, but the overall image is very clear and crisp. We've always been impressed with Sony's Precision Digital Zoom, which does an outstanding job of preserving resolution as it digitally enlarges the image. Though details are slightly softer, the overall resolution looks pretty good at the 2x digital zoom setting. Exposure brightens slightly as well. A very nice job!

Wide Angle
Shutter: 1/ 315
Aperture: F4
(350 k)
8x Telephoto
Shutter: 1/ 315
Aperture: F4
(346 k)
2.5x Digital Telephoto
Shutter: 1/ 373
Aperture: F4
(349 k)



 
 
Musicians Poster (589 k)
For this test, we shot with the automatic (580 k) and daylight (599 k) white balance settings, neither of which produced a dead-on accurate color balance. The large amount of blue in the image often tricks digicams into overcompensating, and we noticed that the FD92's white balance system had a little trouble here. The automatic setting resulted in a very cool image, with very pale, bluish skin tones, while the daylight setting produced a warmer image. The warm cast produces reddish tints in the blue background and gives the Oriental model's robe a greenish tint, but the warmer skin tones look more natural. Thus, we chose the daylight setting for our main series. Despite the warm cast, the blue robe looks pretty good (this is a difficult blue for digicams to reproduce). Resolution is fairly high for a 1.3 megapixel CCD, with a lot of the fine detail visible in the bird wings and silver threads of the blue robe (though the details of the smaller bird are only faintly visible). Overall, image details appear reasonably sharp, with good definition in the violin strings and beaded necklaces. Noise is moderate and mostly visible in the blue background and in the shadow areas of the models' faces (some noise could be from the poster itself). The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality Series
Giant/Fine
1/ 55
F/ 2.8
(697 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 55
F/ 2.8
(589 k)
Medium/Fine
1/ 55
F/ 2.8
(354 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 55
F/ 2.8
(153 k)



 
Macro Shot (573 k)
The MVC-FD92 performs exceptionally well in the macro category, capturing a tiny minimum area of just 1.70 x 1.27 inches (43.15 x 32.36mm). Detail and resolution both look great, with sharp, crisp details throughout the image, and very nice color. The brooch appears slightly soft, possibly due to the limited depth of field when shooting this close, and there's a fair bit of barrel distortion in this lens setting. Still, the printing details of the dollar bill are very sharp, as are some of the individual fibers in the paper. We noticed some slight softness in the corners of the image, typical of ultra-closeups like this. (Most lenses have a fair bit of "curvature of field" when shooting in ultra-macro mode like this.) The MVC-FD92's built-in flash (579 k) has some trouble throttling down for the macro area, probably due to the very close shooting range. The lens blocks some of the light, causing a shadow in the lower left corner, and the close proximity of the flash causes a glare on the brooch. Still, the details of the dollar bill are clear and sharp in the flash shot. A great camera for ultra-macro shooting!


"Davebox" Test Target (544 k)
We shot samples of this target using the automatic (545 k) and daylight (545 k) white balance settings, choosing the automatic setting as the most accurate for our series as the daylight setting resulted in a slightly warm cast. Color balance looks nearly accurate with the automatic white balance setting, without any strong color casts. The large color blocks look about right, though the large magenta and red blocks have a bluish tint and all the blocks seem a little weak. (We also noticed that the large yellow block is a little dark.) The MVC-FD92 distinguishes the subtle difference between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart (which is a common problem area for many digicams), though both blocks are slightly faded, with a pinkish cast. Exposure looks pretty good, as the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 chart are visible all the way up to the "B" range (this is another common problem area for digicams), though slightly faint. The tonal gradations of the smaller, vertical gray scales also look good, with each of the darkest blocks distinguishable from each other. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows good detail, with only moderate noise, though the white gauze area loses detail in the brighter highlights. Resolution is moderately high overall, with a nice level of fine detail visible in the box hinges and shiny pot lid, and the mini resolution target appears reasonably sharp. The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality Series
Giant/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 4
(655 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 4
(544 k)
Medium/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 4
(344 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 4
(146 k)



 
Low-Light Tests
The MVC-FD92 had a little trouble in the low-light category, as we were only able to obtain somewhat bright, clear images at light levels as low as eight foot-candles (88 lux) in the normal, Program AE mode. We could still see the target as low as one foot-candle (11 lux), but images were almost pitch black at the lower light levels. (We could see the silver disk at the 1/16 of a foot-candle, 0.67 lux, level.) We achieved noticeably better results when we switched to the camera's Twilight exposure mode, capturing reasonably bright images as low as one foot-candle (11 lux), though images shot in the Twilight exposure mode resulted in a pink cast. The target is still visible at the 1/16 of a foot-candle (0.67 lux) light level in Twilight exposure mode, but the image is much too dim. Noise is moderate with the Twilight exposure setting, and moderately high with the Program AE exposure mode images. (We direct readers to Mike Chaney's excellent Qimage Pro program, for a tool with an amazing ability to remove image noise without significantly affecting detail.) To put the MVC-FD92's low-light performance into perspective, an average city night scene under modern street lighting corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle, so city night scenes are right at the edge of what the camera can comfortably handle in terms of dim lighting. The table below shows the best exposure we were 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.

8fc
10EV
88lux
4fc
9EV
44lux
2fc
8EV
22lux
1fc
7EV
11lux
1/2fc
6EV
5.5lux
1/4fc
5EV
2.7lux
1/8fc
4EV
1.3lux
1/16fc
3EV
0.67lx
ISO 283 Click to see F92L00.JPG

594.7 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L01.JPG

562.7 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L02.JPG

583.4 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L03.JPG

555.1 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L04.JPG

562.7 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L05.JPG

528.4 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L06.JPG

524.8 KB
1/30
F2.8

Click to see F92L07.JPG

511.5 KB
1/30
F2.8

ISO 80 Click to see F92LT00.JPG

591.7 KB
1/8
F3.4

Click to see F92LT01.JPG

574.9 KB
1/6
F2.8

Click to see F92LT02.JPG

585.6 KB
1/2
F2.8

Click to see F92LT03.JPG

570.6 KB
2
F2.8

Click to see F92LT04.JPG

547.4 KB
2
F2.8

Click to see F92LT05.JPG

542.0 KB
2
F2.8

Click to see F92LT06.JPG

515.4 KB
2
F2.8

Click to see F92LT07.JPG

488.7 KB
2
F2.8




 
Flash Range Test
Sony rates the MVC-FD92's flash as effective from 11.8 inches to 8.3 feet (0.3 to 2.5 meters), which is slightly conservative considering our test results. We found the MVC-FD92's flash to still be effective as far as 15 feet from the target, though the flash power was getting fairly dim at that distance: We'd rate the effective range as about 10 feet. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 15 feet from the target.

8 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(551 k)
9 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(549 k)
10 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(543 k)
11 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(586 k)
12 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(568 k)
13 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(536 k)
14 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(546 k)
15 ft
1/ 90
F/ 4
(529 k)



 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (595 k)
In our laboratory resolution test, the FD92 begins to show moire patterns starting at around 550 lines per picture height in both horizontal and vertical directions, although strong detail is visible out to at least 650 lines. This performance is about right for a camera with a 1.3 megapixel sensor: We'd put it near the top of that category.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle

Giant/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 3.4
(655 k)
Ginat/Normal
1/ 85
F/ 4
(258 k)
Large/Uncompressed
Note: Download and view in imaging software
(3602 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 3.4
(595 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 85
F/ 4
(200 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 3.4
(335 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 85
F/ 4
(121 k)

Small/Fine
1/ 60
F/ 3.4
(152 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 85
F/ 4
(38 k)


Resolution Series, Telephoto

Giant/Fine
1/ 80
F/ 4
(692 k)
Ginat/Normal
1/ 80
F/ 4
(252 k)
Large/Uncompressed
Note: Download and view in imaging software
(3602 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 80
F/ 4
(586 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 80
F/ 4
(199 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 80
F/ 4
(336 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 80
F/ 4
(121 k)

Small/Fine
1/ 80
F/ 4
(146 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 80
F/ 4
(37 k)



 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found the MVC-FD92's LCD monitor to be a little tight, showing approximately 91.78 percent accuracy at both wide angle (549 k) and telephoto (529 k) settings. Since we generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the MVC-FD92 performs reasonably well. Flash distribution is even but very dim at the telephoto (537 k) setting (we had to turn on our studio lights to get a bright enough exposure for measuring the viewfinder accuracy that far away). At the wide angle setting, flash distribution is mostly even, with just a little falloff at the corners of the target.

Optical distortion on the MVC-FD92 is moderately at the wide angle end, as we measured an approximate 0.6 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared a little better, as we measured an approximate 0.4 percent pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration is low, showing about three or four very faint 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.)

 

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<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

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