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Digital Cameras - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page 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 thumbnail index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!

 

"Sunlit" Portrait:
(This is my new "Outdoor" Portrait test - read more about it here.)

High resolution and strong detail, though warm color and high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.7 EV, about average.
  • Contrast/Tone: High, lost highlight detail to keep midtones anywhere near their proper values. (+0.3 EV held good highlight detail, but had very dark midtones.)
  • White Balance: Auto, Daylight and Manual settings all similar and a bit warm, Manual best overall.
  • Color accuracy: Apart from the warm cast, colors are pretty accurate.
  • Skin tones: A little warm/yellowish, but not bad.
  • Resolution/sharpness: High, with good sharpness and definition.
  • Shadow detail: Pretty good, with low noise.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files H1OUTAP0.HTM through H1OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.


Contrast Series:
An effective contrast control, but with an unfortunate impact on color saturation in Marti's skin tones. Light shadows on Marti's face become quite undersaturated. Probably OK for landscapes, etc, but not useful for photos of people.

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:
A good range of saturation adjustment, although I'd like to see more/smaller steps covering the same range. Relatively minor impact on contrast as saturation is adjusted.

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High



 

Closer Portrait:

Higher resolution and stronger detail, but again, high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, about average.
  • Exposure/Tone: Very high contrast and dark shadows and midtones.
  • Detail: Increased detail and resolution, with good definition.
  • Distortion: Good, 3x zoom lens avoids distortion close-in like this.

 

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files H1FACAM1.HTM through H1FACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
High Intensity
Slow-Sync Flash
Normal Intensity

Good exposure in both Normal and Slow-Sync flash modes, with slight warm casts.

  • Exposure: Pretty good at the default exposure setting, but better at the High intensity setting. Slow-Sync mode results in a more even exposure, but a stronger warm cast.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good, no blue-tinged highlights from the flash.
  • Color: Red skin tones and dark colors in the bouquet, but still good overall.

 Normal Flash Series:

Intensity Series
Low
Normal
High


Slow-Sync Flash Series:

Intensity Series
Low
Normal
High



 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
Manual White Balance

Trouble in Auto mode, but good color with the Manual white balance. A bit more exposure compensation needed than average.

  • Exposure: +1.3 EV adjustment needed, slightly higher than average.
  • White Balance: Manual setting very good, both Auto and Incandescent settings both rather warm, Auto unusably so.
  • Color: Very good with Manual white balance, though the blue flowers are slightly dark. (Quite good, considering the light source.)

ISO Series:
Some noise is present in the Sony DSC-H1's images, even at ISO 64, but it won't be visible with most subjects at ISO 64 or 100. At ISO 200, the noise becomes visible on-screen and details soften somewhat, but the images shot there looked surprisingly good when printed as large as 8x10 inches. At ISO 400, the noise level jumps dramatically and more subject detail is lost. ISO 400 shots are rough even when printed as small as 5x7 inches, really shouldn't be considered for use with any larger than 4x6 inch prints.

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

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

Good color with the Manual white balance option, with high resolution and good detail.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Strong detail, with good sharpness and definition.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very slight falloff, better than average.
  • Color: Manual white balance best, though Auto setting is also good. Daylight setting a little warm.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Some, in the shaded brick patterns.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, surprisingly good dynamic range.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance, and to present a near-infinite range of detail to the camera. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good, strong detail in the trees and shrubbery.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very good, much better than average.
  • Color: A little dark, but nearly accurate. (Bricks are a little more brown than they are in real life, but other colors look good.)
  • Dynamic Range: Surprisingly good, the camera held detail in both the highlights and the shadows.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: None noticeable in this shot.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
H1FAR2592F
H1FAR2592N
2,048 x 1,536
H1FAR2048
-
1,280 x 960
H1FAR1280
-
640 x 480
H1FAR0640
-


ISO Series:
In this shorter exposure with a daylight-balanced light source, the H1's image noise isn't nearly as apparent, although the detail loss at ISO 400 is still visible, and means that you probably can't use its images at that setting for prints larger than 5x7 inches.

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Sharpness Series:
A good range of sharpening adjustment. Low setting takes unsharp masking in Photoshop(tm) very well (try 250-300% at 0.3 pixel radius), while High setting should work well for smaller-size inkjet prints.

Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Hard


Contrast Series:
With no human skin tones to take into account, the low contrast setting does an excellent job with this subject, holding great detail in both the highlights and shadows.

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:
A nice range of saturation adjustment, High setting pumps up the color, without totally blowing it out.

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High


Color Series:

Color Series
Black & White
Sepia



 

Lens Zoom Range

An excellent 12x zoom range.

The DSC-H1's focal length range of 36-432mm equivalents is much larger than most point & shoot digital cameras. It corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a very long telephoto. (And the H1's optical image-stabilization system means you can really take advantage of the telephoto end of its range.)

Wide Angle
12x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good color with the Manual white balance setting, high resolution and detail.

  • White Balance: Manual setting best overall (if a little cool), though Auto setting good as well. Daylight setting a bit warm.
  • Color: Good skin tones, though slightly magenta, but blue robe and background a little purple.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Excellent detail and high resolution, with good sharpness. (Pushing the limits of the poster though.)





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A very small macro area with good detail. Flash has trouble up close though.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 1.68 x 1.26 inches (43 x 32 millimeters), very good.
  • Softness in corners?: A fair bit, but it doesn't extend very far into the frame. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Flash has trouble, hot spot at the top of the frame, and a shadow over the rest of the frame.




 

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

Good overall exposure and color.

  • White balance: Manual setting very good, Auto and Daylight settings both slightly warm.
  • Color Accuracy: Very good overall color. Bright red swatch is quite oversaturated, yellow slightly undersaturated, but overall accuracy is much better than average.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Very good, good detail in the briquettes, low noise.



The images series below duplicate examples of various camera controls we've already covered above. I include them here though, for our more analytically-minded readers, who'd like to see the effect of various camera controls with a well-known target like the MacBeth Color Checker (tm).


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Contrast Series:

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High


Color Series:

Color Series
Black & White
Sepia



 

Low-Light Tests

Good low-light performance, with moderately low noise and good color. Autofocus system works to a bit under 1/4 foot-candle (fine for average city night scenes) without AF-assist, in complete darkness on nearby objects with the AF-assist enabled.

  • Exposure limit: 1/16 foot-candle at all four ISO settings. (About 1/16 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.)
  • Autofocus Limit: To just below 1/4 foot-candle with standard autofocus, in total darkness (on nearby objects) with AF assist.
  • White Balance: Slightly pink in some shots, but good.
  • Noise Levels: High at ISO 400, but not bad at the lower ISOs. (All long exposures how a number of black pixels, where the dark-frame-subtraction noise-reduction processing canceled out "hot" pixels.)
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Minimal at one foot-candle, still slight at 1/16 foot-candle at low ISOs, significant at ISO 400.
  • General Notes: The Sony DSC-H1 produced good-looking images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, with good color across its ISO range. Noise was fairly low in most shots, becoming high at ISO 400, but even there it wasn't as bad as I'd expected to see. Even with the autofocus-assist light turned off, the autofocus system worked down to light levels a bit less than 1/4 as bright as typical city night scenes, and with the AF light on, it could focus on nearby objects in total darkness. All in all, a good low-light performer.

(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.)

  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
ISO
64
Click to see H1LL06403.JPG
3 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL06404.JPG
7 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL06405.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL06406.JPG
25 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL06407.JPG
30 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see H1LL10003.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL10004.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL10005.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL10006.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL10007.JPG
25 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see H1LL20003.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL20004.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL20005.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL20006.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL20007.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see H1LL40003.JPG
1/2 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL40004.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL40005.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL40006.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see H1LL40007.JPG
7 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

Excellent flash range, bright and consistent all the way to 14 feet.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: 14 feet.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see H1DBFL08.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64
Click to see H1DBFL09.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64
Click to see H1DBFL10.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64
Click to see H1DBFL11.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64
Click to see H1DBFL12.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64
Click to see H1DBFL13.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64
Click to see H1DBFL14.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.5
ISO 64



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution, 1,350 lines of "strong detail." High barrel distortion at wide angle, none at telephoto. Moderate to high chromatic aberration at both wide angle and telephoto. Excellent corner sharpness at all focal lengths.

  • Resolution: 1,350 lines both vertically and horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~1,100 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,700 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 1.0 percent barrel distortion (higher than average) at wide angle, none at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: Moderate to high at both wide angle and telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Very little softness at either wide angle or telephoto, much better than average.



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,592 x 1,944
H1RES2592F
H1RES2592N
2,048 x 1,536
H1RES2048
-
1,280 x 960
H1RES1280
-
640 x 480
H1RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
H1RESW
2,592 x 1,944
(Fine,
Telephoto)
H1REST


Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Hard



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

Very accurate EVF and LCD. Slight flash falloff at wide angle.

  • Electronic Optical Viewfinder (EVF) Accuracy: Very good, about 99+ percent accuracy at wide angle and telephoto.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Same as the EVF, since the LCD is simply a larger view.
  • Flash Uniformity: Slight falloff at wide angle, exposure dark at telephoto. (Target was beyond the range of the flash, due to 12x lens.)



H1 Review
H1 Test Images
H1 Specifications
H1 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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