Digital Cameras - Konica Digital Revio KD-400Z Test Images
(Original test posting: 01/28/03)
|I'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, I'm posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the 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 don't use any "fill" illumination from a flash or reflector on it. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the KD-400Z responded with somewhat high contrast. The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which borders on being too bright in the highlights, but the midtones are only slightly dark. I liked the Auto white balance over the Daylight setting, despite the slight magenta cast. (The Daylight setting was too cool-toned.) Skin tones are warm, and the blue flowers are dark and somewhat purplish. The white shirt also has a warm tone. Resolution, however, is very high, with a lot of visible fine detail throughout the frame.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files K40OUTAP0.HTM through K40OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Contrast remains high and the color is again overly warm, but the detail is excellent.
Results are similar to the wider shot above, and the KD-400Z's 3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features. The shot at right was again taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, as the default exposure setting was quite underexposed. (This shot typically requires less exposure compensation than the wider shot above.) The harsh sunlight again results in high contrast, though midtone and shadow details remain reasonably strong. The level of visible fine detail increases with this closeup shot, as even very minute details in Marti's face and hair are sharp and well-defined.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files K40FACAP0.HTM through K40FACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Good flash intensity, and accurate color.
The KD400's flash did a pretty good job in my standard "indoor portrait" test, using just the normal automatic flash mode. The camera picked up a little pink cast in the background from the fairly strong incandescent lighting in the room, but color and exposure were quite good overall. In fill flash mode, the background color increased slightly, with the room lighting for some reason playing more of a role. Switching to slow-sync flash, the default exposure produced a very warm-toned shot, but dropping the exposure by -0.3 EV reduced the color cast a bit. The thumbnails at right show the results I obtained with normal, fill flash, and slow sync flash at -0.3 EV.
To view the entire exposure series for the slow sync mode, including the default and several negative EV adjustments, see files K40INFSP0.HTM (the default) and K40INFSM1.HTM-K40INFSM3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Fairly pronounced color casts with both white balance options.
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 KD400 had trouble with this light source, producing fairly strong color casts in photos shot with both Auto and Incandescent white balance settings. It was pretty much a toss-up, but I felt the Auto setting produced results that were slightly more neutral than those I obtained with Incandescent, so I went with Auto for the main example from this test.
To view an exposure series showing the default exposure as well as compensation adjustments of +1.0 to +1.7 EV, see files K40INAP0.HTM and K40INAP3.HTM through K40INAP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Slight color casts, but good detail.
I chose the Daylight white balance setting on this shot, despite a slight cool cast, as the Auto white balance resulted in a strong pink cast. Overall color is good with the Daylight setting, though the cool color balance dulls the green values slightly. A lot of fine detail is visible in the tree limbs and front shrubbery, with good definition in the fine foliage. The brick and trim details of the house are also nice and clear. The corners of the image are a hint softer than the rest of the frame, but overall sharpness is good. A nice job.
Excellent resolution, although the color balance is a little pink.
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 KD-400Z's 4.0-megapixel CCD captured a lot of fine detail throughout the frame. The tree limbs above the roof show excellent detail, as does the fine foliage of the shrubbery in front of the house. There's also quite a bit of detail in the tree limbs behind the house (just behind the far right corner of the roof), though details here are blurred slightly. This shot is quite sharp from corner to corner, with almost none of the corner softness that seems so characteristic of digicam lenses. The stronger details of the bay window trim are distinct, though the camera loses the more subtle ones to the harsh sunlight. The shadow areas above the front door and beneath the small tree in front fare better, with more distinct brick and shrubbery details. The Auto white balance setting results in a slightly pink cast, but overall color looks pretty good. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series.
Lens Zoom Range
Typical 3x zoom range, great detail with the 2x digital zoom.
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 KD-400Z's lens is equivalent to a 39-117mm zoom on a 35mm camera. This is very slightly toward the telephoto relative to the bulk of 3x zoom digicams, many of which have 35-105mm zooms. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Warm color with Auto white balance, more accurate results with Daylight setting.
This shot is often difficult color-wise, as the abundance of blue in the composition sometimes tricks cameras' white balance systems into overcompensating, producing a warm color balance. The KD-400Z somewhat fell prey to that here. The Auto setting produced a warm, yellow image, while the Daylight setting resulted in a cooler image. Though just a little too cool, skin tones look nearly accurate with the Daylight white balance. (Skin tones were much too warm with the Auto setting.) A slight magenta cast reddens the blue background, and produces purplish tints in the deep shadows of the blue robe. However, resolution is high, with great detail in the embroidery of the blue robe and in the finer details of the beaded necklaces.
About average macro area, though flash performance is good.
The KD-400Z captured a slightly large macro area, at 3.9 x 2.9 inches (99 x 73 millimeters). Details are well-defined and fairly sharp throughout the frame, with a lot of fine detail visible in the coins and brooch. Exposure is about right, but the Auto white balance produces a magenta cast. The KD-400Z's flash throttled down well for the macro area, falling off slightly in the lower corners of the frame. The KD-400Z wouldn't be your first choice if you need to snap photos of *really* small objects, but has the advantage that its flash works reasonably well up close, better than that of most digicams I test.
"Davebox" Test Target
Slightly underexposed, with faint color casts. Decent color otherwise though.
Both the Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced similar results on this target, with very slight color casts. The Auto setting has a slight magenta tint, while the Daylight image is just a little yellow. The large color blocks are nearly accurate, though saturation is slightly weak across the board. Exposure is about right (though slightly dim), and the camera captures all of the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes has good detail, and noise is low.
Barely usable under average city street lighting.
The KD-400Z operates under automatic exposure control, and has a maximum shutter time of only one second. As a result, its low-light shooting abilities are fairly limited. The KD-400Z captured usable images at light levels only as low as one foot-candle (11 lux), though even at this level, its shots were fairly dark. Typical city street lighting corresponds to about one foot-candle, so you'll probably find yourself relying on its flash for most nighttime shooting. The camera also has trouble focusing at light levels this low, and does not offer a manual adjustment. On the positive side though, noise is low, with a fine grain pattern. 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.
Flash Range Test
Bright intensity to about 11 feet from the target.
The KD-400Z's flash seemed to be usable as far as 14 feet from the test target, unusual in a compact camera. I felt I saw a little falloff between 11 and 12 feet though, so "called" its range as 11 feet. A slight pink color cast crept in at the furthest distances, from a minimal decrease in intensity. Below is our flash range series, showing results with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
The KD-400Z performed well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart, showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 800 lines per picture height horizontally and vertically. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,100 lines vertically, and 1,200 lines horizontally. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at approximately 1,350 lines.
Optical distortion on the KD-400Z is higher than average at the wide-angle end, where I measured a 0.97 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, with a only an 0.22 percent barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is moderate, showing three or four 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.) The strongest optical distortion I noticed was some corner softness on the left side of the frame.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
Optical viewfinder is tight, but LCD monitor performs well.
The KD-400Z's optical viewfinder was very tight, showing approximately 80 percent of the frame at wide angle and approximately 83 percent at telephoto. The camera's LCD monitor proved more accurate, showing approximately 96 percent of the frame at wide angle and approximately 97 percent at telephoto. Since I generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the KD-400Z has only minimal room for improvement. The flash underexposed somewhat at wide angle, and showed just a little falloff at the corners of the frame. At telephoto, flash intensity is much brighter, with only a faint hint of falloff in the corners.
KD-400 Test Images
KD-400 "Picky Details"
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