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Sample Images for the
Kodak EasyShare LS420
Digital Cameras

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:

Very good color, but underexposed.

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. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the LS420 had just a little trouble. While the color is very good, the high contrast lighting tricked the camera into underexposing the shot a fair bit. Still, the performance isn't too bad considering the complete absence of any exposure adjustments on the camera. Overall color balance is just a little warm, with slightly reddish skin tones. The blue flowers are dark, with slight purple tints, but their color is better than average (this is a difficult blue for many digicams to get right). Resolution is high, with sharp details throughout the frame. Detail is also good in the shadow areas, with moderate noise only in the darkest areas.

 

 

Closer Portrait:

Since the LS420 has a wide angle lens and can't focus closer than 2.6 feet, it really isn't capable of capturing this shot. (I could have taken the picture, but would either have had to be much further away, missing the closeup entirely, or the image would have been very blurred due to the restricted focusing range.)

 

 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:

Normal Flash Mode
Slow Sync Flash

Good flash intensity and color.

The LS420's flash performed well here, illuminating the subject nicely with good intensity. - Not too strong, not too weak. Overall color looks good, with only a slight orange cast in the background from the incandescent room lighting. The camera's Slow Sync flash mode produced even better results, combining the flash with a slightly slower shutter speed to allow more ambient light into the image. This brightens the exposure and decreases the orange cast. A really good job.

 

 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:

Auto White Balance
Despite the pink cast, great results for a purely automatic camera.

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 LS420's automatic white balance handled the challenge fairly well. While the overall color is a bit pinkish, the camera did a good job considering the lack of any manual white balance adjustment. Color saturation is good as well. The blue flowers in the bouquet are a little dark and purplish, but this is a problem common to many digicams on this shot. The exposure is also good, even with the lack of exposure compensation adjustment available. Really a very good performance on a very tough subject. - A lot of more expensive cameras don't do as well...

 

 

House Shot:

Auto White Balance

Good color and exposure, with reasonably good detail.

The LS420's automatic white balance system produced good, accurate color here, with good saturation. Resolution is moderate high, with a fair amount of detail visible in the tree limbs above the house and in the fine foliage in front. Details are somewhat soft, though, especially in the corners of the frame. - Overall, the LS420 doesn't produce images as sharp as many competing models, leading me to rate it as good for prints up to 5x7 inches, rather than the 8x10 I'd normally associate with a two megapixel camera.

 
 

 

Far-Field Test

Good color, exposure, and detail.

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 LS420 captures good detail throughout the frame, though the fixed-focus length lens and shooting distance mean the house doesn't fill the frame as well as it would with a zoom-equipped camera. Though details are soft, there's fairly good definition in the tree limbs and fine foliage details. Color is nearly accurate, but the green values have more yellow in them than I'd prefer. The shooting distance also makes it hard to judge the camera's dynamic range, particularly in the bright sunlight of the white bay window trim. The camera does pick up the stronger details here though, and does a fairly good job with the shadow area above the porch as well (most of the brick pattern is visible).

 
 

 

Lens Zoom Range

The 3x digital zoom compromises quality, with blurred details and lower resolution.

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 (none available, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The LS420's lens is equivalent to a 38mm lens on a 35mm camera, and the only "zoom" available is 3x digital telephoto. As usual, the "zoom" provided by a digital zoom occurs at the direct cost of reduced resolution. The LS420's digital zoom may be of some use if you're shooting at the camera's lower resolution setting, but don't bother with it for full-sized images. Following are the results at each setting.

 

Wide Angle
3x Digital Telephoto

 

 
 

 

Musicians Poster

Auto White Balance
Slightly warm color, but very good results overall.

The large amount of blue in this image often tricks digicam white balance systems, and though the LS420's shot came out just slightly warm, the overall photo looks very good indeed. The blue robe is nearly accurate, with only faint purple tints in the deep shadows. (This is a tough blue for many digicams to get right.) The image is just a little high in contrast, but not too bad. The embroidery of the blue robe shows good detail, as do the instruments and the beaded necklaces.

 

 

Macro Shot

Because the LS420 has a fixed-focus lens, and its minimum focusing distance is 2.6 feet (0.8 meters), I didn't bother with a macro shot. Definitely not the camera to buy if you need closeups.

 

 

"Davebox" Test Target

Auto White Balance
Good color, a little contrasty, but good exposure overall.

The LS420's automatic white balance system again produced good results, without any strong color casts. Color in the large color blocks is almost perfect, with good saturation as well. Contrast is again a little high, but the tonal distribution on the Q60 chart (at the bottom of the image) shows good handling of the pastel tones. Detail is strong in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, and noise is moderate, but the overall image looks good.

 

 

Low-Light Tests

You'll need the flash for anything less than fairly well-lit scenes.

The LS420's all-automatic exposure control and lack of exposure adjustments severely limit the camera's low-light shooting capability. The camera captured bright, clear images at light levels only as low as four foot-candles (44 lux), which is about four times brighter than average city street lighting at night. That said, the image captured at two foot-candles (22 lux) could arguably be used, though it's just slightly dim. Color looks good, and image noise is fairly low. 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.

8fc
88lux
4fc
44lux
2fc
22lux
1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
Click to see LS42LL00.JPG
1/4 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL01.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL02.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL03.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL04.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL05.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL06.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42LL07.JPG
1/2 secs
F3.9

 

 

Flash Range Test

Good intensity to 14 feet, with just a slight decrease in brightness.

In my testing, the LS420's flash maintained good intensity all the way out to 14 feet from the test target. Though flash power began to diminish somewhat from the 12-foot distance on, brightness was good at 14 feet. Note that the images are blurry from the 3x digital zoom, which was required to keep the target in frame. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see LS42FL08.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42FL09.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42FL10.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42FL11.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42FL12.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42FL13.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9
Click to see LS42FL14.JPG
1/30 secs
F3.9

 

 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Strong detail to 700 lines/picture height.

The LS420 performed a bit below average on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for its 2.1-megapixel class. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 500 lines per picture height vertically, and about 300-400 lines horizontally. I found "strong detail"only out to about 650 lines, on the low side for a two megapixel camera. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 800 lines.

Optical distortion on the LS420 is pretty low for a wide-angle lens, as I measured only 0.26 percent barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is also minimal, showing about two or three pixels of light 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 most prominent optical problem I noticed was some softness in the corners of the frame.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Large / Fine
Small / Normal

 

 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A slightly "loose" optical viewfinder, but a very accurate LCD.

The LS420's optical viewfinder is a little "loose," showing more of the image area than what makes it into the final frame. I'd therefore recommend framing images toward the center of the field of view and allowing a little extra space around all sides. The LCD monitor proved to be very accurate though, showing 97 percent of the final image area. Given that I generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the LS420's LCD monitor performs well here. Flash distribution is splotchy, with a hot spot in the center of the frame and significant falloff in the corners.

 

Wide Angle (Optical)

Wide Angle (LCD)

 


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