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Digital Cameras - Kodak EasyShare LS753 Zoom 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, ISOsetting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested inthe information need wade through it!

 

Outdoor Portrait:

Good color, with good saturation. High resolution, but details are somewhat soft.

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 shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the EasyShare LS753 Zoom did pretty well.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which produced good midtones without losing too much highlight detail. (I was surprised that the camera managed to hold onto as much highlight detail as it did.) The Auto white balance resulted in the most accurate color balance here, as the Daylight setting had a stronger red cast.

Skin tones are about right, although perhaps just slightly pink, and the blue flowers in the bouquet look good as well. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, and the LS753 Zoom does render them a little darker than in real life. Accuracy is pretty good though.) The bright red flowers have a pink tint, and are a little oversaturated, but color looks good throughout the rest of the frame.

Resolution is high, with pretty good definition in the finer details, but details are a bit soft in Marti's face. There's also a noticeable loss of detail in the areas of subtle contrast in Marti's hair, evidence of over-aggressive anti-noise processing. Shadow detail is moderate, with a slightly high noise level.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.5 to +1.5 EV, see files 753OUTAM1.HTM through 753OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Dark exposure with the default setting, but a half-step increase is too bright. More resolution and detail.

The LS753 Zoom's exposure compensation is only adjustable in half-step increments, which proved to be too large a step for this shot. (I don't understand why manufacturers seem to feel that "simple" cameras should have only 1/2 EV steps on their exposure compensation. It's obviously too coarse for a digicam.) I settled on the darker default exposure over the +0.5 EV adjustment, because the brighter shot lost too much highlight detail, and Marti's skin tones looked ghastly. Though the default exposure is quite dark, it could be lightened post-capture on a computer to produce more pleasing results. Resolution and detail are much stronger in this close-up shot, and fine detail is strong in Marti's face and hair. There's still evidence of too much anti-noise processing in Marti's hair, but the resolution is high enough that the hairs themselves still stand out fine. The LS753 Zoom's 2.8x zoom lens helps prevent any geometric distortion of Marti's features, an important consideration for close-up portraits like this.

To view the entire exposure series from -0.5 to +1.5 EV, see files 753FACAM1.HTM through 753FACAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+2.0 EV

A lot of positive exposure compensation required to get a good exposure, but color is good.

The LS753 Zoom's built-in flash was quite dim at the default exposure setting, requiring a full +2.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment to get pleasing results. The background incandescent lighting creates an orange cast on the back wall, which spills onto Marti's features a little as well. Still, overall color is pretty good, though the blue flowers in the bouquet are a bit dark and purplish. Overall a good-looking photo for this shot.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +2.0 EV, see files 753INFP0.HTM through 753INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Really excellent handling of a very tough subject. Good color and good exposure.

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. Kodak's cameras tend to have really excellent white balance systems, and the LS753 is no exception, as it did much better here than most cameras I test. The LS753 Zoom's Auto white balance setting produced a slightly reddish color balance, while the Incandescent setting produced more accurate results, but both images are well within acceptable limits. Skin tones look pretty good, as does the flower bouquet (though the blue flowers are a bit dark and purplish). The main exposure was taken with a +0.5 EV exposure compensation adjustment, and looks about right. Very good results overall.

 

ISO Series:
As you might expect, image noise is pretty low (but still visible) at the 80 and 100 ISO equivalents, and is only moderate at ISO 200, although the increased anti-noise processing at ISO 200 results in a noticeable softening of the image and loss of subtle details. The image at ISO 400 is fairly smooth-looking, but at the cost of a huge amount of detail. At ISO 800, the camera forces you to a 1 megapixel resolution to further cut the noise, a tactic that's only partially successful, as the image is quite blurred and the color balance is way off. ISO 800 will work in a pinch for you, if you just have to have a particular shot, but be prepared for some pretty serious loss of image quality.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Fairly high resolution, but lots of artifacts from anti-noise processing. Color balance is slightly warm.

Both the LS753 Zoom's Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced similar results, with a slightly warm color balance. I chose the Auto setting for the main shot, though the warm cast seemed about the same in both shots. Resolution is high, and the tree limbs and front shrubbery show pretty good detail. Details are slightly soft, and show a lot of artifacts from the anti-noise processing in some areas, such as in the brick pattern in the slightly shaded areas on the front of the house. All four corners of the frame are somewhat soft as well, which combines with the anti-noise artifacts to give those areas a somewhat painterly look.



 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and detail, but anti-noise processing loses some subtle detail. Overexposure results in lost 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, and the LS753 Zoom captures a lot of fine detail. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house show strong detail, with clear leaf patterns. The brick pattern also shows a lot of fine detail, although the anti-noise processing blurs some of it, as we saw in the House Poster shot above. Details are just a hint soft throughout the frame, and even more so in the corners. There's also some lens flare around the clear patches of the sky, more prominent at the corners. The camera overexposed this shot a bit at its default setting, resulting in a nearly complete loss of detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window. As you'd expect though, the high exposures helps reveal detail in the shadow area above the front door. Color looks about right with the Auto white balance. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO and color series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle File
2,560 x 1,920
753FAR2560
2,048 x 1,536
753FAR2048
1,496 x 1,122
753FAR1496


ISO Series:
As before, low but detectable noise at ISO 80 and 100. As the ISO increases, noise increases only slowly, but the anti-noise processing rolls off the fine detail progressively more. ISO 800 is limited to a 1 megapixel image, where the noise isn't too pronounced, but at the cost of considerable lost detail.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800


Color Series:

Color Series
Black and White
Sepia



 

Lens Zoom Range

A good 2.8x 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 (2.8x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The LS753 Zoom's lens is equivalent to a 36-100mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a modest telephoto, just slightly less wide and tele than the 35-105mm lens that's most common on point & shoot digicams. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
2.8x Telephoto
3.6x Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good color, with only a color cast in response to the large amount of blue in the composition. Great detail.

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 LS753's Auto white balance setting fell prey to this syndrome, but only slightly, producing only a minor yellow cast. Although it produced a slight reddish cast, I somewhat preferred the result with the Daylight setting, so chose it for the main example for this test. (Both images would benefit from post-capture color correction, but both are within what I'd consider acceptable limits.) The blue background and robe have purplish tints from the red cast, and the models' skin tones are more red than is really natural. (Though this is largely a matter of personal taste.) Resolution is high, and detail is strong in the embroidery of the blue robe, as well as in the red vest, beaded necklaces, and flower garland. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the LS753 Zoom are definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)Though the LS753 Zoom's Daylight white balance setting produced a reddish cast, I preferred it to the more yellow color balance of the Auto



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro Shot with Flash

A very small macro area, with great detail. Flash has trouble at this close range though.

The LS753 Zoom performed very well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of only 1.65 x 1.24 inches (42 x 32 millimeters). Resolution is excellent, showing a lot of fine detail in the dollar bill. (The coins and brooch are soft due to the very short shooting distance.) As is often the case with digicam macro shots, there's a lot of softness in the corners, but no more than I'm accustomed to seeing in other cameras I test. The camera's flash almost throttles down for the macro area, but is too far to the upper right for an even exposure. - Plan on using an external light source for your closest macro shots.



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good overall exposure, though a slight yellow color cast.

The LS753 Zoom's Auto white balance setting produced the best overall results here, though the white resolution target, color block, and background have a faint yellow cast. (The Daylight setting resulted in a warmer color balance.) Exposure is good, and the camera distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target quite well. Despite the slight warm cast, the large color blocks look very good, with high saturation that matches the original target well. The shadow areas of the charcoal briquettes show only limited detail though, with moderately high noise.

ISO Series:
The LS753 shows surprisingly low noise figures across the board, but as we've seen in other shots above, it accomplishes this feat by using a very aggressive anti-noise algorithm that trades away a fair bit of subtle subject detail in the process. So... No free lunch: Low image noise, but at the cost of detail.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800

Color Series:

Color Series
Black and White
Sepia



 

Low-Light Tests

Surprisingly good low-light performance, with pretty good color and brightness.

Thanks to its "Long Time" exposure mode, the LS753 Zoom produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level, with pretty good color. In the Long Time exposure mode, you can manually select exposure times as long as 16 seconds, but the camera controls the ISO setting (and doesn't inform you of the value it's selected). The exposure was just slightly dim at the 1/8 foot-candle light level, but still usable. Additionally, you can see the test target at the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) light level, but the image is too dark for much use. Noise is quite low, considering the dim lighting, and the camera seemed to focus surprisingly well under very dim conditions as well. 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 sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

(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
(Unknown
ISO)
Click to see 753LL03.JPG
2 sec
f3.0
Click to see 753LL04.JPG
4 sec
f3.0
Click to see 753LL05.JPG
16 sec
f3.0
Click to see 753LL06.JPG
16 sec
f3.0
Click to see 753LL07.JPG
16 sec
f3.0



 

Flash Range Test

Slight underexposure, but a usable range of about 9-10 feet.

In my testing, the LS753 Zoom's flash underexposed the target slightly at the 8 foot distance, but delivered usable intensity until about the 10 foot range, decreasing steadily beyond that point. Below is the 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 753FL08.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9
Click to see 753FL09.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9
Click to see 753FL10.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9
Click to see 753FL11.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9
Click to see 753FL12.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9
Click to see 753FL13.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9
Click to see 753FL14.JPG
1/90 sec
f4.9



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

High resolution, 1,200+ lines of "strong detail." High barrel distortion, but no pincushion.

The LS753 Zoom performed well on the laboratory resolution test chart. Test patterns were clean at resolutions as low as 800 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,200 lines, although one could perhaps argue for as high as 1,300 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,500 lines.

Optical distortion on the LS753 Zoom is high at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 1.07 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I couldn't find any geometric distortion, either pincushion or barrel. There appears to be a little "coma" in the corners of the image, producing a little blurring of target elements there, but chromatic aberration is quite low, showing only very faint 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.)

Resolution Series, ~50mm equivalent focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
2,560 x 1,920
753RES2560
2,048 x 1,536
753RES2048
1,496 x 1,122
753RES1496

 

Resolution Test, Wide Angle

2,560 x 1,920
(Fine, Wide Angle)
753RESW

Resolution Test, Telephoto

2,560 x 1,920
(Fine, Tele)
753REST



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A tight optical viewfinder, but nearly perfect LCD monitor.

The LS753 Zoom's optical viewfinder is a bit tight, showing only about 85 percent of the final image area at wide angle, and about 82 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor proved to be very accurate though, showing nearly 100 percent frame accuracy. (Actually, the lower measurement lines were just cut off.) Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the LS753 Zoom's LCD monitor is close to perfect, but I'd really like to see a more accurate optical viewfinder. Flash distribution is fairly even at wide angle, with falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform, and a little brighter.




LS753 Review
LS753 Test Images
LS753 Specifications
LS753 "Picky Details"
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