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!|
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.
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:
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.)
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.
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
Resolution Test, Wide Angle
Resolution Test, Telephoto
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 Test Images
LS753 "Picky Details"
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