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Toshiba PDR-M60

Toshiba introduces a "value-priced" 2 megapixel camera with nice image quality and a 2.3x optical zoom.

<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>

Toshiba PDR-M60 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 1/12/2001

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: (984k)
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why we set it up this way. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the Toshiba PDR-M60's white balance and exposure systems did a reasonably good job. We shot samples of this image with the automatic (985k) and daylight (906k) white balance modes. Both settings produced similar results, though the daylight setting was just a touch warmer. The PDR-M60 had a little trouble with the extreme contrast of this shot. The default exposure setting (1065k) produced a rather dark image (quite typical of digicams on this test), but still managed to lose the highlight detail. With the exposure compensation set up to +0.6EV (984k), the skin tones were well-exposed, but the highlights were quite blown out. Overall color balance looks pretty good, although the blues of the model's pants and flowers have a bit of the purplish cast many digicams give them. (They're actually pretty pure blues, but the dyes involved are frequently rendered as shades of purple by digicams.) The skin tones are a bit too pink, and the tonal handling on the face is just a little splotchy. Resolution looks fairly good, as lot of fine detail is visible throughout the image, particularly in the flowers and details of the model's face. The shadow areas show slightly less detail, with a moderate amount of fine grain noise present. Our main shot was taken with a +0.6 EV exposure adjustment, which gave us the best exposure in the midtone and shadow areas, albeit at the cost of highlight detail in the model's shirt. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.5 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 87
F/ 13.45
(1065 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 77
F/ 13.45
(1069 k)
0.6 EV
1/ 194
F/ 6.96
(983 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 149
F/ 6.96
(989 k)
1.3 EV
1/ 104
F/ 6.96
(1011 k)
1.5 EV
1/ 164
F/ 4.29
(1018 k)



 
Closer portrait: (1033k)
The PDR-M60 again performs reasonably well in this closer, portrait shot, without any distortion from its 2.3x lens. (Shorter focal length lenses tend to distort facial features in close-up shots like this: The availability of longer focal lengths is a key feature if you're going to be shooting close-up people shots.) Continuing with the automatic white balance mode, we shot our main image (1033k) with a +0.3 EV exposure adjustment. Most cameras require a bit less exposure boost on this shot than on the Outdoor Portrait above, but in the case of the M60, we felt that somewhere between +0.3 and +0.6 would have been about right. Even with the +0.3 EV adjustment, the camera has a little difficulty with the harsh lighting. Boosting the exposure compensation to +0.7 EV (1072k) brightened the exposure, but resulted in rather splotchy-looking highlight areas on the face. Resolution looks very good, with more fine detail visible than in the wider shot. The individual strands of the model's hair are very crisp, and we can almost distinguish the thread pattern of the shirt. Noise remains moderate and fine grained in the shadow areas. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings on the PDR-M60, from zero to +1.0 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 93
F/ 13.45
(1042 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 83
F/ 13.45
(1033 k)
0.6 EV
1/ 65
F/ 13.45
(1072 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 141
F/ 6.96
(917 k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (1124k)
The PDR-M60's flash does a good job of illuminating the subject without altering the color balance too much. We first shot a standard flash exposure with no exposure compensation, which produced this slightly dark, bluish image. Increasing the exposure compensation to +0.3 EV (1124k) brightened the image a little, but kept the bluish tint in the highlight areas. Next, we increased the exposure compensation to +0.7 EV(1103k), which produced the brightest image overall, but which we felt lost too much highlight detail. Color balance remains slightly blue with this shot, but the overall subject area is much brighter. Additionally, the model's shirt becomes too bright, losing some detail. We also shot with the flash in the Slow Synchro (1345k) mode, with a +0.3 EV adjustment. At this setting, the camera does allow more ambient light into the image, but the mismatch in color temperature between the flash and the very warm-hued room lighting becomes even more pronounced, as the model's shirt becomes a vivid blue instead of white.


 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (1119k)
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. We felt that the PDR-M60's white balance system did a surprisingly good job with this difficult light source. We tested the automatic (1178k) and incandescent (1120k) white balance settings, choosing the incandescent setting for our main series. The automatic white balance setting produced a very warm, orange cast. With the incandescent setting, color balance looks pretty good overall, though somewhat muted. The blue and yellow flowers appear a bit brighter than they do in real life, and the skin tones are also a little pink. We chose a +0.9 EV adjustment for our main shot, as anything beyond that overexposed the highlight areas on the model's shirt. (Oddly, the +1.5 EV adjustment produced a strong yellow cast, with very hot highlights.) A moderately high noise level permeates the entire image, even though the ISO was set at the default of 100. The table below shows a range of exposure adjustments from zero to +1.5 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 16
F/ 3.02
(1128 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 13
F/ 3.02
(1124 k)
0.6 EV
1/ 10
F/ 3.02
(1120 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 8
F/ 3.02
(1108 k)
1.3 EV
1/ 7
F/ 3.02
(1108 k)
1.5 EV
1/ 5
F/ 3.02
(1285 k)



 
House shot: (991k)
NOTE that this is the "new" house shot, a much higher-resolution poster than we first used in our tests. To compare the image of the PDR-M60 with previously tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster in the automatic (1015k) white balance setting.

We shot samples of this image with the automatic (347k) and daylight (350k) white balance modes, choosing the automatic setting for our main series. The daylight setting resulted in a very warm, yellowish image. Color balance in the automatic white balance mode appears pretty accurate, though we noticed a slight magenta cast in the white areas. Resolution looks good throughout the image, with fine detail visible in the tree limbs, shrubbery, and house front (though the entire image appears slightly soft). Noise is moderate in the roof shingles and shadow areas, but with a fine grain pattern. In-camera sharpening is barely noticeable, with just a pixel or two of the halo effect visible around the light and dark edges of the white trim along the roof line. Overall, a fairly good job. The table below shows the full range of resolution and quality settings.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 56
F/ 3.02
(991 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 56
F/ 3.02
(556 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 56
F/ 3.02
(349 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 56
F/ 3.02
(342 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 56
F/ 3.02
(172 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 56
F/ 3.02
(105 k)



 
 
Far-Field Test (943k)
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.

We shot this image with the automatic (943k) and daylight (943k) white balance modes. Both settings produced similar results, so we chose the automatic mode for our main series. Color balance (in both daylight and automatic white balance) appears a little warm, giving the house bricks a brownish tint. This shot is a strong test of detail, given the practically infinite range of fine detail in a natural scene like this, viewed from a distance. Resolution looks good, with a lot of fine detail visible in the tree branches against the sky, as well as in the shrubbery in front of the house and in the house front details. Again though, we noticed that the overall image appears somewhat soft. We also judge a camera's dynamic range in this shot, comparing how well the camera holds detail in both the shadow and highlight areas. The PDR-M60 has a somewhat limited dynamic range, as it loses all but the strongest details in the bright bay window area. The dark shadows of the wooded areas also show a loss of detail, but only in thevery darkest regions. A moderate amount of noise exists in the roof shingles and shadows, but is less noticeable than in some of our other test shots. We also shot with the 100 (943k), 200 (999k), and 400 (920k) ISO settings. As you'd expect, noise level increases slightly with each ISO adjustment, though noise at the ISO 400 setting was only moderately high. We also noticed that the color balance grew slightly warmer at the 200 setting, eventually becoming quite yellow at the 400 setting. The table below shows the full resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 84
F/ 13.45
(943 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 84
F/ 13.45
(521 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 83
F/ 13.45
(271 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 83
F/ 13.45
(261 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 84
F/ 13.45
(154 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 84
F/ 13.45
(75 k)



 
 
Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to show you the field of view with the lens at full wide angle and at the full 2.3x telephoto setting. At wide angle, the PDR-M60 captures a very wide field of view, with just the slightest trace of barrel distortion along the curb of the street. The 2.3x telephoto setting produces a slightly sharper close-up shot, though the auto white balance becomes warmer with the zoom. (Doubtless due to the change in scene content varying as the lens was zoomed.)

Wide Angle
Shutter: 1/ 80
Aperture: F13.45
(273k)
Telephoto
Shutter: 1/ 90
Aperture: F13.45
(270k)



 
 
Musicians Poster (1033k)
We shot samples of this image using the automatic (302k) and daylight (303k) white balance settings, choosing the automatic setting as the most accurate. Both white balance modes produced warm results, with the daylight setting producing the warmest image of the two. (The large amount of blue in the image often tricks digicams into overcompensating.) Despite the warm cast, color balance looks nearly accurate throughout the image. (For what it's worth, the yellowish tint is quite uniform across the image: A simple "auto levels" operation in Photoshop(tm) cleans up the image remarkably well, as seen here.(581k) ) The blue of the Oriental model's robe is about right, though it and the skin tones reflect a yellowish tint. Resolution looks good, with a lot of the fine detail visible in the bird wings on the blue robe. The silver threads are just barely visible as well. The flower garland, violin strings, and beaded necklaces also show a nice detail. We noticed what appears to be some odd artifacts on the violin strings, although we didn't see these in other images, not even in the resolution target with its many near-vertical high-contrast lines. Noise remains moderate throughout the image, again with a fine grain pattern. Below is our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 43
F/ 3.02
(1033 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 43
F/ 3.02
(594 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 43
F/ 3.02
(291 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 42
F/ 3.02
(274 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 43
F/ 3.02
(150 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 43
F/ 3.02
(74 k)



 
Macro Shot (646k)
The PDR-M60 performs well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 2.39 x 1.60 inches (60.80 x 40.72mm). Color balance is a little cool, but detail and resolution both look great. The PDR-M60's built-in flash (445k) has great difficulty throttling down for the macro shot though, as its intensity is much too strong for the close-up shooting range. (We suspect that the trick of taping a piece of notebook paper across the flash window could do a lot to alleviate this proble


"Davebox" Test Target (989k)
We shot samples of this target with the automatic (284k) and daylight (286k) white balance settings, again choosing the automatic setting for our main series as the daylight setting resulted in a very warm color cast. All of the large color blocks appear slightly undersaturated, though reasonably accurate in hue. The PDR-M60 adeptly distinguishes between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart, which is a problem area for many digicams. Exposure looks about right, as the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 chart are easily visible up to the "B" range (another common problem area for digicams). The gradations of the vertical grayscales are also visible, though the two darkest shades almost blend together. The shadow area of the briquettes shows very little detail though, but nearly all of the detail is visible in the white gauze area. Noise is moderate and fine grained, mostly noticeable in the black areas and shadows. Overall a good performance, particularly for the low end of the 2 megapixel price spectrum as of this testing (late December, 2000). Below is our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 63
F/ 3.02
(989 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 63
F/ 3.02
(533 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 63
F/ 3.02
(284 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 62
F/ 3.02
(228 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 63
F/ 3.02
(116 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 62
F/ 3.02
(59 k)



 
Low-Light Tests
As we expected, the PDR-M60 had a little trouble in the low-light category. We were able to capture images at light levels as low as 1/16 foot-candles (0.67 lux), but noticed high noise levels and pink and orange color casts with all three ISO settings. The lowest light level that produced a bright image was eight foot-candles (88 lux), again at all three ISO settings, although the four foot-candle image could be considered usable with some post-exposure tweaking in an imaging program. At ISO 400, the two foot-candle image could be considered usable, but its high noise level makes it marginal at best. Color balance remained warm at all light levels, especially with the ISO 400 setting. To put the PDR-M60's low light performance into perspective, an average city night scene under modern street lighting corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle. Thus, the M60 would be of limited usefulness for taking pictures after dark in all but the most brighly-lit scenes. The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each ISO setting at a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

ISO
100
Click to see M60L0100.JPG

923.7 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0101.JPG

902.2 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0102.JPG

846.0 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0103.JPG

970.7 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0104.JPG

983.6 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0105.JPG

1,069.4 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0106.JPG

1,091.9 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0107.JPG

972.1 KB
2
F3.02

ISO
200
Click to see M60L0200.JPG

1,023.6 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0201.JPG

1,004.8 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0202.JPG

936.8 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0203.JPG

965.8 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0204.JPG

1,057.1 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0205.JPG

1,135.3 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0206.JPG

982.8 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0207.JPG

935.6 KB
2
F3.02

ISO
400
Click to see M60L0400.JPG

991.4 KB
1/6
F3.02

Click to see M60L0401.JPG

1,056.6 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0402.JPG

1,054.7 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0403.JPG

925.2 KB
1/4
F3.02

Click to see M60L0404.JPG

1,044.6 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0405.JPG

1,115.6 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0406.JPG

967.1 KB
2
F3.02

Click to see M60L0407.JPG

909.4 KB
2
F3.02




 
Flash Range Test
Toshiba rates the PDR-M60's flash effective from 1.65 to 9.8 feet (0.5 to 3.0m), which we felt was rather generous, based on our own test results. We noticed that the PDR-M60's flash was very bright at eight feet, but significantly darkened at the nine foot mark and continued to fall off at greater distances. Oddly, the flash seemed to brighten up at the 12 foot mark, a fact we're hard-pressed to explain. From 12 to 14 feet, the flash intensity remained reasonably bright. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(273 k)
9 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(216 k)
10 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(197 k)
11 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(196 k)
12 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(272 k)
13 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(254 k)
14 ft
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(233 k)



 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (1016k)
The M60 did fairly well in the resolution test, with a resolution in the horizontal direction of 650 lines per picture height, and a resolution in the vertical direction of 600 lines. This is a shade off the best performance we've seen for a 2 megapixel camera, but not far. Close examination of the resolution target also shows why some of the "natural" scenes appeared a bit "soft", despite good detail: The M60 appears to use a bit less in-camera sharpening than is common on digicams, with the result that the edges of objects aren't overemphasized to the extent that they are in competing units. The result is arguably more accurate photos, although many users at this level would perhaps prefer a camera that "over-sharpens" to produce crisper-looking prints. A big plus for web or email users is that the M60's low-resolution capture mode produces relatively "clean" images, correcting a deficit of previous Toshiba digicams. The tables below show our standard resolution/quality series for both wide angle and telephoto lens settings.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Large/Fine
1/ 67
F/ 3.02
(1016 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 67
F/ 3.02
(536 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 67
F/ 3.02
(285 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 67
F/ 3.02
(253 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 67
F/ 3.02
(143 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 67
F/ 3.02
(83 k)


Resolution Series, Telephoto
Large/Fine
1/ 69
F/ 3.02
(1037 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 60
F/ 3.02
(538 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 69
F/ 3.02
(289 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 69
F/ 3.02
(260 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 70
F/ 3.02
(144 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 69
F/ 3.02
(87 k)


 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found the PDR-M60's optical viewfinder to be a little tight at the wide angle (267k) setting, showing approximately 81 percent of the final image area. The optical viewfinder proved to be more accurate at the telephoto (278k) end, showing approximately 92.5 percent of the final image area. (Percentages were the same for both the 1792 x 1200 and 896 x 600 resolution sizes.) All of the images framed with the optical viewfinder showed a slant towards the lower left corner, with the entire target shifted up and to the left. When framing with the optical viewfinder at the telephoto setting, we noticed that the final image was shifted even further to the left, so that the edge of the target and part of the wall behind it are visible on the right side. The LCD monitor was only slightly more accurate than the optical viewfinder, showing approximately 93 percent of the final image area at wide angle (62k), and about 95 percent at telephoto (263k) (again for both image sizes). Since we usually like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the PDR-M60's LCD monitor does a pretty good job. Flash distribution looks pretty uneven at wide angle, with the brightest spot in the very center of the target and a great deal of falloff around the edges, which gets darker in the corners. Flash uniformity is much better at the telephoto end of the lens' range, but still shows some uneveness.

Optical distortion on the PDR-M60 is moderate at the wide angle end, as we measured approximately 0.66 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared better, showing only 0.26 percent pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration (visible as colored fringes around the black elements of our resolution target in the extreme corners) is quite modest. The spread of the colored fringes is as much as 2 pixels (a little high), but the colored fringes are fairly subdued in hue and brightness. Overall, a pretty good performance by the M60's lens.

 

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<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

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