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Toshiba PDR-M71

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PDR-M71 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 08/24/2001

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: (1039 k)

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 PDR-M71 did a good job. The shot at right has a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which brightens the midtones just enough (though the overall image still appears a little dim, any higher adjustment would completely blow the highlights). We shot with the Auto (271 k) and Daylight (265 k) white balance settings, choosing the Auto setting for our main shot (Daylight appeared slightly cooler with a stronger magenta tint). Overall color looks good, though skin tones are a little pink. The blue flowers have a deep purplish tint (these blues are often difficult for digicams to reproduce correctly, and the M71 falls prey to this somewhat). Resolution and detail both look good as well.

To see the results of a range of exposure settings, see files M71OUTAP0.HTM through M71OUTAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page. These show a range from +0 to +1.0 EV exposure compensation.

 

  Closer Portrait: (1092 k)

Results in this close-up shot are similar to the shot above, though the bright exposure results in slightly dimmer midtones. The PDR-M71's 2.8x zoom lens helps prevent any distortion of the model's features. Resolution is even higher in this shot, with great detail in the model's face and hair. Skin tones are again slightly magenta, but overall color is close to accurate. Detail is strong in the shadow areas, with moderate noise. Our main shot was taken without an exposure adjustment, as anything brighter lost too much highlight detail. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.0 EV.

To see the results of a range of exposure settings, see files M71FACP0.HTM through M71FACP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page. These show a range from +0 to +1.0 EV exposure compensation.

 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (1089 k)
+0.0 EV
+1.0 EV

The PDR-M71's built-in flash illuminated the subject with a very low intensity when shooting with no exposure compensation (1115 k). Adjusting the exposure compensation to +1.0 EV (1089 k) brightened the shot dramatically, producing stronger color as well. The background incandescent lighting produced a slight orange-magenta cast, which decreased slightly with the brighter shot. Color looks good, though the blue flowers again appear purple.

 

 
Indoor Portrait, No Flash: (1162 k)

Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
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 PDR-M71's white balance system produced good results. While the Auto (1157 k) white balance setting produced a slightly warm cast, the Incandescent (1162 k) setting resulted in a slightly magenta image. We chose the Incandescent setting because it produced the most natural overall color balance, and selected a +0.3 EV exposure adjustment for our main shot. Color looks good, though the blue flowers have a strong purple cast. Below is our standard exposure series (from zero to +0.7 EV), followed by an ISO series.

To see the results of a range of exposure settings, see files M71INTP0.HTM through M71INTP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page. These show a range from +0 to +1.0 EV exposure compensation.

You can also see a series shot with the M71's various ISO settings on the thumbnail index page as well. Look for files M71IN100, 200, and 400 for shots taken with ISO settings 100, 200, and 400.

 
House Shot: (1183 k)
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

We chose the Auto (1183 k) white balance setting for our main selection, though the Daylight (1170 k) setting produced good results as well. Resolution is high, with fairly sharp details throughout the frame. The front shrubbery details are slightly soft, with higher contrast defining the edges. We also noticed some corner softness from the lens, but the overall image looks pretty good. (The row of ghostly dots midway down the trees in the upper part of the photo is caused by some scratches on the mylar overcoat of the poster used as a target for this shot.)

 

 
  Far-Field Test (1134 k)

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 our ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this. The PDR-M71 captured a lot of fine detail throughout the frame, with nice clarity and sharpness. The fine foliage details are soft, but definition is good. We did notice an fair bit of softness in the corners, and chromatic aberration is quite pronounced in the upper corners, particularly the upper left. We also measure a camera's dynamic range here, and noticed that the PDR-M71 had some trouble with the bright glare of the sunny bay window. Only the most prominent details are visible, and the edge of the trim glows with a small halo. The shadow area under the porch shows slightly stronger detail, with the brick pattern faintly visible. Below are ISO, contrast, and sharpness series.

ISO Series:
ISO 100
1/ 210
F/ 6.4
(1138 k)
ISO 200
1/ 290
F/ 7.5
(1199 k)
ISO 400
1/ 390
F/ 9.1
(1153 k)

Contrast Series:
The M71's contrast adjustment provides a good range of control, but mainly affects the shadow areas.

Low

1/ 200
F/ 6.4
(1150 k)
Normal

1/ 210
F/ 6.4
(1155 k)
High

1/ 200
F/ 6.4
(1130 k)

Sharpness Series:
Low
1/ 200
F/ 6.4
(1195 k)
Normal
1/ 200
F/ 6.4
(1168 k)
High
1/ 200
F/ 6.4
(1161 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 present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, the lens at full 2.8x telephoto, and the lens at full telephoto with digital zoom enabled. The PDR-M71's lens covers a range equivalent to a 35 - 98 mm zoom on a 35mm film camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

 

Wide Angle
1/ 220
F/ 4.8
(277 k)
2.8x Telephoto
1/ 210
F/ 6.7
(284 k)
Digital Zoom
1/ 170
F/ 5.7
(284 k)

 

 
  Musicians Poster (1179 k)

Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
For this test, we shot with the Auto (1181 k) and Daylight (1179 k) white balance settings, which both produced similar results. We chose the Daylight setting for our main shot, because of the slightly warmer skin tones. Color is good, with a nearly accurate blue on the Oriental model's robe (we noticed a slight purple tint, which is a common problem with this shot). Resolution is high, with good detail in the embroidery of the blue robe, as well as in the necklaces and flower garland.

 
Macro Shot (1165 k)

Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash
The PDR-M71 turned in a roughly average in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 4.1 x 3.07 inches (104.04 x 78.03 millimeters). Color, resolution, and detail are all good, though the gray background has a magenta tint. The PDR-M71's flash (1171 k) had some trouble throttling down for the macro area, and overexposed the image. Still, details are crisp and the camera does a pretty good job.

 

"Davebox" Test Target (1158 k)

Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
We shot samples of this target using the Auto (1158 k) and Daylight (1098 k) white balance settings, choosing the Auto setting for our main shot (though the Daylight setting wasn't too far off the mark). Overall exposure looks about right, as the Q60 target shows good tonal distribution. Color also looks good, with nearly accurate saturation. Detail is strong in the shadow and highlight areas, with moderate noise in the shadows. Following are contrast and color series.

Contrast Series:
The M71's contrast options performed about the same on this target as it did on the "Far Field" test, mainly affecting the shadows.

Low

1/ 170
F/ 3.4
(1115 k)
Normal

1/ 170
F/ 3.4
(1162 k)
High

1/ 125
F/ 4
(1171 k)

Color Series:
The M71 also offers optional settings for "vivid" saturation or black/white photography.

Normal

1/ 170
F/ 3.4
(1149 k)
Vivid

1/ 125
F/ 4
(1116 k)
Monochrome

1/ 125
F/ 4
(1003 k)
Sepia

1/ 125
F/ 4
(1073 k)

 
Low-Light Tests

The PDR-M71's manual exposure controls give the camera great low-light shooting capabilities, as we were able to capture bright, usable images down to about 1/16 foot-candle (or 0.67 lux) at the 200 and 400 ISO settings. At ISO 100, images were usable down to about 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux), though the target was still quite visible at 1/16 foot-candle. Color is good in the brighter exposures, though the Auto white balance setting had some trouble at light levels lower than one foot-candle, and produced a magenta cast. The PDR-M71 automatically employs a noise reduction system at longer exposures, which did a pretty good job of controlling the image noise, even at ISO 400, but there was still quite a bit of noise evident in the longer exposures. 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.

1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
ISO 100 Click to see M71LL103.JPG
694.7 KB
2 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL104.JPG
626.2 KB
4 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL105.JPG
632.4 KB
10 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL106.JPG
637.2 KB
15 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL107.JPG
620.3 KB
15 secs
F2.9
ISO 200 Click to see M71LL203.JPG
672.3 KB
1 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL204.JPG
644.5 KB
3 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL205.JPG
620.9 KB
6 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL206.JPG
644.0 KB
10 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL207.JPG
644.1 KB
15 secs
F2.9
ISO 400 Click to see M71LL403.JPG
532.4 KB
1/ 1 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL404.JPG
533.4 KB
1.5 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL405.JPG
528.0 KB
3 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL406.JPG
533.4 KB
6 secs
F2.9
Click to see M71LL407.JPG
524.7 KB
8 secs
F2.9


 
Flash Range Test

In our testing, we found the PDR-M71's flash effective only to 8 feet from the target, with intensity decreasing dramatically after the nine foot distance - This seems a bit underpowered to us. Below is our complete 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 M71FL08.JPG
1,154.7 KB
1/64 secs
F3.9
Click to see M71FL09.JPG
1,111.3 KB
1/90 secs
F4.8
Click to see M71FL10.JPG
1,004.0 KB
1/90 secs
F4.8
Click to see M71FL11.JPG
920.5 KB
1/90 secs
F4.8
Click to see M71FL12.JPG
864.7 KB
1/90 secs
F4.8
Click to see M71FL13.JPG
809.3 KB
1/90 secs
F4.8
Click to see M71FL14.JPG
766.5 KB
1/90 secs
F4.8

 

 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (1092 k)

The PDR-M71 performed pretty well on our "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 500-600 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. We found "strong detail" out to at 900-950 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,200 lines.

Optical distortion on the PDR-M71 was moderate at the wide-angle end, where we measured an approximate 0.65 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as we found only one pixel of barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration was moderate in this test, showing only about two or three green pixels of coloration and about five or six red pixels of coloration. (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 color in the chromatic aberration fringes is fairly strong though, which helps explain while it was so evident in the far-field test shot above.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Large / Fine
1/ 140
F/ 4
(1092 k)
Large / Normal
1/ 125
F/ 4
(658 k)
Large / Economy
1/ 140
F/ 4
(335 k)
Medium / Fine
1/ 125
F/ 4
(277 k)
Medium / Normal
1/ 140
F/ 4
(190 k)
Medium / Economy
1/ 140
F/ 4
(96 k)
Small / Fine
1/ 125
F/ 4
(155 k)
Small / Normal
1/ 140
F/ 4
(101 k)
Small / Economy
1/ 140
F/ 4
(62 k)

Resolution Series, Telephoto
Large / Fine
1/ 105
F/ 4.8
(1090 k)

Sharpness Series:
Low
1/ 140
F/ 4
(1039 k)
Normal
1/ 140
F/ 4
(1076 k)
High
1/ 140
F/ 4
(1119 k)

 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

The PDR-M71's optical viewfinder was a little tight, showing approximately 83 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and approximately 81 percent accuracy at telephoto. The LCD monitor produced more accurate results, showing about 90.29 percent at wide angle, and about 90.42 percent at telephoto. Given that we generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the PDR-M71 has some room for improvement here. Flash distribution is dim but fairly even at wide-angle, with some falloff in the corners of the frame. At the telephoto lens setting, flash coverage is more even throughout the frame.

 


Wide Angle (Optical)
1/ 45
F/ 2.9
(1111 k)

Telephoto (Optical)
1/ 90
F/ 4.8
(1045 k)

Wide Angle (LCD)
1/ 45
F/ 2.9
(1066 k)

Telephoto (LCD)
1/ 90
F/ 4.8
(1038 k)

 

 

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