Digital Cameras - Olympus Stylus 410 Test Images
|I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page 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 thumbnail index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digital cameras, 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 Stylus 410 produced good color, but high contrast.
The shot at right was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is slightly bright, with low detail in the highlights. Contrast is high, and midtones are fairly dark, though with moderate detail. I chose the Auto white balance setting for the main image, though the Daylight setting resulted in a similar color balance.
Overall color is slightly warm, emphasizing the red in Marti's skin tones. The blue flowers in the bouquet are dark and purplish, a common occurrence with this shot. Color looks about right throughout the rest of the frame, though the red flowers have magenta tints in the highlights. Resolution is high, and detail is strong in the flower bouquet and in Marti's face, despite their soft appearance. Shadow detail is moderate, with a moderate level of image noise.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files OS41OUTAP0.HTM
through OS41OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail
High resolution and strong detail, though again slightly high contrast.
As with the wider portrait above, contrast is high from the high-key lighting, and midtone detail is moderate. The overall exposure appears bright, with the highlights verging on washing out. The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment. Detail is pretty good in the highlights and shadows, however. The Stylus 410's 3x zoom lens helps prevent strong geometric distortion in Marti's features, and captures fairly sharp details in her face. Resolution and detail are much stronger in this close-up shot, with better definition in Marti's face and hair.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files OS41OUTFACP0.HTM
through OS41OUTFACP4.HTM on the thumbnail
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Underexposure with the flash in the normal setting, though good exposure with the Slow-Sync and Night Scene modes. Strong warm color cast, though.
The Stylus 410's built-in flash proved slightly weak, even with a +1.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment. (The default exposure was very dark.) Most cameras need some exposure boost on this shot, but +1.7 EV is a lot more than most require. The color balance is quite warm from the background incandescent lighting, resulting in strong red tints in Marti's skin tone and a purple cast in the blue flowers. I also shot with the camera's Slow-Sync flash setting, in the Night Scene exposure mode. Color and exposure were much better here, thanks to the longer exposure. I found the best results in this mode with a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is still higher than average. Though overall color is slightly yellow, I still preferred the Slow-Sync flash in the Night Scene mode to the normal flash mode.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV in the normal flash mode, see files OS41INFP0.HTM through OS41INFP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
To view the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode and Night
Scene exposure mode, see files OS41INNSFP0.HTM through OS41INNSFP5.HTM
on the thumbnail
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Good color with the incandescent white balance setting, and about average exposure compensation required.
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. The Stylus 410's Incandescent setting handled the challenge well, as the Auto and Daylight settings resulted in warm casts. Marti's skin tone is a bit pink, and the blue flowers are dark and purplish (though that's almost expected under this difficult light source). The main shot was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is about average. A fair amount of corner softness is present from the camera's lens, softening detail in the flower bouquet quite a bit. Image noise is moderately low.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files OS41INTP0.HTM through OS41INTP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Slightly warm color, with high resolution and good detail. Bad blurring in the right corners though.
Both the Stylus 410's Auto
white balance settings produced similar, slightly warm results here, so
I chose the Auto setting for the main image. Resolution is high, and detail
is strong in the tree limbs, front shrubbery, and house front. However,
details are quite soft throughout the frame, with increasing softness
in the two right corners from some lens distortion.
High resolution and a lot of fine detail, but high contrast limits the dynamic range. Severe softness on the right side of the frame.
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 Stylus 410 captures a good level of fine detail. The front shrubbery and tree limbs above the roof show a lot of fine detail, as does the brick pattern on the house front. Details are just slightly soft overall though, and the entire right side of the frame is very soft indeed. The bright sunlight causes the camera to lose a lot of detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digital cameras. Detail is only marginal in the shadow area above the front door as well, further evidence of a limited dynamic range. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series.
Lens Zoom Range
A good 3x 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 (3x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The Stylus 410's lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a pretty substantial telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Slightly warm color, but still good results. High resolution and a lot of fine detail.
This shot is often a tough test for digital cameras, as the abundance
of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into
producing a warm color balance. Both the Stylus 410's Auto
settings fell victim to this trap, so I stuck with the Auto setting for
the main image. Skin tones are reddish from the warm cast, which also
produced purple tints in the blue background and robe. Resolution is high,
and detail is strong in the embroidered bird wings on the blue robe, as
well as in the model's accessories and in the instruments.
A very small macro area with great detail, and an even smaller area in Super Macro mode. Flash has trouble up close though.
The Stylus 410 performed well in the macro category, capturing a minimum
area of only 2.28 x 1.71 inches (58 x 43 millimeters) in its normal macro
mode. A Super Macro setting captured a smaller minimum area, measuring
1.08 x 0.81 inches (27 x 20 millimeters). Resolution is very high, and
a lot of fine detail is visible in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch.
Details are softer on the coins and brooch in the Super Macro shot due
to the close shooting range, but details are still fairly well defined.
Details soften toward the corners of the frame, but are fairly sharp on
the dollar bill. (Most digital cameras produce images with soft corners
when shooting in their Macro modes.) The Stylus 410's flash
throttled down a little too well for the macro area, and underexposed
"Davebox" Test Target
Good overall exposure, though a magenta color cast.
The Stylus 410's Auto
white balance setting produced the best overall color here, despite a
slight magenta cast, as the Daylight
setting resulted in a warmer cast. Exposure looks about right, and the
Stylus 410 distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target
well. The large color blocks are slightly magenta, and a little dark overall.
(Here's a shot with the camera's Food
scene mode, which enhances color. Notice that the magenta cast is slightly
stronger here.) The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows limited
detail, with moderately high noise.
Good low-light performance, capable of producing bright exposures under average city street lighting at night.
The Stylus 410 produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) light level. You could arguably use the image taken at the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level, though the target is a little dark. Overall color is slightly pinkish with the Auto white balance setting, and image noise is high. Since city street-lighting at night generally corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle, the Stylus 410 should be able to capture fairly bright images in slightly darker settings, though you'll need the flash for much darker exposures. 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
A slightly weak flash, though fairly steady results all the way to 14 feet.
In my testing, the Stylus 410's flash illuminated the test target at 14 feet, though with a weak intensity. Flash power was strongest to about nine feet, then decreases slightly, but maintained almost the same intensity to about 14 feet. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
High resolution, 1,200 lines of "strong detail." Slightly high barrel distortion at wide angle.
The Stylus 410 performed slightly below average on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for its four-megapixel class. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 800 lines per picture height horizontally, and about 600 lines vertically. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,200 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,500 lines.
Geometric distortion on the Stylus 410 is a bit less than average at
the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.7 percent barrel
distortion. The telephoto end fared quite a bit better, as I measured
approximately 0.09 percent pincushion distortion (about two pixels' worth).
Chromatic aberration is very low, as I noticed only two to three pixels
of very faint 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.) What is obvious here is the incredible blurring
in the right corners of the image, worst at wide angle, but bad at any
Resolution Series, medium focal length
Resolution Test, Zoom Series
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A very tight optical viewfinder, but nearly accurate LCD monitor.
The Stylus 410's optical viewfinder is very tight, showing only 70 percent of the final image area at wide angle, and about 80 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor fared much better, showing about 98 percent frame accuracy. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the Stylus 410's LCD monitor performed pretty well here, but its optical viewfinder could use some help. Flash distribution is uneven at wide angle, with some falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform.
OS410 Test Images
OS410 "Picky Details"
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