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Digital Cameras - Olympus Stylus 500 Digital 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!

 

"Sunlit" Portrait:
(This is my new "Outdoor" Portrait test - read more about it here.)

High resolution and strong detail, but high contrast as well. Slightly reddish color balance.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.7 EV, about average.
  • Contrast/Tone: High contrast, strong highlights and very dark shadows. Dark midtones. Detail in highlights is better than you'd expect, given the high contrast though.
  • White Balance: Auto was warm toned but best overall. Daylight nearly identical.
  • Color accuracy: Pretty good, blues dark with more purple than in real life. Reds, yellows, and greens still pretty good.
  • Skin tones: Quite red/pink from the warm overall color cast.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Good, fairly sharp details.
  • Shadow detail: Moderate detail, moderate noise

 

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files OS5OUTAP0.HTM through OS5OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Stronger resolution and detail, but again, very high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, also about average for this particular shot.
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast makes for harsher skin tones.
  • Detail: Much stronger, less impact from noise reduction .
  • Distortion: Good, 3x zoom lens prevents geometric distortion close-in like this, though a slight amount is visible.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files OS5OUTFACAP0.HTM through OS5OUTFACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+1.3 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+1.3 EV

Dark results with the normal flash mode. A brighter exposure with the Slow-Sync setting, but a strong warm color cast.

  • Exposure: Dim at +1.3 EV, and quite dark at the default exposure. Slow-Sync setting produced a much brighter exposure at +1.3 EV. (Exposure compensation adjustment seems to have little effect on normal flash exposure.)
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good, in that the flash doesn't introduce unnatural blue highlights. (It matches the color of the room lighting fairly well.)
  • Color: Somewhat reddish skin tones, dark colors in bouquet in normal mode. Very warm and orange in Slow-Sync, due to the strong warm cast of the room lighting.




 

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

Very good color with both white balance settings, despite slight color casts, and average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.0 EV adjustment needed, about average for this shot.
  • White Balance: Auto and Incandescent settings both good, though Auto a little warm. (Which some people might prefer.)
  • Color: Skin tones rather pink, and blue flowers are purplish, but other flowers look good. (A bit better than average, given the tough light source.)

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files OS5INTP0.HTM through OS5INTP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good color, with high resolution and strong detail. Slight blurring in the corners though.

  • Sharpness/Detail: High resolution and strong detail. Good sharpness.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Some softening in all four corners.
  • Color: Auto and Daylight both performed well, Auto best overall.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Slight, visible in brick patterns in shadow areas, but not elsewhere.



 

Far-Field Test

Excellent resolution and strong detail, though high contrast limits the dynamic range.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance, and to present a near-infinite range of detail to the camera. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good, a lot of fine detail throughout the frame.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Better than average for a compact digital camera, some blurring in all four corners though.
  • Color: Good.
  • Dynamic Range: A little limited, some loss of detail in both highlights and shadows.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Little or none in this particular shot, except in the deep shadows.

 

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,560 x 1,920
OS5FAR2560F
OS5FAR2560N
2,048 x 1,536
OS5FAR2048F
-
1,600 x 1,200
OS5FAR1600F
-
1,280 x 960
OS5FAR1280F
-
1,024 x 768
OS5FAR1024F
-
640 x 480
OS5FAR0640F
-


ISO Series:
Image noise in the Stylus 500 is low at ISO 64 and 100, noticeable at ISO 200, and very apparent at ISO 400. That said, prints at 5x7 inches and below from images shot at ISO 400 looked just fine.

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range.

The Olympus Stylus 500 Digital's focal length range of 35-105mm equivalents is typical of most point & shoot digital cameras. It corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a modest telephoto.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
4x Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Slightly reddish color balance, but high resolution and strong detail.

  • White Balance: Auto and Daylight settings produced similar, reddish results. Chose Auto for the main shot.
  • Color: Reddish-magenta flesh tones. Blues are purplish.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Very good. (Bordering on the limits of the poster though.)




 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash
Super Macro Shot

A tiny macro area with excellent detail and good color. Gets incredibly close in Super Macro mode. The camera's flash performed well in normal macro mode also.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 1.54 x 1.15 inches (39 x 29 millimeters) in normal macro mode, 0.95 x 0.72 inches (24 x 18 millimeters) in Super Macro.
  • Softness in corners?: Some, but less than average. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Effective in normal Macro mode only, but does well there.




 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good overall exposure and color.

  • White balance: Auto setting good but slightly reddish, Daylight setting was slightly warm.
  • Color Accuracy: The Stylus 500's color looks pretty nice to the eye (to mine, anyway), but it technically oversaturates reds quite a bit, while simultaneously undersaturating yellows and yellow-green hues. Other colors are almost spot-on though.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Moderate detail in the briquettes, moderate noise.



ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

Low-Light Tests

Slightly limited low-light performance, but sensitive enough for average city night conditions. Slightly warm color and moderate noise, but still fairly good results overall. Excellent autofocus performance in low light.

  • Exposure limit: 1/8 foot-candle at ISO 400. (About 1/8 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.) 1/4 foot-candle at ISO 200, 1/2 foot-candle at ISO 100, and one foot-candle at ISO 64.
  • Autofocus Limit: Really excellent, well below 1/16 foot-candle. (Very dark!)
  • White Balance: Slightly warm.
  • Noise Levels: Moderately low to low in most shots, though high at ISO 400.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Little or none at ISO 100 and below, slight at ISO 200, a fair bit at ISO 400.
  • General Notes: The Stylus 500 does very well in low-light conditions, particularly for what's really a point & shoot style camera. Its low light autofocus capability was particularly impressive, as the camera can actually achieve focus in darker conditions than it can capture a bright image in.

(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
ISO
64
Click to see OS5LL06403.JPG
3.2 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL06404.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL06405.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL06406.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL06407.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO
100
Click to see OS5LL10003.JPG
2 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL10004.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL10005.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL10006.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL10007.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO
200
Click to see OS5LL20003.JPG
1 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL20004.JPG
2 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL20005.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL20006.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL20007.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
ISO
400
Click to see OS5LL40003.JPG
1/2 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL40004.JPG
1 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL40005.JPG
2.5 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL40006.JPG
4 sec
f3.1
Click to see OS5LL40007.JPG
4 sec
f3.1



 

Flash Range Test

A weak flash, quite dim at eight feet, and with significant falloff from nine feet on.

Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Not even eight feet.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see OS5FL08.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64
Click to see OS5FL09.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64
Click to see OS5FL10.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64
Click to see OS5FL11.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64
Click to see OS5FL12.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64
Click to see OS5FL13.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64
Click to see OS5FL14.JPG
1/100 sec
f5.2
ISO 64



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

High resolution, 1,250-1,300 lines of "strong detail." Low barrel distortion at wide angle. Very low chromatic aberration, better than average corner sharpness.

  • Resolution: 1,300 lines horizontally, ~1,250 lines vertically
  • Artifacts begin at: ~1,200 lines horizontally, 1,000 lines vertically.
  • Extinction point: ~1,700 lines

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: Very low, 0.16 percent barrel at wide angle, 0 percent at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: Very low at wide angle, even lower at telephoto
  • Corner Sharpness: Some flare/coma, but corner sharpness is better than average.

 

Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,560 x 1,920
OS5RES2560F
OS5RES2560N
2,048 x 1,536
OS5RES2048
-
1,600 x 1,200
OS5RES1600
-
1,280 x 768
OS5RES1280
-
1,024 x 768
OS5RES1024
-
640 x 480
OS5RES0640
-


 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,560 x 1,920
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
OS5RESW
2,560 x 1,920
(Fine,
Telephoto)
OS5REST



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD monitor. Strong flash falloff at wide angle, less at telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: n/a, LCD viewfinder only
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Very good, 98 percent accuracy at wide angle and telephoto.
  • Flash Uniformity: Strong falloff at wide angle, less at telephoto.



Stylus 500 Review
Stylus 500 Test Images
Stylus 500 Specifications
Stylus 500 "Picky Details"
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