Casio EXILIM PRO EX-P6006.0 megapixels, a Canon 4x zoom lens, and a host of features.
<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>
EX-P600 Sample ImagesReview First Posted: 07/30/2004
Digital Cameras - Casio Exilim Pro EX-P600 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!|
Excellent resolution and detail, but a tough tradeoff between contrast and saturation.
The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, about average for this shot. I normally shoot this test with a camera's contrast adjustment set to the "low" position, if it has such an adjustment available. In the case of the P600 though, I felt that the low contrast option left the image a little flat-looking, and made the color too dull. (see the shot at right) On the other hand, with the contrast left at its default setting, I felt that the P600 lost too much highlight detail (the shot below right). I eventually chose the image shot with the low contrast setting for the main example here, but more consumer-oriented users would probably prefer the snappier-looking normal-contrast version.
Midtones are bright, though at the expense of some highlight detail. I chose the Auto white balance as the most accurate overall, though it wasn't much different from the Daylight setting. (The Manual setting was a bit warm.)
As noted, because I shot the main image with the P600's contrast adjustment set to "low," the overall saturation is low, with somewhat flat color and a vaguely washed-out look. (The camera's high saturation adjustment improves overall color though, see below.) Skin tones are somewhat pale and almost grayish, but the blue flowers in the bouquet are just about perfect. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, typically producing strong purplish tints. However, the EX-P600 performs well here.) The strong reds and greens are quite subdued, but perk up with the higher saturation adjustment.
Resolution is really excellent here, with a lot of fine detail visible throughout the frame. There also seems to be relatively little loss of subtle detail to anti-noise processing. Shadow detail is high, but noise levels take a jump in the deepest shadows.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files P6OUTAP0.HTM through P6OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Excellent resolution and detail, though again somewhat low saturation.
Overall results are similar to the wider shot above, flat color due to my use of the low-contrast option to help hold onto highlight detail. Midtones are bright, but as with the wider shot, at the expense of the highlights. The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The EX-P600's 4x zoom lens helps prevent any geometric distortion of Marti's features, an important consideration in close-up portraits like this.
Resolution is outstanding, with sharp details in Marti's face and hair, and crisp edges on the greenery in the lower portion of the frame. Again, relatively little evidence of lost detail due to anti-noise processing. An excellent performance.
To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.0 EV, see files P6FACAM1.HTM
through P6FACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Good intensity and coverage with the built-in flash, even at its default exposure setting, with good color as well.
The EX-P600's built-in flash illuminated the subject well at its default
intensity setting, though color is just slightly washed-out overall. This
is very unusual for this shot, as most cameras require a full +1.0 EV
of exposure compensation to get their flash exposure up where it belongs
for this subject. Color accuracy is also pretty good for a flash exposure.
The camera's Night Portrait mode produced similar
results, despite a slightly longer exposure. The exposure is just a hint
brighter, with a slight orange cast on Marti's hair from the background
Normal Flash Exposure Series:
Night Portrait Flash Exposure Series:
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Surprisingly good color with all three white balance settings.
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, but the EX-P600 did surprisingly sell with it. It was a bit of a toss-up for me, between the slightly cool look produced by the EX-P600's Manual white balance setting, and the slightly reddish cast of its Incandescent option gave the image. Both results were entirely acceptable, but I ended up going for the Incandescent result, as that image looked a bit more natural, more like the original scene. Notably though, even the Auto white balance option produced an acceptable (if slightly warm-toned) image, much better than most cameras I test seem to manage. The flower bouquet looks nearly accurate, though the blue flowers are just a bit dark with slight purple tints (to be expected, given the light source). Skin tones are a bit on the pale side, but still pretty good. The shot at right was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which made for slightly dark-looking images, but I felt that the results at +1.3 EV left Marti's shirt too blown-out looking.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files P6INA/M/TP0.HTM
through P6INA/M/TP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Excellent resolution and detail, though slightly warm color.
Though slightly warm, I chose the EX-P600's Daylight
white balance setting as the most accurate overall here. The Auto
setting resulted in a similar image, though with a hint more warmth. The
Manual white balance produced good results,
though the resulting image was too cool for my taste. Resolution is very
high, and details are strong in the tree limbs above the roof, as well
as in the front shrubbery and brick pattern. (The EX-P600's six-megapixel
CCD stretches the limits of this poster as a test target, even though
it was made from a 500MB scan of a 4x5 negative shot with a tack-sharp
lens.) Details are slightly soft throughout the frame, and a little softer
yet in the two left corners. It's important to note though, that the softness
appears to be the result of conservative in-camera sharpening, rather
than any optical limitation, since the images respond very well to unsharp
masking in Photoshop(tm).
High resolution, slightly soft details respond well to unsharp masking. A slight overexposure makes it hard to determine 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 EX-P600 captures a lot of fine detail. Resolution is very high, and the tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front of the house both show strong detail. As we saw in the shot of the House Poster above, the image is slightly soft-looking, but responds very well to unsharp masking on the computer after the fact. There is some softness though, visible in all four corners of the frame, as well as evidence of flare, coma, and some chromatic aberration. None of these effects are worse than in most competing cameras though, so I don't count any of them as too strong a strike against the P600. A slight overexposure results in the camera losing all detail in the strong highlights around the bay window, but the shadow area above the front door shows good detail. Overall color looks very good, just a hint cool. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color filter series.
Color Filter Series:
Lens Zoom Range
A good 4x 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 (4x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The EX-P600's Canon lens is equivalent to a 33-132mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a fairly wide angle to a pretty good telephoto, a very useful range. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Pretty accurate color with the Daylight white balance, very high resolution.
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 EX-P600's Daylight
white balance setting did the best job here, as the Auto
setting was much too warm, and the Manual setting
a little too cool. Color at the Daylight setting looks pretty neutral,
with a nearly accurate value in the blue robe, but saturation appears
just a little low, to my eye. There's a trace of a purple tint in the
robe's deep shadows, and a slight yellow cast to the white bird wings,
but there's relatively little color cast overall. Resolution is very high,
as the embroidery of the blue robe and red vest show great detail. (The
original data file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like
the EX-P600 are definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster
has in it.)
A small macro area with good detail. Very good results with the flash as well.
The EX-P600 performed pretty well in the macro category, capturing a
minimum area of only 2.20 x 1.65 inches (56 x 42 millimeters). Resolution
is very high, with excellent detail in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch.
Details are soft in both the brooch and dollar bill, due to the limited
depth of field this close, plus some corner softness as well. The image
is slightly underexposed, and color balance is a bit warm, but results
are still good. The EX-P600's flash throttles
down pretty well for the macro area, though coverage is a little uneven.
"Davebox" Test Target
Good overall exposure, good color, but slightly low saturation.
As the EX-P600's Auto and Daylight
white balance settings were both a bit warm, I chose the Manual
white balance for the main shot. Exposure is about right, just very slightly
dark, and the camera distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the
Q60 target without trouble. The large color blocks are slightly undersaturated
overall, though the large additive primary color blocks (red, blue, and
green) are fairly bright. Detail is limited in the shadow area of the
charcoal briquettes, with a prominent noise pattern, but the camera does
manage to distinguish between the bottom two swatches on the large gray
scale, better than most cameras I test can manage. Overall, a very good
performance, albeit with slightly understated color.
Color Filter Series:
Good low-light performance overall. Autofocus system works well down to the lowest levels, except at ISO 50.
With a maximum exposure time of 60 seconds and maximum equivalent sensitivity setting of ISO 400, the EX-P600 has very good low-light shooting capabilities. The camera produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, at all four ISO settings. The color balance was slightly warm overall, with stronger warm casts at the lower exposures. Noise was low at the lower sensitivity settings, but crept up to a pretty high level at ISO 400, although "hot pixels" were virtually nonexistent at all exposure times and ISO levels. The camera's autofocus system worked well down to the lowest light levels, with the exception of the 1/16 foot-candle shot at ISO 50, which is blurry. (And, oddly, the 1/8 foot-candle shot at ISO 200, which really should have been OK. Even at that though, the P600's AF system does better at very low light levels than those of most cameras I test.) 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 tendency to underexpose flash shots, with significant falloff at the furthest test distance.
In my testing, the EX-P600's flash underexposed the target even at the
shortest distance of 8 feet, and its intensity decreased steadily from
there. At 14 feet, flash power is very low. Below is the flash range series,
with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
Very high resolution, 1,400 lines of "strong detail." Average barrel distortion, higher than average pincushion though.
The EX-P600 did very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 800 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,400 lines, however. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,700 lines. (Some reviewers will doubtless rate the P600's resolution as higher than the 1,400 lines that I've assigned it, but I tend to be pretty conservative in this regard, feeling that it really isn't proper to rate a camera as resolving to a level at which the aliasing and other artifacts swamp the actual subject detail.)
Optical distortion on the EX-P600 is about average at the wide-angle
end, where I measured approximately 0.8 percent barrel distortion. The
telephoto end fared only slightly better numerically, as I measured approximately
0.5 percent pincushion distortion, but that's quite a bit higher than
average for pincushion distortion. Chromatic aberration is pretty low,
showing about five or six pixels of fairly faint coloration on either
side of the target lines, although there's more chromatic aberration at
wide angle focal lengths than at telephoto ones. (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 images show relatively little
softness in the corners, a failing I'm almost come to expect in digicam
lenses. Overall, the P600's lens seems to be of fairly high quality.
Resolution Series, ~50mm equivalent focal length
Resolution Test, Wide Angle
Resolution Test, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
An accurate LCD monitor, but tight optical viewfinder.
The EX-P600's optical viewfinder is quite tight, showing only about 81 percent of the final image area at wide angle, and about 85 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor proved much more accurate though, showing about 99+ percent accuracy at both zoom settings. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the EX-P600's LCD monitor is essentially perfect in this regard, but I'd really like to see a more accurate optical viewfinder. Flash uniformity is better than average at wide angle, with just a little falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform, but with much lower intensity.