Digital Cameras - Toshiba PDR-3310 Test Images
(Original test posting: 10/23/02)
|I'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, I'm posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!|
Overexposed highlights and slightly washed out color, moderate resolution.
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why I 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-3310 had a little trouble in this regard. If I exposed to preserve highlight detail (the first shot at right), the midtones were overly dark. On the other hand, if I got the midtones right (second shot at right, +0.3 EV), highlight detail was lost and color saturation suffered. I chose the Auto white balance for the main shot, as the Manual setting was too warm and the Daylight setting a hint cool. Marti's skin tones are rather pinkish here, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are a bit purplish (a common problem with this shot), while the red flower in the bouquet is a bit undersaturated and flat. A moderate level of fine detail is visible in the flower bouquet, but only limited detail in the shadow areas. Noise is moderately high in the shadows as well.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV, see files P33OUTAP0.HTM
through P33OUTAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index
Trouble again with exposure, but stronger detail.
Overall results are similar to the wider shot above, and the PDR-3310's 3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features. The camera again has trouble with the bright sunlight, producing dull midtones and blown out highlights, and Marti's skin tones are again too pink. I again show two versions here, one at the default exposure, the other at +0.3 EV. Visible fine detail increases in Marti's face and hair, though details are a little soft. Shadow detail is moderate and soft, and shadow noise is high.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV, see files P33FACAP0.HTM
through P33FACAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index
Good overall intensity and color.
The PDR-3310's flash produces good coverage, but underexposed at the
camera's default exposure. The background incandescent
lighting results in an orange cast, which decreases slightly with increased
exposure. I obtained the best results with the exposure compensation adjusted
to +1.0 EV, although it washed out Marti's
skin tones somewhat. (Adjusting the exposure to +1.3
EV loses even more color, as well as a lot of highlight detail.)
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Nearly accurate color with Manual white balance setting, good exposure as well.
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 PDR-3310's Auto and Incandescent white balance settings had quite a bit of trouble interpreting this difficult light source, both producing warm color casts. However, the Manual setting produced good results, with just a hint of a green tint. The main shot has a +0.7 EV exposure adjustment, which is on the verge of being too bright. Skin tones look pretty good, though a hint pink, and color is good in the flower bouquet as well (though the blue flowers are dark and purplish).
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files P33INMP0.HTM through P33INMP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Slightly overexposed shot, moderate resolution, soft details.
All three white balance settings produced nearly accurate results on
this shot, though I picked the Auto setting
as the best overall (the Daylight and Manual
settings were a hint warm). Resolution is moderate, with reasonable detail
in the tree limbs above the roof and in the shrubbery in front of the
house. However, details are very soft throughout the frame, with slightly
increased softness in the corners. This really doesn't look like a three
megapixel performance to me, it's closer to what I'd expect from a two
megapixel camera. The PDR-3310 overexposed the shot slightly, which undersaturates
color, particularly the red bricks of the house.
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 PDR-3310 performed a bit below average for its three-megapixel category. Resolution is high enough to distinguish a fair amount of detail in the tree limbs over the roof, and in the fine foliage in front of the house,but as I've noticed in previous test shots, details are quite soft throughout the frame, slightly more so in the corners. The harsh lighting led the camera to overexpose the image, which results in a loss of detail in the bright white paint around the bay window. Detail is stronger in the shadow area above the front door, with a strong brick pattern visible. The Auto white balance setting produces good color, though color is washed out from the bright exposure. The table below shows a small resolution and quality series, followed by an ISO series.
|Lens Zoom Range
Typical 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 PDR-3310's lens is equivalent to a 7.3-21.9mm zoom on a 35mm camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Slightly warm color balance, detail is good.
This shot is typically a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of
blue in the composition often tricks white balance systems into producing
a warm color balance. The PDR-3310's Auto
white balance setting fell victim to this trap, though the Daylight
and Manual settings were nearly right. I chose
the Manual setting for the main image, because of the more natural-looking
skin tones. A slight warm cast results in reddish tints in the blue background,
and gives the blue robe a greenish tint in the highlights. Additionally,
the shadow areas of the blue robe are a purplish, a common problem with
this shot. Still, color looks pretty good, though washed out slightly
from a bright exposure. Resolution is again moderate, with reasonably
strong detail in the embroidery of the blue robe.
Better than average macro performance, with good flash exposure.
The PDR-3310 performed well in the macro category, capturing a minimum
area of 2.51 x 1.88 inches (63.83 x 47.88 millimeters). Resolution is
moderately high, with a lot of fine detail visible in the dollar bill,
coins, and brooch. Corner softness isn't too strong, and details are reasonably
sharp throughout the frame. The exposure is just slightly bright, but
color looks good. The PDR-3310's flash throttled
down well for shooting up close like this, to the point that the image
was underexposed slightly.
"Davebox" Test Target
Slight underexposure and weak saturation, though nearly accurate color.
Both the Daylight and Manual
white balance settings resulted in warm color balances, so I chose the
Auto white balance as the most accurate. Overall
color is a hint cool with the Auto setting, but the large color blocks
on the target look nearly right. The images are all slightly underexposed,
and the colors are a bit undersaturated. (Particularly the subtractive
primaries of Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan.) The PDR-3310 distinguishes the
subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target up to the "B" range,
and the vertical grayscales show good detail as well. Detail is moderate
in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows good detail, and image
noise is low. (This last somewhat surprising, as the outdoor portrait
test above showed more noise than this.)
Long Shutter mode extends low light sensitivity to surprisingly low levels. Higher than average noise though.
The PDR-3310 features automatic exposure control, but does have a variable ISO adjustment. Additionally, the camera's Long Shutter mode offers shutter times as long as eight seconds, which significantly helps the camera's low-light performance. The PDR-3310 captured bright, clear images at light levels as low as 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux) at ISO 100. At ISO 200 and 400, images were usable at light levels as low as 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux). Even shooting at ISO 100, the test target was still visible, though dim, at the lowest light level. Typical city street lighting equates to about one foot-candle, so the camera should handle darker conditions well. Color is slightly warm from the Auto white balance setting, but isn't too far off. Noise is fairly high, even at ISO 100, increasing quite a bit with each higher ISO adjustment. 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 of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.
(Interestingly, while the 3310 carries official ratings of ISO 100, 200, and 400, its EXIF file headers indicate ISO levels of 120, 240, and 480.)
Flash Range Test
Low flash intensity throughout the range.
The PDR-3310's flash underexposed the test target, even at a distance of only eight feet. Flash power decreased slightly with each additional foot of distance, becoming very dim at the 14 foot distance. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
The PDR-3310 produced below-average results on the "laboratory" resolution test chart, relative to other three-megapixel cameras I've tested. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 700 lines per picture height vertically and as low as 600-700 lines horizontally. I did find "strong detail" out to 950 - 1,000 lines, but other three megapixel cameras do better than this. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,200 lines.
Optical distortion on the PDR-3310 is higher than average at the wide-angle end, where I measured a 0.87 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared only a little better, as I measured a 0.62 percent barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is moderate, showing about three to four pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines. (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.) I also noticed some slight corner softness in some shots, but the effect wasn't too strong.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Resolution Test, Telephoto
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
Somewhat tight optical viewfinder, and only slightly better results with the LCD monitor.
The PDR-3310's optical viewfinder is a little tight (albeit slightly more accurate than average), showing about 87 percent of the frame at both wide angle and telephoto lens settings. The CCD must have been shifted slightly in our evaluation unit, as both images framed with the optical viewfinder are slanted toward the lower right corner. The LCD monitor was only slightly more accurate, showing approximately 92 percent of the frame at wide angle and approximately 93 percent at telephoto. Since I generally prefer LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the PDR-3310 has some room for improvement here. Flash illumination at wide angle is fairly even but dim, with only slight falloff in the corners of the frame. At telephoto, flash coverage is more even, though just a bit dimmer.
PDR-3310 Test Images
PDR-3310 "Picky Details"
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