Sample Images for the
Canon PowerShot S330
|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!|
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 PowerShot S330 performed very well in this regard. The shot at right has a +0.3 EV exposure adjustment, which brightened the midtones just enough, without losing too much highlight detail. I chose the Daylight white balance setting for the main shot, though the Auto setting produced good color as well. Skin tones look about right (although just slightly pink), and Marti's blue flowers and pants are just about perfect. (This is a difficult blue for many digicams. The S330 shows just a hint of the purple tint many cameras succumb to, but it's really very minor.). Resolution is very good for a two megapixel camera, with great detail throughout the frame. Details are also very crisp, with good definition even in the shadows. Noise is also relatively low in the shadow areas.
To see the full exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files S330OUTDP0.HTM through S330OUTDP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Results are similar to the shot above, with nearly dead-on exposure. The shot at right was taken with the default exposure setting. The S330's 3x lens helps prevent any distortion of the model's features, and produces a nice sharp image. Resolution is even higher in this shot, with excellent detail in Marti's face and hair. Detail is excellent in the shadows as well, with low noise.
To see the full exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV, see files S330FACDP0.HTM through S330FACDP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
|Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Strong color cast from the background lighting.
The S330's flash does a pretty good job of illuminating the subject, though the exposure came out pretty dim without any exposure compensation at the default setting. The background incandescent lighting results in a strong orange color cast, decreasing only slightly with a boosted exposure. The shot at right has a +1.0 EV exposure adjustment, producing an acceptable brightness level, but only partially counteracting the strong yellow cast of the room lighting.
Portrait, No Flash:
Trouble in Auto mode, but great color with the Incandescent white balance.
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong yellow color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting. The S330's Auto white balance had some trouble here, producing a very warm, orangish image. Alternatively, the Incandescent setting produced really excellent color, just slightly cool, but with accurate skin tones and good saturation. The blue flowers appear purplish, a common problem among digicams, particularly under this light source. The main image has a +1.0 EV exposure adjustment.
To see the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files S330INTP0.HTM through S330INTP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Great resolution, detail, and color.
Both the Auto and Manual white balance settings produced nearly accurate results, though the Auto setting was just a touch warm. I chose the Manual setting for the main image, as the overall color looked best. Resolution is high for a two megapixel camera, with good detail in the tree limbs and fine foliage. Details are just a little soft in areas, but overall definition is good in the foliage and house details.
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. The S330 captures great detail throughout the frame, with strong definition in the fine foliage in front of the house and in the tree limbs. The S330 again produces very nice color here, with good saturation, particularly in the green tones. The S330 picks up the stronger details in the bright, white bay window area, which is good considering how strong that highlight is. The shadow area above the front door also fares well, showing most of the brick pattern details. The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series, followed by an ISO series.
|Lens Zoom Range
A pretty standard 3x zoom range, good for a subcompact camera.
As a practical measure of the zoom range of the cameras I test, 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 S330's lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Good resolution and detail, with nearly accurate color.
I chose the Manual white balance setting for this shot, though it's just slightly cool. Both the Auto and Daylight resulted in warmer images, with much warmer skin tones. (The large amount of blue in the composition often tricks digicams.) Though the skin tones are slightly pale with the Manual white balance, the overall color looks best. The Oriental model's blue robe is about right, without any strong purple tints in the deep shadows. (This is a tough blue for many digicams to get right, so the S330 performs well here.) Resolution is high, showing plenty of detail in the embroidery of the blue robe.
Less than average macro performance, but good color and detail.
The S330 captured a larger than average macro area at 6.25 x 4.68 inches (158.63 x 118.97 millimeters). Resolution is high, with great detail in the coins, brooch, and dollar bill. Details are reasonably sharp, with the exception of some softness in the corners of the frame. Color balance is a little warm, but still good. The camera's flash throttled down for the macro area, though with strong falloff in the corners of the frame. - Overall, the S330 wouldn't be your first choice if you were primarily interested in closeups for eBay, etc, but it does a workmanlike job for average usage.
|"Davebox" Test Target
Superb color and saturation, excellent exposure.
Boy, the S330 really nailed this target! Both the Manual and Auto white balance settings produced nearly identical results, so I chose the Manual setting for the main image. Daylight white balance resulted in a warmer color balance. The large color blocks look very accurate, with just-right saturation. The midtones are just a hint bright, though the S330 distinguishes the subtle tonal distributions of the pastel tones on the Q60 chart well. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes appears dark, but actually has excellent detail with moderate noise. Overall, one of the better performances I've seen to date on this target.
Excellent low-light shooting capabilities, with good color.
The S330's Long Shutter exposure mode provides shutter times from one to 15 seconds, giving the camera an edge in low-light shooting. The camera captured bright, clear images at light levels as low as 1/16 foot-candle (0.067 lux) at the 100, 200, and 400 ISO settings, but only as low as 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) at the ISO 50 setting. (The test target is visible at 1/16 foot-candle at ISO 50, just a little dim.) Color is nearly accurate, though slightly cool. Noise was very well controlled at lower ISO levels, rising a fair bit at ISO 400. The table below shows the best exposure obtained 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.
|Flash Range Test
Surprisingly bright all the way to 14 feet, but higher noise at greater distances.
The S330's flash maintained good intensity all the way out to 11 feet from the test target, with only a slight decrease at the 12, 13, and 14 foot distances. I did notice though, that the more distant shots show much higher noise levels, leading me to believe that the camera boosted its ISO rating to help the flash range. Unfortunately, none of my software tools that read EXIF header information could accurately interpret the S330's data so I could tell the actual ISO being used. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
|ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test
The S330 performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for its 2-megapixel class. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height vertically and about 500 lines horizontally. Detail remained strong out to about 900 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,050 lines. The images show the characteristic Canon softness, resulting from very cautious use of in-camera sharpening. There's a lot of detail present there that can be brought out with some unsharp masking in Photoshop. In terms of absolute detail, the S330 compares very favorably with full-sized two megapixel cameras on the market.
Optical distortion on the S330 is pretty low at the wide-angle end, where I measured an approximate 0.39 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto setting fared better still, showing not even a pixel of pincushion or barrel distortion. Chromatic aberration is very low, showing only about two or three lightly-colored pixels 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.) The only other distortion I noticed were slightly soft corners in a few shots, though it didn't extend too far into the frame.
Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A poor optical viewfinder, but an excellent LCD one...
The S330's optical viewfinder was very tight, showing only 79 percent of the final image area at wide-angle and approximately 83 percent at telephoto. Images framed with the optical viewfinder are also shifted toward the lower right corner of the frame. The LCD monitor was more accurate, almost a little "loose," as the standard measurement lines are just outside the final frame. Since I normally prefer to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the S330 hits that mark almost perfectly. I'd really like to see better accuracy from the optical viewfinder though. Flash distribution at wide angle is uneven, with strong falloff at the corners of the frame. At telephoto, the flash is even and brighter.
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