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Digital Cameras - Fuji FinePix S5100 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, 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!

 

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

High resolution and a lot of fine detail, with nearly accurate color. Contrast is high, however.

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, 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 Fuji FinePix S5100 did a pretty good job, but lost a fair bit of highlight detail in the process.

The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which resulted in very bright highlights, and high contrast overall. (While it held onto highlight detail much better, I felt that the shot at +0.3 EV was just too dark overall.) Midtones still have good detail though. Despite a slight warm cast, I chose the Auto white balance setting as the most accurate overall, though the Daylight setting produced similar results. The Manual setting also looked pretty good, albeit with a slight red cast.

Apart from the high contrast, Marti's skin tones are pretty good, but the blue flowers in the bouquet are darker and more purplish than in real life. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, which is in reality a light navy with just hints of purple in it.) Actually, colors are a little dark throughout the frame. Resolution is excellent, and a lot of fine detail is visible throughout the frame. Shadow detail is fairly high, and noise is low.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files S51OUTAP0.HTM through S51OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.




 

Closer Portrait:

Excellent resolution and detail, but high contrast once again.

Exposure and color are similar to the wider shot above, and the Fuji S5100's 10x lens prevents any geometric distortion of Marti's features. The shot at right was taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which left the midtones more or less at the right level, but at the cost of over-bright highlights. Still, midtone detail is pretty good, and shadow detail is surprisingly so, given the high contrast. Resolution is excellent, and Marti's face and hair show a lot of fine detail, with great definition.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files S51OUTFACAP0.HTM through S51OUTFACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
+0.3 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+0.3 EV

A bright, powerful flash. Good results with only a small exposure adjustment, good color as well.

The Fuji S5100's built-in flash illuminated the subject very well at its default exposure setting, though I preferred the shot taken with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. (This is less exposure adjustment than this shot generally requires.) Color is pretty good, with only a slight orange cast on the back wall from the background incandescent lighting. Skin tones are pink, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are dark and purplish. The camera's Slow-Sync flash mode also produced good results, and the best exposure was obtained with a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. The longer exposure results in a stronger orange cast from the incandescent lighting, but also produces a more even exposure.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +0.7 EV, see files S51INFP0.HTM through S51INFP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

To view the same exposure series in the Slow-Sync flash mode, see files S51INFSP0.HTM through S51INFSP2.HTM, also on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Good color with all white balance options, very good with the Manual white balance setting, about average exposure accuracy.

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 Fuji S5100's Manual white balance setting did the best job here, as the Auto setting resulted in a reddish cast and the Incandescent setting resulted in a yellow cast. Both the Auto and Incandescent samples aren't too far off though: Some people may actually prefer them as being more representative of the original lighting, although I personally would like to see about half as much color cast left in the images. The main shot was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is about average for this shot. Skin tones look pretty good with the Manual white balance, though the blue flowers are quite dark and purplish (almost expected with this shot). Detail is strong, and image noise is moderately high.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files S51INFMP0.HTM through S51INMP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

ISO Series:
The Fuji S5100 generally has pretty low noise for a 4-megapixel digicam, and seems to do a good job of not trading away too much subject detail to achieve its low noise levels. Here the noise levels are very low at ISO 64 and 100 (by the way, note that the softness in Marti's hair in those shots is almost certainly due to motion blur from the very long exposures, and not the result of anti-noise processing.) Noise increases somewhat at ISO 200, and becomes quite apparent at ISO 400, but even there, the levels are lower than I'd expect from a camera of this price/performance range.

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good color, high resolution, and very strong detail.

Though overall color is a hint cool, I chose the S5100's Manual white balance setting as the most accurate here, based on the white value of the house trim. The Auto setting produced good results, though with a slight red cast. Likewise, the Daylight setting produced nearly accurate color, though with a warmer cast. Resolution is very high, and detail is strong in the tree limbs, shrubbery, and house details. (The S5100's four-megapixel CCD stretches the limits of this poster as a test target. Even though the poster was made from a 500MB scan of a 4x5 negative shot with a tack-sharp lens, the S5100 is capable of extracting almost all the detail that's to be found here.) Details appear sharp throughout the frame, with clear definition.



 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and a lot of fine detail throughout the frame. Dynamic range is limited by the camera's high contrast.

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 Fuji S5100 captures a lot of fine detail. Leaf and bark patterns in the tree limbs over the roof, as well as in the fine foliage in front of the house, are quite strong. The brick pattern of the house is also well-defined. Details are fairly sharp throughout the center of the frame, though details soften slightly in the corners. The camera's high native contrast results in the loss of essentially all detail in the bright white paint surrounding the bay window, despite a slight underexposure of the scene as a whole. Detail is slightly better in the shadow area above the front door, but still a little weak. Color is rather dark, with low saturation in the reds and greens, possibly a result of the slight underexposure. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO, sharpness, and effect series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,272 x 1,704
S51FAR2272F
S51FAR2272N
1,600 x 1,200
S51FAR1600
-
1,280 x 960
S51FAR1280
-
640 x 480
S51FAR0640
-


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Sharpness Series:
The S5100's in-camera image sharpening does a good job. The Hard setting gives images that would print well on inkjet printers at smaller sizes, while the Soft setting results in photos that take unsharp masking in Photoshop(tm) very well. The Normal option is a good compromise between the two extremes.

Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Hard


 

Effect Series:

Effect Series
Chrome
Black & White



 

Lens Zoom Range

An excellent 10x 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 (10x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The S5100's lens is equivalent to a 37-370mm 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.

Wide Angle
10x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Slightly warm color, but still good results. Very high resolution and strong detail.

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 S5100's Auto and Daylight white balance settings both produced similar, warm results here, while the Manual setting resulted in a cooler, magenta cast. As I preferred the warmer skin tones to the paler, pinkish ones of the Manual shot, I chose the Auto setting for the main image. The warm cast results in purplish tints in the blue background and in the deep shadows of the blue robe, though the models appear more natural here. Resolution is very high, and fine detail is strong in the fabrics and accessories. Areas such as the embroidery on the blue robe and the beaded necklaces show great definition. (The original data file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the S5100 are definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A small macro area with high resolution and strong detail. Flash is ineffective, however.

The Fuji S5100 turned in a slightly better than average performance in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 2.82 x 2.11 inches (72 x 54 millimeters). Resolution is high, as the coins, brooch, and dollar bill show a lot of fine detail. Details are sharp and well-defined for the most part, though details soften in all four corners of the frame. (Soft corners are a near-universal limitation of digicam macro modes.) The S5100's flash had quite a bit of trouble here, as it throttled down too much and was also badly shadowed by the long lens.



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Good overall exposure and very accurate color (apart from an overly hot red), moderate noise.

The Fuji S5100's Auto and Daylight white balance settings produced similar, warm images here, so I chose the slightly cooler, but more neutral, Manual white balance setting. Exposure is good, if just slightly low, and the S5100 distinguishes the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target without trouble. Color is surprisingly accurate, much more so than most other digicams I test. The bright red block on the MacBeth(tm) chart is too bright and oversaturated and the other red hues somewhat less so, but the other blocks are very accurate, much better than I'm accustomed to seeing in the consumer digicams I test. That said, the more technically accurate color of the S5100 may strike some as a little undersaturated when compared to the overly bright color of most consumer cameras. That's largely a matter of taste but on a purely objective scale, the S5100's color is more accurate than most.

Detail is strong in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, and image noise there is moderate.

The results in the tests below mirror those seen above in other test shots. The test series are repeated here without further comment, for the benefit of our more quantitatively-oriented readers.

ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 64
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Effect Series:

Effect Series
Chrome
Black & White




 

Low-Light Tests

Surprisingly good low-light performance, with bright exposures and fairly low noise at even the darkest light level of this test. Poor AF performance in dim lighting, but the bright green AF-assist light helped quite a lot.

The Fuji S5100 produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test at the 200 and 400 ISO settings. At ISO 100, images were bright as low as 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux), and at ISO 64, images were bright as low as 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux). With both ISO settings, the target was visible at the lower light levels, but was just slightly too dim to be considered usable. The Auto white balance setting resulted in a warm cast, which increased at the lower light levels. Image noise remained moderate at the lower ISO settings, though it increased to a moderately high level at ISO 400. Still, results are good at the higher sensitivity. With its autofocus-assist illuminator turned off, the S5100 was only able to focus at light levels a bit darker than 1/2 foot-candle. With the AF illuminator in use though, it could focus in more or less complete darkness. All in all, very respectable low-light capability for a camera of the S5100's class. 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.)

  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 S51LL06403.JPG
1.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL06404.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL06405.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL06406.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL06407.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see S51LL10003.JPG
1.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL10004.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL10005.JPG
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL10006.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL10007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see S51LL20003.JPG
1/1 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL20004.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL20005.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL20006.JPG
10 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL20007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see S51LL40003.JPG
1/2 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL40004.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL40005.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL40006.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see S51LL40007.JPG
10 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

A powerful flash, with only moderate falloff at the 14 foot limit of this test.

In my testing, the S5100's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, with only small decreases in intensity from the eight-foot distance on. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see S51FL08.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see S51FL09.JPG
1/60 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see S51FL10.JPG
1/125 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see S51FL11.JPG
1/125 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see S51FL12.JPG
1/125 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see S51FL13.JPG
1/125 sec
f3.1
ISO 64
Click to see S51FL14.JPG
1/125 sec
f3.1
ISO 64



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

High resolution, 1,100 lines of "strong detail." Average barrel distortion, though low pincushion. Chromatic aberration is higher than average, particularly at extreme wide and telephoto zoom settings.

The Fuji FinePix S5100 performed 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. (Though in the horizontal direction, you could argue for 900 lines.) I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,100 lines, in both directions. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred around 1,300 lines.

Geometric distortion on the S5100 is about average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.8 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I measured approximately 0.08 percent pincushion distortion (literally about two pixels). Chromatic aberration is higher than average, showing about seven or eight 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.) Sharpness in the corners is generally pretty good at wide and medium focal lengths, worse at telephoto settings.

Resolution Series, ~60mm
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,272 x 1,704
S51RESW2272F
S51RESW2272N
1,600 x 1,200
S51RESW1600
-
1,280 x 960
S51RES1280
-
640 x 480
S51RES0640
-

 

Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,272 x 1,704
(Fine, Wide)
S51RESW
2,272 x 1,704
(Fine, Tele)
S51REST


Sharpness Series

Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Sharp



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

Excellent accuracy from the electronic viewfinder.

The S5100's electronic "optical" viewfinder (EVF) is very accurate, showing 99+ percent frame accuracy at both wide angle and telephoto zoom settings (though the edge of the lower measurement line was just cut off at wide angle). The LCD monitor is also very accurate, since it shows the same view, just on a larger screen. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the S5100's LCD monitor is essentially perfect in that regard. Flash distribution is uneven at wide angle, with falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is still slightly uneven, and flash intensity is very low due to the great shooting distance.

S5100 Review
S5100 Test Images
S5100 Specifications
S5100 "Picky Details"
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