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!|
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.
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:
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
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
"Davebox" Test Target
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.
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.)
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.
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
Resolution Test, Zoom Series
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 Test Images
S5100 "Picky Details"
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