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Digital Cameras - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S60 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on this page 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 thumbnail 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 with good detail. Nearly accurate, though slightly dark, color and slightly high contrast.

Contrast was slightly high with the camera's default contrast setting, under the deliberately harsh lighting of this test.
The S60's low contrast adjustment helped somewhat with the harsh lighting, but did odd things with color saturation in Marti's skin tones, leaving patches of her skin almost grey-looking. (You probably have to look at the full-sized image to really see the effect though.)
  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, somewhat less than average.
  • Contrast/Tone: High with the default contrast setting, better with a low contrast adjustment.
  • White Balance: Auto is good, Daylight setting warm.
  • Color accuracy: Very good, though just slightly dark overall, especially blues.
  • Skin tones: Good.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Good. Details are sharp in the bouquet, but softer in Marti's face and hair.
  • Shadow detail: Moderate, with low noise.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files SS60OUTAP0.HTM through SS60OUTAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.


Contrast Series:
As noted at right, the contrast adjustment helps with the harsh lighting somewhat, but does odd things to color saturation in Marti's skin tones.

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High


Saturation Series:
The color saturation control works as you'd expect it to, affecting color saturation, with relatively little impact on contrast.
Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High



 

Closer Portrait:

Increased resolution and detail, but again, high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, about average.
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast at the default setting, deep shadows and bright highlights.
  • Detail: Increased resolution and stronger detail, with better definition.
  • Distortion: Good, 3x zoom lens helps avoid distortion close-in like this.

 

To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +0.7 EV, see files SS60FACAM1.HTM through SS60FACAP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
High Intensity
Slow-Sync Flash
High Intensity
Night Portrait Mode
High Intensity

Slight underexposure with the flash in the normal setting, though brighter results with the Slow-Sync mode. Night Portrait mode dim and warm.

  • Exposure: Slightly dim even at the high intensity setting, but brighter than the default exposure. Slow-Sync mode results in a brighter exposure, but a stronger warm cast. Night Portrait mode very dark, even with high intensity setting.
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Strong warm cast with both flash modes.
  • Color: Warm skin tones, dark colors in bouquet.

     

Normal Flash Mode:

Intensity Settings
Low
Normal
High


Slow-Sync Flash Mode:

Intensity Settings
Low
Normal
High


Night Portrait Mode:

Intensity Settings
Low
Normal
High




 

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

Warm color balance, average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.0 EV adjustment needed, about average.
  • White Balance: Though warm, Incandescent setting is best. Auto setting warmer, with stronger orange cast. (Incandescent setting is marginally acceptable, but I'd really like to see a more neutral color balance with both white balance options.)
  • Color: Skin tones warm but still pretty good, flower bouquet dark, and blue flowers very dark and purplish.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.7 EV, see files SS60INTP0.HTM through SS60INTP5.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

ISO Series:
Image noise is moderately low at the lower ISO settings, but with a large grain pattern. Noise levels increase noticeably at ISO 200, softening detail, and become very high and distracting at ISO 400. ISO 200 images make slightly rough-looking but probably acceptable prints at 8x10 inches, quite acceptable ones at 5x7. ISO 400 shots are marginal at 5x7 inches, probably acceptable at 4x6.

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good color (though a bit dark), with a lot of fine detail.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Strong detail with good definition.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very good. However, exposure darkens slightly in the corners.
  • Color: Auto white balance setting most accurate, Daylight setting warm. Overall color slightly dark, but still good.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Some in the shaded brick patterns.





 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, but high contrast limits the dynamic range slightly.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance, and to present a near-infinite range of detail to the camera. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Good detail, a lot of fine detail in the foliage, but image is slightly soft-looking. (Takes unsharp masking very well in Photoshop(tm) though.)
  • Sharpness in Corners: Very good, much better than average.
  • Color: Slightly dark, but still good overall.
  • Dynamic Range: Some loss of detail in highlights and shadows from high contrast, but still pretty good.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Some, particularly in the shadowed bricks.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,304 x 1,728
SS60FAR2304F
SS60FAR2304N
2,048 x 1,536
SS60FAR2048
-
1,280 x 960
SS60FAR1280
-
640 x 480
SS60FAR0640
-


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Sharpness Series:
Plus setting produces slightly coarse-looking fine detail, but fine for smaller inkjet prints (to ~5x7 inches). Normal looks a little soft, but takes sharpening in the computer pretty well. Minus produces very soft images, but they take strong/tight unsharp masking in Photoshop very well. (Try 300%, 0.4 pixel radius.)

Sharpness Series
Minus
Normal
Plus


Contrast Series:
The contrast adjustment works better on landscape scenes like this than on portrait shots like the one of Marti above, the strange saturation breaks aren't visible here.

Contrast Series
Minus
Normal
Plus


Saturation Series:
As before, a good range of adjustment.

Saturation Series
Minus
Normal
Plus


Color Series:

Color Series
Normal
Black & White
Sepia



 

Lens Zoom Range

A good 3x zoom range.

The S60's focal length range of 39-117mm equivalents is typical of most point & shoot digital cameras, shifted slightly toward the telephoto end relative to the average among other models. It corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a modest telephoto.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

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

  • White Balance: Auto and Daylight white balance settings both warm, though Auto is the closest to neutral.
  • Color: Reddish skin tones, but still pretty good. Overall color a little red, creating purple tints in the blue robe and background.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Strong detail, with good sharpness. (Close to the limits of the poster though.)





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A slightly large macro area with good detail. Flash throttles down a little too much, is uneven up close.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 3.43 x 2.57 inches (87 x 65 millimeters), slightly larger than average.
  • Softness in corners?: Some, but much less than average. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Flash throttles down a little too much, resulting in dark corners.





 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Slightly warm color, but pretty good exposure, though a little dark.

  • White balance: Auto setting slightly warm, but most accurate. Daylight setting had stronger warm cast.
  • Color Accuracy: Quite good overall. Red (as always) is a bit oversaturated, although more so than average in the case of the S60, greens are a little bright, other colors are much more accurate than normal for cameras of this class.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Moderate detail in the briquettes, with low noise.



The images series below duplicate examples of various camera controls we've already covered above. I include them here though, for our more analytically-minded readers, who'd like to see the effect of various camera controls with a well-known target like the MacBeth Color Checker (tm).


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 80
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Contrast Series:

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High

Saturation Series:

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High

Color Series:

Color Series
Normal
Black & White
Sepia



 

Low-Light Tests

Very good low-light performance, though noise is a little high. Autofocus system works to a bit darker than 1/8 foot-candle, fine for average city night scenes.

  • Exposure limit: 1/16 foot-candle at all ISO settings. (About 1/16 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.)
  • Autofocus Limit: A bit below 1/8 foot-candle (about 1/8 the brightness of typical city street lighting), but well past 1/16 foot-candle with AF assist.
  • White Balance: Good overall, though pinkish in some shots.
  • Noise Levels: On the high side, even at the lower sensitivities.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Some at one foot-candle, though a larger amount at the lowest light levels.
  • General Notes: Overall, not a bad low-light performer. Acceptable autofocus performance, even without the AF-assist light, good exposure capability.

(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
80
Click to see SS60LL0803.JPG
2.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL0804.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL0805.JPG
13 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL0806.JPG
25 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL0807.JPG
30 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see SS60LL1003.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL1004.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL1005.JPG
10 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL1006.JPG
20 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL1007.JPG
30 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see SS60LL2003.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL2004.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL2005.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL2006.JPG
10 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL2007.JPG
15 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see SS60LL4003.JPG
1/2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL4004.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL4005.JPG
2.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL4006.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SS60LL4007.JPG
8 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

Slightly underexposed even at eight feet, with decreasing brightness to 14 feet.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Eight feet or slightly less.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see SS60FL08.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80
Click to see SS60FL09.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80
Click to see SS60FL10.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80
Click to see SS60FL11.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80
Click to see SS60FL12.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80
Click to see SS60FL13.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80
Click to see SS60FL14.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 80



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Good resolution, 1,200 lines of "strong detail." High barrel distortion at wide angle, and a moderate amount at telephoto. Moderate chromatic aberration at wide angle, pretty good sharpness in the corners.

 

  • Resolution: 1,250 lines horizontally, about 1,200 lines vertically.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~800 lines, though a tiny amount at 600 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,600 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 0.9 percent barrel at wide angle, 0.4 percent barrel at telephoto.
  • Chromatic Aberration: Moderate at wide angle, low at telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Slightly soft at wide angle, but good at telephoto.



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,304 x 1,728
SS60RES2304F
SS60RES2304N
2,048 x 1,536
SS60RES2048
-
1,280 x 960
SS60RES1280
-
640 x 480
SS60RES0640
-


Resolution Test, Zoom Series
2,304 x 1,728
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
SS60RESW
2,304 x 1,728
(Fine,
Telephoto)
SS60REST


Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Hard



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate LCD viewfinder, though a tight optical viewfinder with poor aiming accuracy. Moderate flash falloff at wide angle, though very little at telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: Quite tight, 83 percent at both telephoto and wide angle. Optical viewfinder aims low, so your photos will tend to include much more at the top than you think you're capturing.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Much better, though the LCD monitor is a little loose, showing more than the final frame. Still, results are close to 100 percent.
  • Flash Uniformity: Moderate falloff at wide angle, almost none at telephoto.



S60 Review
S60 Test Images
S60 Specifications
S60 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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