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Digital Cameras - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W7 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 and strong detail, though warm color balance. Contrast is high, with limited detail in the highlights, and dark midtones.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, less than average.
  • Contrast/Tone: High, some highlight detail lost, despite dark midtones.
  • White Balance: Auto is best, though slightly warm toned. Daylight is just slightly warmer.
  • Color accuracy: Warm and slightly dark overall, though all the colors actually look quite accurate.
  • Skin tones: A little on the warm side, but still pretty good.
  • Resolution/sharpness: Excellent resolution, where the camera is focusing, but it appears to have focused on the bouquet, rather than Marti's face. Consequently, detail in the bouquet is excellent, but her face and hair is quite soft.
  • Shadow detail: Very good, fairly low noise

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files W7OUTAP0.HTM through W7OUTAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Closer Portrait:

Excellent resolution and detail, but again, high contrast.

  • Exposure compensation: +0.3 EV, a bit less than average.
  • Exposure/Tone: High contrast results in somewhat harsh skin tones. Dark midtones and limited highlight and shadow detail.
  • Detail: Excellent again, with strong detail, though some areas are slightly soft.
  • Distortion: Good, 3x zoom lens avoids distortion close-up.

 

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files W7OUTFACAP0.HTM through W7OUTFACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

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

Underexposure with the flash at the normal setting, but the flash exposure control worked pretty well. Noticeable warm color cast, though.

  • Exposure: Very dark at Normal Intensity, but the High helped somewhat. Slow-Sync mode is slightly better, with more even lighting and a brighter exposure even at the Normal Intensity. (High setting is still best, Low somewhat dark.)
  • Flash balance with room lighting?: Good - Flash appears to match color of room lighting quite well, there are no bluish highlights.
  • Color: Somewhat dark and warm, with pink skin tones.

 Normal Flash Mode:

Normal Flash Mode
Low
Normal
High

Slow-Sync Flash Mode:

Slow-Sync Flash Mode
Low
Normal
High



 

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

Slightly warm color with the Incandescent white balance, about average exposure compensation required.

  • Exposure: +1.0 EV adjustment needed, about average.
  • White Balance: Incandescent best, but still somewhat reddish and warmer than I'd personally prefer. Auto setting rather warm.
  • Color: Skin tones are pink, blue flowers very dark, reds somewhat magenta. Overall color is somewhat reddish and dark.

 To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files W7INTP0.HTM through W7INTP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

ISO Series:
Some noise was present in the Sony W7's images, even at ISO 100. It was fairly fine-grained, but the camera was also apparently trading away some of the more subtle subject detail to hold the noise in check. At ISOs 200 and 400, noise levels increased, and further softened details. ISO 400 shots printed at 8x10 inches looked soft and somewhat noisy, but prints at 5x7 were acceptable, ones at 4x6 were just fine.

ISO Series
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Accurate color, with high resolution and strong detail. A fair bit of blurring in the corners though.

  • Sharpness/Detail: Strong detail and high resolution.
  • Sharpness in Corners: Fairly severe softening in corners, but it doesn't extend too far into the frame.
  • Color: Auto white balance good, though a hint cool, Daylight just slightly warm.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Noticeable in brick patterns, and in loss of fine detail in grass texture.




 

Far-Field Test

High resolution and strong detail, good dynamic range.

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, a lot of fine detail (great definition in the cherry tree foliage on the right). Slight softness to the image, it benefits from strong/tight unsharp masking in Photoshop(tm).
  • Sharpness in Corners: Slight softening in all four corners, but no more than average.
  • Color: Very good.
  • Dynamic Range: Good, fairly good detail in both highlights and shadows.
  • Detail lost to anti-noise processing?: Only in the darkest shadows. (Most noticeable in the shadowed tree foliage on the right side of the frame.)

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
3,072 x 2,304
W7FAR3072F
W7FAR3072N
2,592 x 1,944
W7FAR2592
-
2,048 x 1,536
W7FAR2048
-
1,280 x 960
W7FAR1280
-
640 x 480
W7FAR0640
-


ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400


Sharpness Series:
A good range of adjustment for the sharpness control. Low setting produces images that take unsharp masking in Photoshop very well.

Sharpness Series
Low
Normal
High


Contrast Series:
The contrast adjustment on the W7 helps somewhat with harsh lighting like this, but I'd like to see more steps, extending further in the low-contrast direction.

Contrast Series
Low
Normal
High

 

Saturation Series:
A good range of adjustment on the saturation control.

Saturation Series
Low
Normal
High


Color Series:

Color Series
Normal
Black & White
Sepia



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range, biased slightly towards the telephoto end of the scale.

The W7's focal length range of 38-114mm equivalents is about typical of most point & shoot digital cameras, although it leans slightly more towards the telephoto end than do the 35-105mm lenses found on many digital cameras. This focal length range corresponds to a modest wide angle to a modest telephoto.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto



 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Pretty good color with the Auto white balance. High resolution and strong detail.

  • White Balance: Daylight white balance was slightly warm, Auto looked most natural to my eyes.
  • Color: Pretty good skin tones. Some purple tints on the blue robe and background, but overall color is very good.
  • Sharpness/Detail: Very high, with strong detail. (Close to the limits of the poster though.)





 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

A small macro area with great detail. Flash has trouble up close though.

  • Minimum Macro Area: 2.42 x 1.82 inches (62 x 46 millimeters), about average.
  • Softness in corners?: Fairly strong blurring. (Most cameras get fairly soft corners in macro mode, the W7 is a little on the high side, but not too far from average in this regard.)
  • Flash performance in macro mode?: Too bright, due to the close shooting distance.




 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance

Good overall exposure and color.

  • White balance: Auto setting produced best results (though slightly warm), Daylight was a little yellowish.
  • Color Accuracy: Bright reds and greens are somewhat oversaturated, but other colors are unusually accurate.
  • Shadow detail and noise: Moderate detail in the briquettes, 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 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

Excellent low-light performance, good low-light focusing ability. The camera should do very well for typical shots under city night lighting.

  • Exposure limit: 1/16 foot-candle at all three ISO settings. (About 1/16 as bright as typical city street lighting at night.)
  • Autofocus Limit: About 1/4 foot-candle with AF assist light turned off, total darkness with it on.
  • White Balance: Slightly pink in the darker exposures, but good overall.
  • Noise Levels: Fairly low, higher at lower light levels.
  • Detail loss to anti-noise processing?: Minimal at one foot-candle, but more visible at the 1/16 foot-candle light level.
  • General Notes: The DSC-W7 is an excellent low-light shooter, with very good low-light focusing ability, excellent exposure capability, and good-looking images even at the lowest light levels we test for.

(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
100
Click to see W7LL1003.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL1004.JPG
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL1005.JPG
10 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL1006.JPG
20 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL1007.JPG
30 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see W7LL2003.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL2004.JPG
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL2005.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL2006.JPG
10 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL2007.JPG
20 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see W7LL4003.JPG
1/2 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL4004.JPG
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL4005.JPG
2.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL4006.JPG
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see W7LL4007.JPG
10 sec
f2.8



 

Flash Range Test

A weak flash, with dim results even at eight feet, when the lens is at its telephoto setting.

  • Flash range at telephoto lens setting: Barely eight feet.
8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see W7FL08.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100
Click to see W7FL09.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100
Click to see W7FL10.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100
Click to see W7FL11.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100
Click to see W7FL12.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100
Click to see W7FL13.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100
Click to see W7FL14.JPG
1/50 sec
f5.2
ISO 100



 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

High resolution, 1,550 lines of "strong detail." Average barrel distortion at wide angle, almost no distortion at telephoto. Some chromatic aberration at wide angle, some blurring in the corners.

 

  • Resolution: 1,550 lines both vertically and horizontally.
  • Artifacts begin at: ~1,300 lines.
  • Extinction point: ~1,800 lines.

  • Barrel/Pincushion distortion: 0.8 percent barrel at wide angle, 0.07 percent pincushion at telephoto (about two pixels).
  • Chromatic Aberration: Moderately high at wide angle, less at telephoto.
  • Corner Sharpness: Slight softness at both wide and telephoto in the res chart, more in some of the other test shots though..



Resolution Series, medium focal length
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
3,072 x 2,304
W7RES3072F
W7RES3072N
2,592 x 1,944
W7RES2592
-
2,048 x 1,536
W7RES2048
-
1,280 x 960
W7RES1280
-
640 x 480
W7RES0640
-


 Resolution Test, Zoom Series

3,072 x 2,304
(Fine,
Wide Angle)
W7RESW
3,072 x 2,304
(Fine,
Telephoto)
W7REST


Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series
Low
Normal
High



 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

Tight optical viewfinder, a very accurate LCD monitor. Slight flash falloff at wide angle, and a small amount at telephoto.

  • Optical Viewfinder Accuracy: Rather tight, 84 percent at wide angle, 87 percent at telephoto.
  • LCD Viewfinder Accuracy: Much better, close to 100 percent at both wide angle and telephoto. (Measurement lines were just cut off.)
  • Flash Uniformity: Slight falloff at wide angle, and a lesser amount at telephoto.



W7 Review
W7 Test Images
W7 Specifications
W7 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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