Digital Cameras - Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 Test Images
|I've begun including links in our reviews to a thumbnail index page for the test shots. The data on the thumbnail 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 index page separately, 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 DiMAGE X50 produced somewhat high contrast here, but good overall color.
The shot at right was taken with a +1.0 EV exposure compensation adjustment, and has high contrast. The highlights do hold onto some detail, but midtones and shadows are rather dark. I chose the Auto white balance setting for the main series, over the very warm color balance of the Daylight setting.
Marti's skin tones are a little red here, and the blue flowers in the bouquet are slightly darker and more purplish than in real life. (Many digicams have trouble with this blue, which is in reality a pretty pure light navy.) Still, overall color looks pretty good, and saturation is about right, though the red flowers are a little oversaturated. Resolution is high, and detail is strong throughout the frame, though the best definition is in the flower bouquet. Shadow detail is moderate, as is image noise.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files X50OUTBAP0.HTM
through X50OUTBAP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Excellent resolution and detail, though again somewhat high contrast.
Color and exposure are similar to the wider shot above, and contrast is again high. However, midtones are slightly brighter in this close-up, and hold on to more detail. The shot at right was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which results in very bright highlights on Marti's face. The X50's 2.8x zoom lens helps prevent strong geometric distortion of Marti's features, and captures sharp details in Marti's face. Resolution is much higher in this close-up shot, and detail is very strong in Marti's face and hair, with great definition. The green leaves and the shirt collar also show excellent detail.
To view the entire exposure series from -0.3 to +1.3 EV, see files X50FACBAM1.HTM
through X50FACBP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Good intensity and coverage with the built-in flash, with a relatively small exposure boost. An orange color cast from the background lighting though.
The X50's built-in flash was just a little dim at its default exposure setting, requiring a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment for the best overall exposure (anything brighter resulted in strong highlights on the white shirt and washed out color on Marti's face). The background incandescent lighting results in an orange-pink cast on the back wall, which also spills onto Marti's features and the flower bouquet. Image noise is a little high.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files X50INFP0.HTM
through X50INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Slightly warm color with the Incandescent white balance setting, but better than average performance. A lot of positive exposure compensation required, but good results overall.
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 X50's Auto white balance setting produced a strong pink cast here, so I chose the slightly warm color balance of the Incandescent setting for the main series. Though warm and slightly yellow, overall color is actually pretty good, and more natural than the pink tint of the Auto setting. The blue flowers in the bouquet are very dark and purplish (very common for this shot), but skin tones are believable. Image noise is high with the camera's Auto ISO adjustment, and is strongest in the shadow areas. The main exposure was taken with a +1.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is higher than average.
To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.3 EV, see files X50INTP0.HTM
through X50INTP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.
High resolution and a lot of fine detail, but a reddish color cast.
Though slightly red overall, I chose the X50's Auto
white balance setting here, as the Daylight
setting resulted in a stronger yellow cast. Resolution is very high, and
detail is strong in the tree limbs above the roof, as well as in the shrubbery
in front of the house, and in the house details themselves. (The X50's
five-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 X50 is close to extracting all the detail
that's to be found here.) Details are reasonably sharp throughout the
center of the frame, though details are softer in the corners of the frame.
Excellent resolution and detail, with a moderate dynamic range.
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
X50 performs well. The tree limbs over the roof and fine foliage in front
of the house show strong detail, with clear and distinct leaf patterns.
There's a little chromatic aberration in the corners of the frame, around
the leaves that overlap the sky, but it's not too bad. Details are also
sharp and well-defined throughout the frame, but the corners of the image
are slightly soft. The camera picks up moderate detail in the bright white
paint surrounding the bay window, a trouble spot for many digicams. (Although
this was shot on a slightly overcast day, so the lighting isn't as contrasty
as it usually is.) Detail is also only moderate in the shadow area above
the front door. Overall color looks good, however, and exposure is about
right. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series,
followed by ISO and color series.
Lens Zoom Range
A reasonable 2.8x 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 (2.8x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The X50's lens is equivalent to a 37-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a modest wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.
Pronounced warm casts from the preponderance of blue in the subject, but great resolution and 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. Both the X50's Auto and
Daylight white balance settings were tricked, and produced warm color
casts. As the Daylight setting produced the lesser cast, I chose it for
the main image. Skin tones are warm, and the highlight area of the blue
robe has a greenish tint. Resolution is very high, and detail is strong
in the embroidered bird wings on the blue robe, as well as in the flower
garland, beaded necklaces, and instrument details. (The original data
file for this poster was only 20MB though, so cameras like the X50 are
definitely capable of showing more detail than the poster has in it.)
An excellent macro shooter! A tiny macro area with excellent detail. Flash also performs well.
The X50 performed very well in the macro category, capturing a minimum
area of only 0.99 x 0.74 inches (25 x 19 millimeters). Resolution is very
high, and detail is excellent in the dollar bill. (The coin and brooch
are soft due to the shallow depth of field caused by the close shooting
range, not the fault of the camera.) The X50's flash
almost throttles down for the macro area, but is just a little bright.
However, results are surprisingly good, considering how close the camera
is to the subject. Overall, an excellent macro shooter!
"Davebox" Test Target
Accurate exposure and good saturation, though fairly strong color casts with both white balance settings.
Though overall color is slightly red, I chose the X50's Auto
white balance setting over the Daylight setting's
warm, yellow cast. The large color blocks all have a reddish tint, but
the red/pink blocks are all significantly oversaturated. Though contrast
is on the high side, exposure looks pretty good, and the X50 distinguishes
the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target well. The shadow area of
the charcoal briquettes shows good detail, with a moderate amount of noise.
Somewhat limited low-light capabilities, though the camera is well-suited to shooting under city street lighting at night without a flash. Good low-light autofocus performance.
The X50 produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level at the 400 ISO equivalent, though you could arguably use the image captured at the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of the test. At ISO 200, exposures were bright as low as 1/4 foot-candle (2.7 lux), and at ISOs 50 and 100, exposures were bright only to 1/2 foot-candle (5.5 lux). Since average city street lighting at night equates to about one foot-candle (11 lux), the X50 ought to be capable of capturing fairly good images at slightly darker light levels. Color was pretty good, though with a slight warm cast that increased as the exposure darkened. Noise appeared under control at the 50 and 100 ISO settings, and wasn't terrible even at ISO 200. However, at ISO 400, noise was very high, and the grain pattern interfered with subject detail. The X50's autofocus system worked surprisingly well at low light levels, able to focus down light levels of less than 1/8 foot-candle. 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 weak flash, with low intensity even at the eight-foot test distance.
In my testing, the X50's flash only barely illuminated the test target at the eight-foot distance, and intensity decreased significantly with each additional foot of distance. At 14 feet, the test target was just visible. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.
High resolution, 1,250 lines of "strong detail." High barrel distortion at wide angle, though. Chromatic aberration moderate at wide angle, low at telephoto. Good sharpness from corner to corner.
The X50 performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 1,000 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,250 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns didn't occur until about 1,600 lines.
Optical distortion on the X50 was higher than average at the wide-angle
end, where I measured approximately 1.13 percent barrel distortion. The
telephoto end fared much better, as I measured approximately 0.09 percent
barrel distortion there. Chromatic aberration was high at wide angle focal
lengths, showing several pixels of moderately strong coloration on either
side of the target lines, but very low at the telephoto end of the lens'
range. (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 X50's images were impressively sharp from corner to corner, relatively
rare in a subcompact digicam.
Resolution Series, 50mm
Resolution Test, Zoom Series
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
A tight optical viewfinder, but very accurate LCD monitor.
The X50's optical viewfinder is very tight, showing only about 78 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 79 percent at telephoto. Images framed with the optical viewfinder are also slanted toward the lower left corner, possibly evidence of a shifted CCD chip. The LCD monitor proved much more accurate, and actually a little loose, showing slightly more of the frame than what made it into the final image. At wide angle, I was able to measure frame accuracy at about 99 percent. However, at telephoto, the standard measurement lines were just out of frame. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the X50's LCD monitor is almost perfect. Flash distribution is fairly even at wide angle, with moderate falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is even more uniform, though intensity is much lower.
X50 Test Images
X50 "Picky Details"
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