Compared to... (contd.)
Colour Chart Comparison
Now we can compare the Finecam S3 to a couple of other cameras, using samples from our test archives we will now compare its image quality (colour and resolution) to the Nikon Coolpix 880, Sony DSC-P1 and Canon PowerShot A20. I've thrown in the A20 as probably the best entry level two megapixel digital camera to see how it fairs against the more expensive Finecam S3.
Colour charts are shot in daylight, Auto White Balance, EV compensation +0.3 (all cameras), measured light ~10 EV. This test is also dependent on the accuracy of the camera's auto white balance, the colour charts are shot in daylight but some camera's white balance is better than others. All cameras are given 20 seconds to "settle" before the shot is taken.
|Kyocera Finecam S3||Nikon Coolpix 880|
|Sony DSC-P1||Canon PowerShot A20|
In the table below we're only measuring colour. The RGB values were measured from a VGA reduced image (to average colours, remove noise and eliminate JPEG artifacts) using the Eyedropper tool in Photoshop with a 5 by 5 Average Sample Size.
|Canon Powershot A20|
Unhappy with the first sample of our colour patches I went back and re-shot it four or five times, each time the chart had a slight cream cast, this has pushed reds towards orange. Other than this the S3 did a fair job at maintaining all patch colours, notably yellows, greens and blues were strong, these are colours which often suffer in digital camera images.
Shots here are of the PIMA/ISO 12233 standard resolution test chart (more of which are available in our comparison database). This resolution chart allows us to measure the actual performance of the lens and sensor system, it measures the ability of the camera to resolve lines at gradually higher resolutions and enables us to provide a definitive value for comparison purposes. Values on the chart are 1/100th lines per picture height. So a value of 8 equates to 800 lines per picture height.
Studio light, cameras set to auto, Exposure compensation +0.7 EV for all cameras.
|Kyocera Finecam S3|
|Nikon Coolpix 880|
|Canon PowerShot A20|
Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):
|Camera||Measurement||Absolute Res.||Extinction Res.|
|Kyocera Finecam S3||Horiz LPH||820||1100|
|5o Diagonal LPH||800||1000|
|Nikon Coolpix 880||Horiz LPH||900||1300|
|5o Diagonal LPH||900||n/a|
|Sony DSC-P1||Horiz LPH||1000||1350|
|5o Diagonal LPH||1000||n/a|
|Canon PowerShot A20||Horiz LPH||820||1000|
|5° Diagonal LPH||800||900|
Definition of terms:
|LPH||Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the same for horizontal and vertical)|
|5° Diagonal||Lines set at 5° diagonal|
|Absolute Resolution||Still defined detail (below Nyquist frequency*)|
|Extinction Resolution||Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes a solid gray alias)|
|n/a||Not Available (above the capability of the test chart)|
|n/v||Not Visible (not visible on test results)|
* Nyquist frequency defined as the highest spatial frequency
where the CCD can still faithfully record
image detail. Beyond the Nyquist frequency aliasing occurs.
As I mentioned earlier in this review the Finecam S3 didn't produce the resolution we'd expect of a three megapixel digital camera. I deliberately included the Canon PowerShot A20 in this comparison because its resolution characteristics are almost identical to that of those of the Finecam S3, and it's a two megapixel digital camera. With a three megapixel sensor the S3 certainly has the potential to resolve good resolution (take a look at the Sony DSC-P1 resolution chart as an example), but it is almost certainly being let down by its lens and internal processing.