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Compared to... (contd.)

Now we'll use the data in our review database to compare the DiMAGE F100's colour and resolution to three other four megapixel digital cameras: the Canon PowerShot S45, Sony DSC-P9, and Olympus C-40Z.

Colour Chart Comparison

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.

Minolta DiMAGE F100 Canon PowerShot S45
Sony DSC-P9 Olympus C-40Z

Virtually identical balance to the DSC-S85 except for the almost purple appearance of blues (this was a surprise as I hadn't observed this in real life shots). Otherwise a measured and neutral colour balance which succeeds because it provides vivid colour without looking false or overly saturated.

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.

Patch

Minolta
DiMAGE F100

Canon
PowerShot S45

Sony
DSC-P9

Olympus
C-40Z
Black 23,23,23 30,31,30 26,24,26 30,31,29
Middle Gray 95,96,97 100,101,100 96,94,98 100,99,99
White 202,209,207 207,208,204 192,190,192 214,216,211
Magenta 194,32,108 210,43,113 186,24,109 208,51,116
Red 172,21,33 205,34,47 174,17,29 196,45,41
Yellow 186,190,42 204,194,28 189,181,28 206,207,50
Green 5,146,69 16,137,79 37,137,66 8,143,63
Cyan 20,178,210 0,145,212 47,157,191 17,155,224
Blue 50,51,115 35,48,111 67,41,109 49,48,111

As you can see color response from these four cameras is quite similar, there are some difference in the level of saturation and tonal balance (black point / white point). It's interesting to note the difference between the colour of the cyan patch between the F100 and the S45, looking at the patches with a human eye I feel that the S45 is closer to the true blue color.


Resolution Chart Comparison

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, all settings factory default. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV for all cameras.

Horizontal resolution Vertical resolution 5 degree diagonal res.
Minolta DiMAGE F100
Canon PowerShot S45
Sony DSC-P9
Olympus C-40Z

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res.  Extinction Res. 
Minolta DiMAGE F100 Horiz LPH 1150  *1350 
Vert LPH 1150  1300 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Canon PowerShot S45 Horiz LPH 1250  1450 
Vert LPH 1150  1400 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Sony DSC-P9 Horiz LPH 1100  1400 
Vert LPH 1100  1400 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Olympus C-40Z (D-40Z) Horiz LPH *1200  *1350 
Vert LPH 1100  1400 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 

* Some artifacts / moiré visible

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.

Overall the DiMAGE F100 performed well in our resolution test, delivering notably higher but also cleaner (less moiré) resolution than the now discontinued DiMAGE S404. This puts the F100 fairly high up the resolution rankings for compact / ultra-compact four megapixel digital cameras. Kudos Minolta.

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