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Compared to... (contd.)

Now we'll compare the Coolpix 885 to a few other cameras from our test archives. Here we're comparing colour and resolution to the Sony DSC-P5, Nikon Coolpix 995 and Olympus C-3040Z.

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.

Nikon Coolpix 885 Sony DSC-P5
Nikon Coolpix 995 Olympus C-3040Z

All of these cameras do a good job at reproducing the colours from our test patches, there are however some subtle differences. The Coolpix 885's red and cyan are far stronger than any other camera here and its yellow is noticeably subdued. Note also the difference between the DSC-P5 and Coolpix 885's blue and magenta (pink) patches.

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

Nikon Coolpix
885

Sony
DSC-P5

Nikon Coolpix
995

Olympus
C-3040Z

Black 34,34,34 20,21,22 23,26,24 30,30,30
       
Middle Gray 102,102,102 93,98,99 98,99,98 102,102,100
       
White 197,197,197 197,202,198 213,210,210 201,202,201
       
Magenta 226,41,94 177,27,124 206,38,118 205,36,103
       
Red 213,29,25 172,18,36 197,29,47 195,29,36
       
Yellow 180,188,53 194,188,30 217,185,26 191,185,61
       
Green 0,151,91 28,142,59 9,136,57 8,136,61
       
Cyan 22,174,220 29,162,208 51,162,199 31,157,183
       
Blue 61,51,108 40,28,122 53,45,104 41,33,84
       

Nikon Coolpix 885 observations:

  • Good white balance - black, gray and white patches are very pure
  • Very strong red - red value of magenta and red patches is very high (comparatively)
  • Blue in green - green patch shows high blue value leaving it looking pale and washed out
  • Very strong cyan - blue value of cyan patch is very high (comparatively)
  • Weak blue - blue patch is weak (blue value less than 50%) - same as 995

Resolution 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.
Nikon Coolpix 885
Sony DSC-P5
Nikon Coolpix 995
Olympus C-3040Z

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Nikon Coolpix 885 Horiz LPH * 1000  1350 
Vert LPH 950  1350 
5o Diagonal LPH 950  n/a 
Sony DSC-P5 Horiz LPH 1000  1350 
Vert LPH * 1000  1400 
5o Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Nikon Coolpix 995 Horiz LPH * 900  * 1300 
Vert LPH 900  1400 
5o Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Olympus C-3040Z Horiz LPH * 1000  * 1300 
Vert LPH * 1000  1350 
5o Diagonal LPH * 900  n/a 

* Moiré is visible

Definition of terms:

LPH Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the same for horizontal and vertical)
5o Diagonal Lines set at 5o 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.

It's a close run thing however the 885's sharper lens proved to have more resolution than its bigger brother the 995, up there with the DSC-P5 the 885 is capable of producing approximately 1000 lines per picture height.

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