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Compared to...

Colour Chart Comparison

Using the test charts in our review database we can compare the Optio 330 to three other 3 megapixel compact digital cameras: Kycoera Finecam S3, Sony DSC-P5 and Nikon Coolpix 885.

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.

Pentax Optio 330 Kyocera Finecam S3
Sony DSC-P5 Nikon Coolpix 885

Here you can clearly see the Optio 330's underexposure and 'heavy contrast'. Otherwise colour balance is very good with strong and vivid yet accurate colours.

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

Pentax
Optio 330

Kyocera
Finecam S3
Sony
DSC-P5

Nikon Coolpix
885

Black 10,13,15 30,29,26 20,21,22 34,34,34
       
Middle Gray 71,80,86 140,140,134 93,98,99 102,102,102
       
White 179,181,187 235,234,219 197,202,198 197,197,197
       
Magenta 174,1,89 233,81,154 177,27,124 226,41,94
       
Red 176,0,21 232,74,49 172,18,36 213,29,25
       
Yellow 188,174,30 234,234,42 194,188,30 180,188,53
       
Green 10,119,63 44,188,80 28,142,59 0,151,91
       
Cyan 0,133,187 33,207,222 29,162,208 22,174,220
       
Blue 21,22,92 73,60,154 40,28,122 61,51,108
       

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.
Pentax Optio 330
Kyocera Finecam S3
Sony DSC-P5
Nikon Coolpix 885

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Pentax Optio 330 Horiz LPH 900  * 1100 
Vert LPH 900  * 1100 
5o Diagonal LPH 800  n/a 
Kyocera Finecam S3 Horiz LPH 820  * 1100 
Vert LPH 820  * 1050 
5o Diagonal LPH 800  1000 
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 

* 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.

Unfortunately it's here that the Optio 330 trips up, it's a little better than Kyocera's S3 but the Optio's little lens just doesn't have sufficient resolution to utilize that three megapixel sensor properly (this doesn't bode well for the Optio 430). It's interesting that both Sony and Nikon have managed to pull off relatively good resolutions with a compact lens (though not as compact).

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