Compared to... (contd.)

Colour Chart Comparison

Now we can compare the Finepix 6900Z to a few of other cameras. Using samples from our test archives, we will now compare its image quality to the Nikon Coolpix 995, Canon PowerShot G1 and Sony DSC-S85. I've thrown the 4 megapixel DSC-S85 in here as an 'upper end' expectation of resolution.

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.

Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z Nikon Coolpix 995
Canon PowerShot G1 Sony DSC-S85
First glance says that Fujifilm's reputation for excellent colour is carried through to the 6900Z, colour balance is excellent and vivid as is reproduction of colours across the spectrum. Especially noteworthy are blues, a colour which normally suffers on consumer digital cameras is coming through accurate and strong on the 6900Z. A near flawless performance.

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.


Fujifilm FinePix

Nikon Coolpix

Canon PowerShot
Black 37,32,31 25,25,23 34,32,34 17,17,19
Middle Gray 112,116,112 103,103,102 97,96,102 76,81,79
White 238,237,227 215,215,211 214,208,208 188,189,189
Magenta 254,27,119 207,38,117 204,41,121 170,12,124
Red 255,48,39 197,31,50 189,31,53 176,0,40
Yellow 253,211,46 216,188,36 205,193,59 181,180,14
Green 14,153,17 8,136,61 26,149,73 24,131,27
Cyan 0,174,231 52,164,196 58,180,230 23,158,175
Blue 33,39,126 41,33,84 55,49,117 23,31,112

As you can see the 6900Z really pulls colour out of the test chart. These are probably the most vivid colours we've seen from our test chart since we reviewed the S1 Pro. They may, however, not be to everyone's taste and so I'll reiterate my request for a saturation control on the next FinePix digital camera.

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.

NOTE: Because of the size difference between the 6mp 6900Z image and the rest I've made the crop taller so you can see the same area of the chart.

Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z
Nikon Coolpix 995
Canon PowerShot G1
Sony DSC-S85

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
FinePix 6900Z
Horiz LPH 1150 1400 
Vert LPH 1150  1450 
5o Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Coolpix 995
Horiz LPH *900  1300 
Vert LPH 900  1400 
5o Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
PowerShot G1
Horiz LPH *950  1300 
Vert LPH *950  1400 
5o Diagonal LPH *900  n/a 
Sony DSC-S85 Horiz LPH 1200  1650 
Vert LPH 1150  1650 
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.

Very interesting results here, the 6900Z performs very well on these resolution tests at its 6 megapixel setting. That's probably thanks in part to the intelligence of its internal processing (enlarging) algorithm being able to carry the resolution lines through the higher frequencies.

But let's not to take anything away from the 6900Z, certainly on this test its combination of lens and SuperCCD do appear to be delivering resolution which is in line with the best 3 megapixel digital camera and certainly in the vertical direction up there with the 4 megapixel DSC-S85.