Flash Performance

The DiMAGE F100 has a rated flash range of 0.5 - 2.9 m (1.6 - 9.5 ft) at wide angle and 0.5 - 1.7 m (1.6 - 5.6 ft) at telephoto. In our tests the cameras flash seemed to perform quite well, good metering and colour balance, the only noticeable oddity was the presence of two darker bars across the frame on our wide angle white wall test.

Skin tone test: Good colour, no cast, slightly conservative metering and flash power. Wide angle white wall: not too much drop off at corners, visible bars across frame (shadow from flash bulb?). Color patch test: Good exposure, well metered with good colour.

Night exposures / Noise reduction

The F100 has a maximum timed exposure of four seconds, while this length of exposure would be generally usable for cityscapes and such it would have been nice to have longer timed exposures. The F100 does have a Bulb exposure mode, so it is possible to take longer exposures (if your finger on the shutter release is steady enough). Noise levels for the four second exposure were fine, but longer exposures exhibited visible noise.

4 sec, F3.5, ISO 100
15 sec (Bulb), F3.5, ISO 100

Barrel and Pincushion Distortion

The DiMAGE F100's compact lens system exhibited some barrel distortion at wide angle and very slight pincushion distortion at telephoto. The amount of distortion is what we would expect for the size of lens.

1.2% Barrel Distortion at wide angle 0.2% Pincushion Distortion at telephoto

Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)

The DiMAGE F100 exhibited some slight fringing in our controlled chromatic aberration test shot however it was very difficult for us to find a matching everyday shot. It appears as though either Minolta are specifically treating chromatic aberration effects in the image pipeline or they simply don't occur that often. Whichever it is you will be hard pressed to find chromatic aberrations in your normal everyday shots.

We had to search long and hard to find an example of fringing in everyday shots
Our now standard chromatic aberration test shot, some slight fringing

Overall Image Quality / Specific Issues

The DiMAGE F100 appears to have good colour balance, and thankfully its images do not need to be run through the Minolta Image Viewer utility, they are natively sRGB. The F100's images do tend to be slightly soft, either because of image processing or the lens, this can be counteracted by increasing sharpening but of course that has the side-effect of producing sharpening artifacts and increasing the visibility of noise. There's also something about the F100's images which can lead to them having a 'video camera like' look to them. This could be associated with the clipping of highlights (see below).

Clipping of highlights

In much the same way as Nikon's Coolpix digital cameras the F100 appears to clip highlights (overexposed areas of an image) much earlier than other similar four megapixel digital cameras. This trait reveals itself as a harsh 'clip' of the highlight rather than a smooth transition from detail to highlight. In the examples below you can clearly see these harsh highlights which tend to distract from otherwise good resolution.