Compared to... (contd.)

Now we'll compare the Olympus C-5050 Zoom to a few other four megapixel digital cameras from our test archives. Here we're comparing colour and resolution to the Sony DSC-F717, Nikon Coolpix 5000 and Canon PowerShot G3.

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.

Olympus C-5050 Zoom Sony DSC-F717
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Canon PowerShot G3

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.


C-5050 Zoom


Coolpix 5000

PowerShot G3

Black 25,26,26 23,22,24 19,20,19 34,34,34
Middle Gray 105,104,103 92,92,94 91,91,91 102,105,105
White 222,218,217 195,193,192 209,209,205 212,212,212
Magenta 236,46,124 180,26,96 219,37,93 208,45,115
Red 223,44,48 170,19,21 207,26,23 203,34,44
Yellow 217,206,53 190,184,45 212,189,47 208,192,30
Green 8,148,69 34,137,76 0,130,68 23,138,73
Cyan 14,176,226 38,160,192 1,153,200 5,152,218
Blue 50,40,105 53,34,106 33,44,98 37,49,122

The C-5050 Zoom produced a good color if a little saturated for some tastes, it's a fairly similar response to the Nikon Coolpix 5000 which was surprising because Olympus have always tended towards less saturation. Remember that you have a lot of latitude (+/-5 levels) in color saturation adjustment.

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 (to compensate for the white background).

Horizontal resolution Vertical resolution 5 degree diagonal res.
Olympus C-5050 Zoom
Sony DSC-F717
Nikon Coolpix 5000
Canon PowerShot G3

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera)

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Olympus C-5050 Zoom Horiz LPH * 1450  1800 
Vert LPH 1300  1800 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a
Sony DSC-F717 Horiz LPH 1450  1800 
Vert LPH 1300  1800 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Horiz LPH * 1350  1500 
Vert LPH * 1200  1500 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Canon PowerShot G3 Horiz LPH 1250  1400 
Vert LPH 1200  1400 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 

* Moiré is visible, # Jagged edges to diagonals, + Chart maximum

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.

Impressive, the C-5050 Zoom manages to match our current five megapixel 'king of the castle', the Sony DSC-F717. Resolution is on par and the detail carried through to extinction is slightly better resolved (although this is probably just down to sharpening). Proof by this stage of the reviuew, if it were required, that the Olympus F1.8 - F2.6 lens in combination with the new smaller 1/1.8" CCD sensor are more than capable of what we would expect from a five megapixel prosumer digital camera.