Olympus E-20 Review
Here we can compare, using results from our review archives, the colour reproduction and resolution of the E-20 to three other five megapixel digital cameras: Sony DSC-F707, Minolta DiMAGE 7 and Nikon Coolpix 5000 (results coming soon).
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 E-20||Sony DSC-F707|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7 (converted to sRGB)||Nikon Coolpix 5000|
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.
As you can see the E-20's colour reproduction (on our simple patches) is remarkably similar to the Sony DSC-F707. There are two major differences (which aren't clear to see on this test):
- The fact that the E-20 images are far less 'contrasty' than the F707, that is the overall tonal balance is 'flatter' with a better preservation of shadow detail by deliberately maintaining most detail above the black point (this can also make colours appear less saturated).
- How the E-20 handles 'brighter' colours (more saturated), unlike the F707 the E-20 proved that it didn't "blow out" reds or any other colour which may otherwise affect the F707.
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.|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7|
|Nikon Coolpix 5000|
Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):
|Camera||Measurement||Absolute Res.||Extinction Res.|
|Olympus E-20||Horiz LPH||* 1350||1650|
|Vert LPH||* 1300||1650|
|5° Diagonal LPH||+ 1000||-|
|Sony DSC-F707||Horiz LPH||1450||1800|
|5° Diagonal LPH||+ 1000||-|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7||Horiz LPH||* 1300||1450|
|Vert LPH||* 1150||1450|
|5° Diagonal LPH||900||-|
|Nikon Coolpix 5000||Horiz LPH||* 1350||1500|
|Vert LPH||* 1200||1500|
|5° Diagonal LPH||+ 1000||-|
* Moiré becomes visible, + 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)|
image detail. Beyond the Nyquist frequency aliasing occurs.
Overall the E-20 does well for resolution, a match for the F707 for vertical resolution and very close for horizontal resolution. This goes to show that it is possible to get good resolution from the commonly used five megapixel sensor matched with a good high quality lens and sophisticated image processing algorithms. Compared to the Nikon Coolpix 5000 things are a little closer, it looks as though the E-20's larger slightly higher quality lens manages to squeeze a little more resolution than the 5000.
Some moiré is visible, although not as strong as the DiMAGE 7 it is there and clearly shows that Sony are doing something more advanced with their Bayer interpolation / image processing algorithms to avoid it. Overall the E-20 manages to make far more of its five megapixels than the E-10 did of its four megapixels.
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
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