Compared to... (contd.)

Now we'll compare the DSC-P5 to a few other cameras from our test archives. Here we're comparing colour and resolution to the Sony DSC-P1, Nikon Coolpix 880 and Kyocera Finecam S3.

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.

Sony DSC-P5 Sony DSC-P1
Nikon Coolpix 880 Kyocera Finecam S3
There's very little difference in colour reproduction between last years DSC-P1 and this years DSC-P5, and that's not to the new cameras detriment, the P1 did have good accurate yet vivid colour.

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.

Coolpix 880
Finecam S3
White 197,201,197 180,187,189 204,204,205 237,235,219
Middle Gray 93,98,99 95,102,106 117,117,118 140,142,134
Red 173,18,35 175,22,33 210,35,45 232,74,47
Green 26,142,59 30,140,64 0,158,83 45,187,79
Blue 38,27,122 45,30,126 66,40,107 78,63,150

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.
Sony DSC-P5
Sony DSC-P1
Nikon Coolpix 880
Kyocera Finecam S3

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Sony DSC-P5 Horiz LPH 1000  1350 
Vert LPH 1000  1400 
5o Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Sony DSC-P1 Horiz LPH 1000  1350 
Vert LPH 1000  1450 
5o Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Nikon Coolpix 880 Horiz LPH  900  1300 
Vert LPH 900  1400 
5o Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Kyocera Finecam S3 Horiz LPH 820  1100 
Vert LPH 820  1050 
5o Diagonal LPH 800  1000

* 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.

Unsurprisingly identical results to the DSC-P1, luckily we were close enough to the resolution chart not to need to use the telephoto end of zoom as that would almost definetly have had a detrimental effect on resolution (see my comments earlier in the review). Resolution measures up well to the competition.