Compared to...

Colour Chart Comparison

Using the test charts in our review database we can compare the DSC-P71 to three other 3 megapixel compact digital cameras: Sony DSC-P5, Pentax Optio 330 and Nikon Coolpix 885.

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-P71 Sony DSC-P5
Pentax Optio 330 Nikon Coolpix 885

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.

Patch Sony

Optio 330

Nikon Coolpix

Black 20,21,22 20,21,22 10,13,15 34,34,34
Middle Gray 82,86,88 93,98,99 71,80,86 102,102,102
White 183,188,187 197,202,198 179,181,187 197,197,197
Magenta 182,8,141 177,27,124 174,1,89 226,41,94
Red 177,4,53 172,18,36 176,0,21 213,29,25
Yellow 191,184,0 194,188,30 188,174,30 180,188,53
Green 14,146,37 28,142,59 10,119,63 0,151,91
Cyan 6,163,194 29,162,208 0,133,187 22,174,220
Blue 44,24,129 40,28,122 21,22,92 61,51,108

The DSC-P71 exhibits very good colour response with an overall neutral balance and good response to each colour. It also shows very little channel polution in pure colours (little blue in red, little red in blue etc.)

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-P71
Sony DSC-P5
Pentax Optio 330
Nikon Coolpix 885

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Sony DSC-P71 Horiz LPH 1000  1350 
Vert LPH * 1000  * 1400 
5° Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Sony DSC-P5 Horiz LPH 1000  1350 
Vert LPH * 1000  1400 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Kyocera Finecam S3 Horiz LPH 820  * 1100 
Vert LPH 820  * 1050 
5° Diagonal LPH 800  1000 
Nikon Coolpix 885 Horiz LPH * 1000  * 1350 
Vert LPH 950  1350 
5° Diagonal LPH 950  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)
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.

An overall excellent performance for the DSC-P71, it delivered as much resolution as we could expect of a three megapixel digital camera and continued on past the point of absolute resolution still providing detail.