Image parameters

The A100 features eight pre-programmed color modes which affect both the color mapping and tonal appearance of the image (for examples see Color in our Photographic tests). Beyond this you can also adjust contrast, saturation and sharpness. I was slightly disappointed that there's only a latitude of five levels of adjustment for these image parameters and that you can't combine a color mode with the color space selection (Adobe RGB is itself a color mode).

Image parameter adjustments

  • Color mode: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night view, B&W, Adobe RGB
  • Image parameter adjustments
    • Contrast: -2 to +2
    • Saturation: -2 to +2
    • Sharpness: -2 to +2

Contrast adjustment

Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the correct gamma. A lower contrast setting maintains more of the original data's dynamic range but leads to a flatter looking image. A higher contrast setting stretches the grayscale (dark to light) of the image and could lead to clipping of both shadow detail and highlights. As you can see there's very little difference between 0 and -2, while there is a little difference noticeable with the +2 setting.

  Contrast Luminosity histogram



Color saturation adjustment

Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. We were slightly surprised to see clipping of the red crayons in our standard shot with the default '0' setting, although this high level of saturation is somewhat of a Sony trademark. Using a setting of -1 or even -2 produced more natural looking color with less chance of channel clipping.

  Saturation 50% crop


The A100's default '0' sharpness setting produces acceptably sharp images with few sharpening artifacts. If you prefer your images a little sharper out of the camera you can always opt for the +1 setting.

Sharpness: -2
Sharpness: -1
Sharpness: 0 (default)
Sharpness: +1
Sharpness: +2