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Survey: 10 stabilised digital cameras
by Vincent Alzieu
Published on May 18, 2006

Precision with the lowest ISO
The camera is in P mode without a flash but with a tripod this time. The lighting is controlled, entirely artificial, and close to natural light. The photo is taken with a lens, approximately 35 mm. Photos are then resized in 8” x 11” at 300 dpi to first simulate significant magnification and to have an extract of the same size despite the sensor differences.

To compare, we included above the Canon EOS 350D image without flash:

Detail : the bottle in the middle
This extract opposes details with bright colors or with a high level of contrast and a light background. Here we see the influence of blur, Jpeg compression and the cameras capacity to dissociate colours. A good reproduction would be the readability of the above text, the accuracy of the red central image and the black text below.
Sometimes you can read it (Olympus Mju 720 SW), and sometime you can’t (Ricoh R3).

Canon EOS 350D
Canon Ixus 800-IS
Casio Exilim S600
FujiFilm FinePix F11
Konica Minolta Dimage X1
Nikon Coolpix P4
Olympus Mju 720 SW
Pentax Optio W10
Panasonic DMCFX01
Ricoh Caplio R3
Sony DSC-T9

The Olympus camera has rather well balanced images even if it’s a little bit affected by noise. Colors are well separated, texts are readable and the image has a high level of detail. For example, we can see that there is a little surrounding border where there is only a uniform color area for the Ricoh R3.

Then comes the Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony images with the same grade because they have a little less detail and less noise. They are different but we feel that they are equivalent. One is slightly softer and the other has more detail. The four (5 with Olympus) are precise.
Fuji’s image could have been in the previous group as we found it extremely soft with a slight lack of contrast. Also, Konica Minolta’s image could have finished in a much better position if it didn’t have problems in white balance.
The following ones are a little disappointing with wrong separation of colors and overly strong compression. The text is no longer readable in the Casio, Pentax and Ricoh images. So if the 7 previous cameras could be used without problem for 8” x 11” prints we recommend not going over 5” x 7” with these.

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