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Articles

2010-06-05
 

Underwater cameras test 2010

7. Quality of pictures and movies on dry land

When you buy a waterproof point and shoot camera you bear in mind that you won’t use it only under water. That’s why we must include a chapter about the quality of pictures and movies on dry land in our test.

Quality of pictures

In order to assess pictures taken on dry land we shoot a photo of two sceneries at different ISO settings. Comparing the appropriate crops at 1:1 scale we are able to assess more or less accurately how well particular cameras fare here. Of course you must take into account the fact that such an assessment is always subjective to a point. That’s why looking at the crops below you are welcome to verify our marks and correct them according to your personal preferences.

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Let’s start with the „P” mode scene, taken at ISO 100, 200, 400 and 800 speed and the focal length set at the equivalent of about 35 mm. In the case of the Sony the lowest ISO amounted to 125 because this camera doesn’t feature ISO 100. We chose fragments from the centre and from the edge of frames to be compared here.

Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land

ISO 100
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
(ISO 125)
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 200
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 400
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 800
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land


At once you might notice the advantage of the Panasonic FT2 over its competitors. At ISO 100 and at higher speeds as well its pictures are the most detailed and the decrease of quality at the edge of the frame is the least pronounced. The Pentax W90 performs well at low speeds – the picture is detail-rich and keeps a decent quality at the edge of the frame. Unfortunately at higher speeds the camera had some problems with adjusting the exposure parameters – its shutter speed was limited and it couldn’t stop down the aperture over f/4.6; as a result the photos were overexposed at ISO 400 and 800. The Fuji and the Sony fare moderately well here although this second definitely lacks resolution and the frame edge leaves a lot to be desired. The weakest performance presents the Olympus – its result at ISO 100 is not good and additionally up from the ISO 200 it starts using strong noise reduction algorithms which leads to image degradation.

The next crops of the same scene constitute, above all, the cameras’ optics test. The first fragment allows us to assess the chromatic aberration level and the way a camera’s software deals with the automatic correction of that aberration. The second crop shows an almost extreme frame corner, where the resolution decrease is the sharpest and the vignetting- the highest due to imperfections of optical path.


Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land

ISO 100
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
(ISO 125)
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 200
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 400
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 800
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land


Chromatic aberration is the least noticeable in the photos taken by the FT2 and the W90. In the case of the latter, though, we must notice a significant resolution decrease in the frame corner, which we’ve already seen in underwater pictures too. The same problem concerns the TX5 which frame corner crops are not very detailed. The Olympus’s and the Fuji’s performance is still average but in the case of the former the details in a picture taken at ISO 200 and faster blur into multi-coloured patches and in the case of the Fuji the purple glow, due to high chromatic aberration level, almost dazzles your eyes. The Panasonic FT2 keeps high performance level even in the frame corner.

The third test trial was conducted on crops taken at ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600 (and ISO 3200 in the case of the Sony TX5) with the focal length set at the equivalent of about 90 mm. It will allow to assess the degree of image degradation at high ISO and the optical properties at the other extreme of focal lengths ranges.


Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land

ISO 400
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
(ISO 125)
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 800
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 1600
XP10
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
T8010
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
FT2
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
W90
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
ISO 3200
TX5
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land


The Panasonic wins hands down again. The Pentax tries to perform equally well, especially that we see a significant improvement of the quality in the frame corner compared to the wide-angle results. Unfortunately, its sensor surrenders at ISO 800, where we notice a sharp decrease of image quality. Fuji still has problems with chromatic aberration in the frame corner but, fortunately, the algorithms reducing the noise are quite good here so even at the highest speeds you don’t seen one-colour patches which bothered us the most in the case of the Tough 8010. When it comes to the Olympus, there’s a significant sharpness decrease at the frame edge. This problem also concerns the Sony TX5 which can’t cope with photos’ resolution although it reduces the noise well.

Quality of movies

When it comes to the quality of movies on dry land the Panasonic fares the best once again and shows what potential the AVCHD Lite coding might have. The images’ quality is excellent and the colouring – simply flawless. In this case the Sony performs a bit worse. Although you can’t complain about the detail rendering, the colouring is not as good as we would expect. The image got a significantly yellowish hue so the colours are not as natural as in the case of the FT2. Movies, recorded by the Olympus Tough 8010, represent the same level . The colouring is flawless but the detail rendering – not so good because the lossy compression makes itself felt once again, degrading the quality of images. The Fujifilm copes a bit worse here – it records movies with pale colouring and with too few details. The worst is the Pentax W90, though. The videos, recorded with this camera, are characterized by very unnatural colouring which makes you think of old analogue photographs from the 80s of the last century and the detail rendering leaves a lot to be desired. Assessing the quality of movies you must also take into account the problems of the XP10 with zooming and the lack of the possibility of focal length change in the W90.

At the end of the chapter we present some sample movies recorded with the tested cameras:

Fujifilm FinePix XP10
Motion JPEG AVI, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 26 s, 73.1 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Fujifilm FinePix XP10
Motion JPEG AVI, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 29 s, 81.5 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Olympus mju Tough 8010
MPEG-4AVC/H.264, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 26 s, 28.3 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Olympus mju Tough 8010
MPEG-4AVC/H.264, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 20 s, 22.5 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2
AVCHD Lite 17 Mb/s, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 30 s, 48 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2
AVCHD Lite 17 Mb/s, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 20 s, 33.7 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Pentax Optio W90
Motion JPEG AVI, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 23 s, 72.7 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Pentax Optio W90
Motion JPEG AVI, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 20 s, 61.2 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5
MPEG-4, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 28 s, 30 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5
MPEG-4, 1280×720 pix, 30 fps, 21 s, 22 MB
Underwater cameras test 2010  - Quality of pictures and movies on dry land

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