aspect of photography (unless you are an expert with a mega expensive
camera, and an infinite variety of lenses) is the ability to
selectively crop (and often rotate) a picture. This is actually a far
meaner test of the camera than just the balance between light and dark.
For the next tests I have chosen the parking restriction sign mounted
on the lamppost as my test image. Starting from the originals, and like
last time I have not enhanced the pictures in any way (except for the
split view above). I have simply (and slightly roughly) cropped the
image down to just the parking restriction sign, and enlarged each
Praktica DC slim 315
Traveller D1 zoomed
Samsung S1070 zoomed
zoom mode it is pretty obvious that the Samsung contains far more
detail than the other cameras, and I wonder that is for more reasons
than just having a higher resolution sensor. For instance the contrast
ratio, and the colour balance seems better compared to the Traveller
D1. Also there is less noise and/or jpeg artifacts in the Samsung
picture. Without the optical zoom it is obvious that the Olympus
picture is useless, and to my surprise it is the Praktica that seems to
come off best.
The actual pictures the camera takes are important, but it is also important how easy it is to take those pictures.
For ease of use the Olympus is very good. It starts up fairly quickly,
and there is very little shutter lag, and it survives reasonably well
on 4 AA "high power" alkaline batteries.
The Traveller D1
seems to take pretty good pictures most of the time, but it is a pig to
use. The start up time is very long, and the shutter lag is very long
too. Overall it is a very slow camera except when it comes to eating
the two AA batteries. It seems to have some very high peak current
demands that very quickly kill alkaline batteries, and really only
works on rechargeable batteries.
The Praktica DC slim
315 is almost a point and shoot camera. It starts quickly, but there is
a sting in it's tail. It seems to be very unpredictable as to just when
it does the exposure. You line up the picture in the viewfinder, click
the shutter button, and then you have to remember to hold the camera
steady for at least a couple of seconds or you can get strange
geometric distortions on the picture - individual parts of the picture
are exposed very quickly, but these parts are not all exposed at the
same time, or so it appears. (This is unlike the Traveller D1 where a
streaky picture results because it is actually taking the picture some
time after you have pressed the shutter button). The battery life from
two AAA alkaline batteries is remarkably good.
Samsung S1070 I have been treating it like the Traveller, or Praktica,
so I have yet to encounter any strange effects related to shutter lag
or exposure time. It seems that it may be as good as the Olympus in
this respect, but until I have confirmed it that remains speculation.
It does start up quickly like the Olympus, and so far it seems like the
battery life from two AA "high power" alkaline batteries is pretty
good. Overall, I am pretty impressed with it.