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Olympus µ 1050 SW / Stylus 1050 SW Gordon Laing, December 2008

Olympus µ 1050 SW / Stylus 1050 SW results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

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Real-life resolution - Olympus 1050 SW vs Pentax W60 vs Canon 870IS / SD 880IS


To compare real-life performance we shot this scene with the Olympus µ 1050 SW / Stylus 1050 SW, Pentax W60 and Canon IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings, lowest sensitivities and default processing options.

The lenses on each camera were adjusted to deliver the same field of view. Each camera was set to Program, or Auto with Manual ISO override. As mostly automatic cameras, there's no control over the aperture selected.


The image above was taken with the Olympus µ 1050 SW / Stylus 1050 SW at a sensitivity of 80 ISO, and the lens set to 6.7mm (its widest 38mm equivalent), f3.5; the original 10M Fine JPEG file measured 3.6MB. The crops are taken from the upper left, centre, lower right and left of centre, and are presented here at 100%.

Note: the Pentax W60’s crops show a slightly larger area due to its lens zoom increments not exactly matching the coverage of the other cameras on test here; the closest match was with a slightly wider focal length, which means there’s subsequently a little less detail resolved as a result. We were able to compensate for this on the second results page by adjusting each camera’s distance where necessary.

In the first row of crops of the mountain ridge taken from the upper left corner, the Olympus 1050 SW is clearly suffering from coloured fringing and a lack of sharpness, while the Pentax W60 and Canon 870IS / SD 880IS alongside look cleaner and more detailed. This is repeated in the third row of crops, where the Olympus shows visible fringing and softening that's absent from the other two models.

In the second and fourth row of crops, the level of resolved detail is roughly the same on all three models, but punchier image processing on the part of the Canon gives the impression of a superior result - you can however achieve a similar-looking result with the Olympus and Pentax by boosting their contrast and sharpness a little.

So a similar degree of real life detail is recorded by all three cameras below, but the Olympus is let down by coloured fringing and softening by its lens towards the corners of images. Now let's see how they measure-up across their sensitivity range in our Olympus µ 1050 SW / Stylus 1050 SW High ISO Noise results.

Olympus µ 1050SW / Stylus 1050SW
Pentax Optio W60
Canon IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS
f3.5, 80 ISO
f4.6, 50 ISO
f6.3, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO
f4.6, 50 ISO
f6.3, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO
f4.6, 50 ISO
f6.3, 80 ISO
f3.5, 80 ISO
f4.6, 50 ISO
f6.3, 80 ISO

Olympus µ 1050 SW / Stylus 1050 SW results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2015 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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