Testing / Performance
*Kodak digital cameras have what they call a Color Science Chip in them. The manufacturer claims that this image processor produces realistic colors. All Kodak digital cameras are not alike though. The image processor is paired with different sensors, lenses, and components and thus produces slightly different colors each time. We tested the EasyShare C433 by photographing the GretagMacbeth color chart and uploading the images into Imatest imaging software. The program analyzes the images and tells us how accurate the colors are by comparing them to the original chart. Below is a colorful rendition of the chart that combines the original colors (vertical rectangles), the Kodak C433’s colors (outer squares), and the luminance-corrected ideal colors (inner squares).
The degree of error on each color is more noticeable in the following graph. The original colors of the GretagMacbeth chart show up as squares, and the Kodak EasyShare C433’s colors are represented by circles. Ideally, the shapes would be atop of each other, but the colors are tethered by a line that represents the degree of error.
The Kodak EasyShare C433’s colors are far from where they should be. The true white in the center of the graph is off (stemming from poor color balance), and all other colors seem shifted from that. There is no one portion of the spectrum that is really messed up; several areas like reds, greens, deep blues, and oranges are far from ideal. Many of the colors are oversaturated, with a mean saturation of 120.1 percent. The C433 ends up with a 10.1 mean color error and a 6.89 overall color score. While this is better than the Kodak EasyShare C663’s color scores (14.5 color error and 4.58 overall), this still isn’t anything to brag about. Photographers who plan on shooting an important event and need perfectly accurate colors will not want to rely on this digital camera. Photographers who don’t mind bright red lips and skin looking tanner than is realistic won’t be bothered by the Kodak C433.
**Still Life Scene
**We photograph this busy and horribly composed still life scene with every digital camera that comes through this office. Below is the picture taken by the Kodak EasyShare C433.
No doubt about it: The Kodak EasyShare C433 is a budget digital camera. It is one of a small handful of cameras this year with less than 5 megapixels. Indeed, the C433 advertises a 4-megapixel, 1/2.5-inch CCD sensor. To see how effectively the camera can capture detail, we photographed an industry standard resolution chart that shows lines and patterns of various thicknesses and shapes. The photograph of the chart taken by the Kodak EasyShare C433 is shown below.
While photographing the chart, we tested out several focal lengths and apertures to ensure we got the absolute sharpest shot possible with the camera. The sharpest image came from a shot taken at f/4.6 and 18mm. This was determined by Imatest software, which also output results in terms of line widths per picture height (lw/ph). This measurement allows us to compare results from camera to camera regardless of the sensor size; it tells us how many lines of equal thickness the camera could theoretically discern without blurring together. The Kodak EasyShare C433 resolved 1004 lw/ph horizontally with 3.32 percent undersharpening. Vertically, the camera read 1107 lw/ph with 1.86 percent under-sharpening. This equates to a poor 1.54 overall score. The bad news is that 1.54 is horrible, even when compared to other 4-megapixel models (The Kodak EasyShare-one 4 MP had a 3.22 overall score). The good news is that the C433 didn’t exert any in-camera sharpening, so some of this problem can be fixed in editing software.
Noise – Auto ISO*(5.16)*
When the C433 was set to automatically choose its own ISO setting in our bright studio lighting, it took a picture that produced the amount of noise found around ISO 160. This isn’t the lowest setting possible on the camera, but the amount of noise at that setting really isn’t much anyway. Thus, the Kodak C433 got by with a 5.16 overall auto ISO noise score – much better than the Kodak C663’s 2.63 result.
Noise – Manual ISO*(7.36)*
The budget C443 doesn’t have the extensive manual ISO range that most digital cameras now have. It has manual ISO settings from 80 to 400, shown below on the horizontal axis of the chart. The vertical axis shows the amount of noise measured at each stop when shooting in bright light.
Although these manual ISO settings are the same as the C663, the amount of noise produced at each setting is much reduced in the Kodak C443. The settings from 80-200 produced very little noise, and the top 400 setting had a bit more but was still decent. For being a budget model that retails for under a hundred dollars, these are very good results.
All of the other testing was done in optimal lighting, but since photo opportunities don’t always happen in perfect lighting we photographed the color chart at diminishing light levels. The first test was done at 60 lux, which is about the amount of light in a softly lit room after dark. The second test was shot at 30 lux – approximately equivalent to the light from a single 40-watt bulb. The 15 and 5 lux tests are done more to test the limitations, if any, of the image sensor.
Photographing in low light with the Kodak EasyShare C433 was a challenge (that’s saying it nicely). The camera had trouble focusing in low light, and its metering system wasn’t all that consistent. Both metering and color balance were totally off; the exposure dwindled in the darkness and the colors grew warmer as the light dimmed.
As the light dimmed, the camera used longer shutter speeds. And the longer the shutter remained open, the more noise crept into the picture. Even with the ISO fixed at the lowest manual setting of 80, noise increased considerably. Below is a chart showing the exposure time on the horizontal axis and the noise level on the vertical axis.
At 60 lux, the Kodak C433 used a half-second exposure. At 5 lux, the camera used a 4-second exposure and produced quite a bit more noise than in previous tests. Despite this camera’s decent noise control with ISO settings, it didn’t seem to do the same with longer exposures. This digital camera isn’t made for low light photography. Its 1.5 overall score is quite awful, and its pictures back up that score. Images are fuzzy, discolored, and noisy.