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NB. I’ve either had to reduce the image size or produce 400 x 300 pixel 100% crop outs in order for you to get a true idea of the image quality. As of yet we do not have the facility to offer full-res downloads. This facility will be implemented in the next build of the web site
For evaluating the image quality of the Pro1 I tested the camera in a variety of conditions.
As you can see from some of my general shots the Pro1 is indeed capable of some impressive results. Excellent colour reproduction is evident and skin tones have escaped that pink tinge that seems to plague images produced by lower quality digital cameras.
Close-up photography using the super macro setting was indeed also commendable, allowing me to get right up close to the petals and still remain in focus.
I was very impressed with the zoom range too. The three pictures below give a demonstration of how powerful the zoom is. The top picture is shot at full wide angle (28mm equivalent), the middle shot at maximum optical zoom (200mm equivalent) and the third at 3.2x digital zoom (approx. 640mm equivalent). Granted the shot is grainy at full digital zoom, but some of the detail is retained. I have also seen digital zooms that basically destroy nearly all the detail and in my book this result is rather good. Furthermore, I can just make out some vignetting at the corners of the shot taken at full optical zoom. It would appear that the peripheral edges of the lens barrel are causing light fall-off at these points. The shot was taken at f3.5, the widest aperture for full telephoto, and that’s usually the reason for vignetting. (I repeated the shot at f8 and the vignetting was not noticeable).
For general use, the Pro1 can capture detail faithfully and noise in areas of high contrast is minimal providing the ISO is kept to 50. Disappointingly noise reared its ugly head in settings as low ISO 100. Higher than that and the noise especially in low light conditions, became apparent. This was a little surprising for me as I’m used to my Canon 10D’s excellent ability to remain almost noise free at ISO 400. The picture below, although shot at night, does exhibit more noise than I'd expect at ISO 100. (aperture f5.6, shutter 1/5sec)
With that in mind and the fact that the PowerShot Pro1 sports an L-series type lens I decided to give the Pro1 one last test, this time pitting it against my Canon 10D complete with its 17-40mm L-series lens.