Testing / Performance
To determine the accuracy of the D-540's reproduced colors, we recorded a series of well-exposed shots of our GretagMacbeth color chart and imported the resulting images into Imatest Imaging Software. The software analyzes the images to determine the accuracy of each rendered tone. The chart below is modified by Imatest to visually display the camera's results. In each color tile, the outer square is the D-540's reproduced color, while the interior square is the color-corrected version, and the vertical rectangle in the center is the ideal on the GretagMacbeth color chart.
The graph below helps us perceive the accuracy of each of the 24 tones within the GretagMacbeth chart. The circles represent the tones produced by the Olympus D-540; the squares represent the ideal color. The more space between the two, the greater the error.
The Olympus D-540 received an overall color score of 8.47, which is quite good for a compact point-and-shoot digital camera. The camera received a mean saturation score of 108.7 percent, which is about average for a compact point-and-shoot. Almost all cameras oversaturate colors slightly to make the scene appear more vibrant. Overall, the D-540 renders a strong naturalistic portrayal of the scene with accurate tones based in realism and subtlety.
**Still Life Scene
**Below is a shot of our beloved still life scene, photographed with the Olympus D-540.
Click on the above image to view a full resolution version (CAUTION: the linked file is very large!)](../viewer.php?picture=Olympus-D540-StillLifeLG.jpg)
Resolution / Sharpness ***(2.20)***
To test resolution, we take several well-lit photographs of an International Standards Organization resolution chart. The results are analyzed with Imatest Imaging Software to determine the number of active pixels. When this test is conducted, there is always some variance between the pixel count reported by manufacturers and the actual number of pixels used in forming the images. Cameras that record 70-80 percent of the reported pixel count are perceived to be 'good' performers, while cameras scoring 80-90 percent are 'very good,' and those that score above 90 percent are extremely rare and 'excellent.'
The Olympus Camedia D-540 recorded 2.20 megapixels in its images. This is 70 percent of the advertised 3.2 megapixel count, just pushing it into the 'good' classification. While many manufacturers have recognized the increasing awareness of consumers and their continual education regarding 'hot' and ineffective pixels, megapixels have begun to evolve into a more pure means of expressing resolution and image clarity, rather than an arbitrary means of general classification. Having said this, the D-540 contains a strong imager, though an increasing number of future cameras should surpass it.
**Noise-Auto ISO ***(2.51)*
The Olympus D-540 automatically sets the ISO speed for each shot, within the 50-400 ISO range available. Unfortunately, there was substantial noise apparent in many images produced by the Olympus Camedia D-540. Comparable low-budget models perform similarly, but still, the amount of visible noise is quite distracting.
Noise-Manual ISO ***(0.0)***
The ISO settings on the Olympus D-540 cannot be adjusted manually.
Start-up to First Shot (3.76)
The user could probably grow a gray hair in the time it takes for the D-540 to start up and take its first picture. It takes 6.24 seconds, which is by far the slowest we've tested.
Shot to Shot (8.09)
The Olympus D-540 does have a burst mode. It can shoot a frame every 0.81 seconds for 12 consecutive shots - which is pretty quick as long as the burst mode is engaged.
*Shutter to Shot (7.1)
*This digital camera is slow to focus, but quick to shoot. When the D-540 was pre-focused, it only took .02 seconds from the time the button was pressed to the time of exposure. However, it took a leisurely 0.95 seconds to both focus and take the picture.