Noise mars the A470's otherwise very nice pictures. Grain starts to appear at ISO 200, and becomes quite noticeable at ISO 400. From ISO 800 to the camera's maximum sensitivity of ISO 1,600, fuzz saturates the picture, giving everything a felt-like texture. Besides the noise, however, the camera's pictures look good. Fine details appear crisp and clear, especially for a sub-$150 camera. Minor barrel distortion appears on the edges of pictures at the widest lens position, but it doesn't seriously hurt picture quality. Colors look generally neutral, though they sometimes appear slightly cooler than usual. If you keep sensitivity low, the A470 will produce good-looking prints. Even at higher ISO settings, pictures look clear enough to e-mail or post to the Web.
Photo quality, as with most ultracompacts, is the weak link for the W150. Colors are accurate for the most part, but when shooting outdoors in bright conditions there's a lot of blooming and haloing, particularly with reds and whites. Photos are soft overall, lacking fine detail. Visible speckles of color noise appear at ISO 200, and details become seriously obscured at ISO 800; though the camera can shoot at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200, I don't suggest using these higher settings. Also, off-subject elements of scenes tended to look smeary and overprocessed.
The A580 shines at ISO sensitivities below ISO 200. Grain becomes readily noticeable at ISO 400, but for the most part details remain unexpectedly good. Actually, you can get up to ISO 800 and still have a usable photo at smaller sizes. Color, contrast, and white balance all fare better than expected, as well.
In general the photos from the Z1085 IS are good for the money. Colors are generally accurate as is white balance, both indoors and out. Detail remains good up to ISO 200 with little to no noise and no issues from suppression. At ISO 400, however, aggressive noise reduction in the red channel turns red objects smeary and the photos develop the typical overblurred, painterly look. The camera boasts ISO settings up to 3200 at full resolution and up to ISO 8000 at a 3-megapixel resolution. The results at these ISOs are pretty useless. Yes, you'll capture something that may be acceptable for Web use at a small size, but if you're expecting to get the same performance that the camera gives you at ISO 800, you'll be disappointed. Exposure also tends to be a bit off, with occasional blown-out highlights.
Photo quality is pretty good for a camera in the E60's class. It renders vibrant, accurate color under both indoor and outdoor lighting, and photos are relatively sharp; Pentax errs on the side of a more natural look rather than oversharpening like many manufacturers. There is no white balance control at all, so it's a good thing the E60's auto white balance is fairly consistent in natural light. Shooting in incandescent light, however, results in the overly yellow scenes typical of auto white balance. Subjects occasionally underexpose, while background highlights blow out slightly. The lens also displays some barrel distortion, particularly on the left side, which results in purple fringing.