Sunday, August 30, 2009

F70EXR -- First Review and Test

So I sold my Canon G10 today and stopped at Henrys on the way home to pick up the Fuji F70EXR, which is of course a leading contender for my next concert camera. It has a lot of interesting features, most notably very long reach with a 27-270mm lense ... almost a strong a range as my 18-200VR, which is 27-300 effective ...

So I will be testing it over the next few days to see if it is a keeper. It must be useful at rock concerts, else I have wasted my money.

So far, I like it ... my impressions are that it is fun to use, reasonably good image quality and adequate video. I know that sounds lukewarm, but that's the nature of the camera business these days. They will never build the perfect camera because then no other camera would sell. I.e. they cannot afford to build a camera that is all things to all people ... that would be fatal, even for the lucky one to do it ...

Anyway ... test 1 was video. I started simple, shot a fairly dark room with soft light filtering in through blinds. Not all that much light and quite a challenge. The F70EXR did ok ... zoom works during filming, gotta watch the close focus though as you need 60 feet to use 270mm. Audio is different from the F11, which was fatally flawed for rock concerts. I still need to test that. Video quality looks ok ... stabilization does in fact seem to work, as even at 270mm I see little jitter. There is some grain and color noise, but I guess I will live with that for now.



The other test I performed today was a simple resolution test. Hang a newspaper from the mantle and shoot it at different zoom levels. Use flash to eliminate movement. Shoot at low ISO.


The crops look ok at longer zoom. Remember to double click on the image to open the 800px version.


You can see lines in the words DAVE WILLIS and that is quite decent. By contrast, here is how the 18-200VR and 70-300VR do it ...



There you can see that the 18-200VR has crisper edges but does not really resolve any more detail. The 70-300VR does, however, drastically outresolve the little cam ... it's a great consumer lens.

So ... first tests both passed. The F70EXR looks pretty promising. I'll be doing a dynamic range test and an ISO stepladder at some point soon.

4 comments:

crazy football mom said...

Uh, Kim, you still have Christmas on your mantle. Is that a time-saving thing? Do you have the tree in a corner under a sheet? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...

Lili said...

Im, thanks awfully for biting the bullet and testing this most intersting camera out. The video showing oen can zoom and use IS while shooting a vid is most helpful.
As has been your advice on shooting concert with small sensor cameras.
If I know the venue hosts (have an in that is) I use my Pentax and a fast long prime or 2. If not I had been using my GR DIgital if I can get close but since I got a fuji F60fd I have tried you advised and it has worked very very well.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/colette_noir/3624044570/sizes/l/in/set-72157613425397833/
But I am keenly aware I need more reacgh,the shot above is a 50% crop.
If I could bring my S6000 I might as well bring the Pentax.
The G10/11 is to big and the S90 has not enough reach.
So the F70 s very interesting and I look forward to more on it from you.

Lili said...

D'oh, Kim sorry for the typos, just woke up and all

Kim Letkeman said...

Lili ... I looked over your flickr stream ... nice work and your concert results are nice and crisp. This cam certainly has me intrigued so far.