Tuesday, September 1, 2009

F70EXR -- fights it out with F11, G10

The battle of the giants ... The F11 remains one of Fuji's better compacts, quality high ISO and a light touch with NR to promote processing of the output. The G10 of course has already achieved legendary status for its incredible low ISO performance and resolution. It has the best controls of any compact camera, ever. Better than many entry dSLRs and bridge cams as well ...

But, how do they fare when compared in macro mode? The F70EXR has this peculiar scene mode called "text" that made me wonder if it worked better than, say, pro low light mode in macro.

So I shot some images with each camera and processed some interesting crops. One set of images of a piece of paper shot at an angle, and one set of crops of my TN panel. The result is that the F70EXR has the worst magnification (Fuji ... what were you thinking?) but does hold its own (barely) on image quality at high ISO.

Note: The F70EXR images are all shot at 5mp. The F11 images are 6mp. And the G10 images are a spectacular 14.7mp!



The G10 is clearly the one to beat ... much higher magnification because of its resolution and extreme close focusing ... but the F70 does alright. I posted the "screw" image and a "thistle" image in another blog entry earlier today showing that macro mode is perfectly usable for closeups ....

I also shot a few images at 800, 1600 and 3200 ISOs in moderate light ... filtered through horizontal blinds that were closed ... and I shot in manual mode so I had a lot of under exposures and one slight over exposure.

What I conclude from the following crops is that 3200ISO is actually usable when the exposure is nailed. And when the exposure is screwed up, results are simply awful ... this is something we all need to keep in mind when looking at suspect tests ... was care taken to nail the exposure?

10 comments:

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IanIan said...

Are your high ISO tests at 5 or 10 mega pixels?

Kim Letkeman said...

I'll update the blog to indicate that yes, the F70EXR images are all 5mp. I use SN mode by preference. Sometimes I use EXR auto and indoors it always chooses SN mode itself.

IanIan said...

Hi, how does one choose SN mode and manual mode at the same time? Doesn't using SN mode require that the dial is set to EXR?

Cassandra Says said...

Thanks for the comparison shots! I've been poking around your blog looking for direct comparisons between the G10 and the LX3 for shooting concerts, and now you've given me another camera to consider.

Kim Letkeman said...

Cassandra, you are welcome. The caveat in all this is that I won;t know how it responds under concert conditions until I see one. I have two in a week in the third week in September ... opening night at the Symphony and the Tragically Hip. I'll know after that for sure.

Cassandra Says said...

Do you have more samples you shot at concerts using the G10? I'm in the market for the camera to shoot shows, and people keep telling me that I need an SLR, but I really don't think that's true, especially since I can shoot from the press pit.

Kim Letkeman said...

Cassandra, search Neil Young and James Blunt on my blog. Also Katie Meluah. Those were all shot with the G10. Frankly, the people who say you need a dSLR are dead right ... to really shoot shows well, a D5000 or D90 would be amazing. I shot Bruce Cockburn in the dark with the D300 and the shots came out extremely pleasing. Search my blog for Folk Fest. There is no contest whatsoever in high ISO performance between a dSLR and a compact. Also check my blog for the link to my gallery (on the right side) and in my gallery, look for the Travel album, then go into the Florida album, day 3 I think. There is a Wallflowers concert I shot from the front of the stage. The images are incredible because of the capabilities in the dSLR.

Cassandra Says said...

Will look for those, thanks.

And yeah, I know I could get better shots with an SLR, I'm just not sure it's really necessary for my purposes. I'm on a budget, I'm posting small images on the web, and I also hate carrying stuff around and therefore tend towards miniturised everything(my Dad, long time shutterbug, laughed at the idea of me using an SLR with the words "I know you, you won't even carry a normal sized cell phone, if you got an SLR it would just sit in the house all the time"). I'm also on a strict budget so the Panasonic G1 is out for now, which is a shame since that's tolerably small (my issue is more with lens size than body size, the D5000 for example has an acceptably compact body but when you add the lens it becomes unwieldy).

Here's an example of pics I took with a G9, after cleaning up a little in Photoshop. I'm still hoping that maybe the G11 will offer enough of a performance jump to make it suitable for my purposes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41888774@N08/sets/72157622224274006/

Kim Letkeman said...

Those look pretty good ... if you have an immune response to a dSLR's size then, yes, you are stuck. I don;t yet know if this camera will cut it, but I know that it is less work to process than the G10 ever was. But there is far more resolution in the G10. The G11 drops back to 10mp, but if they get the one stop improvement they say they have, then it sounds extremely promising, especially since you can shoot from close by.