I still cannot figure out why the F70EXR gives so much narrower depth of field. The DOF Master online calculator suggests that this should not be. Yet it is …
*Update* User Ralf left a comment about the aperture. I had calculated DOF several times, but decided in this instance to look it over more carefully for both pairs of images. Basically, I think the mystery is solved. If I get a chance to play with the HS10 again, I will focus on retesting this issue. Meanwhile, here is my response to Ralf, with the solution to this mystery.
Ralf: You are probably on to something there. The first pair of images shows that the HS10 was shot at 5.8mm focal length, not its minimum. Which means I was probably at 10 inches or so from the bottles to get focus. And I shot at f/5.6, which I should not have done. DOF Master says that the DOF is about 4.4 inches, more than enough to get two rows in perfect focus. The F70, on the other hand, was shot at f/3.3 and 5mm, which is its minimum focal length. I was probably about 3 or 4 inches from the bottles, which calculates out to 1 inch of DOF. That is enough to blur the second row slightly. With the settings used on the second pair, the DOF field for the HS10 doubles to 1.22 inches from 0.63 inches. This is probably enough to make the differences we see in the image. I'll add this to the article. Thanks.
That is *not* a small difference. Still scratching my head …
It’s visible in the following crops too …
Beats the heck out of me why there is always more blur in backgrounds with the HS10. The detail rendering at this magnification is essentially identical.
*Update* Not any more. Thanks Ralf.