So how does the HS10 handle crappy light? Light with some contribution from an old incandescent (halogen) bulb and with some contribution from filtered sunlight. Lots of orange and blue fighting it out.
I shot a macro image of the head of my son’s guitar. I was trying to isolate the wires, and I must say that the auto focus (AF) on the HS10 was difficult to use in this light.
I eventually got a couple of comparable images. FIrst, let’s look at the out of camera (OOC) shots. No processing here except a resize and slight sharpen for web (you should *always* do a slight sharpening after you downsize an image):
The astute will notice that the HS10 was shot at 3200 ISO for this comparison. That should be unfair, but in fact that HS10 is quite good at 1600 and 3200. That sensor’s strength is right there.
But, I could not get a sharp shot until I set 3200 ISO. Let’s compare exposures to see why.
This was my fault. I did not notice that the camera had set f/5.6 instead of f/2.8. I am used to shooting in P mode on the F70 and the HS10 was shot in M or A mode most of the time. The F70 generally chooses the right aperture with no input, which is what I like in my small sensor cameras. They are conveniences, and the HS10 is not quite as convenient in many ways. This is one.
Anyway, the difference in these shots is one stop of ISO, and the Sony sensor happens to be pretty good up there so the comparison is still interesting.
The astute will have already noticed that the F70 image blurs the background more than the HS10 … again :-)
Other than that difference, both look ok. Detail is definitely acceptable for two small sensors shot at very high ISO.
What happens when the white balance is adjusted to make the pegs look grey?
Well, I’ll give the nod to the F70EXR there. I suppose the ISO difference invalidates a strong conclusion, but the F70EXR always seems to handle funky white balance very well. The tiny sensors, even the BiCMOS Sony sensor in the HS10, do not handle it as well.
For sun, I went on to shoot a few more images with the F70EXR, which I find a lot easier to handle in bad light. AF is definitely quicker and more accurate.
This is the final set of images I have with the HS10. If I get another chance to shoot it, I will play with auto ISO for a while and see whether it is pleasant to shoot with in the same way as the F70EXR. Otherwise, it certainly takes some nice images. Just watch your exposures … this sensor does not have much exposure latitude (i.e. it has poor dynamic range), and for me shooting RAW on such a slow camera is simply not an option.