Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fuji HS20 – Sample Image … same quality as the F550EXR?

Looking at images on one of the many sample sites starting to appear in Poland and Japan, it certainly looks like it is the same quality. I don’t see a whole lot of difference. The sensors and jpeg engines are the same, so there is no reason for the image quality to be any different.

There is one image that caught my eye because it is shot in blazing sunlight and shows hair, which is always a superb test of resolution.


Now, this looks like it was shot in HR mode at DR100 setting, which means that the shadows are too dark and the highlights too bright. The snow is blown out all over the place, especially along the bottom. This is a decent shot, but is certainly not floating my boat that much.

I would process such an image by loading it into ACR, recovering the highlights and opening the shadows. It turns out that the output has enough headroom for that.


This is not a particularly appealing version either, but there is lots of detail in the background and in the shadows so we are getting somewhere.

My final version would be something more like this, where I strike a tonal balance between the original out of camera look and the overly flattened look.


Now, let’s take a peek at the hair to see how well it resolves.


That’s a pair of crops from versions 1 and 2. And you can see that the ear muffs resolve better when the highlights are rescued, but nothing can really save the hair. The details that are there are acceptable when the image is displayed at web sizes or in small prints. But looking closely, the clumping of the hair is rampant, as you would have to expect from pixels less than 2 microns in size.

Oh yeah … and once you spike the saturation a touch you start to see some fringing. Not all that bad, but it is definitely there.

Still, this is not a bad effort. I can’t wait to see this sensor shot well.

A quick peek at the hat shows us that higher contrast details are rendered reasonably well.


All in all, I’d say the camera will make a good outdoor shooter. If only someone would show us the output with my standard settings :-)

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