Sunday, April 24, 2011

F550EXR – A deer bit me in the neck …

Years ago, I found this very funny 911 call regarding a deer that hit a car and the 911 call that resulted from it.

Of course, this call has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of this article. I just felt I had to share that as the subject reminded me of it and finding it on YouTube took about 1 second.

Anyway … Jon and I were driving off to see if The Works was open this evening (it was not) and as we passed a local field I mentioned to Jon that I’d seen deer here off in the distance a few times. Well, low and behold if a couple of young fawns weren’t grazing about 50 feet from the road! I was gobsmacked …

So I pulled over onto the shoulder and had Jon open the passenger window (I was heading west into the sun) and shot several images through the window. The IS on the F550EXR is not strong enough to easily overcome the vibration of the car while idling, so I switched that off for the last few.

And I got a couple of keepers, with one really nice image. I cropped it about 50% before reducing for the web. Here is the jpeg rendering of this little fella …

ISO 160 (chosen from auto iso 3200), f/5.3, 1/60s

And the RAF file run through Silkypix, ACR and CS5.

Very cute animal, and this sort of image is exactly why RAW is so useful. All the burnt highlights are saved, there is much finer gradations in the fur and all sort of little tufts of hair (e.g. in the ears) are rendered much more realistically. For those who like to see things at 100% (equivalent to a 46” print viewed from about 20 inches) here are the crops. Click through to see them full sized (they are pretty big.)

As always, I am somewhat impressed by the jpeg engine. It saves enough detail to be reasonable but of course the animal’s fur looks much better with the RAW treatment. So those of you who think this camera is difficult in sunlight, spend more time working with Silkypix. It’s worth the time.

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