Thursday, April 7, 2011

F550EXR – Detail, Details – Review Part 16

I’ve been very pleased with the details at high ISO so far, but people are asking if it also has the chops at low ISO. Some of the early BiCMOS sensors looked quite nice at 3200 ISO and then stunk the place out at 100 ISO.

So I took a walk at lunch today and shot some images for detail. I was shooting jpeg+RAW but ended up deleting most of the RAW images. I just don’t see much point at low ISO … the jpeg engine is that good.

The geese are out in force now … these are Canada Geese with the famous white patches on cheek and wings. These white patches are a nightmare for blow outs and CA. At 0ev the cam has trouble saving the highlights. You must drop to –1/3ev at least.

Click through to the 800px version and marvel at the feather detail. Very nice. This is a fairly strong crop … less than 50% of the original is present here.

I also did this one in RAW, just to see if it did better.

Not much visible difference at web sizes. The 100% crops tell the story …

More details but more noise. The one advantage here is the better contrast and lack of  blocked shadows. The jpeg here is untouched … from this point on I will process the jpegs to get tones more like the RAW. And since they are jpeg and not RAF, I can use ACR.

The following image is cropped a bit, about 40% trimmed away on the sides. With ACR I am able to get much more subtle, RAW-like tones and detail.

Here is an extremely aggressive crop. Down to at most 10% of the frame. I wanted you to see the cheek patch. Very nice. Also the teeth (which is why you do not want to be bitten by one of these guys.) There is some smearing visible, but there is still texture and this is about equivalent to a piece of a 30” print.

The next two shots are full frame / full zoom images of geese that were fairly close to me. Thus, they show incredible detail. Very, very nice.

This one is banded. Or she likes the ankle bracelet fad.

When people talk about dSLR-like performance, this is what they mean. And no need for RAW here.

Let’s switch tracks a bit and move to a zoom range test. I will also include crops to show the tie-in to details.



And center crops at 100%, showing the kind of detail you can expect from a long way off. Looks pretty decent to me.

There is some loss of texture on the grass furthest away at 24mm, but these details are so tiny and such low contrast that I doubt that any current tiny sensors would do better.

I’ll leave you with one final shot showing grasses and distant trees. Tons of details here and no smearing that I can see. Fuji appear to have finally gone back to the much less aggressive NR of sensors past.

I’ll upload the original from this one when I get a chance. My Internet connection is being pounded right now by an upload of the latest video tests.

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